Friday, May 24, 2013

Redshirts by John Scalzi



Ah, redshirts. It seems to be a sign of a true SF geek to immediately get the reference, vs those would stare at you blankly if you referenced it.  But what if you suddenly realized that you weren't the main character in the reality that you inhabit. Worse, you come to the suspicion that your part in the show may be to become just interesting enough to make the audiences feel some emotional loss when you died. And everyone around you is dying at a rate unheard of for any other ship in the fleet.

Well, this is what happened to the main characters of this story.  And after living through a dreaded away mission (except for their dramatically lost friend ironically) they finally figure out what is going on and even when their show is being written (though of course via divergent universes there is no reference to their show).  After kidnapping a main character (one of the best ways to ensure that they don't die off-screen) they are off to the past to try and stop the writers from killing them and their compatriots.

Overall a fun book, with entertaining characters and a sly wink to a bunch of in-jokes. It may not be a book I ever go back to re-read but it was an interesting story.

Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold #6) by David Weber

Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold, #6)

Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold #6)

Treading water. When you get a series that has such breadth and scope such as the Safehold series (in particular when you are talking about a book that spans the entire world where the fastest objects are moving at around 20mph) you sometimes have a book where most of the story is spent getting things tidied up from the last book and preparing the ground for the next.  Midst Toil and Tribulation is one of those rebuilding books.

Sure, some things happened.  Fights occurred, progress was made, troops were moving across the world. But in the end you find yourself wanting, waiting for the next book because that is when the interesting stuff is going to happen.  I appreciate the series and look forward to the next book but this book just whets your appetite for the next book, leaving you unfulfilled and wanting.