There is no denying that science fiction has always been a staple in my life. I remember being younger and watching the original Twilight Zone with my grandpa. As I got older, my tastes evolved. In high school, a good friend introduced me to to the original Star Trek series. I had enjoyed the 2009 reboot so I decided to give it a shot. I was soon thrust into a world of science fiction I had never seen before. It was the kind of science fiction that doesn’t feel the need to obey any rules, made up or not, and there was always some strange moral thrown in there that was actually pretty profound. Knowing my love for Star Trek, my mom got me John Scalzi’s novel and I was soon reminded why I love science fiction so much.
Redshirts, which won Scalzi the Hugo Award for Best Novel, follows Ensign Andrew Dahl as he joins the Capital Ship of the Universal Union, the Intrepid. Dahl is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the team and to explore the universe with the famed Captain Abernathy. However, he and his fellow ensigns begin to realize that there is a deadly pattern of fatalities among the engineering crew members. Dahl and his eclectic group of friends must figure out how to break the cycle and survive their time on the Intrepid. This novel takes an endearing dig into the staple tropes of Star Trek with a dark sense of humor and a fast-paced narrative.
Scalzi’s novel is perfect for any Trekkie or sci-fi fan. The story has a wonderfully sarcastic tone mixed with a plot that gets more meta with each chapter. The characters are just as funny and realistic as far as sci-fi goes. Scalzi keeps you engaged as with dramatic tension as well as intriguing takes on the outer space adventure drama. Redshirts flips the genre on its head with a new perspective and answers the questions about what really happens to the minor characters we don’t take notice of.