Dec. 12th, 2014

inverarity: (inverarity)
An anti-Heinleinian military SF novel for SF fans who don't actually like the military or Heinlein.


Old Man's War

Tor, 2005, 320 pages




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 willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding. Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets. John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine—and what he will become is far stranger.


Go to strange new planets, meet interesting, exotic aliens, and kill them. (SPOILERS) )

Verdict: A good book, not a great book, I'd have liked Old Man's War more if it was more of what it was, a sci-fi adventure starring a clever Earth dude from Ohio, and less of what it was trying to be, a sci-fi war story in the tradition of Starship Troopers. Scalzi's writing is much of a piece, and there is definitely good story here, so despite being quite annoyed with significant parts of it, I'll probably read the rest of the series. 7/10.

Also by John Scalzi: My reviews of The Android's Dream, The God Engines, Agent to the Stars, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts.




My complete list of book reviews.

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