Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Redshirts, by John Scalzi

I was in the middle of another novel when I stopped to read Redshirts.  I normally don't like to do that, but library availability will not wait and I'm a committed free fiction reader, as well as library supporter.  So I took a brief break (4 hours total) to take it in.

The book is quite a lot of fun.  I have not read a lot of Scalzi's work, so mostly what I know of him is as a parodist.  His other recent award nominated work, The Shadow War...is a very funny April Fool's joke.  This one is a takeoff on televised SF, specifically on Star Trek and the red shirt security officer phenomenon. 

Having your characters mirrored in real life, or a "real" life mirroring literary characters, is a common trope in fiction.  I remember it in SF from Lazarus Long in The Number of the Beast, a not particularly good Heinlein novel.  This one is much more fun. Scalzi's writing style reminds me ofdialog on Firefly, though he did not write for that series as far as I can tell.  Read Redshirts for a good time.  I'd say it was a contender for the Hugo, though it wouldn't beat out 2312.  Four stars from me.

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