John Scalzi, Redshirts, (New York: Tom Doherty Associates), 2012.
I've never been much for science fiction, but I do enjoy reading the books recommended by our children and others their age. This book was a Christmas gift from our son, so, of course, I dove in and read it and relished the experience. It wasn't what I expected. It is a delightful set of twists and turns based on some of the things that used to happen in Star Trek, only it doesn't mention Star Trek, only a television series with similar attributes.
There is a certain logic to pursuing space travel and even time travel as an intellectual concept. If we could go certain speeds, what might happen? If we could travel in time, what are the risks and potential benefits? How can the present reality be changed without adversely affecting some other dimension? Scalzi plays with all of these concepts with a great sense of humor that challenges thought and makes the entire enterprise a game. I found myself trying to anticipate the next moves in the book, sometimes successfully, often inaccurately.
A good story has its own benefits, regardless of how it is labeled or what genre is attached to its type. Redshirts is definitely a good story.