We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas | [John Scalzi]

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. 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.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.1 (7499 )
5 star
 (3112)
4 star
 (2848)
3 star
 (1112)
2 star
 (267)
1 star
 (160)
Overall
4.1 (6972 )
5 star
 (2837)
4 star
 (2494)
3 star
 (1195)
2 star
 (275)
1 star
 (171)
Story
4.4 (6967 )
5 star
 (3920)
4 star
 (2033)
3 star
 (714)
2 star
 (196)
1 star
 (104)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Paige 09-16-13
    Paige 09-16-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    185
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not his Wheal-house"

    I love Wil Wheaton reading this book read by a former actor on Star Trek is kind of amazing. His delivery of some of the deadpan and laugh out loud lines in this book is excellent.

    However his total lack of character voices make some of the dialogue heavy passages really challenging to follow. You end up having to pay careful attention to the "he said she saids" at end of most of the lines. And then you're just tired of hearing the word "said."

    There isn't even really a differentiation between the male characters and the one female character which can be incredibly confusing. It doesn't help that some of the character names can be similar to, so you're struggling to catch who said what.

    The story itself is a fabulous farce, with really interesting philosophical implications. It was both funny and thought provoking. If you're a fan of Mr. Wheaton's you might be willing to forgive his shortcomings as a narrator, but I might still recommend the text version over the audiobook.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristina Hatfield Oklahoma 12-10-12
    Cristina Hatfield Oklahoma 12-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Fidgit77

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite an enjoyable read"

    It's not without its flaws but overall it was certainly worth a credit.

    Laugh out loud funny at several points and it prompted me to put several of his other books on my TBR list.

    If you know what a Redshirt is, then you'll probably enjoy this book.
    If you're a fan of Wil Wheaton, then you'll probably enjoy this book.

    If you know that you are likely to be distracted to the point of RageQuit by the overuse of a word, then I wouldn't recommend this. The only nitpicky negative critique I have about this book is that is a dialogue heavy book and the word "said" is used to the point of annoyance.

    Regardless of that, it is a fun book and I enjoyed it.

    52 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 04-18-13
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 04-18-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever, creative, and FUN!"

    What a creative and clever way to look at characters! I don't know if this started off with Scalzi saying, "Hmmm, I wonder if I can write in various points of view, and look behind the scenes of how characters tick?", or as just a random idea. Regardless - it worked! The main story was funny, poignant, and creative. The separate coda were well-linked to the main story in a very heart-felt manner. I really liked this book a lot! I am fastly becoming a huge Scalzi fan-boy! “Old Man’s War”, “Fuzzy Nation”, and not “Redshirts” – all good stuff! Oh, but, I guess amidst all this mush of Scalzi-love, I probably should point out that he does have a tendency to use the screenplay style ("he said", "she said") a bit too much! And, particularly in an audiobook, this becomes VERY obvious…and not just a little irritating! Let's just call this his "room to grow" as an author! (Maybe that's how he gets his word-count up for meeting publisher requirements???) Still, other than that one affectation, I really like the way he thinks and writes! His dialog is crisp and focused, and his characters are ALWAYS unique and enjoyable. I will definitely read/listen to more of his works!
    And, as an audiobook, Wil Wheaton did an excellent job as Narrator - which makes sense that he'd be able to inflect emotion into these characters because, he himself (as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek TNG") must have felt like his character might just as casually become just such a "Redshirt" in the early days of his TV series appearances. Wil Wheaton did a really good job of putting dynamic range into the various characters - with more vocal intonations than I'm use to from him (as an audiobook Narrator). He really got into these characters!
    So, from all perspectives, this was an excellent listen!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 06-06-12
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 06-06-12

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1187
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    293
    287
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    228
    42
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Scalzi writes another winner/it's really different"

    Listening to the first hour of so of "Redshirts" I was sure it was just another funny story, full of sly humor and sassy one liners that make me laugh the way "Fuzzy Nation" and "Agent to the Aliens" did. When I heard about the book on Scalzis blog and read the beginning paragraphs I was sure thats where it would go-and I'm fine with that. I love his fun novels. Everyone needs a laugh at one time or another. Except for the head banging "He Said", "She said" dialogue that Scalzi writes (which seems to drive we audiobook listeners bonkers), the start of Wil Wheatons reading of Scalzi's new novel led me to believe I'd laugh the evening away.

    Then it got a bit serious. Funny, still, but serious with a strange twist that had me totally amazed at the concept. I had to rewind a chapter here and there because I was sure I'd missed something. I wasn't getting it all. As the novel got deeper into the left hand turn the plot had made, it didn't lose it's fun jauntiness but it did gather even more unexpected sober, tough thinking adding plenty of "I never thought about that before" to the plot .

    Character development is ...well..odd because Scalzi has developed his main protagonists along a couple of different lines. Pathways I had never considered in many years as an SF reader and viewer (and listener even). It's good character development...we know the protagonists- we have known them for years, even decades of Star Trek and they never seem to change..but these characters are sharper, more developed and very clever when they analyze their situation aboard the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid", flag ship of the galaxy. They have a captain who is completely J.T. Kirkian in attitude and language, a ships engineer, doctor...in fact all the standard characters we have gotten used to seeing-including new ensigns wearing red shirts. The ones who die on away missions.

    I don't write spoilers so all this sounds vague but I want to encourage listeners to stick with the book through the irritating dialogue then listen carefully to the next few hours.

    As for the Codas,I think they add to the book. I don't know how else Scalzi would have added the information..it wouldn't have fit into the body of the novel. And though it isn't really vital information it is lore that adds to the novel and incases our knowledge of the characters. Some reviewers on the Amazon site discounted the codas entirely. I think they are part of the book and it's an interesting way to insert this data into the book.

    This is a book for SF lovers, Star Wars/Star Trek fans, ComicCon goers and generally those of us who grew up with Heinlein and Roddenberry, with Ray Bradbury (who passed away today at age 91) and Rod Serling, with Neil Gaiman and Isaac Asimov.
    Scalzi fits in with all these guys, especially the early Robert Heinlein YA books, though theres nothing YA about "Redshirts".

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    66 of 75 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradford Omaha, NE, United States 03-06-13
    Bradford Omaha, NE, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing, but somehow still worth a listen."

    There were a few reasons I was intrigued enough to purchase this audiobook. First, I was eager to read my first John Scalzi book and see what he could do. Second, I'm a fan of Wil Wheaton as a narrator. Third, I'm a huge Star Trek fan. So, the idea of a novel based around one of the funnier/sad aspects of ST:TOS, I was excited to read this book. My intrigue quickly turned to disappointment especially once the core story's big reveal took place and the course of the 2nd half of the novel came into focus. But to Scalzi's credit, I cared enough about his characters by that point that I wanted to find out what happened to them, so I read on. After finishing the book I had to endure the three codas. Interesting as they were, Scalzi had more than used up my patience by that point with the storyline and his writing. I was surprised to find the codas were written better than the main novel itself! I look forward to reading more Scalzi novels to determine whether this is one of his lesser works or if he really is this below-average a writer. Regardless, he should fire his editor who for some unknown reason allowed a novel to be published with a nearly endless stream of "he said" and "she said" on every page. You can even hear Wheaton begin to sigh at points after reciting "he said" nearly a dozen times over the course of 30 seconds. Wheaton continues to impress me with his narration skills, bringing life to a group of characters and making the story enjoyable enough for me to stick around. Fans of ST:TOS should enjoy the references as well as the take on the meaningless deaths of so many characters, but I for one think Scalzi could have approached the same idea in a different way with more success. Regardless, the characters are worth the time, if for no other reason than to hear futuristic space explorers/warriors cursing like modern-day truckers.

    5 of 5 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
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    61
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eivind New York, New York 08-06-12
    Eivind New York, New York 08-06-12 Member Since 2014

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    522
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    534
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    69
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "He said, she said"

    It starts out decently and the concept is quite clever and funny, but the dialogue is doing my head in. The book has these pockets of time where the main characters stand around discussing events in an effort for us and them to understand them. Fair enough really, but the way it is presented is driving me spare.

    Blabla – X said
    Blala – Y said
    Blalabla – Z said

    I just can’t take it. Especially not in audio format.

    73 of 88 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce 06-07-12
    Joyce 06-07-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    291
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    54
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What Fun!!!`"

    I cannot fully express how much fun this book is.

    I love the fact that Wil Wheaton reads this, and that he sounds like he is impersonating Captin Kirk in his rendition-This makes it even more fun.

    It is outlandish and requires a complete suspension of disbelief. And, yes, I enjoyed Star Trek and its spin-offs (with the exception of Deep Space Nine) and there are lots of tongue-in-cheek references to the original series. I found myself smiling regularly as I listened and laughing out loud frequently. I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed Star Trek. Redshirts is a book I will bring out if I am feeling blue or nostalgic and need a dose of laughter.

    I am relatively new to Scalzi, but I love his dry humor and ramapant sarcasm. He is a man after my own heart!

    Highly recommended by a Trekkie (Ok, I never actually attended a convention so I might only be an honorary Trekkie~)

    34 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer severna park, MD, United States 04-05-13
    Amazon Customer severna park, MD, United States 04-05-13 Member Since 2014

    I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    457
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    297
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    127
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Really Funny!" She said."

    Scalzi still uses 'said' for nearly every exchange of dialogue, which will drive some people really nuts. It's the elephant in the living room for this book. If you don't zero in on it, you might never notice.

    Personally, I LOVED the comedy, speed, and pitch of the banter. The first five hours are a huge laugh, with some earnest drama and important life lessons sprinkled in, from first to last. The star trek references are so very classic. And the dramatic pauses and high school theater way the officers make exchanges, then automatically switch to normal speech when not on point. So funny!

    This was my first book with this author, and it had me moving happily on to Android's Dream, Agent to the Stars, Fuzzy Nation, and the Old Man's War series. A great find! Fixation on the word 'said' or no.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
    198
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    41
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
Sort by:
  • Michael
    Gosport, United Kingdom
    7/18/12
    Overall
    "Great Book But Annoying Over Use of The Word "said"

    Like a previous reviewer stated this author really needs to learn another word for "said"; Yes, almost every line contains "...said" or "said...", it really does get annoying and you can almost hear the annoyance in the voice of the narrator.

    The storyline is pretty good and I did enjoy it; a subtle, or perhaps not so subtle, parody of Star Trek which mocks the fact that in almost every Star Trek episode you knew who was going to die as soon as the "away party" beamed down; those poor guys in red.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Singapore, Singapore
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meta- but in a good way"
    Where does Redshirts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've probably listened to 30 audiobooks in the last 2 and a half years. Almost all of them have been very good. I'd say this was in the top half of those.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the paradox, that the characters were supposedly vulnerable because they were not the main characters of the show, but of course they're the main characters of the book so in fact a slightly different set of rules apply. As much as the idea is (as the characters know) derivative of Galaxy Quest, Last Action Hero etc, Scalzi does a great job of making it feel fresh without it getting stuck up its own arse.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The last scene, which I won't say more about, because it would spoil it.


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

    Both actually, but it was surprisingly touching towards the end, considering how tongue in cheek the concept seems.


    Any additional comments?

    Really recommended. I'm not a big Trekkie or into anything particularly similar, but I think it's enough to have a passing familiarity with the tropes of the genre, which virtually everyone surely does.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A. Farenden
    Essex, UK
    6/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One annoying flaw in an excellent piece of prose."
    What did you like most about Redshirts?

    I liked the principle most, and the inner monologues. The fact that nobody knew why they were doing what they did.


    What other book might you compare Redshirts to, and why?

    The only book other than John Scalzi's other books that this reminds me of is John Ringo's Last Centurion. Both books have soldier protagonists, both are commentary on how f-ed up the world they are living in is, and the tone and humor are similar. So are the narrators' voices.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    I liked everything about the way he portrayed the characters, with the exception of Duvahl (not sure of spelling) Some narrators are able to portray female voices well, but Wheaton's female voice was indistinguishable, which is part of the flaw this book has.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I actually started crying somewhere near the end. It might have been when Dahl got skewered. Or it might have been during the epilogue when Finn lectures Nick. Actually Nick's epilogue is a pretty good part in itself.


    Any additional comments?

    The big flaw in this audiobook is a combination of writer and narrator. Scalzi overuses the word 'said' which _in print_ probably doesn't matter too much. He also named two of his main characters Dahl and Duvahl.
    When you get lines like:
    "Are you sure?" Dahl said.
    "I'm sure." Duvahl said
    Near the start and you can't tell which one is the female character because the narrator isn't that capable of female voices and the names are too similar to connect with the identifying information you were given...
    After the first hour I'd gotten over the "said,said,said," thing, but that section near the beginning is really annoying.Still a good listen though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    London, United Kingdom
    8/5/12
    Overall
    "Metafandom meets Galaxy Quest"

    I love John Scalzi. Just have to get that out there. All of his books are phenomenal, though I confess I do love his humorous standalones a tiny bit more than the Old Man's War series. I can't say enough good things about his writing.

    So I guess it's no surprise that I loved Redshirts - it is certainly one of the funnier concepts he's come up with. What if a Star Trek-like TV show was not only real somewhere, but controlled by the pen of the show's writers? What if all those poor redshirts, the guys destined to die to make the audience realize the problem in any given episode was SERIOUS, were real people, who really died every time bad writing dictated?

    But don't be fooled by the absurdist premise - this is an incredibly well conceived novel, with a definite punch to the stomach in emotional weight, and a brilliant resolution.

    Highly recommended. And the narration by Wil Wheaton - of Star Trek Next Generation fame, no less - is spot on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    7/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "this was like a teenage boy reading a comic...."
    What would have made Redshirts better?

    if it had been half as good as his previous book


    What will your next listen be?

    wil wheaten is a great narrator but this is not his finest


    Any additional comments?

    john scalzi has written better novels, go and try the one about the agent to the alien, its funny

    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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.