Old Man's War

Paperback, 318 pages

English language

Published Oct. 16, 2007 by Tor.

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4 stars (21 reviews)

John Scalzi channels Robert Heinlein (including a wry sense of humor) in a novel about a future Earth engaged in an interstellar war against more advanced species. Citizens volunteer for the Colonial Defense Forces after retirement, in exchange for which they have their consciousness transferred into a young body, cloned from their DNA but enhanced. If, against the odds, they survive two years of combat (or 10 years if things aren't going well, which they're not), they get another body and enjoy a fresh start on a colony. This is Scalzi's first novel, and it creates a future he will revisit in subsequent stories.

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce—and alien races …

12 editions

What a different type of sci-fi

4 stars

The first book in the old man's war trilogy was different than I expected. It was campy, humours, and much more straightforward in its delivery of a sci-fi action story than I am used to.

Most sci-fi I have picked because of its stewing political subplots, the meta commentary podcasts everywhere and the social commentary masked as alien species and totalitarian power relations.

This book was fun, and if critical of the colonial and war-mongering society that features at its heart, it has an over-the-top presentation which reminded me of the starship troopers movie.

Definitely a brain off, retro futures good read and I am looking forward to seeing if there is more interesting subplots developed in the following novels.

reviewed Old Man's War by John Scalzi (Old Man’s War #1)

Review of "Old Man's War" on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

As an opener to Scalzi's writing I must confess to being pleasantly surprised. Not that I'd heard bad things, but this book has been contrasted with [a:Robert A. Heinlein|205|Robert A. Heinlein|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1192826560p2/205.jpg]'s [b:Starship Troopers|17214|Starship Troopers|Robert A. Heinlein|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1234902570s/17214.jpg|2534973], the political exposition of which I feel whenever I read it lacks relevance today. This book had similarities, indeed, but was quite refreshingly written.

"It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive."

The concept is an interesting one and done well, although it's not a read for the faint of heart (or the sex shy). Also, the chances of reading two books almost back-to-back with a Lieutenant Colonel Newman seem staggeringly high: too much improbability, perhaps?