Regular price: $19.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6,440
  • 4 Stars
    5,080
  • 3 Stars
    1,935
  • 2 Stars
    406
  • 1 Stars
    239

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    7,930
  • 4 Stars
    3,587
  • 3 Stars
    1,205
  • 2 Stars
    318
  • 1 Stars
    160

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    5,878
  • 4 Stars
    4,480
  • 3 Stars
    2,093
  • 2 Stars
    485
  • 1 Stars
    268
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Thomas
  • Oakland Park, FL, United States
  • 03-24-15

"Is this typical of Scalzi?", the reviewer said.

What would have made Redshirts better?

This is my first Scalzi book, and I thought his dialog was atrocious - a crime against literature. This is a huge problem since it's a very dialog-heavy story. He really needed a strong editor to tell him, "No, you cannot end every single line of dialog in the entire book with 'he/she said'."

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I can't really discuss the story without spoiling it, but it had a strong hook and twist. Good concept executed well, terrible dialog notwithstanding. Likeable protagonist and supporting characters.<br/><br/>The least interesting aspect was the three codas that followed the main story. I just didn't care.

What didn’t you like about Wil Wheaton’s performance?

Wheaton did not provide a performance, he provided a reading. His clipped monotone was not engaging.

Any additional comments?

I had hoped this would be my gateway into a new author, but this audiobook experience was so tedious I don't think there's any chance I'll be reading any more Scalzi. I was not being hyperbolic above, he ends literally every line of dialog with "so-and-so said." Every. Single. Time. I noticed it about 3 minutes into the book, and it grated on me like nails on a chalkboard for the rest of the book. Combined with Wheaton's zero-effort narration, it took me about 3 months to make it through this 13-ish hour audiobook. I'm not really sure how or why I finished at all, honestly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Please Make This A Movie!!!!

I'm so glad I got this. As soon as I started listening, I couldn't stop. It is absolutely hilarious and awesome. The writer does use the word "said" a lot -- A LOT -- but the content of the story is so good it overcomes that weakness.

Wil Wheaton is a good reader, but he needs to work on voicing characters. He does a good job with the content and inflection, and perfectly hits the humor -- he just needs some voices. Wil, if you read this -- please listen to Jonathan Davis read Snow Crash. You could be that good, you just need multiple voices for the different characters.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

That's what he said

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I liked the premise of the story. I ordered it because of 1. Wil Wheaton, and 2. Star Trek-ish nature. Fans of both will enjoy the story, probably. What drove me absolutely bonkers is the author's inability to use a word other than "said." 98% of dialogue was followed by "said." For pity's sake, use something else!!! Sniffed, cracked, quipped, sobbed, whispered, yelled, commented, explained, shouted, ASKED (particularly when the previous comment was, indeed, a question!), anything else would be fantastic. If you don't care about that as much as I do, you'll like the story just fine. I noticed "said" within the first five minutes, and that's pretty much all I was able to focus on for the rest of the story. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing.

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

Probably not--mainly due to the "said" issue.

Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

Andy.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Redshirts?

I felt the Codas were unnecessary. So much so, that I didn't bother to finish listening to the first Coda, and didn't attempt the others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Heather
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 09-13-13

Couldn't get past the first 8 minutes

The prolog was great, and Will Wheaton was a good choice for narrator, but I could not listen to anymore of "Duval said:.......Dahl said:.......Duval said:.......Dahl said:.......Duval said:.......Dahl said:.......Duval said:.......Dahl said:...." When they brought Hanson into the conversation I had to call it quits. Did they add this for the narration or was the original book this badly edited?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amusing but that's all

If you enjoy science fiction, do yourself a favor and download "Ready Player One" read by Wil Wheaton. It is a fantastic, well written science fiction book - a total delight especially for anyone over 35 years old. Sadly, Redshirts is not so great. There is an amusing and very creative concept here, but the execution is what I would consider a very rough draft. Plus there are additional "epilogues" to the book that are strictly there to add length, not flesh out the story, in my opinion. Wil Wheaton does a wonderful job narrating as usual, but this is no where close to as good as it could have been. And yes, the "he said," "she said" back and forth is like verbal torture.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What do you never want to be?

Ah, redshirts. It seems to be a sign of a true SF geek to immediately get the reference, vs those would stare at you blankly if you referenced it. But what if you suddenly realized that you weren't the main character in the reality that you inhabit. Worse, you come to the suspicion that your part in the show may be to become just interesting enough to make the audiences feel some emotional loss when you died. And everyone around you is dying at a rate unheard of for any other ship in the fleet.

Well, this is what happened to the main characters of this story. And after living through a dreaded away mission (except for their dramatically lost friend ironically) they finally figure out what is going on and even when their show is being written (though of course via divergent universes there is no reference to their show). After kidnapping a main character (one of the best ways to ensure that they don't die off-screen) they are off to the past to try and stop the writers from killing them and their compatriots.

Overall a fun book, with entertaining characters and a sly wink to a bunch of in-jokes. It may not be a book I ever go back to re-read but it was an interesting story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • majkia
  • Niceville, FL USA
  • 05-07-13

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Joey
  • BREWER, ME, United States
  • 05-03-13

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-26-17

Worth sticking with

I thought I'd picked a dud but book got better and better as it went along. Very sentimental for sci fi but that's no bad thing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Diane
  • 06-14-17

Wonderful, engaging and easy listen

If you are familiar with Star Trek and enjoy mind-bending kinds of stories (like time travel or parallel universes) and enjoy rather snarky narratives you will enjoy this book. It's just fun.

Wil Wheaton's performance is both fitting and extremely well done. The production values are very high as I have come to expect whenever Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki are involved.

One negative, there are an excessive number of "he said" "she saids", which I cannot explain and in audio was extremely annoying, because you can't gloss over it like on the printed page. I wish they'd edited some of them out. The problem was exacerbated by the often one or two-word interjections followed by "Dahl said" or "Duvall said" or "Hester said" or WHOEVER said" by that time I didn't much care, who said it, I just wanted it to stop. But then I got over it and enjoyed the story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Terry in Hull
  • 05-23-17

Very alternative twist on standard sci fi

Very funny story for any star trek fan. I loved Will Weatons enthusiastic and powerful narration. John Scalzi is the best

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mr. R. Davies
  • 01-31-17

Enjoyable sci-fi comedy.

I have seen some people mentioning the overuse of the word "said", and at certain points they are correct. That said this is an otherwise enjoyable listen. Not the best story or the best anything but it is better than a lot if stuff out there.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • P. E. Haynes
  • 01-11-17

Lots of fun and great narration

Definitely one to recommend.

A very witty story indeed, does exactly what it says in the summary. Particularly enjoyed the many ways the crew members use to avoid being sent on away missions e.g. always being in the toilet!

Whilst I did also notice the constant use of "I said she said", as another reviewer commented, I think this is deliberate - the whole background context is of sloppy scripting by the show writers that leads to ridiculous casualty numbers amongst the crew. I suspect it came across better in the print version, but it really doesn't detract from the story.

Also worth mentioning what is meant by "a novel with three codas", as I'd not come across this before. The story actually ends on chapter 25, and the final 3 chapters are in essence short stories that follow on from the main story. These are written in a very, very, very different style to the main story - they're certainly not humour - and I was quite thrown by the sudden change. They're definitely not bad, and do give food for thought; but perhaps the print version did a better job of indicating they were standalone pieces? They're an interesting addition, if a little wonky.

Anyway, do give this a try - lots of smiles guaranteed!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gareth Dedman
  • 12-22-16

Very predictable but well narrated

I was a little upset when the plot revealed itself as it was far too obvious - I was actually hoping it would turn out to be something different up until that point. Also, the three character post story sections / codas were unnecessary - I would have been fine not listening to them. Wheaton read it expertly and is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James Short
  • 12-22-16

it didn't know what it wanted to be!

I honestly thought the story following Red Shirts was a great idea with loads of potential for comedic value.

I found it amusing to begin with, as the conversations between characters were short lines followed by "He said", "She said" over and over. I took it to be part of the humour; a poorly written story about the red shirts living out a poorly written narrative. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that the story took itself seriously and the comedy element I saw was lazy writting. And I won't get started on the subsequent Coda's!

I'm not a fan of 4th wall breaking books generally speaking, so perhaps if that is the sort of thing you're after in a book that takes itself seriously this could be the book for you. I didn't read the synopsis first, my bad. I got it on a friend's recommendation.

Wheaton helped carry me to the end of the book, he's a great narrator and did add some value to the characterisation.

I am sorry to the writter, it just did not hit the spot for me. It's better than anything I've ever written, but it's not the best thing I've ever read :D

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Natalie Walker
  • 12-02-16

Fantastic

I loved every second. from the sci-fi humour, to the borderline bizarre codas at the end. it feels like a love letter to a genre by the extras, to the writers at points.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-14-16

felt disjointed and predictable

very similar plot to an episode of red dwarf, and not even a good episode. I was disappointed by how the story developed. I want the book I hoped it would be

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Craig
  • 09-05-16

Pretty thin but decent nonetheless

I quite enjoyed this tale, despite the fact that its plot is wafer thin. Not sure I'll be rushing to pick up any more of Scalzi's books, except perhaps Old Man's War which I've heard excellent things about.