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WesternSFA
Redshirts
by John Scalzi
Tor, $24.99, 314pp
Release Date: June 5, 2012

Anyone who’s spent any time with Star Trek and, of course, Galaxy Quest should instantly recognize the plight of any crewman in a red shirt who doesn’t have a name. It won’t be a character you’ll meet again because he or she is only there to be killed for the pathos. Who could forget the plaintive “say my name, say my name” of the extra crewman on Galaxy Quest?

Well… John Scalzi has taken that to the next level: what if the crewmen started comparing notes, what if everyone on board knew assignment to an away team was a death sentence, and what if someone finally found a way out?

This wasn’t laugh-out-loud but I had plenty of places to smirk. It was a very clever plot although there was a point where it seemed to wrap up a little too quickly and neatly but then isn’t that also characteristic of those shows? It was a bit unnerving when the story seemed to obviously end on page 230. It was then the author got funky with the what-happened-thens.

Overall, it was a great story and fun characters. It’s worth the money. ~~ Catherine Book

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