I expected Scalzi’s Redshirts to be a fun romp through the pantheon of SF clichés and that it is. But it’s also something more. What that is I’m not certain, but the book leave me with a general feeling of having been part of something awesome.
When the story begins we meet five ensigns, on their way to Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union. They are yet to be puzzled about the away mission body count and reach the point when they manage to use the Narrative to try to do something about it. But as they do they time travel back in time to try to convince the producer of the show responsible for the (bad) Narrative that enslaves them to at the very least stop using random death by insane biology and mad physics as a standard plot device – it is such a useless way to die.
So far so good, or rather – so far it’s much as I expected. But then there are the three codas, alluded to in the title. One after another they each add a certain twist to the story. Or is it stories?
Cleverly written romp and meta discussion using many of the standard SF plot devices asking about their credibility, their validity as story tools. Great fun for everyone who are deep into the SF genre, and especially the televised flavour thereof.
Recommended reading for SF geeks who want a laugh :)