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Tropes Applied to the novel by John Scalzi:

  • The newly enrolled junior officers of the Intrepid are first hit with a serious Wham Line: their reality is being warped to follow the 'continuity' of a 21st-century TV show. And then the second, funny Wham Line:
    Jenkins: But that's not the worst thing about it.
    Finn: Jesus Christ. If that's not the worst thing, what is?
    Jenkins: It's not actually a very good show.
  • There is a Box of unknown origin that only the lower-ranking members of the Intrepid's science crew know about. It can deduce anything, but only when it's an emergency, and always takes until the last minute. It goes ding when there's stuff, and, needless to say, whatever you put inside it spins.
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    • On a meta level the Box is a perfect example of the flaws in the Intrepid's universe. It has to exist, because the writers cause the local science crew to make impossible deductions and calculate impossible things at speeds far higher than real research would allow. Yet it has no origin, no explanation and is never mentioned in the Narrative - because it would be recognized as the cheap, lame Plot Hole that it is if it were ever to appear in Chronicles of the Intrepid. So it becomes a sort of Elephant in the Room, forced into obscurity by the canon.
  • What happens when Kerensky meets the actor who plays him. They end up spending the night just talking to each other.
  • The ensigns get bogged down - much in the way geeks would - arguing over the concept of "ice sharks", trying to figure out if they are sharks living in ice or if they're sharks made of ice.
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