Three Reviews of RS

I’m no longer at the Javits Center with its horrible dystopian wifi, and after a small break I’ll be off to have dinner with friends. Because friends are cool that way. So to keep you busy, and because by now I’m sure you’re not tired of me talking about Redshirts, here are three new reviews for you to look at.

First, at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow (disclosure: friend of mine) says this:

Redshirts both realizes and transcends its premise, and is at once a tribute to, and a piss-take on, the best and worst that space opera has to offer.


Then, over at the Bad Astronomer blog, Phil Plait (disclosure: friend of mine) says this:

I sat down and did something I almost never, ever do: I read the whole thing through. I mean it; I found myself voraciously consuming the book. It’s a science fiction novel that in many ways is a parody of “Star Trek”, but to think it’s just that is pretty unfair.

Also awesome.

Finally, over at The Secret Liar (disclosure: I have no idea who these dudes are), there is this:

Redshirts is a quick read that’s full not only of humor, but also real emotion and thoughtful commentary.


I’ve had an interesting day; hope yours is going well too.

17 Comments on “Three Reviews of RS”

  1. Hey, I’m one of the bloggers over at The Secret Lair! In fact, I’m the one who wrote that review! Thanks for linking it. :)

    By the way, our motto over at TSL is, “By Mad Geniuses, For Mad Geniuses” and that’s… pretty much it. We try to blog and podcast about things that we find interesting, geeky things, but things that aren’t necessarily just the usual pop-culture stuff. We run features on history, science, home brewing, games, and all sorts of fun stuff.

  2. There is really nothing about Javitz that is not horrible and dystopian. As a New Yorker, I’m ashamed that it exists.

  3. I sort of get the sense that seeing your book come out to generally adulatory praise is like being in the hospital when Athena was born and counting the correct number of limbs and digits and hearing people tell you that your baby was beautiful. Sharing the reviews is like buttonholing friends and strangers and showing them pictures of the new baby.

    Of course you DID share a critical review as well which sort of trashes the metaphor. THAT is more like the old joke with the punchline “To make it up to you, lady, I’ll bring a banana for your monkey!”

  4. When I saw the BoingBoing review the first thing I noticed was the MASSIVE SPOILER in the first sentence. Based on the free ebook chapters and previous trying-not-to-be-spoilery reviews, I had pretty much figured this was where it was going (like use of the word “meta” to refer to anything other than But I thought you were still supporting the idea of protecting the BIG TWIST and expected you’d be upset enough to wish you’d strangled him at your joint appearance the other day. My dead-tree copy was shipped today… when the UPS box arrives I may just leave it out for the Bogorvian Sand Worms to get. Sigh.

    (And for anyone who suggests that was the obvious way the story would go, I have other ideas. Am I going to have to write my own sci-fi novel to explain?)

  5. Do you have any idea how hard it is to do stuff one handed, while reading Redshirts? I finally had to put it down to get dinner going but now that that’s rolling, time to indulge myself.

  6. I started reading it this evening. I’m only 9% in (according to Kindle) and I’ve already literally laughed out loud quite a few times. My kids now think I’m nuts. Well, more nuts that usual anyway…

  7. My one-sentence Facebook status review:

    “John Scalzi you brilliant evil bastard, I can’t tell if this is a genius piece of sci-fi comedy or if you’re trolling the entire industry. I love it.”

    Now to read the three codas… (yes, I’m already done with the main portion of the novel, I read fast.)

  8. well I will disregard the first two since they are written by friends. What friend is going to say it sucks, really. Anyway, the last one was worthy to read

  9. The book was purchased @ 7:05pm PST. Settling down after a bacon cheddar chicken sandwich and watching the celtics beat the heat (hey, my friend was BUYING, and we were @ a sports bar), I started reading @ approximately 830pm, finishing at around 1123pm…

    This is a disgustingly FUNNY and VERY META book…It’s like smoking the best pot you’ve ever had in your life, with your motion picture major friends in art school, while discussing the plot holes in genre film/TV…

    Thanks again for another great read…Please come back to the Bay Area, so I can get this thing autographed, and thank you in person…

  10. The book was there in the morning when I woke up (on Kindle) and it was finished last night. Goddamn what a good book. And I love the codas maybe more, I’m not sure.

  11. I kindled this book as soon as it showed up in Amazon, because I had a dental appointment yesterday and I knew I was going to be sitting around with my mouth full of purple goo waiting for things to set.

    Opened the book, started reading, and my first reaction was that I should have previewed it. The prologue seemed like a parody of fanfic. But I had my mouth full of purple goo, so I swallowed my annoyance and read on. And I’m so glad I did.

    No spoilers. All I’ll say is it’s a damned good book, with some great twists and turns.

  12. This is the first scifi novel I ever read where the absurdity was a genuine _plus_, where the lack of suspension of disbelief works _for_ the story. It’s genuine art for a smart scifi fan.

  13. Spoiler warning, I just finished the book.

    I’d say _Redshirts_ is John Scalzi’s _Number of the Beast_. Like the characters in Heinlein’s novel, the characters discover they’re in a story, and resolve to do something about it. Like Heinlein’s novel, deliberately bad writing is used to great effect in contrast with the overarching story.

  14. Oh dear, “Number of the Beast”? I remember reading it MANY years ago, then lending it to a friend at work with the warning that there was much “WTF?” within. He worked by a shipping dock where he had access to various packaging materials and he returned the book days later tightly wrapped in 10 layers of shrinkwrap with a “WARNING: TOXIC” label on the outside. Most impressive book review I had ever seen.

  15. Bought it (~7 p.m. Eastern), read it (between ~9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.), enjoyed it. Figured out the big plot element, as so many apparently did, in the first couple of chapters, but as the old saying goes, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. The journey was great. The codas were delicious cream cheese frosting on the… uh… road? Cake. Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Thank you again, sir.

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