Old Man's War--John Scalzi

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Following in the footsteps of such great Heinlein classics as Glory Road and Starship Troopers, John Scalzi has given us an interesting take on the old war theme. To start with, the enlistees in this war need to be 75 years old and older. Sounds odd, but it works out well both for the colonies and for the elderly.

Naturally we're engaged in a pan-galactic set of skrimishes centered around Earth's colonization of the planets. We meet all sorts of races, including the extremely interesting and highly technologically advanced Consu--a beetle-like race that seems to go to war for the salvation of souls.

The novel tracks the career of John Perry from recruit to Captain. (It is the first of a [so-far] trilogy.) And interestingly, while the wars and battles are something of a centerpiece, there is a pervasive love story embedded throughout. John loves his deceased wife Kathy and mysteriously discovers her amongst the "Ghost Brigades." (You have to read it to find out.)

The novel was nominated for a Hugo award. Judging by the quality and power of the writing alone, it deserved the nomination (and depending on what else was nominated that year, perhaps the award).

Be aware that the language can be at times raw and many of the scenes are quite graphically horrible. However, this is one of the classic war in space novels along with Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Joe Haldeman's The Forever War.


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I read this book a few months back and certainly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the other three books in the series.

I recently read The Android's Dream which I also really enjoyed with it's mixture of an action and comic novel. It starts of on a seeming seriousness note and then takes off from there into intergalactic intrigue with some humorous bits along the way.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 2, 2009 7:56 AM.

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