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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  29,941 ratings  ·  5,012 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Simply said, I loved this book.

If you want me to go into more detail, I can. But that's the heart of the matter.

I don't do spoilers. So instead, let me say this: This book was fun. It was clever. It was geeky.

But most of all, it made me laugh. I'm not just saying it was funny. I'm saying I actually laughed out loud in the restaurant where I was reading it. Then later at the coffee shop. Then later still when I was reading it at home, even though I was alone in the house. Even though that's wha...more
I was going to write a review for this one, but then I realized I could basically just cut and paste my review of Agent to the Stars, changing relevant details like "plot" and "character names" and just keeping everything else exactly the same. Because this book, like all of Scalzi's books except maybe Old Man's War and the two Old Man's War books I didn't read because I didn't really like the second book, suffers (or maybe benefits, I don't know, apparently people love this dude) from being wri...more
Halfway through this book, I was thinking that I could do something funny in this review with Will Farrell’s character from the movie Stranger Than Fiction. But then it had to go and actually reference Stranger Than Fiction and ruin my plans.

Thanks for nothing, Scalzi!

Anyhow, in the distant future the starship Intrepid explores
the galaxy with a crew led by a bold captain and his logical science officer. A group of newly assigned crew members quickly notice that odd and bizarre things happen when...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
The Theme Song of the Book! Any song whose chorus begins with "They said this air would be breathable" gets my vote.

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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 Aw...more
Dan Schwent
The starship Intrepid seeks out new worlds and boldly goes where no man has gone before. However, as Ensign Andrew Dahl soon discovers, low-ranked crew members die more often aboard the Intrepid than brain cells at a Spring Break weekend while the senior officers, besides Lt. Kerensky, always survive without a scratch. As they dig deeper, what will Andy and his friends uncover?

Anyone who's watched more than two or three episodes of Star Trek knows that it's always the extra, or redshirt, that di...more
Death... the Final Fate...
These are the voyages of the Starship Intrepid.
Its continuing mission,
to kill naive new crewmembers,
to seek out cheap thrills and easy lamentations,
to boldly go where no redshirt has gone before!

I knew since some time ago about this novel but until now I had been able to read it, and I am truly glad that I did it!

One of the best Star Trek novels without really being about Star Trek.

It's a common knowledge but again for those neophytes to the topic, let me explain that...more
“Sooner or later the Narrative will come for each of us.”
Thanks to cultural osmosis even I, the person who (according to a colleague of mine) lost quite a few nerd points for having never seen a single Star Trek episode, am somehow familiar with the concept of 'redshirts' - the unfortunate extras whose lot is to die dramatically on screen just to pad the plot and remind the viewer that the near-invincible main characters are indeed, so to say, in a real pickle.
"In other words, crew deaths ar
Seak (Bryce L.)
I've been kind of on a Scalzi kick lately. I guess I've needed some light sci-fi without too much brain interaction. And I don't say that as a bad thing. I know so many times "light" and "fun" come off in the pejorative, but I rarely mean it that way. Honestly, I think that's the high watermark of fiction. I'm not trying to learn anything, although I always do. I'm not trying to to do anything but enjoy my free time.

I value other aspects of a novel plenty. I love a complex plot, great character...more
Nov 05, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All sci-fi fans
Tor released a free preview of the book -- the prologue and first two chapters -- here.

This book is 230 pages of over-the-top, exponentiating meta-physical fun, and three codas of "wait, what are the philosophical consequences of all that meta-ness?" It lampshades Star Trek, inverts Galaxy Quest and thematically parallels Bill Willingham's Down the Mysterly River, while still distinctly maintaining John Scalzi's own voice.

Update: I saw John Scalzi speak last night on his book tour, and it was a...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I started out thinking this would be a 4 star read. As it opens playing on the cliches of science fiction TV (specifically Star Trek) it is funny. In places it's hilarious.

I saw this book reviewed back when it first showed up and I read enough "blah" reviews that I decided I didn't want to put time or money into it. But recently I've had it recommended and seen some "rave reviews" about it so, I decided to give it a try. It's sort of an odd read as it almost travels in an descending arc. At firs...more
Gerhardt Himmelmann
Jun 26, 2012 Gerhardt Himmelmann rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody :(
Shelves: read-2012
This one went straight to the top of the "to-read" list on the strength of this review:


This is far from the worst book that I've ever read, but I'm pretty certain that it's the most disappointing. Part of this no doubt stems from Julia Sherred's glowing review linked above and the disappointment is therefore more a reflection of my own expectations than the book itself.

Redshirts certainly starts out as an interesting read, and Scalzi plays with questi...more
If you’ve ever watched an episode of classic Star Trek, you’re probably familiar with the old adage, “Don’t wear a red shirt.” Odds are you won’t survive until the first commercial break.

John Scalzi’s latest novel Redshirts delves into that old adage as well as several other tropes from not only classic Trek but many of our favorite genre series. On board the flag ship of the Universal Union the Intrepid, odds are that if you aren’t one of the five members of the command crew, your life expectan...more
Executive Summary: This is one of those books that is likely to be something you either love or hate. If you enjoy John Scalzi, and/or are a fan of Star Trek, you'll likely enjoy this book. If not, it's probably not for your.

Audio book: This is the second audio book I've listened to that is Narrated by Wil Wheaton (The other being Ready Player One). I really enjoy him as a narrator, especially for a book like this. I couldn't think of a more perfect reader for a Star Trek Parody book.

That said,...more
“We've already established whoever is writing us is an asshole.”

What could I possibly write that hasn't already been written about Scalzi and his double major award winning science fiction novella with three codas? I think I took exactly what was intended from it; lightly thought provoking entertainment in a science fiction setting that plays with the nature of TV tropes and the craft of storytelling. The fact that it won BOTH major SF awards is baffling to me however, either it was a very ligh...more
Crystal Starr Light
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union. Quickly he realizes something is wrong - the lower ranked officers that are sent on away missions end up dead. The captain, his science officer, the chief engineer, the chief medical officer, and the astrogator, however, always come out alive. What's going on and can Dahl get to the bottom of this?

How can I possibly describe my experience with "Redshirts"? I've finished it a couple of minutes ago (aft...more
Teri Pell
A philosophy-fillled, meta-packed, sci-fi fun fest!

NOTE: This review is for the audio edition narrated by Wil Wheaton.

I love Scalzi's take on the cliched disposable 'Red Shirt' ensign phenomenon. As even the casual Star Trek viewer will tell you, you NEVER volunteer for an away mission if you're not a main character. On the UU's flagship, the Intrepid, the ensigns and other secondary crew members have learned this as well. While the premise is based on the perils of the 'redshirt eff...more
When people talk about a book being “meta”, I have to admit that I often wonder what they are talking about because it really doesn’t say anything about the book itself but it is a good way to sound pretentious. John Scalzi’s Redshirts is so meta; I think the author must have had a lot of fun writing this novel and playing with the red shirt concept. For those people that don’t know what a Red shirt is; it’s a concept made famous by Star Trek in which the character wearing the red shirt on a mis...more
Tom Merritt
This book was so much more than I was expecting. I wanted a clever insight into what the Star Trek universe would be like from the perspective of the red shirts. I got that. Maybe Ina sort of 'Galaxy Quest' way but I got it. What I didn't expect was to get science fiction's 'Stranger Than Fiction' complete with an internal reference to 'Stranger Than Fiction'. That was awesome. I'm a sucker for breaking the walls, 4th, 5th, 12th, whatever. And wha t I really didn't expect and especially loved we...more
Damn you, John Scalzi, for making me giggle helplessly at death. A quick, fun read. Full review to follow.


The title of John Scalzi's new novel, Redshirts', is as irresistible as the premise. For those not familiar with the term 'redshirt' the first chapter serves as a quick introduction. On his first away mission, a young ensign is unprepared and overwhelmed. Trapped on a rock and surrounded by 'landworms', he fires into the dirt, driving the voracious predators into a frenzy and then deci...more
Ben Babcock
I don’t know how I first got into Star Trek, but I owe almost the entire trajectory of my life to it. I’m not exaggerating. Aside from my interest in teaching (and even that might have been influenced by Star Trek’s love for exploration and knowledge), that TV show profoundly influenced my decisions. The first online community I joined was a Star Trek roleplaying group. Connections I made on that community led to other communities—though not Goodreads, which I joined because an offline friend re...more
What a terrific premise! Fans of Star Trek will be familiar with the ever-revolving cast of "Redshirts" (from the original to TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise) and will be amused by this story written by Scalzi, who was a consultant on Stargate Universe.

I definitely would've given this book 4 stars for the story - it was inventive, creative, funny and very meta. Also, I can't remember ever reading a book that had a first-person, second-person and third-person narrative. It was definitely an unco...more
This is a book that struck me as being extremely stupid within about 15 pages but managed to charm me as it continued its dissection of the phenomena of "redshirts" in science fiction. It became, in essence, so bad that it was decent, at least for a while.

The plot is simple. If you're on the away team and you aren't one of the senior crew, you will die. So what does the crew, who realizes this, start to do to cope? They go varying degrees of insane, it turns out. The veteran redshirts have an en...more
Kat  Hooper
4.5 stars Originally posted at FanLit.

"This is the part where you run and scream a lot."

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Intrepid, a spaceship that has the reputation of killing off most of its non-essential crew. The captain and senior officers and one or two especially good-looking guys always come back from planetary “away” missions alive (though often mangled up a bit), but always, always, at least one, and often many more, of the crew is killed. When Dahl and a few other new...more
Oct 30, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: metafictional redshirts, hack TV sci-fi writers
When John Scalzi goes off into "John Scalzi writing as a fictional character but c'mon we all know that is totally John Scalzi's voice" land, the set-up for the rant about Scrivener, echoing similar comments on his blog, just had me feeling like I'd gone from reading novelized Star Trek fanfic to novelized Whatever fanfic.

Scalzi is clever, but he thinks he's really, really, super-duper extra extremely clever, and that's a lot of clever to pack into one book.

So, don't get me wrong, I liked Redshi...more
This is an absolute blinder - it kicks off as a light, very funny Star Trek pastiche, but Scalzi has way more in mind than just taking the piss out of Shatner's bold goings-on. It gets meta and then it gets very touching. It's a lovely book. It's also, in a curious way, the through-a-glass-darkly image of Ned Beauman's awesome Teleportation Accident, in a structural sense that I won't divulge because it would spoil both books. Suffice to say that Beauman pranks you and Scalzi moves you when you...more

I've heard lots of goodness about John Scalzi, and so I decided to give him a try. And I've been watching a lot of Star Trek TNG lately, so I decided to give THIS book a try.

But it just didn't do anything for me... and now I'm giving up.

Here're my issues:
1) All the characters sound the same. All of them. Even the Yeti. Especially in Wil Wheaton's voice.

2) All of the dialogue is overly witty, without meaning, and circular. Nobody actually says anything that means anything,...more
By now, the redshirt has become a cliche: the sacrificial lamb, the one who always dies, the one you don't want to be in a group. Scalzi turns the concept into a weirdly funny and meta book that takes it oddly seriously.

On the Intrepid, going on an away mission is a terrifying ordeal to the rank and file crewmen. The bridge officers (mostly) do fine, but it seems like somebody is always dying. And nobody cares. The ship takes high risk missions, that's all. The main characters, a stubbornly ragt...more
Scalzi disassembles the Star Trek universe and puts together a very similar alternate in which to explore the whole concept of the disposable Redshirt. His sense of humour appeals to me, so I did find the book quite enjoyable. I almost didn't read the three codas at the end--what a mistake that would have been! They are the best part of the book--don't skip them!

July 2014:

A quick refresher read before my next book club meeting, where we will discuss it. More enjoyable the second time through, I...more
If you happen to be a Trekkie, I don’t have to tell you what a “Redshirt” is. If you are not, then just know that that the term “Redshirts” was coined from the science fiction television series Star Trek in which the extras (who wore a red uniform) got killed on a regular basis while the main characters like Kirk and Spock survived each ordeal. It was no conspiracy; it's just how the fictional universe has worked since the time immemorial. Main guys survive while the faceless extras are sacrific...more
Six Characters in Search of an Author but funny.

Hilarious, in fact.

Not too sure about the final two chapters or the Codas, however. The codas seem a bit redundant and the final joke of the main narrative seems a bit gratuitous. I can see that the codas "close" a heap of characters and that they add an opportunity to belabour some points about what constitutes "good" and "bad" dramatic writing, but all of that seems as if it should be plainly implicit in the main work to anybody with wit enough t...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci-fi and Heroic...: Scalzi's gets yet another TV Deal 16 89 Sep 17, 2014 05:47AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: I LOVED Redshirts so I should love…. 14 68 Sep 14, 2014 08:05AM  
Ciencia Ficcion e...: Lectura Mayo-Junio: Redshirts 56 70 Jul 13, 2014 02:13AM  
Sci Fi Aficionados: * March 2014 Themed Read - Redshirts 36 64 May 23, 2014 05:59AM  
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  • Memories of the Future - Volume 1
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
More about John Scalzi...
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) Fuzzy Nation Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)

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“In other words, crew deaths are a feature, not a bug," Cassaway said, dryly.” 16 likes
“I don't care whether I really exist or don't, whether I'm real or fictional. What I want right now is to be the person who decides my own fate.” 13 likes
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