Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas was awesome. I loved every word. I might have to hunt down more books by John Scalzi. I picked up Redshirts, because, well, it's about Redshirts! I love Star Trek, mostly The Next Generation, but I have a place in the sci-fi part of my heart for the original and all the others series too. Redshirts is so funny! Yes, it grabbed my attention because of the title, but the synopsis really pulled me in and all the great things I kept hearing on the interwebs convinced me that this was a book I had to read. It was funny and quirky and ironic. I loved the main character. Andrew Dahl was thoughtful, intelligent and honourable. He may have been and Ensign on the Intrepid but he was the leader to his group. I was also very excited by his conversation with Hanson at the end of the story. Very meta.
I liked Maia Duvall, but I didn't like all her behaviour. She was the only female lead character. There were a lot of other women in the novel, Collins led Xenobiology (and her last lines in the book were great); there were captains, security officers, scientists, everything. I might even say there was 1:1 ratio of the supporting characters in the book. Am I just being prudish about Duvall? Everything she did forwarded the plot. I don't know. Though, now that I think of it, maybe she was just part of a play with archetypes. Finn certainly could be considered a specific type of character, the brutish, overtly masculine male. By the end, Finn and Duvall (along with Hester and Kerensky) became more. Nevermind, Duvall is fine the way she is. Maybe what I'd have liked is another leading female character? I don't know if that works if we're altering typical science-fiction characters.
This is what Redshirts makes you do unexpectedly, think.
I'm going to take a quick moment to mention how much I love John Scalzi's dedication. It's probably because I also heart Wil Wheaton, Joe Malozzi and Brad Wright for geeky reasons involving words that start with "Star".
I really enjoyed the way the novel ended, with Andy and Hanson (funny and awesome), but I also was so excited to read the Codas. Getting to know these "other" characters was really interesting and made the story even better. Nick was hilarious. Hester/Matthew was amazing. The actual end of the book with Samantha Martinez was brilliant. Each Coda was packed with emotion that you wouldn't necessarily expect after reading the novel.
Also, for some redshirt fun: