Book Revew: Redshirts by John Scalzi

redshirtsRecently Eris and I were talking about dealbreakers, things that ruin a story for us and make us drop a book. One of the things she mentioned was pointless death being something that made her run for the hills.

Appropriate, I suppose, that right before that conversation I had started reading Redshirts, a book wherein the “pointless” deaths are actually the entire point of the plot.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the terminology, a “redshirt” is “a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. The term originates from the original Star Trek (NBC, 1966–69) television series in which the red-shirted security personnel frequently die during episodes. Redshirt deaths are often used to dramatize the potential peril that the main characters face.” (thanks, Wikipedia!)

It is almost impossible to talk about this book without spoiling the hell out of it, because so much of what makes it work is essentially a giant plot spoiler. However, I will do my best, because Redshirts is one of the funniest, most entertaining science fiction books I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

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More Thoughts on Man of Steel

If you want non-spoilery thoughts on the movie, go check out my review. Here I’m going to talk more in-depth about a few of the more controversial bits of the movie, which do contain major spoilers.

These are scenes I’ve seen several people mention when they’re talking about what they didn’t like about Man of Steel.

Now, as you may have guessed, I liked Superman and Superman II and enjoyed Superman Returns, but they’re not the be-all end-all of Superman portrayals for me. Plus, I’ve never read the comics, so everything I know about the character comes from the pop culture I’ve consumed and more than a few conversations with my much-more-comically-well-read roommate.

I’m coming at this from the point of view of someone who is a superhero fan in general and has a passing familiarity with Superman and his story.

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