Friday is for Fiction: Redshirts by John Scalzi

I am a born Trekkie. And by that I mean, my mom was a Trekkie and every Sunday when I was a kid, she would make sure the TV was on WAVE3 in time to catch the original series, just before wrasslin’.

But I’m not a serious Trekker. I don’t own prosthetic ears. I don’t get into heated debates about Kirk vs. Picard.  In other words, I have a sense of humor about boldly going where no one has gone before and all that.

So, in short, I’m pretty much the ideal audience for John Scalzi’s Redshirts, which is a laser-sharp send-up and loving homage to Trek specifically and sci-fi television in general, a la Galaxy Quest.  Redshirts is terrifically funny; I literally laughed out loud multiple times in reading it. It was also a quick read (then again, I read Deathly Hallows in a sitting. I read atypically fast when I’m really enjoying a book.)

I can’t go into the plot too deeply without spoiling it. The main characters are ensigns on a ship that seems suspiciously like  the Enterprise.  They quickly pick up on the fact that there is something seriously amiss concerning this ship’s casualty rate for away missions. Various hijinks ensue.  Also, there is a character that is so much like Lazlo from Real Genius that I can’t imagine him as anything other than a grizzled and bearded Jon Gries.

For those who are concerned with mature content, the language is kinda salty and there are “sexual situations” (although probably one less sexual situation than you initially think.)

But if you’re a Star Trek fan with a taste for humorous sci-fi, it’s a fabulous read. Highly enjoyable.


  1. ·

    Wait–did you just reference Star Trek and Real Genius in the same post, about the same book?

    Must. Read. Book.

  2. Kat French

    Yes. Yes I did. And yes, you must.


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