Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

Redshirts
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Monthly Reading: Discussion > April 2019 "Redshirts" <Caution! Spoilers May Be Present!>

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message 1: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3541 comments Mod
Group Read #29


Allan Phillips | 1791 comments Mod
I read this some time ago, but as weird as it was, I liked it. The whole redshirt idea is just funny and imaginative. Definitely made me notice Scalzi and try out more of his books. I do think, however, that it's crucial to read the codas as part of the whole. You've got all this weird stuff happening, then the visas pull you back to reality and make you wonder if all the weird stuff wasn't just a crazy person's fearful imagination. They elevated it for me.


message 3: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3541 comments Mod
I've read it before, too, and will be reading it again because I remember I liked it quite a bit.


Jeanette (dovemck) | 32 comments What a wacky little book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. With the three codas I felt like I had just watched someone artfully show off his skills learned taking a writing course.


message 5: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Apr 12, 2019 04:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
Jeanette wrote: "What a wacky little book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. With the three codas I felt like I had just watched someone artfully show off his skills learned taking a writing course."

Looking forward to starting this one next week. Looks like everyone suggests reading codas too, so I will be tackling those too.


Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 122 comments Are the codas not part of the book? Were they published later? Were they suggested to be optional by the publisher? I am not sure where people are getting this idea that it's a possibility that they not be read with the rest of the novel.


message 7: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
Ryan wrote: "Are the codas not part of the book? Were they published later? Were they suggested to be optional by the publisher? I am not sure where people are getting this idea that it's a possibility that the..."

Ryan, you are absolutely right. The original name of the book is Redshirts: Novel with Three Codas.


message 8: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Apr 15, 2019 04:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
After enjoying the book thoroughly I got all the way to the end and... what a slap in the face those few last lines were.
Why did he have to go ahead and add that "just kidding, they all lived happily ever after" BS? It doesn't make sense for narrator to break character in the end of the book. Besides if I wanted to hear jokes on that level I'd watch Shrek or Deadpool, not reading Hugo nominees.

Still a 4* read for me, unless codas blow.


Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 122 comments That was just another joke. I also didn't particularly enjoy it, but it didn't really bother me either. This entire book was about breaking the fourth wall, so I actually found it an appropriate send-off. I don't know if any of the other Hugo nominees are quite like Scalzi - him and Douglas Adams are the only humor I know of in sci-fi. You go in to Scalzi knowing to expect humor, and yeah, sometimes it will fall a bit flat.


message 10: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 122 comments By the way, how did people feel about the fact that the codas each had a distinct way of writing: first person, second person, and then third person? While it didn't really detract from the story (aside from the second person, which is awkward), I don't feel it enhanced anything and I'm not sure why he chose to write them like that.


message 11: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Apr 16, 2019 11:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
Ryan wrote: "By the way, how did people feel about the fact that the codas each had a distinct way of writing: first person, second person, and then third person? While it didn't really detract from the story (..."

Probably just because he could and felt inspired to. I enjoyed watching him pull it off even though 2nd story felt rough around the edges at times.


message 12: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 122 comments Because he could? I hope there's a better reason than that. Though I'm not a writer myself, I can't imagine it's all that difficult - it's pretty simple to change the tense of what you're writing, so long as you exert the minimum mental effort to leave your comfort zone.


message 13: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
Dan raised a question regarding metafiction aspect of this novel. Frankly I believe this to be one of the few works where it actually worked for me.

Admittedly when the characters first started drawing parallels with Star Treck and Jenkins over explaining things made me worry initially, but from there the plot progressed into action and by the time Finn buys it by protecting Duvall, the story got back on track.

In any case I believe it to have been a brave choice to try and pull that stunt in a SF environment. My only complaint with the metafictional side of this novel was its final few lines where narrator breaks character without any apparent reason besides trying to get a cheap laugh from the audience.


message 14: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3541 comments Mod
I finished it. I just thought it was really clever. And cute. 4 stars for me. Though I did wonder why he used the names he used. Duvall and Dahl weren't to bad because they were easy to tell apart. But Hanson and Hendly or whatever it was? I had trouble the whole way through because they just weren't that major of characters and I never knew which was which. So I ignored which was which, but still agravating


message 15: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 122 comments I don't think there was a Hendly. Perhaps you mean Hester or Hartnell? Keeping characters straight was not difficult for me. Yes, they start with the same letter, but that's all that's similar about them - they have different backstories and they were introduced at different times in the story.


message 16: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
I suppose it's Hester and Hansen that you got confused?
Wasn't an issue for me, I enjoyed pretty much all the characters, I appreciate how Scalzi managed to give everyone their own character (eliminating the need for endless attributions) and I never had any troubles keeping track of who said what.


Rebecca | 96 comments Finished it! I liked the multiple endings, though usually I am annoyed by fiction tying up all the loose ends, it fit with the idea of the Narrative


Taseen Muhtadi | 21 comments This was a bit wacky, but it pulled off the stunt. Fun little read, this one. This was my first Saclzi book. I think I'll check out more of work later on.


message 19: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2536 comments Mod
Taseen wrote: "This was a bit wacky, but it pulled off the stunt. Fun little read, this one. This was my first Saclzi book. I think I'll check out more of work later on."

Congratz on finishing it. It was my first Scalzi as well and I'm looking forward to reading more of his stuff.


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