Thumbs up for Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi. Science fiction.
I hesitated to buy this after reading some less-than-great reviews on Amazon. That was foolish, because it’s one of the funniest books I’ve read this year. You have to understand going in: Redshirts isn’t supposed to be a great novel. It does not have descriptions or deep characterization, and the characters mostly sound the same. What it is is a piece of humor – a spoof of the original Star Trek – and it does have the #1 desired characteristic of a piece of humor: namely, that it is funny. Really really funny. Not only did I laugh out loud many times, but I read the entire book with a big stupid grin on my face, which only grew as I went along. And I was delighted to find that the joke, instead of being worked out to exhaustion and then wrapped up in some lame fashion, was taken in directions I did not anticipate at all, and then built upon and built upon in a satisfying way. You know, it goes without saying that senses of humor differ. But if you like to laugh, and you’ve ever seen an episode or two of the original Star Trek, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give this a try. Because maybe it will make you as happy as it made me.
“It looks like a microwave, it dings when it’s done and it outputs complete nonsense,” Dahl said. “You have to present its results in person, and it doesn’t matter what you say when you give the data to Q’eeng, just so long as you give him something to fix. I don’t really have to point out all the ways that’s so very fucked up, do I?”
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