Readers Advisory: Book Review, Redshirts by John Scalzi

 redshirtsEnsign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

 REVIEW Redshirts is a funny look at the phenomenon in early Star Trek to kill off “unimportant” characters. In this take, we get to meet the men and women on the ship Intrepid who take on these red-roles and watch them discover and then try to save themselves from these terrible “coincidences.” Well-written book with time travel, struggles with scientific incongruities and silly world rules. The smart and witty characters draws to the readers attention to the fact that all of those people sacrificed in the show who were undeveloped as characters… but that didn’t mean they didn’t have their own lives and back-stories.

I decided to read this book after I read John Scalzi‘s Lock In and novella Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome.

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