Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Review: Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am bemused. This book was very different from anything I have ever read. The characters in it don't just “break the fifth wall,” they cut a window, install drapes, and pull up a chair to enjoy the view.
It starts with people on some far-future starship noticing how many of them die on away missions. Eventually they figure out their fate is driven by something outside their universe. WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
These folks discover that for each of them there is a corresponding actor in a TV show, and if the plot calls for that character to die, then the starship crew member dies, too. So many layers of unreality end up layered together, it's like practicing archeology to read the narrative.
After seeing everything from the alternate future universe crew member's point-of-view, we move to our own earth and see things from the TV show scriptwriter's POV, and then from one of the actor's POV. And along the way, every character seems just as real as any other character. It's clever, it's well written, and it's entertaining. I'm just not sure it's actually a novel.
I liked it a lot, but I am bemused.
View all my reviews