Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues' understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is...and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
©2012 John Scalzi (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Great Book But Annoying Over Use of The Word "said"
Like a previous reviewer stated this author really needs to learn another word for "said"; Yes, almost every line contains "...said" or "said...", it really does get annoying and you can almost hear the annoyance in the voice of the narrator.
The storyline is pretty good and I did enjoy it; a subtle, or perhaps not so subtle, parody of Star Trek which mocks the fact that in almost every Star Trek episode you knew who was going to die as soon as the "away party" beamed down; those poor guys in red.
"Metafandom meets Galaxy Quest"
I love John Scalzi. Just have to get that out there. All of his books are phenomenal, though I confess I do love his humorous standalones a tiny bit more than the Old Man's War series. I can't say enough good things about his writing.
So I guess it's no surprise that I loved Redshirts - it is certainly one of the funnier concepts he's come up with. What if a Star Trek-like TV show was not only real somewhere, but controlled by the pen of the show's writers? What if all those poor redshirts, the guys destined to die to make the audience realize the problem in any given episode was SERIOUS, were real people, who really died every time bad writing dictated?
But don't be fooled by the absurdist premise - this is an incredibly well conceived novel, with a definite punch to the stomach in emotional weight, and a brilliant resolution.
Highly recommended. And the narration by Wil Wheaton - of Star Trek Next Generation fame, no less - is spot on.
"Enjoyable story, masterfull narration"
While the story is more than ok, Wil Wheaton does a superb job telling it. I enjoyed this very much, allthough the book itself falls short sometimes. The premise for this book is funny and clever, but it could do with some editing. It is far to long and drawn out at some points, but unlike many other reviewers, the "he said, she said" etc style of writning didnt bother me. To me, it feels like it is written as a script, and fits the book very well.
Bottom line; If Wil Wheaton had'nt narrated this, I might not have enjoyed it so much. As it is, I recommend this to all science fiction fans, and trekkies in particular.
"This was not so bad after all"
I downloaded this in a hurry - looking for some reasonable SF and tried this. I noticed someone mentioned the excess 'he said - she said' and I soon found the dialogue was really not suitable for listening. When you read dialogue heavy fiction - the he said - etc. bit is kind of filtered out, but on audiobook, however decent the reader is, and Wheaton is pretty good, the said bit gets really tedious. I nearly aborted this listen after 1/2 hour, but I was on a long journey, so kept going. In the end it was a pleasant light listen, with some clever twists. I will probably not bother with another Scalzi, but the experience was not bad. I tend to like the more cerebral SF, but am running out of authors! Help!
"An interesting read"
The idea of the book is at once, both funny and intriguing. I thought it would be a comedy, but John takes an absurd premise and then writes a very engaging story around it. A very clever and a likable book. The two things that work against it. 1 - Others have mentioned it, and I will too, but only because it does grate. The use of the word "said" so often. Enough said :). 2 - I was a little disappointed with the narration. There is very little in the way of distinguishing different characters and the reading was a little flat in a lot of places. Neither of these were enough to make me stop listening though, and I got right through to the end without a problem. Clearly John is happy with him as Wil narrates a number of his books. Overall it is a solid and enjoyable listen.
"A good short story"
I am a big fan of John Scalzi, having loved Old Man’s War, and this short story didn’t disappoint me in the slightest. I found it funny and witty, with his mick taking of various sci-fi series and the concepts raised interesting and good.
It only gets four stars due to what has already been said. When I initially read the other reviews I didn’t think that the “he said/ she said” would be as bad as described. If anything, it’s worse!!! It doesn’t ruin what is a very good ‘read’ but is still extremely annoying and causes this book to miss out on the five stars rating for me.
A brilliant light hearted bit of sci-fi. Good fun and a joy to listen too. A must for all scifi referencing geeks
"Don't believe the hype"
The conceit is nice enough, but the execution seems somewhat listless and by-the-numbers. None of the characters become too likable, and the plot never gets so original that it really draws you - or at least me - in.
Wheaton seems a nice enough guy, but I feel that at some points in this reading, he overacts a bit. (He's quite OK the rest of the time, though.)
I'm a big Scalzi fan and, whilst this book has his customary wit and is very well written, it covers ground that has been very thoroughly explored by other writers, tv shows etc. It's still a good book and the codas are excelent (if rather long) but it feels less inventive than Scalzi's other books.
"What a great idea"
As a Trekkie these many years, I approached this book thinking why has nobody come up with this idea before.
Viewing the space opera from the "cannon fodder's" perspective is surprisingly enlightening. These people have a life beyond their 2 minutes of fame and their gradual realisation that "something is very wrong with their universe" is entertaining and moderately suspenseful.
At first I found the presentation of the dialogue stilted i.e. He said she said etc then I realised the author was writing dialogue for a TV show.
The codas work well to tidy up the loose ends in a satisfying manner.
All in all a good listen and very different to my usual selections. I will endeavour to boldly go again
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