Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reshirts

Today's post is on 'Reshirts' by John Scalzi. The book in total is 317 pages long with the main story being 231 pages long, three fiction shorts at the end from 235-314 and acknowledgments from 315-317. It is published by TOR. The cover is a Star Trek redshirt on it with the saying 'They were expendable... Until they started comparing notes.' on it. The intended readers is anyone who likes, Star Trek, funny sci-fi novels and meta-fiction. Once again There be Spoilers Ahead.

The main narrative follows Ensign Anderw Dahl who has just transferred to the Universal Union's flagship The Intrepid. He is replacing another poor soul who went on an away mission. Dahl quickly realizes that this something odd about The Intrepid and away missions. Someone will die on the away mission but never the ship's captain, its chief science officer, the head engineer, the head doctor or the handsome lieutenant. There are even rules about about who will die on the away missions. Dahl begins to learn more about the tragic history of The Intrepid which was just a normal ship until five years before when anyone but those five could and would be killed by the dumbest things. With his friends who want to survive the Narrative too they do brave and stupid things to insure that. Like going back in time with only six days to stop the Narrative from killing them all.

This book was very funny. It is third person close with the reader following Dahl as he moves into this meta self-awareness. The meta in this is pretty good. Scalzi works it into the story well and he backs it up nicely with the plot. The pokes at Star Trek are pretty obvious if you have watched either the original series or The Next Generation. There is little language in this book, when it is there I understood why, I even thought the same the words that the characters were saying/thinking. There is only hinted at sexuality so no worries about that. It was a quick read for me because I was laughing with the dialogue which is really funny and clever. But I really love when dialogue just clicks. This is also my book by Scalzi and I am so excited to read the book that made him famous which is 'Old Man's War'.

My overall rating for Redshirts is four killed and one half maimed.