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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 (11179 )
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4.4 (10445 )
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Performance
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  •  
    majkia Niceville, FL USA 05-07-13
    majkia Niceville, FL USA 05-07-13 Member Since 2009

    majkia

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    "A paean to Star Trek"

    'Where no redshirt has gone before...' The little guys sudden begin to conspire when they realize that away missions are usually deadly, but only for them! So they formulate a plan - and execute it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 05-03-13
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Hilarious - great fun!"

    This book is hilarious - and is in its own way more sci-fi than some of the sci-fi I've read. Having Wil Wheaton read it is a good thing and a bad thing. Mr. Wheaton has some problem differentiating different characters with accents and such.
    On the other hand - Sci-Fi fans are well aware of Mr. Wheaton - and his 'geek cred' elevates this book to some extent.
    One thing that may be a result of Mr. Wheaton's lack of differentiation between characters, the script frequently breaks the dialog with things like 'X character said' or 'Y character said' sometimes many times within a minute, which does distract one from the story. Excepting that - this is a great book - and kept me interested from first to last.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "It is not a Star Trek novel"

    John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton do it again. Redshirts is good fun in a goofy sci-fi story that I am surprised has not been made into a TV mini-series. Maybe someone will make a web series out of it one day.

    There is a lot of "inside baseball" and breaking of the fourth-wall here.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 03-22-13
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 03-22-13 Member Since 2016

    I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.

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    "Better than satire- SHATIRE!"

    It's every bit as funny as they've told you; The first half of the story is overflowing with ridiculous clichés from 'Star Trek' & it's like. If you're fan of the series, than this alone is worth the price of admission. The unexpected leap the characters make of recognizing the nature of their predicament, and then devising a plan to confront their creators is perfectly in tone with the series while also transcendent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleslaw Boulder, CO USA 03-05-13
    Coleslaw Boulder, CO USA 03-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Can you *get* any more meta?"

    Buckle up, friends, because the way this book shifts gears around 2/3 of the way through puts the likes of Million Dollar Baby to shame.

    I've enjoyed Scalzi books before and since, and I'm always glad to hear Wil Wheaton narrate, particularly when you get the uncanny sense that he's poking gentle fun at the author's awkward-to-read bits. You could turn his delivery of "Dahl said--Duvall said--Dahl said--" into a nice hip-hop remix.

    Just as he has in his other books, Scalzi treats a farcical and absurd premise with a surprisingly naturalistic tone and serious philosophical meditation. Still quite funny in places, though not as raucously as the likes of Galaxy Quest, which I suppose it still most closely resembles.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 02-14-13
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2016

    A good way to get through the work day.

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    "You'll never expect it."
    What did you love best about Redshirts?

    The humor and interesting story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The really dumb caption


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every time the captain said something dramatic


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 02-07-13
    Eric 02-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "So meta it hurts"
    If you could sum up Redshirts in three words, what would they be?

    Trek, meta, Wheaton


    What did you like best about this story?

    Star Trek references


    Any additional comments?

    Towards the end of the story it starts to get more and more convoluted. Seemed like an effort to be as "meta" as possible. Enjoyable book for the most part, just tried too hard at points.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Long Beach, CA, United States 02-04-13
    Derek Long Beach, CA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2016

    Think on this: The Universe is a place so complex; It created tiny bits of itself to contimplate its own existance.

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    "Good tale, but the Narration could use work."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Redshirts to be better than the print version?

    I prefer Audiobooks when I can get them, because most narrators do different voices.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were good characters throughout the book, and because of the writing all were equally interesting to me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Wil Wheaton’s performances?

    I do not know, I expected an actor to read in different voices. All of Will's characters sounded alike, he was just reading the novel, not acting it. I read a review (false as to turns out) that said Will's Captain sounded like a Shatner styled character. I was more than disappointed to find this was not the case. I would have to listen to a sample of another Wheaton performance before purchasing another.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Volunteer for Nothing on the Intrepid!


    Any additional comments?

    I was every disappointed in the performance of Will Wheaton, I expected the characters to sound different, he was just reading the book. This made it more difficult to follow because the Author has characters who's names sound alike. When the narrator stated that one person with the D last name, and the other person has a D last name. The way its read it make you wonder just who is speaking in a given section of the story.

    Sorry Will, I like most of the other things you do, this was not one of them.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Armstrong 01-27-13 Member Since 2002
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    "A short story stretched to the breaking point"

    The story within a story (or play within a play), what is real versus what's fiction is not a new or original concept, no matter how many readers seem to think it is. Shakespeare used it and as Scalzi himself bears witness, there have been a lot of movies, books, plays and so on that have used one or another variations on this theme. I don't have a problem with that. In fact, I like his wililingness to explore a classic theme and was interested to see where he was going with it. I also appreciated his acknowledgments of others who have used some version of this story.

    I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the interaction of characters with reality/unreality. I wasn't bothered by "he said/she said" and didn't much notice it. What I did notice by the end of the first coda as he was moving into the next ending? variation? was I was getting bored.

    It really was like a piece of classical music that has one coda too many,

    I liked the first coda well enough. His exploration of the mind of a writer in the throes of writer's block was interesting, although a bit heavy-handed. By the final coda, I was antsy and felt as if I had slipped back in time to find myself in a college writing class .. not a good thing.

    I listened through to the end, though I drifted a bit toward at the finish as the book pounded relentllessly to its conclusion.

    Less would have been more. It was a good idea, a clever concept. It had good narration. But it needed more plot. It felt like a movie that runs out of script 20 minutes before it runs out of film, too thin a tale to support its own length. I've read lots worse ... but Scalzi has written much better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stein Norfolk, VA, United States 10-02-12
    Stein Norfolk, VA, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2012

    Posti

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    "The definitive Star Trek rip-off and a great story"

    This book takes Star Trek's (original series and others) lame plot device of killing of some hapless young crew member before the opening credits and turns it into an entertaining, humorous, and at times, gripping story. Scalzi has captured the flavor of those early adventures perfectly, and then managed to make it all fresh. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who liked Star Trek, and sci-fi fans in general. And how can you go wrong with 'Wesley Crusher' narrating?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • A User
    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
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    "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
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    "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
  • Max
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    7/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "poor concept, but well performed"
    What disappointed you about Redshirts?

    the concept was very frustrating, and it did not work for me


    What could John Scalzi have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    see above


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Wil Wheaton?

    yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointed, as the plot was basically a single concept


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Liz
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    4/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A delight for a snarky sci fi fan"

    The concept of this novel is just as delightful as you're probably imagining it. It works well as a satirical love-in for whatever space opera holds a place in your heart (Stargate Atlantis, for me, but it hardly limited itself to a single show, as most of the concepts and conceits were universal to the genre). The lead characters are fun, but its the secondary characters who really make this awesome - they're the dumber substitutes for Shatner and co, and it MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. With some intimations of self-love including body doubles, which is pretty much everything the internet has ever laughed about in clones and Mirror Universe episodes.

    The execution was occasionally slightly confused. Aside from the main plot line, the three codas (taking up a surprising chunk of the whole novel) are probably not going to suit everyone. One or two moments resonated with me, but there were long philosophies of the writing process (not Scalzi's process), and writers writing about writing is not everyone's favourite thing. There is a surprising happily ever after I didn't expect, so the codas aren't worth avoiding, just a little odd.

    The narrator has a mellow, sarcastic way of speaking, which was for the most part awesome and added to the experience. The combination of speed and snark meant that dialogue stretches of, 'he said, she said, Dahl said' were occasionally confusing, and hard to follow who was saying what (though this usually didn't matter much). This gripe wasn't hugely annoying, however, and probably was neat in print form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Velvet
    northamptonshire, UK
    3/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narration, writer skill let it down overall"
    What would have made Redshirts better?

    Having a better editor, or the author listening to his editor. Even pre-warned by other reviews, the dialogue is monotonous with the 'he said' repeated ad nauseum. There are also other instances where the poor writing skill of the author lets down what is otherwise an excellent story.


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

    Writing skill of the author. Phrases/grammar just gratingly bad (and that's leaving aside the constant 'he said' after every line of speech by a character) in places. This distracts and detracts from the storyline.


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

    No I've not listened to any other performances so can't compare, but given the material he had to work with, he made a very good job out of what must have been a frustrating performance to give.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Amusement, annoyance, frustration, disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is *probably* worth persisting with despite the writing flaws. The story is good, it is a tongue in cheek caper through all things star trek, and I enjoyed it for that, but it's definitely not one for those easily annoyed by repetitive words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L. Savage
    Essex, United Kingdom
    2/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Two good books tacked together"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    In hindsight I would say yes, it was a good idea, with some very interesting angles, and therefore I can think back on it and draw some good memories of it.
    However, the writing of it was painful lazy and a massive surprise after the excellence of Old Mans War.


    Would you recommend Redshirts to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, but with warnings. I think people who enjoy the Star Trek Universe will get a kick out of it, and it is a good concept for Sci-fi in general, but it is terribly written.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Sorry Wil, but he didn't bring anything extra to improve the book - but he did a good job. Wesley Crusher telling a story is about all I can say.


    Could you see Redshirts being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    I could see this being a 1 hour special on Sci-fi if they drop the last third of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Seriously disappointing, yet still I'm pleased I read it - a contradiction but one I can live with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sheamus
    UK
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A quick witted parody of a distopian Star Trek"
    If you could sum up Redshirts in three words, what would they be?

    Don't wear Red


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story quickly dismantles a Star Trek-like distopian universe into a funny, if slightly silly, fantasy. It asks the age old questions, "what do the redshirts think about their survival chances and what can they do to improve them?"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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