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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Old Man's War

Copyright 2005 by John Scalzi

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this on the 10th April 2006.

Well, you're seventy-five years old and you've just retired. What else is there for you to do but to join the army?

That's the Colonial Defense Forces army of course. The CDF is dedicated to defending the far-flung colonies of the Human empire against the rapacious attacks of the hordes of aliens competing for habitable planets and jockeying for position and power.

Of course, the real reason that all the senior citizens, including our protagonist John Perry, join up is the promise of a revitalised body, made new by unearthly science. They get a new body, they get all the thrills and joys of being young again, and they get all the horrors of war, all the pain and the death, all the slaughter of innocents. all the pointless, painful deaths of their comrades-in-arms.

We follow John Perry and his jolly band of fellows as they struggle to survive their ten year contracts. At the beginning there are John, Harry, Susan, Jesse, Maggie, Alan and Thomas. At the end there are very few indeed.

This is an accomplished, excellent first novel. It's reminiscent of Heinlein and Haldeman, but it lacks some of the purposeful edge of the latter's works.

It's a pretty good book. It's essential reading for anyone under seventy-five who is deciding what they want to do when they grow up. I'll be interested to read it again to see if I like it more - I've got a feeling that next time I'll probably rate it even higher.

What's it got? interstellar empires, space battleships, supermen and superbabes, strange worlds and grotesque aliens

Loaded on the 1st May 2006.
Cover of Old Man's War
Cover art by John Harris

Reviews of other works by John Scalzi:
The Ghost Brigades
The Last Colony

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris:
Ancillary Mercy
Light Raid
The Stonehenge Gate
The Ghost Brigades
The Last Colony
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
Radio Freefall
Earth Unaware
Children Of The Mind

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris and Carol Russo Design:
Earth Made Of Glass