**spoiler alert** The stated premise of Redshirts, by John Scalzi, is that the lower ranking crew members of the the star ship Intrepid realize that t**spoiler alert** The stated premise of Redshirts, by John Scalzi, is that the lower ranking crew members of the the star ship Intrepid realize that they have a much higher mortality rate than is normal for other ships. This is a take on the redshirs phenomenon from Star Trek. This could have been a great jumping off point if the novel was executed differently. Unfortunately, the book contained several "flying snowmen" to borrow a term coined by Scalzi.
This first is that the characters of the book realize that they are actually characters in a television show. This could have been a great philosophical point if the characters were able to learn this knowledge using some scientific or philosophical reasoning. However, they learn this fact by making a statistical comparison to Star Trek. This is too meta for me.
The second is that the characters are able to time travel to meet the writers of the show. The character plead with the writers and producers to end the carnage. In addition, the characters meet with the actors on which they are based. It would have been interesting to have some explanation on how the connections between the actors and their characters arose. However, that was pretty much ignored.
The three codas were the most interesting part of the book for me. There were good ideas developed with more pathos. Unfortunately, you had to get through the novel for the codas to make any sense....more
24 Frames into the Future is a collection of columns on science fiction films written for AMCtv.com and filmcritic.com. It was through these columns t24 Frames into the Future is a collection of columns on science fiction films written for AMCtv.com and filmcritic.com. It was through these columns that I discovered Scalzi, eventually finding his blog, Whatever, and then his novels. I had always wanted these columns collected into a book, and 24 Frames does not disappoint.
The book is organized by topic, which means that the columns are not in chronological order. The organization does give the book some order, but it also emphasizes the repetition of some topics throughout the columns. For instance, there are several columns on the prospects of science fiction movies in the Best Picture category of the Oscars. The repetition is understandable when the reader remembers that each article appeared weeks before each Oscar ceremony. If one wanted to read the columns in chronological order, it is possible due to the notations at the bottom of each page indicate the page number of the next article in chronological order.
Individually, the columns are a joy to read. Scalzi had very few bad columns through his run. There is a wide variety of topics covered, including the business of movie-making, the process of movie-making, the history of science fiction films, and common themes in science fiction films. Scalzi has interesting things to say about each topic, and manages to do so without sounding like a film snob.
Any person who is looking for a John Scalzi book other than his novels should find 24 Frames into the Future. (Assuming they can, as there was a limited printing of the book.)...more
In general, the TI calculator guide books are well written. Each section starts with a step-by-step summary of the topic, and then lists the differentIn general, the TI calculator guide books are well written. Each section starts with a step-by-step summary of the topic, and then lists the different calculator functions after the example.