Deadline is reporting that John Scalzi’s 2012 Hugo-Winning novel Redshirts is getting a limited television series run on FX.

Redshirts takes place in a Star Trek-like future where newly assigned ensign Andrew Dahl realizes something is amiss. Specifically, he notices that the ship’s away missions almost always result in death of low-ranked ensigns while the captain, science officer and handsome Lieutenant move about largely unharmed. It’s a lighthearted novel that pokes fun at the genre without being condescending to its fans.

The FX project only has three names attached thus far: producer Jon Shestack (Dan In Real Life), producer-director Ken Kwapis (Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants) and Kwapis’ partner Alexandra Beattie. Kwapis is going to direct the opening episode.

John Scalzi hasn’t mentioned much yet beyond a pointer to the Deadline article.

In episode 167 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and his rag-tag band of panelists, discuss:

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

  • Which 2012 Debut work (movie/short story/book) most impressed you?
  • Which 2012 book that you were really looking forward to, delivered on your expectations and why?
  • Which 2012 book that you were really looking forward to failed miserably and why?
  • Which 2012 movies disappointed and why?
  • Which 2012 movies most impressed you and why?

Read the rest of this entry

VIDEO: John Scalzi and Pat Rothfuss Do Sketch Comedy at Comic Con

When John Scalzi stopped in Houston for his book tour, I made a point to see him. In case you haven’t been to see Scalzi on tour, you should; he gives a good performance and makes it more than worth your time.

Witness, for example, this video from Comic Con where John and Pat Rothfuss (and a special guest) gave a reading of a short story aligning with Scalzi’s Redshirts book (which you should totally read, by the way). When I saw it performed, the wonderful Karen Burnham did the Rothfuss part.

My advice: Make time to watch this as soon as you can. Life is a little bit better after you do.
Read the rest of this entry

REVIEW: Redshirts by John Scalzi

REVIEW SUMMARY: A book aimed at SciFi fans that respectfully pokes fun at the genre they (and the author) love.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In a Star Trek-like future, ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned to the UUC Intrepid, tries to get to the bottom of the strange occurrences that nobody seems to want to talk about.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Pokes good-natured fun at genre television without disrespecting it; clear and concise writing; humorous without being silly.
CONS: The final “coda” chapters didn’t add all that much and felt like tacked on extras.
BOTTOM LINE: If you like science fiction television (particularly Star Trek) and are looking for a lighthearted read, Redshirts is well worth your time.

Humor is a tough nut to crack within the confines of science fiction, a genre that prides itself on the very unfunny concepts of scientific knowledge and accuracy. To successfully pull it off, it has to avoid the absurd (that is, keep suspending disbelief), not be too over-the-top (lest it fall into the realm of the ridiculous), and — most important of all — actually be funny.
Read the rest of this entry