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Redshirts

par John Scalzi

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneDiscussions / Mentions
3,7453632,460 (3.76)1 / 371
Enjoying his assignment with the xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose.
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Anglais (359)  Allemand (1)  Néerlandais (1)  Catalan (1)  Toutes les langues (362)
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Having seen every Star Trek episode and being a huge fan of Galaxy Quest, this one was amazing. The story revolves around a space ship (like the Enterprise) where a surprising number of crew members are dying on away missions -- especially those lower on the totem pole. Once the bit characters begin to realize this trend they divise ways to take advantage of the situation.

Much of what made this great was how meta it was. Almost like a darker version of Glaxy Quest. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
John Scalzi’s Redshirts starts as a Star Trek parody and ends as something deeper.

His protagonists are five new crew members of the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union. As they get oriented, they quickly discover that a) the ship often solves crises with solutions that don’t make scientific sense, b) certain officers tend to get their subordinates killed, and c) the surviving subordinates have developed elaborate systems for avoiding those officers. Andrew Dahl, one of the new crew members, eventually figures out what’s happening: they’re on a sci-fi TV show. And it’s a bad one.

Even worse, he and his friends are extras, expendable “red shirts” (as they’re known to Trekkies) that the writers will kill off when they need a quick emotional punch before a commercial. The rest of the novel is about how Dahl and co. try to change their fate.

This is when the depth comes in. As his protagonists ponder what it means to be fictional (or at least influenced by a fictional narrative), Scalzi devotes a lot of space to questions of agency: do the characters have free will when they’re not in a scene? Do they exist outside the show? What happens when it finally ends—will they disappear?

These are, of course, versions of questions philosophers have asked for ages. (What if we’re just living in a giant’s dream, and he wakes up?) Scalzi’s answer is that, rather than assuming everything’s already written and predetermined, it’s better to act under the assumption that what you do matters—there is agency, even if it’s limited in some respects.

None of this is new. But I enjoyed how Redshirts worked its theme into banter between the crew members while explicitly referencing other fictional works that had characters interact with their supposed narrators (à la Stranger Than Fiction). Scalzi also toys with the third level of his metanarrative—as he makes clear at the end, he’s the ultimate writer/god of the story, one step up from the fictional writers of the fictional TV show inhabited by Dahl and his fictional friends. Doing so complicates the “you have agency” message, but I appreciated the acknowledgment.

The book's three codas seemed less necessary. And the fact that every line of dialogue has a speaker tag was especially annoying when I listened to the audio version. (When I’m reading, my eye tends to glide over extra instances of “he said” or “she said,” but they stand out more when a narrator has to verbalize them.)

Still, Redshirts was as fun as I thought it would be, and a good bit more thought-provoking. Worth a try.

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | May 18, 2021 |
This was fun. And was surprisingly existential in a couple of places. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
When Dahl is assigned to The Intrepid, he joins the spaceship crew along with a handful of new recruits, who quickly form a tight bond. They realize that each of them is replacing a crew member who was recently killed in some horrible and weird way, like ice sharks, and that it can't be just bad luck that makes the lower level crew members pretty much guaranteed death while a small core of long-time crew are guaranteed to survive anything. Dahl and his friends know they each have an expiration date unless they figure out what's going on.
What would happen if the expendable redshirt crew members of Star Trek knew they were slated to die just to show that crew members could die, and what if they very much wanted to live. I really liked this sci-fi comedy. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 24, 2021 |
That went places I didn't expect but I really liked it. I didn't like Wil Wheaton's narration at first but I got past that & liked it at the end. ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
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» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (6 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
John Scalziauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Getty ImagesPhotographeauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Hayden, Patrick NielsenDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Lutjen, PeterConcepteur de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Wheaton, WilNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Redshirts is dedicated to the following:

To Wil Wheaton, whom I heart with all the hearty heartiness a heart can heart;

To Mykal Burns, my friend since the TRS-80 days at the Glendora Public Library;

And to Joe Mallozzi and Brad Wright, who took me to space with them.
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From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q'eeng and Chief Engineer Paul West perched on a second, larger boulder, and thought, Well, this sucks.
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"Someone who knows that no matter what, you don't deal upward on the chain of command," Dahl said. The crewman grinned.
"I don't think luck had much to do with it."
"That's it? 'The Box'?" Dahl said.

"If it makes you feel better to think it's an experimental quantum-based computer with advanced inductive artificial intelligence capacity, whose design origins comes to us from an advanced but extinct race of warrior-engineers, then you can think about it that way," Collins said.

"Is that actually what it is?" Dahl asked.

"Sure," Collins said . . .
“In other words, crew deaths are a feature, not a bug,” Cassaway said, dryly.
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Enjoying his assignment with the xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose.

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