I was super excited to get my hands on the latest John Scalzi book because I’ve really liked his previous stuff. Unfortunately while this book is fun I feel that the underlying concept is pretty weak… Its more of a toy boy than something which makes you think, which is a disappointment to me.

Don’t get me wrong, the overall execution is good, but the book feels lazily plotted, much like a badly done Harry Harrison does. So, if that sort of thing annoys you, give this one a miss.

Redshirts Book Cover Redshirts
John Scalzi
Hachette UK
November 15, 2012

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is even more delighted when he's assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better ... although there are a few strange things going on: (1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces (2) the ship's captain, the chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these encounters (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed. Suddenly it's less surprising how much energy is expended below decks on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned an Away Mission. Andrew's fate may have been sealed ... until he stumbles on a piece of information that changes everything ... and offers him and his fellow redshirts a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives ...

The Light Fantastic

A short little note about this one, as I am sure everyone has already read it. This was better than The Colour of Magic (more polished, cleverer, funnier), but still not as good as I remember the Pratchett books being from my childhood. This book to ages to read, I suspect because it just wasn’t compelling enough to overcome the general business in my life.

[isbn: 0061020702]

The Colour of Magic

There isn’t much point in writing a review of this book, because it seems that you’d have to have been living under a rock to not have read it. On the other hand, I feel this book isn’t as good as people make out. Its not as funny as Douglas Adams, it jumps around, and the plot is sketchy at best. Overall, not Pratchett’s best work.

[isbn: 0061020711]

The Man in the Rubber Mask

I’d been looking for this book for ages, as it is quite rare, so it was exciting to find it at Gould’s the other day. This is the memoir of the dude inside the rubber mask that Kryten wears in Red Dwarf. The book is an easy read, and entertaining, although I wouldn’t call it funny. Most of the book focuses on how terribly horrible it is to be encased in rubber day after day while shooting a comedy in terrible locations. Oh, and Robert is slightly insecure which doesn’t help.

Overall I’m glad I found this book, and glad I read it again.

[isbn: 0140235752]


The Times is wrong about this book. Its not “cruel, cynical and very funny”, its cruel and cynical for sure, but it lacks hope and is overall just depressing. I certainly didn’t feel it was funny. Its strange, I loved the Red Dwarf series, and this book is very similar. I think the problem is that this book lacks all the hope and charm of the Red Dwarf books and TV show. Its a book entirely comprised of Rimmers, and that’s hard to take.

[isbn: 0140289755]

Better Than Life

This is the second novelized book from the guys who wrote Red Dwarf. The first book of course shares its name with the name of the TV series. This book deviates from the plot line used in the TV series, and at some points feels more like a summary of the series than a novelization. Then again there are also times where they explore things that would be way to expensive to do in a TV show for the BBC, so that’s fun.

[isbn: 0451452313]

Red Dwarf

This book was exciting because its the first book I have read on the spur of the moment after perusing my book shelves — for the first time in many years I have my entire collection out of boxes on on shelves, which makes it much easier to just grab something to read. This book is a classic, and I love the TV series (which I discovered before the books), and this book. The book is different from the TV series, and feels more like a summary of the series than anything else, but its an engaging read.

[isbn: 0451452011]

Mostly Harmless

It turns out I was confused when I said that So Long and Thanks For All the Fish was the last Hitchhikers Guide book. There is one more, Mostly Harmless. This book wasn’t as good as the others to be honest, it felt disjointed and I ended up disappointed by the ending. Then again, it was still quite funny and I didn’t hate the book. It just wasn’t as brilliant as the others.

[isbn: 0330491229]