Old Man's War

Paperback, 318 pages

English language

Published Oct. 16, 2007 by Tor.

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4 stars (10 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 …

9 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.