With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding ...
With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring their youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including a brain-implanted computer. But all too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry must fight for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds. "Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master, Robert A. Heinlein" - "Publishers Weekly". "Delivers fast-paced scenes of combat, and pays attention to the science underpinning his premise" - "San Francisco Chronicle".
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I'm not sure some of the concepts in this book are too far off. There is already talk of saving one's mind/personality and growing a body for it so who's to say what is coming.
Anyway, I enjoyed the book a lot and would suggest it to my friends of like mind.
Oct 16, 2011
The most fun I've ever had with a science fiction novel. I wouldn't call it art, but it is high entertainment at it's best.
Apr 29, 2010
A Stunning First Effort
If John Scalzi never wrote another word worth reading, he'd have nothing to apologize for. (But he has written a lot since, and it's also excellent!)
Spiritual cousin to The Forever War, OMW is less informed by Vietnam and more by new millennium memes, but belongs in the same pantheon. Entertaining yet poignant, full of action while making one think, it's as perfect a book as one could wish for, as I remember when I reread it every six months or so.
Anyone serious about SF should read OMW, along with Heinlein's Starship Troopers, Harrison's Bill the Galactic Hero, and Haldeman's The Forever War.
Jul 22, 2008
Scalzi's First Book, and it's Entertaining
If you are a sci-fi fan, then this book should make you smile. It is full of adventure, derring-do, and great escapes. It is not overly crass either, though the bulk of the book, as the title suggests, is centered around a prolonged war. While reading this, it easy to make comparison's to Heinlein's Starship Troopers, and for those of us that have been in the service, though the setting is drastically different, boot camp seems eerily the same no matter the circumstances. Although here in Old Man's War, there is a bit of a twist. You don't enlist at 18, you enlist at 75. That changes things, as now you have all of that experience in your core characters. They aren't at a loss to explain the world (in this case universe) or overly naive, and that makes for an interesting take on this futuristic war. I found this book to be a quick read, and full enjoyable. I would be up until 2AM engrossed in this novel, well knowing that I had to be awake again at 630 to go to work. This is definitely not the most profound work out there, don't come in thinking it is going to change your life. It is, however, one of the better books that you can pick up, read, and thoroughly enjoy.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-12-06 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 Trooper 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. (Jan. 1) Forecasts: Blurbs from Cory Doctorow, Robert Charles Wilson and Ken MacLeod will help ensure this gets more than the usual attention for first novels. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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