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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas Hardcover – Jun 5 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition edition (June 5 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765316994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765316998
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 3 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Gripping… A perfectly executed plot clicks its way to a stunningcourtroom showdown in a cathartic finish.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Fuzzy Nation

“In a genre flooded with bloated epics, it's a real pleasure toread a story like this, as compactly and directly told as a punchto the stomach.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Fuzzy Nation

“If Stephen King were to try his hand at science fiction, he'd belucky to be half as entertaining as John Scalzi.” ―Dallas Morning News on The Ghost Brigades

“ Scalzi's captivating blend of offworld adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging. ” ―Booklist on The Last Colony

About the Author

JOHN SCALZI is the author of several SF novels including the bestselling Old Man's War sequence, comprising Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, and the New York Times bestselling The Last Colony. He is a winner of science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and he won the Hugo Award for Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of essays from his popular blog Whatever. His latest novel, Fuzzy Nation, hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2014
Format: Paperback
Ah, redshirts. Any geek worth their salt knows about them -- random extras on "Star Trek" who die in almost every episode.

But what if the redshirts knew that their fates were coming, and tried to stop it by whatever means necessary? That's the idea behind "Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas," John Scalzi's affectionate lampooning of sci-fi TV. It's a light, fluffy novel that touches on some philosophical ideas, but nothing too serious.

In the 23rd century, Ensign Andrew Dahl is assigned to the Universal Union flagship Intrepid. It's a dream job for a xenobiologist, except that some of his new shipmates are acting a little strange.

And soon he finds out why: the Intrepid has an incredibly high mortality rate. The captain, science officer, engineer, doctor and the handsome if dim Lieutenant Kerensky are never permanently injured, but low-ranking officers inevitably die messy, violent deaths. There's also a magic "box" that generates the answer to impossible problems.

The widower of one "redshirt" has already figured out the answer -- a bizarre answer that calls into question the nature of reality itself. And with Dahl scheduled for an away mission, he and his fellow endangered officers will have to take drastic steps: go back in time to a parallel world, and find a way of stopping their problems in the 21st century.

"Redshirts" is a fun idea for a story -- what if the disposable extras became aware of their doomedness, and tried to prevent it? There's a lot of metafictional twists and some contemplation of what reality is, but it never gets too heavy. It's a pleasantly light sci-fi story.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the funniest science fiction stories I have ever read.

It's a space opera set on the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid. Andrew Dahl, Andy to his friends, has just been assigned to the ship and strangeness occurs right from the start.

One of the senior members of the crew has caught an alien virus that will liquefy him in 6 hours if an antivirus isn't found. Andy is tasked with finding the anti virus. No problem his fellow crew mates say ; just put the blood sample in "the box" and the answer will be generated. Funny thing though is that the box just looks like a small microwave oven! Andy pops the sample in, pushes the button and as promised comes up with an antivirus within the 6 hours saving the crew member.

With that introduction the author takes us on a wonderful journey through a "wonderland" type environment that exists on the Intrepid.

Eventually, Andy starts to figure out what is happening and soon there is time travel and possibly a solution. It's all written in a tongue in cheek style that keeps you reading to see how crazy it's going to get.

The author develops the story line at a good pace, has relatable characters and a wicked sense of dark humour.

As a bonus there are 3 Codas at the end of the book that link and expand on the theme in the main story. Again very funny.

This is a book you will not be able to put down as who knows what could be on the next page !!!

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Format: Hardcover
Redshirts was the November selection for my local book club. All of the members who read the book agreed that it was very funny and entertaining. We were all glad that we had read it. It did help that all of us are fans of the Star Trek shows, though that is not required for one to read and enjoy this book.

I will admit, that I was the only member who did not make the connection of the title, RedShirts, with what was happening in the story. It seems, that in the first series, Star Trek, that when a crew member was killed on an away mission, they inevitably had a low level ranking and thus wore a red shirt.

The Intrepid is the flagship of the Universal Union. It's crew, with the exception of the captain and his 4 supporting officers, know that something is wrong, that a crew member will die every time there is an away mission led by one of the 'five'. They do whatever they can to avoid an away mission the captain or any of the other four. This being said, no one is attempting to do anything about this situation until red shirt wearer Ensign Andrew Dahl is assigned to the Intrepid. Fortunately for the rest of the crew, he is not willing to accept the status quo and seeks an explanation and a solution to these untimely deaths.

It seemed natural to me that the five new crew members: Dahl, Duvall, Hanson, Finn and Hester, would band together. They were assigned to the Intrepid at the same time, and waited in the same departure lounge for hours awaiting their transport. This quick camaraderie continued once they were aboard the Intrepid as they all noticed that something was amiss.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Redshirts started off as a comedy with a lot of potential - a brilliant sendup of Star Trek that looked like it would only get better by the page. Unfortunately, Scalzi went off on a sharp tangent and instead headed off into the final frontier of bizarre philosophy. By the end, the whole thing has devolved from comedy to melodrama to bad melodrama. On the plus side, I do have to admit that it is well-written bad melodrama.
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