Monday, June 04, 2012

Redshirts by John Scalzi

I don't know when I've read a book that was as much fun, and as mindbending as John Scalzi's Redshirts. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to tell you about the mindbending part of the story because that's the twist in the story. But, believe me, it's fun.

Ensign Andrew Dahl is one of the new group of ensigns assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union since 2456. Dahl studied xenobiology and linguistics at the Academy before being assigned to this ship. On his first day, he's assigned to the lab, but made the mistake of telling Science Officer Q'eeng that he would participate in away teams. Those away teams left the ship, often on dangerous missions to other planets.

And, it wasn't long before Dahl realized those missions seemed to be particularly dangerous for ensigns. He began to notice the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always managed to survive, but the mortality rate among ensigns were high. So, Dahl began to poke around a little, searching through the history of the ship. He soon realized how strange the Intrepid's record actually was. If he had any hope at all of surviving his posting to the ship, Dahl and a few handpicked friends were going to have to take matters into their own hands.

I don't normally read science fiction, so maybe regular readers won't find Redshirts as fun and original as I did. Here's a rational explanation for what happens on the Intrepid. "The Intrepid takes on high-risk missions. More people die because of it. The crew has developed superstitions and avoidance strategies to compensate. And we use advanced technologies that we don't understand but which allow us to complete missions."  But, Ensign Dahl can't quite accept that, especially when it comes to Lt. Kerensky's survival. "In the past three years, Kerensky's been shot three times, caught a deadly disease four times, has been crushed under a rock pile, injured in a shuttle crash, suffered burns when his bridge control panel blew up in his face, experienced partial atmospheric decompression, suffered from induced mental instability, been bitten by two venomous animals and had the control of his body taken over by an alien parasite."

It's fun to follow Dahl to the logical, or illogical, conclusion of Redshirts. Or, at least to the conclusion of Dahl's role in the story. Scalzi switches views three quarters of the way through the story to provide alternate views. The story is humorous and outrageous with interesting possibilities to make the reader think. And, Jonathan Coulton's "Redshirt" is the perfect song to go with this book. Scalzi himself shared the tribute video that includes the song, and fits this book. If you're a science fiction reader, or decide to pick up Redshirts, I encourage you to check out that video on YouTube. Here's the link - http://youtu.be/E90oZSY9M-s. Thanks to John Scalzi for sharing it on his blog. And, once you've read the book, I think you'll have a different view of those Redshirts, the ordinary working crew members.

John Scalzi's website is whatever.scalzi.com.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. Tor. 2012. ISBN 9780765316998 (hardcover), 304p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I requested a copy of Redshirts from the publisher.

7 comments:

ray said...

This is where i got into allot of stuff I didn't even understand, but it all ended the same way. Needed more spells, more money, and

nothing ever worked like these so called spell casters, physics, mediums, wicca's, pagans, egyptian magic spells, or anyone else

said. Literally I spent over 50,000 on spells in just 6 months. Let me help you out there, the people reading this, I have literally tried

almost every spell caster out there and they all just took my money and made promises that they could not keep. 50,000 dollars

worth of broken promises and lies. In all honesty its not even about the money. I would gladly give any amount of money to have

my love back, but it was about the empty hopes and promises. The constant torture of thinking she would come back and didn't.

The emotional roller coaster that these people put me through should be against the law. At one point I almost committed suicide.

Had it not been for the kids being there I would have and would not have thought twice about it. Then with the last bit of dignity

that I had I turned to freemercytemple@yahoo.com . I didn't have any money left at this point and had lost about all hope in ever

getting twinny back but i still contributed with the little i have and with hopes with the email and advice i was meant to do anything,i

just did as the freemercytemple@yahoo.com said in 6 days i got twinny back begging to forgive in what ever way she has

offended me and with this spell casting i am happy again with my only lover.

kolia said...

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HIM TO DO... WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS; doctorsunshinehope@yahoo.com HOPE HE HELPS YOU PPORTUNITY"

josfi said...

i was searching one evening on the internet,because i know that good magicians are still there...but how to get them is a very big problem.after several searches for about 3 hours i inserted the last words.."real spell"into the yahoo search engine.I have a love problem and i need a magical love magic. and this email address came out ehisalextemple@gmail.com i contacted him and told him my love problem after 3 days of his spell my lover returned to me, i am still suprise to believe this will work

rita said...

i was searching one evening on the internet,because i know that good magicians are still there...but how to get them is a very big problem.after several searches for about 3 hours i inserted the last words.."real spell"into the yahoo search engine.I have a love problem and i need a magical love magic. and this email address came out ehisalextemple@gmail.com i contacted him and told him my love problem after 3 days of his spell my lover returned to me, i am still suprise to believe this will work

pamela said...


Am now happy happy and happy, my name is Pamela from UK I believe AMINE now, After so many comments on how AMINE helped alot of people got back their Ex, Jobs and properties, i contacted him and tell my story of how a lady broke my relationship, Been married for 8yrs and with 3kids, suddenly my Husband moved out and told me never to contact him again, i was so heart broken, depressed and sad, after all the story,Amine spell temple told me to put my mind at rest and told me that all my problems will be solved within 2days , i was still hoping until Amine called me again for my husbands picture and told me, i will have to get some items and i did all he asked me, on Sunday morning David came home by himself and knelt down to beg me, weeping bitterly and asked for forgiveness, i did forgive him and i told Amine spell temple about everything and he said all he wants from me is to share the good news with the world so people out there , here is a prove that real casters are still online, for any kind of problems that need solutions, contact him:aminespelltemple@yahoo.com

Victoria James said...



I am Victoria, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.ATILA for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.ATILA released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.ATILA for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. that is his email address atilahealinghome@yahoo.com

Olivia Phimzile said...

An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my husband back to me.. My name is Olivia Phimzile,i live in Florida,USA,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn't love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{spiritualherbalisthealers@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who didn't call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same email spiritualherbalisthealers@gmail.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr ZUMA ZUK for bringing back my husband ,and brought great joy to my family once again. {spiritualherbalisthealers@gmail.com}