Posted on July 10, 2014. Filed under: Fiction | Tags: , |

book cover for RedshirtsRedshirts
by John Scalzi

Ever watch an old episode of Star Trek? If so, you may know what the term redshirt means to geeks like myself. To the uniformed, a redshirt is the ensign who invariably dies on away missions while all the regular cast of characters live to fight another day (ensigns wear a red shirt). John Scalzli took this little gem of pop culture trivia and ran with it in this hilarious romp through space and time.

In Redshirts, “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, with the chance to serve on ‘Away Missions’ alongside the starship’s famous senior officers.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to realize that 1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship’s senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members belowdecks avoid Away Missions at all costs.

Then Andrew stumbles on information that 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” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

I loved this book. The storyline is fast paced and laugh-out-loud hilarious. The second part of the book changes gear from romping in space to dealing with the ramifications of messing with the time/space continuum. It also ties up the loose ends nicely by finishing the story from another set of characters’ point of view. Redshirts won Science Fiction’s most prestigious award, the Hugo Award, in 2013 for Best Novel. This is definitely a book I would recommend to Star Trek fans, science fiction fans, and people looking for a good laugh. 

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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