pjthecoug, November 30, 2013 (view all comments by pjthecoug)
This book toys with one of the most fascinating concepts in modern science fiction, and does it in a way that is simultaneously engaging and entertaining.
The story itself is filled with humanity, humor and lots of sci-fi military action. The characters are believable and engrossing, showing very realistic strengths and weaknesses that make all of us human.
I appreciate John Scalzi's approaches to the SCIENCE of science fiction but never felt like it got bogged down in the potentially-lethal morass of "Too Science-y." There's just enough there to keep the story flowing.
One caveat: this book is definitely not for kids, Mom and Dad, but I encourage you to read it for yourself and then determine when it's OK for Junior to get a copy.
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MonicaMcW, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by MonicaMcW)
If you like the writing styles of Robert A Heinlein and Spider Robinson, "Old Man's War" will immediately draw you in. It is fast-paced, plot-wise, and intelligently written, science-wise. He takes the idea that humans, just because they're old (you have to be seventy-five years old to enlist), they don't have anything to contribute.
Scalzi is an amazing story-teller, and the next books in the series, "The Ghost Brigade" and "The Last Colony", will stick with you, long after you've finished reading them.
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Anna Creech, February 11, 2010 (view all comments by Anna Creech)
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys space opera that doesn't go crazy with the gritty, military aspect or get too complex with political machinations. Old Man's War is about a guy who decides to start a new life in a completely different career, and more than anything, that's what the book focuses on.
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Tor Books -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master. Seventy-five-year-old John Perry joins the Colonial Defense Force because he has nothing to keep him on Earth. Suddenly installed in a better-than-new young body, he begins developing loyalty toward his comrades in arms as they battle aliens for habitable planets in a crowded galaxy. As bloody combat experiences pile up, Perry begins wondering whether the slaughter is justified; in short, is being a warrior really a good thing, let alone being human? The definition of 'human' keeps expanding as Perry is pushed through a series of mind-stretching revelations. The story obviously resembles such novels as Starship Troopers and Time Enough for Love, but Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy. The novel's tone is right on target, too — sentimentality balanced by hardheaded calculation, know-it-all smugness moderated by innocent wonder. This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Scalzi's blending of wry humor and futuristic warfare recalls Joe Haldeman's classic, The Forever War (1974), and strikes the right fan-pleasing chords to probably garner major sf award nominations."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"Solid....[Scalzi] sidesteps most of the cliches of military science fiction, delivers fast-paced scenes of combat and pays attention to the science underpinning his premise."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"Smartly conceived and thoroughly entertaining, Old Man's War is a splendid novel."
by Paul Di Filippo, The Washington Post Book World,
"Scalzi's imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated....His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane."
by Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom,
"It's Starship Troopers without the lectures. It's The Forever War with better sex. It's funny, it's sad, and it's true."
by Library Journal,
"Scalzi's first novel presents a new approach to military sf, boasting an unusual cast of senior citizens as heroes. A good choice."
by Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times Book Review,
"[A] clever, promising book."
by Entertainment Weekly,
by Publishers Weekly,
"Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master [Heinlein]."
A stunning novel of the long war for human survival — in a universe replete with hostility.
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force which doesn't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living to the frontlines of war, light-years from home.
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