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.
The whole premise of the book is both hilarious, and a visit to comfortable territory. You could almost anticipate what was coming next, but it was never quite what you expected.
All of the allusions to classic space opera.
My favorite scene was in the afterword as everyone's lives just started to make some kind of sense.
My only complaint is that Wil Wheaton's performance was, while enjoyable and hilarious, a touch monotone. There were some multi-character scenes where it was difficult to keep track of who was talking at times.
It seems like it's very difficult to write a humorous sci-fi novel (I'm not a big fan of Douglas Adams), but Scalzi has pulled it off with Red Shirts. Like his other Sci fi comedy, Androids Dream, this one is fun and clever and features a refreshingly ingenious protagonist.
Funny, thought provoking, and sad... all at the same time. I loved the ending, for each story. This is a nice one off that doesn't leave you wanting for more, but in a good way. It wraps everything up neatly at the end and leaves you satisfied.
Will does a fantastic job as the reader.
Great story-enough so, you wish the story wasnt so short or that there was a sequel.
Only reason O didnt give a perfect was because the author used "he said/she said" way too often. Either leave out the obvious statement that that person was talking, or use a more creative line.
Other than that small point, great listen.
Take Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, and the movie Galaxy Quest. throw in references from Star Wars, Dune and The Six Million Dollar Man, and you've got Redshirts a pretty funny, and touching story.
I like Scalzi and Wheaton is the perfect narrator for this book, but the story crafting was a complete failure. The book gets lost in meta-tangents. The funny, realistic dialogue is great in the first two thirds of this book and then completely jumps the shark, leaves the main characters behind and gets very self indulgent to writers and their craft. The only redeeming quality is Wil Wheaton's performance. I wish it had ended after about five hours, but I never would have bought it if it was that short. For me, it wasn't worth the credit.
Star Trek Riff
'The Andriod's Dream' was flawless, and this could have been the same except for the codas at the end that just messed up both the flow and feel of the book. If they'd been redacted and say, more meat added to the middle of the story, I would've loved this book.
Seriously. Those codas at the end suck.
I loved this book. It was funny yet also made you think, both about fate vs free will and what you're doing with your life. The ending was perfect. I would have been pretty irritated had it ended any other way. The narration, of course, was fantastic as well.
I couldn't finish the audiobook but I did read the book - really fun book! Wil Wheaton, who I like in other areas, is just terrible as a book reader. He doesn't use character voices at all which makes it really hard to figure out who is speaking and for a completely dialogue-driven book it's virtually impossible to keep track the story if you're doing something else while listening (such as driving).
Definitely read the book, but skip this performance.
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