Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

ScalziRedshirtsWhy I Read It: Redshirts, Scalzi, and Wheaton, how could this geek say no?

Where I Got It: Own It (

Who I Recommend This To: Folks who enjoy a bit of a parody of Star Trek would find this amusing.

Narrators: Wil Wheaton

Publisher: Audible Frontiers (2012)

Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

Series: Hopefully Book 1 of the series…..

Author’s Page

Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Xenobiology team of the ship Intrepid, and he is very excited about this. It is a prestigious posting. Once on board, he realizes there is a certain feel running through the lower ranks. No one wants to go on away mission as they seem to always result in some lethal outcome; lethal to those ranks dressed in red shirts. As Dahl unfolds this mystery, he finds that luck plays a part and that an officer that has managed to hide himself in the ship’s innards for years may know enough to solve this mystery.

Oh, and there is a box. Whenever one of the senior officers give the science teams some unsolvable conundrum, they feed it into The Box and let it be for a few hours. Sooner or later it spits out some answer and the mission goes on.

This parody on Star Trek was such a delight to listen to. Joking within the lower ranks intersperses the action scenes, and a dash of more serious emotional content is thrown in for roundness. Of course the answer to their conundrum was quite amusing; I won’t spoil it for you but it made total sense and even if you saw it coming it was still worth a chuckle once it was said out loud. The ending was a bit rushed and I think I could have used another chapter or two in order to keep the same pacing and to allow for the same amount of humor. But taken all together, a very enjoyable, humorous read.

The Narration: Wil Wheaton was a lot of fun to listen to and he was a great narrator. He had various voices for the main characters that were distinct. Additionally, his voice was challenged a few times by alien expletives or salutations. He met those challenges quite well.

What I Liked: Space, the nearly final frontier; the characters were fun even if they weren’t complicated; plenty of humor mixed with action; the mystery of the redshirts was fully amusing; Wil Wheaton is a perfect narrator for this.

What I Disliked: The ending was a little rushed.

2014SFExperienceI’m taking part in the reading event of the season, The Science Fiction Experience 2014, hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

What Others Think:

The Little Red Reviewer

Stainless Steel Droppings

Not a Natural Writer

Steven Silver’s Reviews


Under My Apple Tree

4 thoughts on “Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi”

  1. Loved, loved, loved this Star Trek parody! I read an arc of this last year before the audio came out. I have heard so many good things about Wil Wheaton’s narration I will have to give it a listen someday.

    1. I think it’s definitely worth a reread in the future. I can’t wait for my man to give it a listen so I can joke around with him about it. And I’ll have to dig up your review and add it to my list.

  2. This wasn’t my favorite Scalzi, but I did enjoy it. I think I may have been turned off by the overhype when it was released because I thought the joke wore thin and that elements of what Scalzi was trying to do just didn’t work. I imagine I would have enjoyed it a bit more with Wheaton’s narration on the audiobook because he is so much fun reading Scalzi’s books.

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