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3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  61,754 Ratings  ·  7,883 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 fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of let
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tor Books (first published June 2012)
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Theocassionalreader Possibly. Not sure if Scalzi is Jewish, or if he has had a deep education in the Jewish religion, but he did study under Nobel Prize winning writer…morePossibly. Not sure if Scalzi is Jewish, or if he has had a deep education in the Jewish religion, but he did study under Nobel Prize winning writer Saul Bellow, who happens to be Jewish and has a deep roots in the Jewish traditions. Maybe he picked up something from there?(less)

Community Reviews

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Feb 04, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing

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
Jul 12, 2012 j rated it it was ok
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
Dec 05, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Anne by: Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell
4.5 stars

Re-read 2017
My original feeling for the book stand, but I did find the 3 Codas at the end seemed a tad more tedious and unneeded this time around.

Orignal review: 2015

I could totally slap myself for not reading this sooner.


The premise of this story is that Andy Dahl and a group of his friends, who all work aboard the starship Intrepid, start to notice a troubling pattern happening on the Away Missions.
And they aren't the only ones who've noticed...

Does everyone know
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
Apr 02, 2012 Kemper rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, tv-movies, 2012
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
Dan Schwent
Sep 28, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, sf, 2012, the-scalz
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

What if the redshirt extras low-ranking crew members on Star Trek The Chronicles of the Intrepid realized that whenever one of them accompanies the starship's officers on an away mission to a planet or somewhere, that crew member was extremely likely to be killed?


Naturally, this creates a dog-eat-dog situation where the long-term members of the crew learn to disappear quickly whenever an officer comes around, and the newer members have a very high mortality rate. Finally, a few of the junior cre
Nov 26, 2013 Lyn rated it really liked it
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John “I’m not Gene Roddenberry but I dressed up like him once for Halloween” Scalzi could have also been Redshirts: Existential Musings in the Internet Age by a Satire Minded Child of the Eighties.

Winner of the Hugo and the Locus Award, I can see the spinning wheels in the minds of the award voters / selection committee of both trophies – “A fun, unique twist on an old Star Trek gag but then he goes and ends it with an existential quest for meaning amidst
Richard Derus
Jun 18, 2012 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Commercial Photography

Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn’t know what a “Redshirt” is? There is?

Commercial Photography

Ha! Just kidding. Okay, for the three of you who aren’t familiar with the term, I’ll let Scalzi ‘splain it to you . . .

“The red shirt. You know, in the original Star Trek, they always had Kirk and Bones and Spock and then some poor dude in a red shirt who got vaporized before the first commercial. The moral of the story was not to wear a red shirt.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with the BBB gang starting December 18, 2015.

Okay. Everyone says this book reminds them of Galaxy Quest. And after saying this book reminds them of Galaxy Quest, said people usually start squeaking around in glee like manic mice. Well I have a confession to make: I am one of those freaks who hardly ever watches movies and/or TV. Please don't break down and cry. I know how difficult it must be for you to accept I'm not as perfect as you thought I was, but it's the sad, sad truth. Fear not my
“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 a
Darth J
Apr 08, 2015 Darth J rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

What can I say? If you know about Scalzi and his relationship with readers then you already know why I would want to read something by him. To keep it short, I found this book to be mostly clever and entertaining. The part where the characters come to our universe was like breaking the fourth wall, which I just didn’t care for. But I like the way this man’s mind works.

Also, have this meme in memory of our late Blueshirt:

Robin (Bridge Four)
John Scalzi is the Amazon daily deal today 11Feb17 here I really liked this one.

If you liked Star Trek and Galaxy Quest it might be right up your alley.

4.5 Guy is Gonna Die Stars


Buddy Read with my Sci-Fi loving peeps at Buddies Books and Baubles

RedShirts seems a lot like a combo of Galaxy Quest and Stranger Than Fiction which means I LOVED IT!!! This hit all my Sci-Fi fangirl hot buttons making fun of all the tropes from those early Sci-Fi t.v. shows that didn’t realize were happening back when
4.2 A twisted tale of the poor Redshirt extras that all became so killed on that classic TV Show. What would happen if they were real, and if they figured out their odds of death ?
Funny, smart, wickedly twisted and just fun.

Dec 23, 2014 Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
If there was a Booker for ‘Best Concept, Most Poorly Executed’, Redshirts would be hiring a tux and polishing an acceptance speech. This is a novel built on a great idea – imagine if all the disposable non-core-cast characters constantly killed for dramatic effect in sci-fi TV shows realised what was happening to them and rebelled against it, doing their damnedest to avoid going on missions with important, non-expendable crewmembers, trying to get transferred off the ship, etc.

From this great id
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
Feb 14, 2017 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scalzi is a top science fiction writer but occasionally, see my review of Agent to the Stars, he takes a more humorous view of the genre. This book falls into that category.

To properly appreciate this yarn, you should have at least a passing acquaintance with the original TV series, Star Trek. The Second Generation and its successors (including the series of movies) are not as directly in his sights. The redshirts referred to in the title are those minor members of the ship’s crew that are inclu
Jul 10, 2013 seak rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2013
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
As a big fan of Star Trek in almost all of its incarnations, I thought for sure I would adore this audio book, especially since it was narrated by Wil Wheaton. I was partially right.

I did adore Wil Wheaton's narration. The only problem I had with it were the "he saids" and "she saids". There was one of these tags after (nearly) every single sentence of dialogue. Enough already! I guess this really isn't Wheaton's fault, but maybe he could have de-emphasized the tags a bit?

The story itself was
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Mar 27, 2017 Evelina | AvalinahsBooks rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any sci-fi fan
Recommended to Evelina | AvalinahsBooks by: Efka
★★★★☆ 4 stars I'm sure most of you have heard of Redshirts. And let's admit, Scalzi is a pretty well-known writer, having received many awards (the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel for this one being among them), as well as having worked as a consultant to the TV series Stargate Universe, if any of you are familiar with that show.

(I have been known as a fierce fan of Stargate SG-1, although I didn't like Stargate Universe that much.)

And yet, despite all the fame (I nearly wrote famousity, what??),
Emma Sea
Oct 17, 2014 Emma Sea rated it it was ok
Shelves: auckland-library
So meta I'm astounded my dead tree copy didn't implode under the weight of its own smugness,
Dec 18, 2015 Choko rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, humor
*** 4 ***

Read with the buddies form BBB, and LMAO!

This book is for every person who at any time has been enamored with Star Trek or Blake's 7, or any show of the ilk, and has a tendency to overthink them:) Also, for authors with writing block, but I am not entirely sure it would help them in actuality. The book brings up most of the questions we ask ourselves when something happens in our favorite space operas that made no sens to us... And comes up with similar answers - it makes no sense, b
Okay, this book was a weird experience. Scalzi combines a Science Fiction scenario with some very meta-thoughts about writing. As long as he upholds this combination (for the first 75%) of the book, the book was very enjoyable and it would probably have gotten 4 stars from me, cause I liked his usual humor and the plot was nice, not spectacular, simply enjoyable.
Unfortunately John Scalzi then decided to end his book with 3 Codas which turn out to be some writing excercises, where he wraps up som
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨

When I saw that this book was co-dedicated to Wil Wheaton, I pretty much knew right away that I was going to like it. This is a huge spoof on the type of show Star Trek: The Original Series was. A low budget sci-fi TV show, where the captain and chief officers always miraculously survive attacks and away missions and the no-name extras (in red shirts) always end up dying. A show where science and physics are fudged to make the scene "work" on a regular basis. The kind of TV that's so bad, it's k
Feb 24, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it
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
Jan 22, 2017 YouKneeK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Redshirts was a very fast read, light and funny, but with some depth mixed in here and there also. It was an especially nice change of pace after my last couple of books which were slower reads for me. It probably helped that I loved the original Star Trek series, because I was able to appreciate the parody aspect. Reading this book actually made me want to pull out my TOS Blu-ray discs, and it’s the first time in months that I’ve had the slightest urge to even turn on my TV. So far I’m resistin ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a fun enough read. It was sort of like Galaxy Quest. Only not half as good! Good enough to be worth a read though.

Shortly after Ensign Andrew Dahl is assigned to the Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union, he and a few other new arrivals notice that a lot of weird stuff happens on the ship. The regular crew avoid the bridge crew like they have the plague, the death rate for low ranking crew members on an away mission with certain bridge crew members is sky high, and sometimes the la
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Redshirts was a meta mind fuck and I'm cool with that
Sep 29, 2013 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, lit
“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 lig
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Around the Year i...: Redshirts, by John Sscalzi 5 20 Jan 05, 2017 11:50AM  
  • Bitter Seeds (The Milkweed Triptych, #1)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga, #15)
  • Year Zero
  • WWW: Wake (WWW, #1)
  • Memories of the Future - Volume 1
  • Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain
  • METAtropolis: Cascadia
  • The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
  • Downbelow Station (The Company Wars #1)
  • Night of the Living Trekkies
  • Victorious (The Lost Fleet, #6)
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...

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“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.” 29 likes
“We've already established whoever is writing us is an asshole.” 27 likes
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