Redshirts Contest Winners, Reviews and So On and Such

To quickly catch up on a number of things relating to Redshirts:

1. Congratulations to Troy Zimmerman, the winner of the Redshirts fan art contest, with the very amusing picture you see above (click on it for a larger view). Closely behind Troy was Desiree Kern in second place, followed by Natalie Metzger, Nathaniel Payne and Elizabeth Porter. Troy wins $250, Desiree $100, Natalie $50, and every one of the finalists gets an ARC of Redshirts. Thanks again to everyone who entered, and who voted.

2. We also have two more ARC winners, from the contest I ran to celebrate the return of my missing computer (and other stuff). The times chosen for the giveaway were 2:39pm (and Val was the first entrant for that particular time) and 7:19pm (alsohuey, at 7:20pm, was the closest to that time). So congratulations to the two of them! Now all they have to do is e-mail me their mailing addresses from the same e-mail address they used to post their comments, and we’ll be all set.

3. I have two reviews to highlight at the moment, one from this morning and the other from a few days ago. This morning’s is from Wired’s GeekDad, and it’s positive:

It’s a brilliantly funny book with an unexpected amount of emotional heft, and I liked it an awful lot.

w00t! From a couple of days ago, there’s this also this one from, which is also positive (it contains very mild spoilers, which it notes, for which I am grateful):

Scalzi takes some of his trademark smart, quippy characters and puts them into a Trekkian reality in which they’re forced to make sense of their existence. It’s one part Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, one part “Below Decks,” and one part geeky nitpicking about the bad science in science fiction television. With a dash of Cabin in the Woods.

w00t again!

Lest anyone think the reviews have been uniformly positive, floating out there at the moment is a negative review from Kirkus Reviews, of which the best it can say of the book is that it is “vaguely amusing in a sophomoric sort of way.” Yes, well. Can’t win them all. I’m not linking to the review because, among other things, it contains a massive spoiler. I will note that I do see a correlation between the reviews that don’t like the book and a willingness to spoil the book without warning the reader of the review. I’m not entirely sure what the correlation indicates, but I do find it interesting.

4. Neither a review nor a contest, but something that makes me happy nonetheless, this ad for Redshirts, which is running in the New Yorker magazine this week. The color version of the ad is in the digital version; there’s a black and white version for the print edition. Either way: Hey, my book’s being advertised in the New Yorker. I can’t complain about that.

5. Finally, I hope you’ve all by now listened to Jonathan Coulton’s new song “Redshirt,” which I commissioned from him as the theme song to Redshirts. I’ll also say that if you linked into the discussion of the song and noticed the video of my ukulele cover of the song, you should keep watching the video after the song is done. Why? Let’s just say there’s a Marvel superhero movie-like bit at the end. More I will not say.

27 Comments on “Redshirts Contest Winners, Reviews and So On and Such”

  1. ” I will note that I do see a correlation between the reviews that don’t like the book and a willingness to spoil the book without warning the reader of the review. ”

    Thanks for the warning. Think I might need to put Kirkus Reviews on my list of sites to avoid. I really hate spoilers!

  2. Awww, I rather liked Elizabeth Porter’s, although I didn’t vote for it. Hate to see it come in last. Now I regret my actions!

  3. Giving away massive spoilers is unprofessional. I wish Kirkus would hold themselves to a higher standard.

  4. Kirkus, like Library Journal (which you mentioned earlieralso had a spoiler-containing review) is aimed at librarians, not general readers. Since its readers are mainly asking the question “should I buy this title for my library’s collection?” and not “would I enjoy reading this myself?’ they tend not to be as spoiler-adverse as consumer-facing publications.

  5. John Mark Ockerbloom:

    Yes, although the reviews of Kirkus, Library Journal, Booklist and Publishers Weekly also show up on Amazon,, et al. Which is my primary concern.

  6. Hell Kirkus shows up whe I’m skimming reviews on my Nook sometimes. I don’t really read reviews in depth though. Had a few books spoiled that way. Congrats to all the winners. Very nice pictures from all the finalists.

  7. That’s the entry I voted for! I do have good taste in art after all! All the entrants were awesome. It was a hard choice to decide what to vote for.

  8. If the story is well written then surprising twists are just icing on the cake. Sure It would be nice not to have them given away but I wouldn’t think it would spoil the whole thing unless the surprise was all it had. You know that big drop is coming when you get on the roller coaster but that doesn’t make it any less fun to go.

    I can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

  9. WOO HOO! This has been a blast! Thanks for running the contest John, and I tip my hat – er, hairband – to the winner and the other contestants!

  10. LOVE the new Whatever header. Congrats to the winners… great art all of it!

  11. All the illustrations were great. And speaking of that… the site’s banner image is rather amusing today.

  12. “I will note that I do see a correlation between the reviews that don’t like the book and a willingness to spoil the book without warning the reader of the review.” – this reminds me of a review of The Watchmen movie in the New Yorker. It was one of the worst reviews I have seen, in terms of failure to understand the material presented, and it also gave away at least three major plot points, including the ending. I wonder if people who dislike something feel somehow justified in spoiling it for others? Or they are so lost in their crankiness they just forget? When I really like something, I am incentivized to preserve all the great surprises for others – I want to take care of what I’m reviewing, while I review it, and I know I don’t feel that way when I dislike something (although I am always careful of spoilers in that case, too).

  13. Aw, i was the other guy to post at 2:39. So close! Ah well, bookstore here I come. (On June 5th)

  14. Re: spoilers (although a bit off-task about Redshirts) – I have never forgotten back in 1980, when “The Empire Strikes Back” had yet to come to my two-screen local cinema, and I (who had seen “Star Wars” about 12 times by that point) was just about panting for it to come. I picked up the Florida Times-Union and saw a two-paragraph review of the film. Basically all the reviewer had room to say was that (a) he didn’t like the film and (b) by the way, Vader was Luke’s father.

    It was my first, and worst, experience with spoilers. I’ve often fantasized about trying to track that reviewer down and let him know that I have consigned him to the special hell reserved for people who like to spoil things for others….and that I STILL have him firmly tracked to go there, 32 years later.

    Although the contest winner wasn’t the one I voted for (she came in second), they were all so good that I could genuinely be happy for anyone who won. That was some fine fan art!

    And congratulations on the great reviews! You can’t please everyone, but it sounds as though you’ve pleased a fair number.

  15. Forget the Kirkus review, what about the Kirk review? Surely someone at Tor must have sent him a copy by now? Spock?

  16. I just read the Kirkus review. Ouch. That is the very definition of a dick move.

  17. “I do see a correlation between the reviews that don’t like the book and a willingness to spoil the book without warning the reader of the review.”

    I have a New Yorker cartoon on my fridge showing a woman taking a friend to an art museum. The caption reads, “I know more about art than you, so I’ll tell you what to like.” I imagine the Kirkus reviewer thinking, “Now that I’ve spoiled the book, you won’t have to read it.”

    FWIW, I do look to see what Booklist, Kirkus, and major newspaper reviewers write, but that’s never why I choose to buy or read a book. Mainly it’s about whether I can trust an author I haven’t met via the bona fides of the editor and reviewer. The publisher matters, too. For example, while I don’t think St. Martin’s Press publishes science fiction, I have had consistently good experience with their titles. Europa, also.

    Patron requests for a title or an author count heavily, also.

  18. Most annoying spoiler ever: TIME magazine’s obit for Agatha Christie, in which they gave away the murderer’s identity in _The Murder of Roger Ackroyd_.

    Jerks. (Fortunately I’d already read the book, but plenty of people hadn’t, including at least one irate letter-writer in a subsequent issue.)

  19. Lila

    Not sure if you’re tongue in cheek or not. Murder of Roger Ackroyd was first published in 1926. Dame Agatha died in 1976. Fifty years is well past the statute of limitations for spoilers.

  20. Argh, that’s what I get for not checking in during Balticon! Squee! Off to send that email now!

  21. I’ve read the first 4 chapters. The apparent premise of the book is subverted about 3 different ways in those chapters. If you don’t follow up at least one of them in the rest of the book I’ll…I’ll…I’ll find something drastic to do. Which does not involve spoilering the book for others, because that’s just being a jerk.

  22. Appropriate that your ad is in the New Yorker’s “Science Fiction” issue…

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