My Review: Redshirts A novel with three Codas by John Scalzi

Posted on December 11, 2012


I read John Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, for nearly a year before I read any of his books.  That first one was The God Engines.  What I realized after reading that, and his blog posts, and his movie critic column  that has since been discontinued is Mr. Scalzi is one of the few authors whom I will read what ever they write and be happy about it.  Right now that list is short.  I have many authors whose books I love but I still won’t automatically get everything of theirs that I can find.  It’s John Scalzi, Dan Simmons, and that’s it.

Saying that, I have read almost every single post on Whatever.  I know that he wears big boy pants and can deal with negative feedback where appropriate.  Especially from a tiny, tiny fish such as myself.  So if there was something worth trashing in this book I would.

There is nothing worth trashing.

Although it does force you to think.

What if someone, somewhere, was living a life dominated by every single sci-fi tv trope you can think of?  What if they became aware of it?  That is the central premise of this book.

But think about this, in an infinite multiverse, which some suggest we live in, that’s the truth.  Every horrible thing you have ever imagined, dreamed of, seen on a bad television show, has happened, is happening, will happen to some poor sod in a universe we’ll never touch.  Think about that too long and you may never try to imagine something again.

Philosophical pondering aside, Redshirts is well-paced, fun, and never breaks your suspension of disbelief.  That last is a very neat trick for a sci-fi novel based on the characters breaking their own suspension of disbelief.  My only quibble with the book is that the secondary characters, who come to the fore in the codas at the end, all live happily ever after.  The only reason I quibble with it is that I am a dystopian dicktard who takes cold comfort in the suffering of fictional characters.

Go buy this book from your preferred vendor.  In whichever format you choose.  Buy it if you like Star Trek.  Buy it if you don’t like Star Trek.  Buy it if you enjoy good sci-fi.  Buy it if you enjoy a good book.

That is all.


Posted in: Books, Reviews