Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review: Redshirts

Redshirts: A Novel with Three CodasRedshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was a struggle to get through this book, though less so as it went along.

The first half of the book comes across as a Star Trek parody, and not a particularly funny one. It's not bad per se; it's just that the observations are on-point without making me laugh. I would have rather read a Galaxy Guest novelization. Wait, there is a Galaxy Quest novelization. I still don't want to read it, although the fact that it's Terry Bisson tempts me a little.

The second half of the book gets a bit meta (a story about the story) in a way that put me off Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books after the first one. Worse, although the plot got more compelling, I realized as I finished the book that I did not actually care about any of the characters.

Of the Hugo Best Novel nominees, I've only managed to read this and 2312, which is miles ahead of it. I'm working on Throne of the Crescent Moon now. Speaking of 2312...

From my review of 2312:
Aside from my Robinson fan-dom, I read this book to get a head start on next year's Nebula nominees. At this point, I'm not sure it'll quite do well enough to get nominated (it looks like KSR hasn't had a Best Novel nominee since 1995), and I'm not sure if it should. On the other hand, I'm not sure what's out there; I'm looking forward to what the voters come up with.
Congratulations to this year's Nebula winner for Best Novel, 2312. So now, I'm up to 40 out of 49 read.

I have not read any of the other nominees. As part of my reading plan, I started The Killing Moon. The problem is that I fall asleep every time I read it. Since I like sleep almost as much as I like reading, this is not a huge problem for me. Given my lack of enthusiasm for most of the other nominees, I'm pretty happy with 2312 as the winner (especially given how much I like Robinson).

I have now revised my reading plan, since I didn't make it to the other Nebula nominees, and the Hugo packet has been released. Further, the Vorkosigan series omnibus books are not uniformly available for Kindle, so I had to adjust my plans there. (I read Shards of Honor and Barrayar when I was looking for something that wouldn't put me to sleep.)
  1. Throne of the Crescent Moon (Nebula and Hugo nominee)
  2. The Warrior's Apprentice (in series with Hugo nominee)
  3. The Vor Game (in series with Hugo nominee)
  4. Cetaganda (in series with Hugo nominee)
  5. Ethan of Athos (in series with Hugo nominee)
  6. Brothers in Arms (in series with Hugo nominee)
  7. Borders of Infinity (in series with Hugo nominee)
  8. Mirror Dance (in series with Hugo nominee)
  9. Memory (in series with Hugo nominee)
  10. Miles in Love (in series with Hugo nominee)
  11. Miles, Mutants and Microbes (in series with Hugo nominee)
  12. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Hugo nominee)
  13. Feed (in series with Hugo nominee)
  14. Deadline (in series with Hugo nominee)
  15. Blackout (Hugo nominee)
And then I'll eventually finish The Killing Moon.

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