Saturday, 7 March 2015

Book review: Redshirts

Redshirts is a science fiction novel by John Scalzi. Its OK. I enjoyed it, though I didn't wade through all the endless codas. But there are really only two bits to it, and on reflection I think it would have been better at short story or novella length. There's not really enough substance. There are a variety of cute bits ("who are you, who is so wise in the ways of X") for you to congratulate yourself upon your getting-it-ness. But apart from that, it is in a curious way reminiscent of the flimsy sets of the original Star Trek.

Don't read on if you ever want to read it. Wiki says 
Ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned to the Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union, works in the xenobiology lab. However, upon receiving the chance to work with famed senior officers of the ship on "Away Missions" to dangerous planets, Dahl realizes that as a low-ranking crew member, he is very likely to be killed while on one of these missions. He and the other new ensigns notice something weird about life aboard the Intrepid — on any away mission, at least one crew member dies. And each away mission seems to follow a bizarre set of rules. The crew of the Intrepid has become very superstitious and fearful about getting involved in the bridge crew's missions. The ensigns get to know Lt. Kerensky, who is Russian, lecherous and constantly getting infected with diseases, beaten within an inch of life, or otherwise hurt — only to be totally fine a few days later. Lt. Kerensky winds up dating Ensign Duvall, one of the new ensigns. After meeting with a lost crewmember, the ensigns learn that they are characters in a TV show.
Somewhat to my surprise, it also says The book won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel and Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

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