John Perry did two things on this 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it to interstellar space. The bad news is that planes fit to live on are scarce and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. Fr from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, and unyielding. We fight to defend Earth from our new enemies and to stake our claim to planetary real estate. On Earth, the bulk of the resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defence Force. Only those of retirement age can join the CDF: they want people who carry the skills from decades of living. CDF members are taken off Earth to serve two years at the front. If they survive, they're given a generous homestead on hard-won colony planets, never to return to Earth. John Perry is taking that deal with only the vaguest idea what to expect.
John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and his debut novel Old Man's War was a finalist for the Hugo Award. His other novels include The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and The Android's Dream. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.