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Redshirts Audiobook

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

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Publisher's Summary

Ensign 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 facts 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; and (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.

©2012 John Scalzi (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (10298 )
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  •  
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 11-20-12
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 11-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's all about the codas"

    Before he wrote novels himself Scalzi was one of the best reviewers of science fiction in all of fandom (on his "Whatever" blog, still enormously popular), and in this book he takes the task of commenting on science fiction to new heights of humor and recursive, post-post-modern meta. The novel itself looks like a simple commentary on an oft-noted trope in the Star Trek series where nameless characters in the opening scene's away mission inevitably wind up dead in some dramatic fashion, but in fact it is a commentary on science fiction writing (for television in particular) and science fiction watching, a commentary that itself becomes the target of commentary in the codas, sort of, if you think about it the right way, maybe. In short, this is navel gazing at its most amusing, and in the end you have to stop thinking about it because either this book is just plain silly and not worth taking seriously, or the the actual world is just plain silly and not worth taking seriously. You decide.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2009

    caffeinated

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    "Everything I like in one book."

    Time travel. Parallel dimensions. Space ships. Battles with explosions on decks six through 12. Love. Humor. Characters I care about when they die. Characters I care about when they come back to life. And a Wil Wheaton Narration. More. I must have more!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis Huffman, TX, United States 01-16-13
    Travis Huffman, TX, United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2015

    Interested in Social Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy- particularly when parallels can be made between the story and the psyche. Also, I buy 2 audible books for every 1 I will listen to!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unexpected endings"

    Scalzi serves up another witty and fun story with lovable characters and excellent narration from the "always on point" Mr. Wil Wheaton. There's a lot to like here, especially for the obvious Star Trek TOS fan. I wish I didn't have to say it, but I don't know if this book works outside of a working knowledge of the original Star Trek series. In any event, it makes the book more enjoyable. Like an inside joke.

    There is a surprise touching ending to coda 3. It's romantic and sad, and also hopeful. I would never have expected it but it came to me as a little gift at the end of an story that is otherwise mostly levity.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Madera, CA United States 08-21-12
    Liz Madera, CA United States 08-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Had me at the title"

    I loved this book based on concept alone. I loved the first half, I liked the second. I enjoyed this book so much I was giddy while listening.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george United States 08-14-12
    george United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun, entertaining, and worth it."

    The first 80% of the book is quite entertaining and funny. My only complaint, the constant, use of the word "said". No one remarks, commented, replies, asks, etc. There must be 10 or 15 ways to say "he said", it would have been nice to use any of them in addition to the he said/she said combination. After awhile your brain gets numb to it. The last part (20%) of the book is what I would call a 3 part epilogue, and without giving anything away, is some of the most human writing I've read in a while, and by itself, almost worth the price of admission. I've new found respect for John Scalzi. Wil Wheaton does a very good job reading. I'd be surprised if anyone buys this audiobook (or the real book) and feels that they didn't get their money's worth.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geekette Irving, TX USA 06-06-12
    Geekette Irving, TX USA 06-06-12 Member Since 2013

    Proud to be a nerd

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    "A philosophy-fillled, meta-packed, sci-fi fun fest"
    What did you like best about Redshirts? What did you like least?

    I love Scalzi's take on the cliched disposable 'Red Shirt' ensign phenomenon. I don't know a single person who watches Star Trek and hasn't said that they'd NEVER volunteer for an away mission if they weren't one of the big stars. So Scalzi makes this the central story to his plot, and also manages to poke fun at other related topics such as Trek philosophy, time travel 'rules', actors, Comic Cons, 'scifi science' and alien silliness (Ice Sharks? Really!?!) And, while Redshirts never takes itself too seriously, it still manages to present thought provoking dilemmas for it's intrepid heroes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Redshirts?

    I think I'll leave out my favorite moment, so as not to give away the plot too early. My second favorite moment was the time travel sequence.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have listened to several Wheaton-narrated performances by Cline, Scalzi and Wheaton, and this is another solid listen. Wil Wheaton is absolutely the most appropriate reader for this book, given the subject matter. He did a great job. The only thing that I found distracting was the use of, "he said," "she said," "Dahl said," etc, after almost every spoken line. While not Wheaton's fault, it was terribly distracting and even a bit irritating after time. I hope Mr. Scalzi invests in a thesaurus for his next book. The word "said" ends in a hard stop that is quite noticeable when repeated several times in a short time-frame. It really kills the flow of the dialog.


    Was Redshirts worth the listening time?

    Absolutely. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of scifi, especially Star Trek geeks like myself. I think that it was very cleverly done and will be sure to make any Trek fan roll with laughter.


    41 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-10-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-10-13 Member Since 2015

    Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Fun Ride Back to the Future"

    Last night I had dinner with two true intellectuals, (a rarity I assure you), and when I told them I was reading Redshirts their faces lit up with joy. This made me feel very accomplished and just a bit guilty because I was sure it would be seen as juvenile.

    Redshirts is a sharp, witty mind bending ride that I'm sure to read again and again. It's bizarre science fiction, something that rarely attracts me. For sure, had it not been for Audible offering Redshirts as a daily special there is no way I would have purchased this gem. As it stands now, (and on the recommendation of my friends), I have purchased Scalzi's Old Man's War.

    I really don't know how to review this book without spoiling the story. Suffice to say its inconceivable to me that anyone could imagine where it takes them.

    The characters and dialogue is first rate. It's lol funny and read by a professional with impeccable timing.

    Not my usual cup of tea, but another 5 star effort from Audible!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 06-21-12
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 06-21-12
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    "I'm Glad This Universe has a Scalzi"

    I've always really liked Scalzi books and this latest one is a fine addition to an impressive body of work. The main story is a lot of fun and occasionally provokes some deep thinking. It ended too quickly and I wondered what the heck could John do with three Codas - I wanted more of the main characters. But, leaving the reader wanting more isn't a bad thing for any author. The Codas actually turned out quite well and interweaved into the story with some new characters in a different time and place. I actually got choked up at the last spoken sentence of the final coda.

    Wil Wheaton gives a magnificent performance and I hope he and Scalzi will team up again in the future.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Cornwinkle 06-25-12 Member Since 2015

    !!!

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    "I could see the twist coming"

    but it didn't matter, it was still fun to roll with the premise. Loved the 3 codas, particularly the end of the second one.
    My question is: Are Jess Walter and John Scalzi the same person? Redshirts (and Agent to the Stars) and Beautiful Ruins share an identical take on Hollywood. Or maybe they've both just tried their hand at screenwriting. In any case, what will be the most meta of all will be when a movie version (or better a cable version) of Redshirts is made.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 06-06-12
    Dave Whittier, CA 06-06-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Death by Away Team - Pure Scalzi!"

    ???Is it just me???or is everyone on this ship monumentally f-ed up about away teams???? asks one of the Redshirts early on in John Scalzi???s ???Redshirts.??? It sets-up pretty much everything you???d hope for and expect from a new Scalzi book. It???s funny, geeky, exciting, and it gets emotional and heartfelt in the most surprising places. But what???s really unique about this one is how Meta it gets. Scalzi plays with his narrative like a phaser set to disintegrate and aims it at all the tropes, poor logic, and shoddy science that badly made genre TV, film, and fiction have conjured.

    There???s a lot of characters, and as a result, some of them feel a little more cookie-cutter than I???d prefer. In particular, the protagonist doesn???t stand out as much as some of the others he???s written. The constant dialogue tags, the characters voices, etc. (However, the way this story???s setup, it can certainly be argued that that is the point.)

    And even if that's not a persuasive argument, Scalzi has a lot of fun playing with the theme of characters being ???Under the Influence of the Narrative??? or creating scenarios where they advise each other to "STAY OFF THE BRIDGE! AVOID THE NARRATIVE!??? I have little doubt that much of it will become shorthand for all sorts of creative types in the future. Through it all ??? Scalzi throws down a challenge to not only live long and prosper, but to stop wasting time - to take advantage of your life and really live, and to do something worthwhile.

    Wil Wheaton once again does a very strong job with the narration ??? and really, who else would you pick to narrate this book but the once and future Wesley Crusher. It???s great to hear him reading another Scalzi book.

    For Star Trek and genre fans, for creative types, for anyone who has ever watched a SF TV or film and wanted to throw something at the screen because it all suddenly stopped making sense - this is really worth checking out.

    47 of 60 people found this review helpful
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  • Craig
    Northampton, United Kingdom
    9/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An odd one, this..."

    This is a very odd tale. if you like meta, and meta-meta, then it's probably for you. Slightly annoying way of attributing quotes, but you'll get used to it. A decent enough story, though, for anyone who enjoyed any of the Star Trek franchises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alan Purdom
    High Wycombe, UK
    9/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3/4 excellent"

    A curates egg. The highest of concepts that appears to end, then goes into a rambling dull self indulgent section before coming back for a good ending.

    Overall I liked it although the constant repetition of he said/she said really got annoying in audio format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Reading, United Kingdom
    5/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting concept"

    good idea for a story...but...a bit confusing and I started to hate the 'he said' 'she said' 'he said' script for brief conversations. I will forget this book within a couple days and am unlikely to ever recommend it...probably in part because I have forgotten it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Ealing, London
    9/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "{name} said after every line of dialogue"

    interesting premise, with a really annoying writing style. makes it hard to enjoy

    Poor experience

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Norma Miles
    6/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To Intrepidly go where no man has gone ..."

    O.K. this might not be high literature. From its very story integrity it cannot be perfect science. But goodness me, what fun this book is. And what a fantastic science fiction comic pastiche film it would make following in the footsteps of the wonderful Dark Star or, more recently, Galaxy Quest.
    Full of well delineated characters, loads of action all read brilliantly by Will Wheaton, the main story had me laughing out loud. And it comes with a bonus of 3 'afterwards' stories as well.
    Just brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Forrester
    UK
    4/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "And he said, and she said, and he said...."

    It was a great read and the first Scalzi I have picked up. However the audio production needs some work. Will does a great job overall however the immersion can be broken somewhat with him having to read each amd every "he said" or "she said" the dialogue can be quite short and punchy and looses something with Will having to put these in all the time. His voice work is more than good enough to be able to follow which character is saying what without the constant prompting from the text. Didn't ruin the book but was an annoyance. Still 5* overall

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    4/12/15
    Overall
    "Superbly entertaining"

    I have listened to this story over and over and I still laugh. Love the narration, and the twists and turns. It doesn't get tired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karlis
    GB
    2/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny and deep"

    Very funny to begin with but has more to it than I had expected by the end.
    I prefer the story proper to the codas as it feels like the story has taken a different turn. But I enjoyed this listen overall.
    Wil Wheaton does a good job and handles the comedy moments well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    1/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More you I expected."

    I purchased this book on the recommendation of a friend and enjoyed it much more than I expected. The story isn't as simple as I thought and the ending made me smile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 28daysearlier
    Cornwall, UK
    11/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must for any fan of Trek!"
    Any additional comments?

    Being a life long fan of the Trekverse i thought i was probably was either going to love or hate this fun little read from an author I'd never tried before. As it happened i was torn in two on it.

    I should clarify that i had the audio-book version which was decently read by Wil Wheaton who at best was an excellent meta choice because of his place in the Trekverse and all things geek but on the negative side, although his reading is strong and clear, he really doesn't have the range of 'voices' that the best audio actors employ to bring their readings alive.

    Scalzi had great fun here cannibalizing the absurdity of badly written sc-fi TV and even those of us who love the genre, both good and bad will chuckle and guffaw our way through a novel and plot which pokes holes in all of the tropes we, the army of geeks, eat up time and time again. There is also quite an interesting examination on the nature of free will similar to that aired in the excellent 'Stranger than Fiction' starring Will Farrell and Emma Thompson, which extends beyond the main story and into the epilogue and codas.

    On the negative side does Scalzi really feel it necessary to use the word 'said' before or after every statement made by every character at every stage of the book? This was particularly annoying in the frequent snappy backwards and forwards between the key characters.

    I used the phrase 'meta' earlier and this applies not only to the genre aspects but in that Scalazi uses this to examine the art of writing. This becomes especially apparent with the 'epilogue' and the 'codas' written after the main action narrative has concluded which seems to be an examination of plot, character, general quality of written drama and the reasons for/difficulty of overcoming, writers block.

    In summary great premise, interesting thoughts on the art of writing let down by an annoying writers tic and a slightly one dimensional reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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