I recently finished John Scalzi’s new book, Redshirts.  It’s basically a satire of Star Trek and pokes some good fun at many of the narrative convetions of sci-fi television shows.

While I enjoyed the book (and finished it in just half a day), I was still a bit disappointed in it.  You see, about half-way through the book it becomes very ‘meta.’  I don’t want to drop any spoilers, so that’s all I’ll say about it, except that I think I would have enjoyed the book more had it just been a straight forward satire of cheesy sci-fi television shows (similar to Galaxy Quest), though I realize Mr. Scalzi was going for something a little deeper than just poking fun at Star Trek.  By comparison, however, Old Man’s War and Ghost Brigades were more interesting books, in my opinion.

One other thing, I thought the first half of the book would make for a fun, dark humor Paranoia-style rpg.  The PCs are redshirt ‘extras’ who go on dangerous away missions and try to avoid dying in horribly spectacular ways…possibly by sacrificing other redshirts in order to save themselves.  Or maybe it’s more like OD&D, where the redshirts are level 1 nobodies who die easily and have to work their way up to bridge crew status, thus increasing their longevity.


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