Now Even More Redshirts Excerpted For Your Delight + A Review

Remember last week when offered up the prologue and the first two chapters of Redshirts for you to read, if you registered for their site? Those were some good times, yes? Well, now the times are even better, my friends, because has added two additional chapters to the excerpt, bringing you all the way up to Chapter Four. Yours for the reading. Here’s the link.

Remember you have to register at to see the excerpt. Don’t worry, they won’t use your sign-up information to help their roving band of Evil Robot Lobotomists to track you down and do terrible things to your cerebellum. That’s an iron-clad promise from me to you.

Also, just for fun, here’s a review of Redshirts from multiply Hugo-nominated writer Steven Silver, who says “Scalzi has taken the trope of the redshirt… and has more fun with it than any author since Douglas Adams asked his audience to empathize with a doomed whale in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” Can’t complain about that.

26 Comments on “Now Even More Redshirts Excerpted For Your Delight + A Review”

  1. Dammit man, is there no end to your taunting! I’m supposed to be having lunch and reading Caine’s Law right now. Well I will not submit. I want to read the whole damn thing, or I will read no more! At least, not untill after work, probably. I really can’t resist. I knew it was going to good as soon as you announced it, and the teaser chapters are great. So unless you lost your ability to write completely sometime after the first few chapters, I’m sure it will be great.

  2. OK, this is two years in a row that you’ve taken a big chunk out of my birthday books for me budget. I thought I could resist, but chapters 3 and 4 cinched it. I have suspicions about the motivations of at least one character and a vague idea of what’s really happening, but I need confirmation! Thank God for living in a future where I can buy this even though I’m in Germany and I don’t have to wait weeks for it to come over on a boat.

  3. Dammit, John! I’m doctor, not a reader! (Students, take a drink)

    [Note: I am not actually a doctor. And I will be reading this!]

  4. If you are sufficiently invested in the minor characters, even the most innocuous of stopping points can be a terrible cliffhanger.

  5. What’s somewhat unfair is that Gardiner visited this notion some years ago with the series that started with the novel “Expendable.”

    I certainly don’t assume that Redshirts is derivative of Gardiner’s material; what’s *obvious* is that both derive a bunch of premises from the hapless class of Star Trek security guys. I was pretty happy with what Gardiner did with his “take” on it, and I’d be shocked not to find the Scalzi Take to be a different mixture of horrifying and hilarious. (And horrifying in the *good* way!)

    I’ll try to resist reading bits of Redshirt until I can get the Whole Thang…

  6. I’m not sure how that’s unfair. The concept of works from the point of view of presumably expendable characters is not really new, either in SF or in literature in general. It certainly predates Gardiner. The major difference is that I just plain called my book Redshirts.

    I will also upvote Expendable, however. I very much enjoyed it when I read it.

  7. Does the Universal Union distinguish ensigns as different from officers, or is that a feature of Silver’s review?

  8. John:

    I’m not worried about the Evil Robot Lobotomists…but, they want the registration information for something! Of course, they…and you…have every right to ask for a quid pro quo in exchange for access to the freebie. But in the interest of Inbox hygiene, I’m gonna pass.


  9. Man, I’m strongly tempted to register, but having read most of your fiction, I just know that 4 chapters won’t be enough. Reluctantly, I will have to wait until the book is in stores, so that I can read Chapter 5 and beyond on the same day I read Chapters 1 – 4.

    and Frank, that’s why God invented the idea of “having more than one email address”. So that you can have one for real people and a few others for registering online for stuff like this.

  10. The robot lobotomists do terrible things to your cerebellum? Tor should sue whoever who sold them crappy robots that can’t even tell which side of a human is the front.

  11. If the ensign population explosion is actually a point raised in the book, then I will let my question remain unanswered until I read it. Your reading at Capricon already sold me on the book, so I will refrain from reading more until it is available in all of its glorious goodness. It’s like consuming half of the french fries on the way home from the drive-in.

  12. Or maybe the robot lobotomists work just fine…Notice that John doesn’t promise that the robot lobotomists won’t track you down and jam a pointed object through your eye socket into your cerebral cortex. Don’t register!!!!

  13. For some reason, we tend to imagine the robot apocalypse as being free of software defects. So instead of efficiently murdering us, they might just try to build cars out of us with fatal results.

  14. Ugh. I shouldn’t have read that. I already *really* want the book and already intended to buy it the day it releases… but now I’ve started reading it. And I can’t *continue* to read it. Damn you Scalzi! You already had my money! Why would you do this to me?

  15. Nope. If I can’t read the whole book I’m not gonna start it. I’ve gone to cons and heard authors read the wonderful beginnings of books that aren’t available for YEARS, and I’ve decided I truly hate that.

  16. Evil Robot Lobotomists is the name of my next band.

    I’ll wait until I can read the whole thing. Just reading part and then having to wait for the rest would be like eating one potato chip, or just one spoonful of ice cream, or just one sip of Guinness, etc.

    John, will you be coming to Minneapolis for your Redshirts book tour?

  17. Of course they don’t have a band of Evil Robot Lobotomists. Robotics has yet to advance that far — they still use human lobotomists like everyone else.

    But they’re terribly backlogged, so it’ll be years and years before they get around to you. If the zombies don’t get there first.

  18. Man, those first chapters really read like a screenplay, don’t they? Of course, if you’re going where I think you’re going with this story, that’s probably much more feature than bug.

  19. Noooooooooooooooooooo…. must. not. look.

    If I read, and get cut off, I’ll be cranky until Release Day.

    Kitties don’t like me cranky!

  20. I enjoyed my contest derived ARC tremendously and agree with the review on a number of points. And he invokes Real Genius, which makes me grin.

  21. The robot lobotomists aren’t necessarily evil, and indeed are doing things that are in fact totally understandable, if you look at it from their perspective…or so it has been proposed.

  22. I’m retired and will have to give up my library in the next couple of years. So I keep checking Baen first then other sources for e-books.

    Whenever your books are available as e-books, please let us know!


  23. Can’t wait for this book. But might be worth warning that there’s a bit of a spoiler in that review, IMO (the timing of the end of the narrative).

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