Original Release Date:
June 12th 2012
Date I Read The Book:
My Star Rating:
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 fact 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
(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.
My Review: (Vague Spoilers)
I love science fiction, but I don’t read much adult science fiction as I am not the biggest fan of war and action, which most adult sic-fi devolves into.
The adult sic-fi I tend to read is humor based (think The Martian type humor/sci-fi). Redshirts fits that bill.
This book is the sort of meta sic-fi I love – meta episodes always tend to be great episodes. It is such a clear parody of Star Trek, but comments on tropes in all sci-fi, which has mostly become complacent, and focuses on the trope of killing off extras for drama, popularized by the Star Trek “Redshirt”.
This book is part its own story, but parody, part commentary and part meta analysis. All the science was prime Sci-fi, and the characters were all great. The idea of our protagonists being “the extras/side characters” is very “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” if you want a reference for whether you’d like this.
Its a unique book, and is one of my favorites of all time. I’m really going to have to read more John Scalzi, as I read his book of short stories Miniatures in December and loved it too.
I highly recommend this book!