If you’ve never heard of the redshirt phenomenom you need to watch more original Star Trek. The basic idea being that pretty much all the extras wore red shirts. Whenever the cast came upon an alien world (which was almost every episode) they would form an away team. On the away mission pretty much two things always happened; Captain Kirk would have sex with an alien lady and a guy or gal with a red shirt gets dead. Usually with the sole reason of showing the audience how dangerous this new place is and mostly in really, really silly/stupid ways.

Enter John Scalzi. He has a reputation for writing fun, action-packed science fiction books with great characters. Put these two things together and you get something great. Redshirts, as can be expected is about a bunch of people joining the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, a ship boldly going where no man has gone before. It doesn’t take them long to catch on to the fact that there’s something very odd going on on the ship. I won’t go further in to the plot for fear of spoilers.

I cannot describe how much I liked this book. From beginning to the end even through somewhat foreseeable plot developments it was good. I loved every one of the characters and would have gladly spent even more time with them. In the end there are two more short stories of a more experimental nature, one told in the second person and the other written as a blog. I especially loved the blog one. The fact that the audio book was read by Wil Wheaton only made the whole thing greater. It was full of geek culture references, meta and all kinds of fun. I heartily recommend it for everyone and anyone, whether you’ve ever seen a single episode of Star Trek or not. It’s a great story with engaging characters and the geek culture references only make it better. But it’s a good book even without the references.

YA/MG Science Fiction
Adult Science Fiction
Hugo Winner
Science Fiction Classic – Pre-1950s
Science Fiction Modern Classic – 1951-1992
Time Travel/Alternate History/Parallel Universe
Mad Scientists/Genetic Testing/Environmental Disaster