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.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I really enjoyed this story from the get-go. One can tell the "surprise" from early on, but the way it was handled was a lot of fun. The story was fast-paced, a little oddball and an interesting look at some of the science fiction drama of our culture. I'm not sure about the codas, but the story itself was quite a fun read.
Really creative story. First 5 hrs were great. Last 2 hrs a bit slow.
I think if I was a Star Trek fan, I would have enjoyed this book so much more. As someone who didn't even know what "red-shirts" meant, I was at a handicap in terms of inside jokes, which I think there were many, I just can't be certain.
I enjoyed this book because of the ridiculousness of the situations in the book as well as the funny dialogues and banter between the characters. I found myself laughing out loud and enjoying the tale even with my limited knowledge and inability to reference certain things.
The ending took me for a total loop and I was not expecting the change in demeanor. At. All. I felt bipolar at the end and at the time I didn't know if I liked it or hated it. The feeling, that is. Once the credits were rolling, I shook my head, took a deep breath and said "that was a good book."
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Performance: Outstanding (5/5)
Wil Wheaton is magic. I think I've had a crush on him since "Stand By Me" and in actuality, the whole reason I purchased the book was because he was narrating it. Okay, all creepiness aside, he did a great job with the narration, performing the lines as he would on set. This works out really well in this novel because it is so dialogue driven. The only negative thing I have about the narration isn't actually Wil Wheaton's fault. It's that because the book is so dialogue driven there is a lot of ".....," he said. ".....," she said. This broke up the flow of the narration at times and it was excessive to the point I thought maybe it was deliberate. Otherwise, it was a great listen.
The premise of this book is fun - that the characters on a Star Trek-like sci-fi show are real and existing in a parallel universe. Whether you are an avid "Trekkie" or not, surely you noticed in the Star Trek episodes that the color of a character's shirt was a pretty accurate predictor of a his or her fate in an away mission.
Well, the protagonist of this story notices too, only his "Redshirt" colleagues are actually dying. The novel isn't particularly elegantly tied up at the end, but it doesn't really take away from any enjoyment of the story.
Wil Wheaton as narrator is beyond excellent. There is a sort of cynical detachment in the timbre of his voice that lends itself beautifully to this story. His delivery makes a few moments really funny which may not even register otherwise. I loved him in this!
I'm still listening to this. The story is interesting and hilarious at points.
The dialogue structure is terrible. EVERY spoken sentence is appended with the person's last name and "said". There will be 5 minutes of quick and witty chatter but it is a chore to listen to because Scalzi didn't want you to get confused with who said what throw-away dialogue. Even in cases where the speaker is identified prior to the line spoken, or in the following sentence, it's: "words words words" said Fiona. "Shut up, Fiona" said Lieutenant.
This is still bad in the written form, but he rarely changes it up. At one point he used, "she asked" but then later she asked a different question and it was back to "she said".
It's turned me off from other books by Scalzi. I've heard he's brilliant but he won an award for this book and I can barely listen to it with the horrible dialogue.
Debatable. He was just reading off the page for most of the story up until now. I just got past the scene with the drunk LT, where he actually put on an accent. I guess maybe he was doing that with Abernathy so perhaps he's chosen to read the non-mainstream characters as having voices without any real character? In which case it's a very subtle brilliance.
Funny, intense, philosophical (without being new-agey), with characters that I learned to love, and clearly, ones that the the author also loved, because he took really good care with them.
Wil Wheaton was just outstanding. I have always thought he was a very good narrator, but this was just over-the-top great voice acting.
I don't think I have ever read a book quite like this. And, I say that without meaning to imply that I ever stopped while I was reading to think, "Wow, I never read anything like this." It is an experience, a very good, satisfying and engaging experience.
Just ordered another Scalzi/Wheaton collaboration.
By the way, I picked up this one with some minor trepidation, because of prior reviews noting the "he said," "she said," modifiers in the dialogue. I am positive that I would not have noticed it at all, if I had not read the reviews. After noting it once, I promptly forgot about it, because I was just enjoying the experience so much.
What genre would that be, science fiction or rambling along saying he said or she said every other sentence?
Confident and loud
Incredulity if that's a word
Just goes to show you that current awards for science fiction books are meaningless gauges for deep and creative ideas
While I don't like it when an author gets "too cute" with the title or the concept, this book surprised me. Scalzi dealt with the topic of free will and determinism in an infinitely creative way - from the perspective of Star Trek Redshirts. One of the great aspects of Science Fiction is how it can shed light on the human condition (Read Altered Carbon to really cook your noodle) - and this book hit the mark. That's not to imply that it was overly highbrow in fact, it was entertaining and absolutely funny at times. My one criticism was the dialogue - Someone else commended on the clunky dialogue and they were right on...Nonetheless, a cool book indeed.
Yes. To re-meet the characters from the beginning now that I know each of their purposes
Lt. Kerensky; drunk.
He's very likeable and is by far WW's best performance
Lt. Kerensky; drunk.
He's very likeable and is by far WW's best performance
I actually did.
The 'saids' become quite annoying. Other than that, put it in your cart now, not your wish list!
For a fan of Star Trek I probably would recommend this as a side book but for someone with just a general interest in sci-fi I would not. You could see the twist coming a mile away and the last few chapters didn't flow with the book at all.
This was the first full book I've listened to performed by Will Wheaton. The performance was excellent and look forward to listening to more.
The story was worth the time invested once through. I can't see myself listening more than once though.
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