If you are any kind of Star trek fan, or even just a geek in the sci fi kingdom, you should know what a Red Shirt is. If you don't know, He or She, the Enterprise was an equal opportunity workplace, was that lone/doomed security officer or ensign assigned to beam down to the planet with Kirk, Spock & McCoy. I'll cut to the chase, drama has to happen, adventures must be had, plot must be moved along, someone has to die; It was never Kirk (Gold Shirt), Spock (Blue shirt) or McCoy(Blue shirt), it was always that Red Shirt wearing security officer or ensign.
Scalzi's new book is book about these poor doomed souls, and their rising awareness of, and chances to, change their destiny.
I can't wait to read it. I'm waiting to buy directly from the Tor Store, since they are removing all DRM from their ebooks (yay)
That being said.. I wanted to note that I was making fun of red shirts before it was cool. Way back in the way back, at the end of a Con we were sitting around tired, perhaps hungover, and just chatting when an idea struck. How does Starfleet supply that never ending stream of expendable red shirts? Why recruiting of course! And so was born the LAConIV (64 WorldCon) Masquerade Entry; Red Badge of Courage.
Sadly the video isn't so hot, But I hope you get the general idea. Basically, it's (r-l)"Show up" (Bill), "Beat Up" (Belle), "Blown Up" (Thomas), "Knocked Up" (Bridget), "Blocked Up*" (John as Med officer) and "Eat Up" (Kate in O'Hanrahan's Beast)
To make up for the poor quality of that video I give you Jonathan Coulton's "Redshirt" (written for the book) in a video cut by TrekPropGuy
Well I just had to polish my ego a bit. To this day I wear my Red Shirt with pride
Crossing the streams and wearing a Brain Slug.
*Yeoman Leslie Thompson TOS episode "By Any Other Name"