28 March 2013

Redshirts by John Scalzi

I don’t remember where exactly I came across John Scalzi’s Redshirts, but somehow it ended up on my list, and I’m glad it did.  It was a very enjoyable read: fun, fast-paced, witty, and yet thought-provoking as well.  It was quite refreshing after finishing up CS Lewis’s Space Trilogy.

Redshirts is named after - what else? - the red-shirted security personnel from the original Star Trek, who had an extremely high mortality rate.  It lovingly parodies the phenomenon, following a cast of low-ranking officers (and enlisted personnel as well) on the Universal Union flagship Intrepid.

Redshirts starts off simply enough, but before long, Scalzi takes us down the rabbit hole, into self-referential, meta-textual madness.  And what a ride it is!  I am wary of saying too much; the fun of the book is in the surprising turns it takes, and it’s hard to say much without giving away one turn or another.

I will say, however, that the characters are all fun, relatable - even when you don’t like them - and well-written.  The action is fun and keeps the plot going along.  After spending something like three weeks plodding through That Hideous Strength, I finished Redshirts in two days.  That’s how much I enjoyed it, and how well Scalzi’s prose propelled me forward through the narrative.

Redshirts was really, really fun.  I don’t really know how else to put it.  It was a great read and I am so glad it turned up in my list when it did.

Books: Still working on Wilderness Warrior.  It's quite long.

Bottles: Trying something new tonight...

Writing: Been very lazy...writing a synopsis is hard.

Guitar: Trying out "One of These Days" on my slide.  It's pretty fun to play.