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WesternSFA
Redshirts
by John Scalzi
Tor, $15 USA, $17 Canada , 317pp
Release Date: January 15, 2013
If you are a fan of Star Trek you will like this book. If you think that Galaxy Quest was the best Star Trek movie, then you will think that this is the best Star Trek novel. It is a funny take on the story conventions of the original Star Trek TV series, in which the throwaway characters to be killed off could be identified by the redshirts that they wore. Star Trek is mentioned briefly in this novel as an old television series, which the crew of the Universal Union Flagship Intrepid seem to be imitating, especially when it comes to violent deaths of away team members. Some of the crew finally realize that the Intrepid is too closely following the conventions of a bad science fiction TV show. What they discover is funny, thoughtful, and touching. Aside from a lot of humor, the more emotionally moving pieces are long codas that follow the novel. There are three vignettes of different characters from the novel and the wrapup of their personal stories. Those three stories happen in our real Hollywood , not the future. Oh my, you think, does this story involve time travel back to Hollywood ? Come on, would a science fiction novel do that? ~~ Mike Griffin
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