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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens


Teens who enjoy humorous sci-fi are in for a treat. On release day, John Scalzi wrote the following to his fans about Redshirts, “…let me tell you what my own plan was for this book when I start writing it: To have fun with it, and to have you have fun with it. I wanted to write something that was unapologetically a blast to read, that was also unapologetically funny…”

There’s a good interview with the author on Wired. And how often does a book have its own theme song?

SCALZI, John. Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas. 320p. Tor. 2012. Tr $24.99. ISBN 978-0765316998; ebook $11.99. ISBN 978-1429963602. LC 201009383.  Redshirts

Adult/High School–As even casual fans of Star Trek know, any time redshirt-wearing extras go off the ship with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, or one of the other big stars, they don’t come back alive. Scalzi’s latest novel takes that idea and runs with it wildly and hilariously, adding the metafictional conceit that the characters of the book are the real-life counterparts of characters on a poorly written basic-cable TV show from some 400 years earlier, and that whatever happens on the show happens to them. A new group of ensigns on the Universal Union (“Dub U”) flagship Intrepid begins to notice odd things: new crew members have a very high mortality rate; whenever Captain Abernathy or Science Officer Q’eeng appears, the rest of the crew mysteriously disappear to fetch coffee, inventory the stock room, or go on an urgent errand; a mysterious “box” comes up with solutions to problems just in the nick of time; and a strange bearded guy who seems to know something about what he calls “the Narrative” lurks in the maintenance tunnels. Ensign Andy Dahl and his friends set out to figure out how they can use the Narrative to keep themselves from being killed off, and their discussions along the way are, as the characters themselves note, as existential and metaphysical (and funny) as late-night dorm-room conversations. Fans of Jasper Fforde’s “Thursday Next” novels and those who enjoyed Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (Crown, 2011) are natural audiences for this one.–Sarah Flowers, formerly of Santa Clara County Library, CA

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.