Great review of John Scalzi’s Redshirts at here.

“Redshirts is not merely a satire of the conventions of popular science fiction as a genre (although it is an excellent satire), it’s a harsh critique of waste. Why should we allow ourselves to be thrilled and horrified by the senseless deaths of fictional characters when we could be equally entertained by the stories that those characters carry within them?”

I’m looking forward to reading this. I’m sure it’s a little more high brow a commentary on the redshirt trope than the (still brilliant) one on Family Guy:

Captain Kirk: “All right, men. This is a dangerous mission. And it’s likely one of us will be killed. The landing party will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr.McCoy…and Ensign Ricky.

Ensign Ricky: “Ah, crap.

Reading Now: The Dark Tower, Book VII

The Dark Tower, Book VII – Stephen King

(Look away now if you plan to read this at some point and want to avoid spoilers.)

Still here? Good.

I’m nearing the end of this, the last book of King’s epic fantasy saga – essentially one million-word novel, written over the course of seven books and twenty years. I’ll not go into great detail or summarise: there are a wealth of analyses of the series online already. But I did want to talk a little about the sheer audacity of one of the elements of the novel. Read more…