cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
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Book 72

RedshirtsRedshirts by John Scalzi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars




I knew I would get this one, just waiting on the library because I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be good as the hype. Good call. The three stars was for the first 230 pages. Knock a star off for the next 70. Joe Hill said it was ‘ruin your underwear funny’ as was ‘sure to Philip K. Dick’ me over Patrick Rothfuss said he couldn’t think of a book that ever made him laugh so much. Yeah, No, it wasn’t that funny. Dicked over, yeah a little of that. Seriously, where was it funny? Sarcastically witty yes. I laughed once. Sigh.

Now, obviously this is a very meta book about Star Trek. Oh it’s pretending to be about a bad show, Chronicles of the Intrepid that’s ripped off of Star Trek. That fools no one. It’s rifting off the worse of my beloved show, which yes had its issues. We all knew the red shirts would die (points to title). Yes there was NO reason for the chief engineer or navigator to be on an away mission (or to carry that idea forward, no reason Abby Scuitto is the ONLY forensic scientist in the lab or worse, ALL the CSI shows having the forensic scientists in the field and interviewing criminals). We all know why it happens. No one can afford a cast of 100s and we wouldn’t be able to invest in that many characters but for the purpose of the book it’s because of bad writing.

But before I reveal too much let’s get back to the future. Andy Dahl is an ensign on the Intrepid. He boards with Maia Duvall, Finn (drug dealer) and Hester (pilot) and they begin to compare notes. Everyone on board is terrified of their senior officers, Captain Abernathy (Kirk), Science officer Q’eeng (Spock) Medical Officer Hartnell (McCoy), I forget the name of the Scotty Clone and Astrogator Kerensky (Chekov). With the help of the ghost in the machine, Jenkins, they realize that ensigns (red shirts) die at hugely inflated rates on this ship and that Kerensky always gets hurt but rebounds quickly. Andy wants to know why.

The possibilities are crazy and send the group back in time to the twenty-first century to visit Hollywood. And I don’t want to reveal more than that.

It was not laugh out funny to me (but I will allow that humor is very subjective). I did think it was witty and stupid and kind of fun. I liked Andy and his friends. I wanted them to figure it out in time to survive and they do….by page 230. The rest of it are three codas from the 21st century characters and a) were not the least bit funny, not even sarcastically witty b) so dry that I skimmed more than half of it c) felt unnecessary even if it wraps up the story from that angle. I’m glad I read it but I’m just as glad it was a library book.




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Tags: satire, sci-fi
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