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Redshirts
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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > REDSHIRTS: finished reading (*SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new) - added it

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Here's a general topic for people who have finished reading Redshirts by John Scalzi.

Warning: Spoilers likely!


Mike (mikespencer) | 48 comments I read this a few months ago and I thought it was really interesting. It was by far the most meta story I've ever read. I also thought the codas were pretty cool. It wasn't precisely what I expected, but I definitely liked it and would recommend it to others.


message 3: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2314 comments Mod
Yes, I'm interested to hear what others thought of the codas. I liked them very much, though I found the change of focus and tone to be a bit jarring - the book was really quite silly, then the last coda in particular was suddenly more serious and wistful. I liked it, but I can see how others thought it didn't belong.


Daniel | 22 comments The codas reminded me very much of Zoe's Tale (one of the parallel novels in Scalzi's Old Man's War series). Maybe even too much, because I couldn't stop thinking about how Scalzi was just rehashing much of the emotional, tear-jerker material from his previous book. I also agree, Shel, that the jump into the codas was rather jarring. Really interesting concept, but I've got mixed feelings about whether it succeeded.


message 5: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments I liked them, thought they were the best part of the book. We get to see the fallout from the Novella. How exactly does the writer keep from killing characters, what about the Son or the Wife.

Here is another thought. It won the Hugo last night. Was it deserving of it?
Personally no. Good book yes but Hugo good. No.
Mind you, I have no idea what was in the running and I doubt I read em.


message 6: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2314 comments Mod
I haven't read the other nominees so I can't really comment on it, but let's face it, the Hugos are a popularity contest, and no one can deny it's a popular book by a popular author...


message 7: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 563 comments Mod
I think the codas made the book. Without them it was a funny but fairly stock story; with the codas it became human. And I thought having the codas in a different "person" was a clever way to give each one a different voice.


message 8: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 563 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "I liked them, thought they were the best part of the book. We get to see the fallout from the Novella. How exactly does the writer keep from killing characters, what about the Son or the Wife.

Her..."


FYI, the other Hugo nominees were Blackout, 2312, Throne of the Crescent Moon, and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance.


message 9: by Random (last edited Sep 04, 2013 03:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments Drive by comments

I have never been a big Scalzi fan, though I have read a number of his books. They're ok, but for some reason I just don't get him like many of his fans do.

That said, I get Red Shirts. I listened to the audio and I often found myself reacting almost verbatim with the characters just a split second before their own words.

For some reason my husband, who is a big fan of the Old Man's War series, did not like this book. He claims its because of his experience with the radio show "Canadia 2056", so the concept isn't new to him. I don't feel my enjoyment of the book was strictly based on how new it was to me more so than I enjoyed how it was executed.

I did notice one thing I wanted to bring up here. I found that it reads like a TV show. While Dahl is eventually identified as the main character, the POV is more that of a camera.

Did anyone else notice this?


Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Hi Random,

I agree; the POV did seem to be more the camera than Dahl.

I enjoyed the book. Laughed out loud a few times and smiled a lot. Having said that, I do not believe I would buy (I borrowed from the library) or re-read it. I would, however, suggest it to others, and have already done so.

I liked the codas. I did not find the transition difficult at all, in fact I would say they made the book "more" than just a story for me. I thought the increasing seriousness was a brave and successful move.


Maddalena | 7 comments I read this a few months ago and enjoyed it very much.

Agreed on the codas making this book more that what it appears on the surface: I think that it's a typical Scalzi move - i.e. he starts with a funny, light tone, then slips in more serious matters, and thought-provoking concepts.


Sarah | 132 comments This reminded me so much of Galaxy Quest that I struggled to get past it. It was clever and funny and at times surprisingly deep, but it never really surprised me.


Nikita (nikita42) I read this book almost as soon as it came out. I'm a big Scalzi fan. I remember enojoying it, but I barely remember what happens in the codas.

I do remember thinking that really only fans of shows like Star Trek would really get the novel and anyone else probably wouldn't enojoy it as much.


message 14: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments After it was said I have to agree
The Codas make this book. Without them its just a idea that was already been done in Galaxy Quest.
The Codas gave the book a human face.

Nikita, the whole Redshirt this is a meme now so I think most people will get it.


message 15: by Random (last edited Sep 07, 2013 05:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments Mawgojzeta wrote: "I enjoyed the book. Laughed out loud a few times and smiled a lot. Having said that, I do not believe I would buy (I bor..."

One thing I like to do every evening is go for a walk. I find its a great way to try to wind down and I often listen to audiobooks when I do so.

There were a few parts ("- and you're all down here thinking I'm performing some sort of time-travelling incestuous masturbation thing") that had me giggling and snorting like some sort of mad woman. My neighbors already think I'm strange as is. :)

I can see how the codas could turn some people off. They are a hefty change in mood, especially the last two. However, we so rarely get to see the after affects of an adventure like that. What does happen to the little side characters? Not every story ends in an immediate happily ever after for all.


Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments I just finished. Not enough humor to be really funny. Not moving enough to work overall.


message 17: by Jack (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jack (jacktingle) | 1 comments I've liked some of Scalzi's books. Others have been decent. I don't think I've read a bad book by him. I follow "Whatever" because I like his take on issues and events.

That being said, I was surprised when "Redshirts" won a Hugo. I really didn't think it was that good. OTOH, I can see how some people might really like it. OTGH, it was a somewhat weak field of nominees.

The book was meta, with an unusual angle on some things. I get what he was trying to do, but I'm not sure he succeeded.


Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments I read this in a review the other day.

Appatemtly few of the characters are given physical descriptions. I haven't gone back to check this myself. Anyone else notice this? is the statement accurate? If it is, does it seemed to have made any difference?


Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments I liked this well enough, and I definitely enjoyed the humor. But I feel like it got muddied somewhere along the way and sort of fizzled out.

There were a few points of brilliance, and I ended up reading several passages aloud to my boyfriend (a big Christopher Moore fan, hence a fan of absurdity and snark.) But around the time the gang went back in time, the narrative began to actively irritate me. I still can't quite put my finger on what did it for me, but I don't think the book's final third lived up to the potential of the earlier bits. I am very torn regarding the codas. On the one hand, I liked them and thought they brought a lot to the story. On the other, they felt a bit tacked on and retcon-ish. Then again, maybe Scalzi had these in mind the whole time and I'm just not fully in synch with his vibe.

Clever, amusing, warm fuzzy reading, but I definitely prefer Ready Player One by a mile for meta geek goodness. A different editor might have pulled this out of the fire for me, as there were definitely parts I 5-star-loved.

A Hugo? I like Scalzi, but I don't personally feel this book was Hugo-weight.


Pickle | 202 comments i enjoyed the first half of te story then it seemed to lose way a bit. It was my first by the author and i will definitely read something else by him.


Theresa (gossamerchild) I finally got around to finishing this and I have to say I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. The codas seemed appropriate to me in the sense that we were no longer "in" the television series, and that was how we saw what was going on elsewhere.


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