It's a very entertaining story where a group of "red shirts", crew destined to die in all sorts of improbable ways, tries to figure out why so many of them die on away missions on their ill fated ship the Intrepid. This is where the book becomes "Stranger Than Fiction" (yeah, the Will Ferrel movie). And basically that's it, some how this ship is tied to a terrible science fiction show in an alternate universe taking place centuries in the past. Sounds crazy, right? That's Scalzi's point. Ultimately this book is a hilarious look at bad science fiction writing on TV shows.
Now while I enjoyed the book, if you're looking for something more "science fiction-y", this is not that. If you were hoping for well rounded characters like you may find in Scalzi's book "Lock In", this isn't that either. This is a commentary on working on bad science fiction TV shows and what it's like writing for them. Scalzi even says so much at the very end of his book. And the closer I got to the very end of the book, the more obvious this commentary became and suddenly, a funny quick read lost some of its charm even knowing full well what this story aimed to accomplish. It's a shame that the way the book tripped at the finish line left me giving this a 3 of 5 stars
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