Redshirts By John Scalzi
New comers to the Starship Intrepid don’t seem to last long (think “red uniforms on the Star Trek series). It’s been this way for quite a while….then Dahl and his friends (all newly assigned to the Intrepid) notice….and begin to wonder WHY there is a “Box” that gives “the answer”—but doesn’t conform to even sloppy scientific principles, the amazing recuperative powers of a Lieutenant who somehow always manages to survive an Away Mission—thanks to “the Box”, and other anomalies.
My favorite part-Dahl uses a kiosk to make a call: “The person on the other end of the line picked up, audio only. “Whoever you are, you’re interrupting my morning jog,” she said.
Dahl grinned. “Morning, Casey,” he said. “How’s my favorite librarian?”
“Shit! Andy!” Casey said. A second later the video feed kicked in and Casey Zane popped up, smiling, …”Where are you?”
“About 300 light-years away, and paying for every inch of it on this hyperwave, “ Dahl said.
“Got it,” Casey said. “What do you need?”
“The Academy Archive would have blueprints of every ship in the fleet, right?” Dahl asked.
“Sure,” Casey said. “All the ones that the Dub U wants to acknowledge exist, anyway.”
“Any chance they’d be altered or tampered with?”
“From the outside? No,” Casey said. “The archives don’t connect to outside computer systems, partly to avoid hacking. All data has to go through a live librarian. That’s job security for you.”
“I suppose it is,” Dahl said. “Is there any chance I can get you to send me a copy of the Intrepid blueprints?” …
…”You’re actually on the Intrepid,” Casey said. “You should be able to get the blueprints out of the ship’s database.”
“I can,” Dahl said. “There have been some changes to a few systems on board and I think it’ll be useful to have the original blueprints for compare and contrast.”
And that is the start of making sense out of the situation…
Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel and is available for checkout in Leisure Reading at the VC/UHV Library.
Review written by Clyde Ruth B.