Saturday, September 15, 2012
Redshirts by John Scalzi
The short review: I really enjoyed this book.
A little explanation:
I cut my sci fi teeth on Star Trek re-runs. My entire family watched every Trek series together (original through to the first season of Voyager). I bought my uncle a red t-shirt that read "Expendable" (from Thinkgeek) for Christmas. I also bought him this book.
I have a touch more than an armchair interest in writing as well.
I AM the audience for this book. It's meta. It's funny. It made me want to watch old Trek episodes.
Ensign Dahl and his friends have just been assigned to the Intrepid - a ship with a horrifically large body count on away missions, and where every now and then the captain and crew get caught up in an overwhelming need to make everything as dramatic as possible. It's like they are living in a sci fi tv show - except it is a horribly written one.
I just can't even describe more without spoiling the things that I enjoyed so much.
I will say that the story ended before I thought it would, with the remaining pages giving bits about some of the peripheral characters. I don't feel anything missing from the main storyline, though.
I'm curious as to how someone who didn't like Trek would approach this book, but then I think they might not at all, so the speculation is a moot point. Yes, sometimes it is a bit "on the nose" but I felt like I was in on the joke, so it didn't bother me.