Saturday, January 14, 2017

Redshirts by John Scalzi

genre: science fiction

Andy is a linguist and ready to begin his first experience on the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid.  Not only will he hopefully be able to use his skills translating, he's been assigned to the Xenobiology laboratory where he can serve help the crew with whatever problems arise.

He's not long on board, however, where he becomes suspicious of The Intrepid.  Curiouser and curiouser, he notices that certain people always manage to survive "away" missions and yet someone nearly always dies in a most horrific way.   With the help of a hidden friend and a lot of mind-bending conversations, Andy soon learns that he's in a race to save his own life.

I would have never picked this up, had not a friend of mine mentioned she enjoyed it.  I have never watched an episode of Star Trek, although I know enough to get the majority of the humor, I think.  And there is definitely humor.  I didn't love how crude it was sometimes but other times I had to chuckle out loud.  The dialogue is smart and the overall plot had my brain straining to piece it all together (I'm not sure it TOTALLY did in the end, but I got it enough to appreciate it).  It was all kinds of meta and that worked well enough to be satisfying, I like this plot device in general.    Surprisingly, some parts were even a bit tender.  I liked the ending a lot and I'm glad I stretched myself and gave this a try.

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