A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{April 1, 2014}   Redshirts by John Scalzi

redshirtsPlot: Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Intrepid and it doesn’t take him long to realize that something dangerously strange is going on. Low ranking officers are dying at improbable rates and the ship seems to occasionally defy the laws of physics. He and his friends decide that avoiding away teams isn’t enough; they’ll have to find out what is going on if they want to survive their time on the ship.

This review is based on the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton.

Someone looking for serious sci-fi may be disappointed by this novel but Scalzi sets out to create a comedy poking fun at common TV sci-fi tropes and succeeds fantastically. It is a hilariously funny look at the flaws of the genre from and for someone who loves it, a must read for any Star Trek fan.

But he doesn’t stop there: he creates interesting, relatable characters that I grew to care about and really makes us think about fiction, and writing and science fiction. I won’t spoil the mystery but I will say that it’s refreshing to read a sci-fi story that acknowledges other science fiction. The ending was a bit meta but very appropriate.

Wheaton’s narration adds just the right amount of melodrama to the story. He’s honestly the perfect narrator for this type of story. My one complaint about the audiobook version is that it is a dialogue heavy novel and all the “he saids” “she saids” were a bit annoying at times but once I was caught up in the story, I forgot all about it.

I’ve already purchased another Scalzi audiobook, The Android’s Dream, and I’m really looking forward to it.

2014 (#7)


[…] breed of electric blue sheep so I was expecting a sci-fi parody in a similar vein to Scalzi’s Red Shirts. I was pleasantly surprised to find a politically sophisticated science fiction thriller instead. […]

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