Today I get to review one of my favorite books by an author who I only discovered about a year ago, but has quickly become one of my favorites. If you've ever read John Scalzi, you'll know why.
Today's review: REDSHIRTS
You remember watching Star Trek (original or TNG, doesn't matter) and Kirk or Picard would head out on an away mission and there would be some extra you never saw before? What was your first thought? That guy is a dead man. Well this is the story of Andy Dahl, ensign aboard the Intrepid, and one of those guys who you know is going to die as soon as the away team decides to investigate something.
Now let me make a confession, I didn't actually read this. I listened to the Audiobook narrated by Will Wheaton. One thing wrong with the audiobook is that I had to keep rewinding because I constantly broke out into fits of out loud laughter. If you are a Sci-Fi fan, and let's face it, if you pick up this book then you know you are, then this book will be a ton of fun to read.
Scalzi takes one of the most recognizable quirks from the quintessential Science Fiction TV Classic, something every SF geek out there has laughed about or rolled his eyes at, and made it into its own great SF story.
SF people, what are your favorite plot elements? I'll tell you:
Time Travel - check
Mysterious imminent death - check
Protagonist bound and determined to save the world - check
Throw in sharp satire and multi-layered metafiction, and even three epilogues that make sure you don't have to wonder what happens after "The End", and you have one hell of a fun and thought provoking read. Overall, RedShirts rates a 9.5/10 and Scalzi gets a promotion.
P.S. Will Wheaton, if you google your name and read this, your performance in this one was awesome. Way better than on "Fuzzy Nation" (Dialogue was pretty rapid fire, distracting)
P.P.S. Here is a much less favorable review of RedShirts which inspired this post, and in which the writer seems to forget that if anyone reads this book, they are clearly a Science Fiction fan and so extras dying on Star Trek is plenty of foundation for a story.