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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  41,250 ratings  ·  6,037 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 January 1st 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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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
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
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
Jul 19, 2015 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anne by: Nenia Campbell
4.5 stars

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 what a Redshirt is?
On the off-chance you aren't a Star Trek fan, and maybe haven't been exposed to the term before, let me explain where it came from.
On every missio
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.
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
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
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:

“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
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
Dec 05, 2013 seak rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
“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
4.5A 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.

Emma Sea
So meta I'm astounded my dead tree copy didn't implode under the weight of its own smugness,
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
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
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
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
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
Wart *Rainbows, beauty, and death* Hill
This book was oh so very perfect. And a whole lot of fun.

Now I want to watch Star Trek.
Jul 26, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Brilliant. Scalzi does it again.

At first you think, "Oh, this book is a joke." Not "This book is a joke" as in "poorly written," but as in the vein of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Then Redshirts gets increasingly more and more complex and layered. Even, dare I say it, deep.

My favorite books of all time, the ones that deserve five stars, are the ones that when I close the book I get this feeling in my gut. A kind of wonder, an appreciation of the universe and all that's in it. This book did
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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) Lock In (Lock In, #1) Fuzzy Nation

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“In other words, crew deaths are a feature, not a bug," Cassaway said, dryly.” 19 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.” 18 likes
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