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 fact 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 expendedon 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.
Redshirts is the winner of the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
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In a world where junior starship officers inevitably and dramatically die on planetside missions a problem any Star Trek fan will be familiar with ensign Andrew Dahl joins the crew of the Universal Union ship Intrepid, the pride of the fleet, and quickly realizes his life is at risk. As Dahl s fellow officers drop like flies and backstab each other to escape away duty, he decides to figure out exactly what s going on. The first third of the book is a darkly comic romp, skewering common plot holes and lazy genre conventions while making the reader eager for the ingenious reason for the coincidental deaths. Sadly, and all too soon, Scalzi reveals an explanation that neither surprises nor satisfies. The rest of the book is increasingly strange and unfunny as Dahl breaks the fourth wall to demand answers. Scalzi explores life among the doomed redshirts with ingeniously morbid glee, but that s not enough to save the story from collapsing in on itself.
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Thank you for fixing the DRM problem! Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of DRM for books. Apple now only needs to note that it can be read on iPad, iPhone or anything else including your computer with an ebook reader program.
"Redshirts" is not what you expect - it's better
Having never read Mr. Scalzi's worked before and given the subject matter and genre, I anticipated humor in the vein of Douglas Adams. Early on I was disappointed that it wasn't funnier, sillier, livelier somehow. That it turned out to be thoughtful, charming, and even moving was a surprise and a pleasant one. I read this book in a day, which wasn't planned -- I just kept on reading instead of doing things I should have been doing.
Everyone knows that stories 98% of the time stories follow certain rules. Like the main people don't die because they have to be on next week. This book stomped all over those rules and I loved every minute of it. I really loved the ending! I laughed so hard, and was swept away a few times as well. A good read.