Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Redshirts-John Scalzi


John Scalzi

Tor Books, June 5 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765316998

In 2456, Ensign Andrew Dahl is euphoric to learn he has been assigned to the Universal Union starship Intrepid to work in the xenobiology laboratory on the journey on Away Missions. Dahl notices that veterans hide whenever the bridge chooses staff to work a mission and that ship Captain Abernathy, science officer Q'eeng and astrogator Kerensky always join these deadly assignments. Additionally, usually at least one of the junior officers drafted for these tasks die while Abernathy and Q'eeng return without a scratch ready for the next assignment and Kerensky though battered joins them.

Dahl and others investigate what is going on when they meet a crew member hiding. He explains that the Intrepid’s enterprises adhere to old scripts based on the principal "to boldly go where no man has gone before"; which means death for support cast who fail to boldly go into hiding.

This is an engaging lighthearted metafiction that obviously satirizes Star Trek. The storyline is lighthearted fun but never quite gels. Still fans who enjoy something different will appreciate the crew’s avoidance mantra as they know on all Away Missions, one of them must die.

Harriet Klausner

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