As with so many things, I am behind the times. So it was with the award-winning novel by John Scalzi, Redshirts.

It’s award-winning for a reason, and the book doesn’t really need any more praise, especially from little-old-me. But I won’t let that stop me from saying that I enjoyed this book almost completely.

As the characters note toward the end of the book, the trope of fictional characters being aware of their own existence within the imagination of another universe isn’t new, but as a science-fiction fan, I was hooked by the focus on Star Trek‘s lowly, doomed redshirts. I think I’ve always had an affection for the B- and C-listers (again with the Thunderbolts, I know), so I enjoyed a book completely full of them!

I highlight here the codas at the end of the novel proper, because one was my favorite part of the novel, and one was my least favorite. The first coda, told in a sequence of typical narrative, scripts, and blog posts, left me rather cold. Maybe I’ve just had enough of the Internet. The final coda, however, left me speechless. Funny and touching, full of love and hope and heartbreak.

What a fun book. A love letter to sci-fi fans and the characters who love them.

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