Redshirts: More Than Just Nerdfare

I read Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas the day it launched. I expected a silly, nerdy tribute to one of the most widely-cited tropes in genre fiction, the "redshirt" character who is introduced in order to be killed off. 

The novel is, in fact, a silly nerdy tribute to that trope.

It is also a powerful piece of dramatic fiction, and a call to arms to creators everywhere.

If you like Schlock Mercenary you are almost guaranteed to enjoy this novel. And by "almost guaranteed" I mean "it will surprise me if you do not enjoy it, but I'm not offering you an actual guarantee, so yes, you will have lost money and time on the endeavor if this doesn't pan out." 

I have it on good authority* that Scalzi's original draft did not have the codas, the three epilogues that follow the narrative proper. Consider that as you read. There is a story, and then there is MORE story. I suspect your favorite bits may have been completely absent in the first draft.

Which, if you're a writer, is an important realization to arrive at: the best bits aren't always in the first draft. Yes, this makes me wonder how much better I could make Schlock Mercenary if I had the luxury of going back and re-writing each story after my first pass through it. But I'm not curious enough to attempt that.

(*note: the link tells you "who," but does not provide the circumstances under which I was provided with goodly and authoritative information.)