Book Review: Redshirts, John Scalzi
Celebrate First Contact in the Star Trek Universe, April 5th
Book Review Science Fiction: Redshirts by John Scalzi
Along with spin-offs, movies, toys, and inspiration to generations of scientists, Star Trek has given us something almost everyone can relate to: the “red shirt” joke.
Several episodes of Star Trek involved a minor or bit character getting killed. Disproportionately it seems, these extras who were in the script only to die, were wearing a red uniform shirt. Thus a joke was born that has inspired comedians and those who think they are for fifty years.
This joke is at the heart of John Scalzi’s novel Redshirts, a 2012 science fiction novel that blurs the line between author and audience, past and future, and invites readers to share in the love of and amusement at Star Trek. Andrew Dahl is a newly appointed ensign aboard the Universal Union’s flagship. Soon after arriving aboard, though, he discovers that the honor is, for many, short-lived. The Intrepid goes through young ensigns fast. Every away team has a victim (or victims). Avoid decks 6-10, especially if everything is going well. And try to stay away from one of the five key officers–although their presence may save you randomly, you are more likely to die in gruesome and improbable fashion in order to save one of them.
Dahl and his friends must discover why the body count is so high before they become part of it. The question, of course, is whether they can promote themselves to main characters before they become victims of the redshirt phenomena. When you’re not writing the plot of your own show, hijacking someone else’s show leads to a very strange and yet funny end.
Also, Other Books by John Scalzi
A reboot of the classic science fiction novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Jack Holloway is put on trial for murder, for defending a Fuzzy under attack by a human. When an entire planet’s ecology and indigenous species is on the court docket, the case will be determined by answering the question — what is sapience, are Fuzzies only cute animals or beings with rights?
The first book in a five book series. Here’s the deal, at age 75 after you retire, you can fight for the Colonial Defense Force; if you survive, after two years you will be given a homestead on a colony planet. Any takers? At age 75, John Perry decides to join the army.
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Of course, Celebrating First Contact Day in the Star Trek universe wouldn’t be complete without a Star Trek marathon featuring Star Trek – First Contact.
Be sure to serve cheese pirogies (a Voyager episode said these were Zefram Cochrane’s favorite)!
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Also see — Book Review: Lock In, John Scalzi
Share how you plan to celebrate Star Trek First Contact Day with your favorite Redshirt moment here: