I might try another book from each, but not together. I'll need to compare to see whose talent brought this story down.
I really liked the alternate reality theory. The characters were entertaining and have good interaction.
Sorry, no. There was no difference between character voices, other that an occasional accent which came and went and traveled from character to character.
No, not at theater prices. Definitely a "wait for the DVD".
Not sure if it was Wheatons narration or Scalzis writing, but single sentence statements followed by "(character name) said" get kind of annoying after the first thousand times. But on the plus side, since the characters all sound the same, it does help keep track of who is speaking.
This is the best Star Trek Book, that has nothing to do with Star Trek.
I will never be able to watch Trek again, without a big smile on my face ;)
Redshirts has what sounds like a can't-miss setup: why wouldn't someone in Star Fleet ask about all those "redshirt" security extras dying on every Enterprise away mission?
Unfortunately, I felt like Scalzi should have gotten a lot more out of this fertile ground. Too many of his characters feel like stock players - and while that's got to be a tricky balance, when you're dealing with a meta situation in which characters are supposed to be badly written, it just doesn't fully work.
The action and pacing felt sketchy, too -- if you're going to elide some of the details of the action, that's fine (though more about the LAPD chasing down a shuttle craft would have been fun), but then every single pause, breath and poignant look during dialogue scenes doesn't need to be telegraphed.
The codas were overlong and didn't really work for me, with the partial exception of the third - there's the germ of a great, weird love story somewhere in there, but it's out of place, and it neither fully stands on its own nor particulary redeems the rest of the story.
All in all, it wasn't unenjoyable - there's enough red meat in there to resonate with even the casual Trek viewer - but more than anything, the story made me miss the vibrant energy and weird specificity of Gene Roddenberry's original.
There is a moment when one of the crew members brings up a hologram of the Starship Enterprise and tries to explain what is going on with the crew of the ship in this story (the Intrepid). It's well written and it's very funny.
I'm not sure that any one part of this book is my favorite. There are parts that are funny, there are parts that are sad, and there are parts that are just insane. Put this all together and you get a John Scalzi book that is very creative and, of course, very funny.
Please don't make this movie, it would be too confusing.
If you liked Stranger Than Fiction, you will like this and of course Wil Wheaton is great but there is more to this story than a simple funny spaceship story. Scalzi makes sure to finish this story. He covers things that you may not think need to be covered but, turns out, they did, and he does.
You will enjoy it too granted you are into sci-fi TV shows somewhat. Well, if you have at least watched some sci-fi TV shows, especially if they were somewhat poorly written but you still kind of liked it. You kinda glossed over the fact that if another planet suddenly appeared next to the earth, the tides going nuts would be the LEAST of our problems, not to mention if the world were to be teleported to the Medusa Cascade and put into some complex orbit with 25 other celestial bodies. Seriously, didn't these writers ever watch Thundar the Barbarian when they were a kid? In that show a comet passed between the earth and the moon and turned the planet into a post-apocalyptic world with monsters and magic! Seriously though, you can't just screw with the gravitational forces like that.
Okay, sorry about all that above, was writing this while catching up on Doctor Who on Netflix. Back to Red Shirts, think Star Trek as the TV show and then add in all that stuff about the wacky, poor science and other things you just accept because it's a TV show. Now that you have that in your head, think about what is really going on. Now enjoy the ride.
Don't worry if you had the 'twist' spoiled for you, because it is the story, the journey, not the 'twist' that makes it a good story. The 'twist' bit comes out pretty quickly so don't worry. I figured it out from the other reviews and I still enjoyed the story.
The book does get a bit more serious in the two pro-logs, or "Codas" as Scalzi calls them. Though after you've read the book you'll understand why he feels the needs to put his toys away nicely.
Now somebody send this book to the people writing Doctor Who and make sure they read the first Coda.
Listens while running
Solid narration, good plotting, and easy to follow while listening. It's exactly the kind of book I want for listening.
The homage to bad sci-fi is what pulled me in. I cared about the characters, but I do think I enjoyed the book more on a cerebral than emotional level.
Obviously, Wheaton's connection to Star Trek adds a layer of interest you wouldn't have just reading the book. For me, the tone switches were really powerful; Wheaton does a good job of indicating the mood of the story (and especially the codas) simply by tone.
I listen while running with my dog, and there was one point where I literally guffawed. My dog gave me a strange look. I can't say more without spoiling one of the better plot points.
The premise is simple enough: What if Star Trek's legions of disposable extras became aware that they lived only to serve the dramatic requirements of Captain Kirk's adventures? That they were born, and died, simply because a script declared it must be so?
Like any good story, though, the simple premise becomes weirder, more complex, and more fun the further one delves. How would a person's backstory relate? How would someone come into possession of knowledge that directly contravenes past experience, or even laws of nature? And the most important question of all: What happens when the Redshirt says, "enough is enough" and decides to put an end to Death in the Name of Fiction?
As in his previous books, Scalzi's writing in Redshirts will rarely wow the reader with the power of its prose. The main story in particular is written in a flat, dialog-heavy style that must be a stylistic choice; the titular codas are written in far more expressive and emotional language. That disconnect is Redshirts' greatest weakness: for a novel which ultimately lampoons and decries bad writing, it contains more than its fair share. But setting aside the jarring stylistic choice, the story has a heart to go along with its belly laughs. The well-worn tropes of TV Science Fiction are lovingly laid out, polished and admired even as we, along with Scalzi, roll our collective eyes. And once the novel reaches its codas--three stories that explore the "real-world" implications of the fictional premise--the book stops grasping for laughs and lays bare its heart: that the power of stories come in our reactions to them, and that even the worst (in every sense of the word) stories are catalysts for powerful personal change.
In the audiobook version, Wil Wheaton once again sits behind the mic to narrate, and the results are much as before. Wheaton's earnest, comfortable delivery brings the dialog to life, although his lack of vocal characterization can sometimes make it difficult to determine which character is speaking.
Given the book's target audience, Redshirts is destined to become a geek favorite, but its relevance extends far beyond the realms of nerd love and fan fiction. The book asks interesting and important questions, suggests some answers, and then steps back to let us think about them on our own time.
Being a big Trek Fan I am glade I heard it. Just have to say like another writer I will not mention, the story gets a bit winded towards the end.It keeps you going all the way to last couple of chapters then you (I anyhow) kind of felt like "OK finish it already."Not being a writer myself I have read a few writers that seem to drag out at the end so I can live with it.I Liked it over all.
Cannot say as it might be a Spoiler Alert. Trek Style with twist.
No. I might give another story a read to see how he does.
I am a bit of a cynic. Might explain the 3 overall rating.
Dear John Scalzi,
"you have now used up your allotted use of the word "said" for your next three books", I said.
"but I write so witty dialogue?" you said
"that you do!", I said, "but it is often drowned out in your absolute horrific overuse of the word "said".", I said again.
"but did you like my story?" Jon asked.
"I did.", I said. "but like I said, you use "said" way too much, making it hard to tell the story from the said saids", I said.
If you think the above is an exaggeration, I think you may be in for a nasty surprise.
I actually DID enjoy the story, but it has been my hardest listen on audiobook yet ( I think out of about 40ish books). It was so HARD to focus on the story, when all I did was wait for the next time Will Wheaton would say "said" again.
I considered going back and actually COUNTING them, in chapters 2 and 3, but figure my life is short enough as it is.
Oh, and on the subject of Mr. Wheaton's performance. I've rated it five stars. There's a LOT of emotion in his emotions, and a lot of character in his characters. But Will.. just between us two? You're on the precipice dude. I was this close to knocking you down to four or even three stars, due to overacting. You're still reading a book, and you SHOULD make the characters come alive.. but it's not a dramatization, so don't make it into one. Thanks :)
Wil Wheaton Delivers!I am a Scalzi fan and listening to Wheaton's performance of his work will solidify his position at the top of my favorite artists. His portrayal of a drunken crewman in deep conversation had me giggling. Scalzi's works are heavy in dialog, but the way that Wil animates each character you will have no problem keeping up. Good stuff!The main story arc ends after about 4 & 1/2 hours which was a very satisfying story. Then Scalzi tacks on the codas, which turn out to be 3 excellent tie-ins that give you not one, but four different (and equally satisfying) climaxes. They will in turn have you laughing and crying. This book will stay with me for a while (I am sending copies to my friends who are also big Original Series Trek fans). In fact I will probably listen to this again.
I didn't really have a favorite character, but the dynamic within Scalzi's Redshirt group was at times hilarious and at other times touching.
Yes, and this is one of his best.
Not gonna spoil this but I experienced both extremes - there was plenty wacky space humor with just enough father/son tenderness thrown in to make this a great, if not unusually structured, book.