If you happen to be a Trekkie, I don’t have to tell you what a “Redshirt” is. If you are not, then just know that that the term “Redshirts” was coined from the science fiction television series Star Trek
in which the extras (who wore a red uniform) got killed on a regular basis while the main characters like Kirk and Spock survived each ordeal. It was no conspiracy; it's just how the fictional universe has worked since the time immemorial. Main guys survive while the faceless extras are sacrificed to raise the stakes.
[a:John Scalzi|4763|John Scalzi|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1236228326p2/4763.jpg] has used that particular pop culture trivia to write this novel. The thing with John Scalzi is, regardless of the subject matter, his books are always fun to read. Most of the time, we need to be in a right frame of mind to read certain books. But not with John Scalzi. You can pick up any of his books anytime with the assurance that it won't disappoint. But somehow it is not the case with most of the modern science fiction authors today. They have sucked the joy right out of the science fiction universe. Their characters have no sense of humor whatsoever. Seriously, what’s with the other modern science fiction authors who unfailingly churn out drier than a sand pit kind of characters in every book they write? Don’t they read this guy?
Scalzi intentionally renders his characters with a weird and often coarse sense of humor, even if the subject matter is a serious one. And I like his books exactly for that very reason. He is a genuinely funny guy. Just go over to his personal blog and you will see what I mean.
True, I didn't like this book as much as I liked [b:Old Man's War|51964|Old Man's War|John Scalzi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346671475s/51964.jpg|50700] and [b:Fuzzy Nation|9647532|Fuzzy Nation|John Scalzi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316132345s/9647532.jpg|18280046]. World-building sucked a bit and it was not as funny as his other works are. But having said that, it’s really unfair to compare this book especially with [b:Old Man's War|51964|Old Man's War|John Scalzi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346671475s/51964.jpg|50700] as it is the kind of book that is very hard to top. Not just for John Scalzi, but for any other science fiction authors out there.
So if you haven’t read any books by John Scalzi yet, I suggest you start with “Old Man’s War” and take it from there. And if you already happen to be a fan of his works as I am, by all means get yourself a copy of “Redshirts” and be prepared to get lost in his science fiction world, again.