Old Man's War Hardcover – 28 Jan 2005
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"Gripping and surpassingly original. 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." --Cory Doctorow "John Scalzi is a fresh and appealing new voice, and "Old Man's War" is classic SF seen from a modern perspective--a fast-paced tour of a daunting, hostile universe."--Robert Charles Wilson
A virtuosic debut novel in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Essentially what seems to be lacking in this book is some really inventive and new SF ideas. Perhaps I've read too much and I'm a little jaded now! The novels that it clearly draws from are in short more original, more inventive and clearly better. For a book written in 2005 there is no real attempt to push out new ideas about how technology may impact on us in the future. The new tech in the book, skip drives, nano tech cloning dna splicing etc have all been explored before by other writers in the 90s.
However, the most disapointing feature I thought was that nothing was made of the difference between "old" soldiers and the very young soldiers that most Armies have fought with and indeed the characters seem to return to a near teen state of mind once they get their new bodies. I thought there was going to be some really interesting stuff there and it never appears sadly.
That said if read purely as an military adventure novel, then its a fairly gripping read. Similarly to someone less well versed in SF then they might not have the "seen it all before" response that I had to parts of it.
So, here we have geriatrics being recruited to undertake some changes and regain their youth provided they become soldiers in wars being fought a long way from Earth, an Earth they will never return to.
It's easy to be critical because this does lack real depth, but it does remain an easy and entertaining read. It explores some issues about youth, love, marriage and policies of aggression but within a fast moving environment packed full of action.
So I quite enjoyed it and may pick up the sequals, but I am in no rush to do so,
It starts with an interesting premise. People sign up for the military aged 65 and are inducted into the military aged 75. John Perry, the main character, lost his wife to a stroke a short while ago, and has now come to the point where it’s time to fulfil his obligation.
Two days later and I was done with the book and looking for book two...
It’s not about old people going off to war, the recruits get new bodies with which to fight (Avatar style, but long before Avatar came out...), and while those bodies are state of the art and well beyond the abilities of normal humans, they are the bare minimum required to fight in the wars of the universe.
The book doesn’t focus on the combat aspect of things, rather painting the picture that the world is different out there, and that a person of 75 with a whole lifetime of experience to draw on, would be a far more dangerous person to deal with if you just gave them their youth back. There’s also the psychological aspect, that if a person was at the end of everything and you offered them a decade in service in return for a new life, most would at least consider it.
There are a few action scenes, wars on different worlds with different creatures, but the story doesn’t linger on them at all, using them as a punchline that the wars are deadly and most don’t make it through them.Read more ›
Earth has reached the stars, and been slammed back into isolation. Humans are out there colonizing the galaxy, but Earth itself is cut off from it, becoming almost a backwater in comparison to everything else. The Colonial Defense Force (CDF) insures that this remains so. On the other hand, once you turn seventy-five, you can enlist in the CDF, go out and see the universe, and kill lots of aliens who are out to kill you too. You'll just never see Earth again. John Perry has decided to take this route, and Old Man's War tells the story of this decision, and what he runs into when he gets out there. What he learns when he gets there is beyond what he could ever have imagined. He gets a new, grown body (green and all) that will make him young again (even if he's not completely human any more) and the extreme possibility of dying out in the mean universe. But he could be dead in ten years anyway, in a broken down body, on Earth, so why not go out where his death means something? Will John be a successful soldier, not only surviving but rising in the ranks? Or will he just be more cannon-fodder for the human colonies?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Entertaining novel, never read anything by Scalzi before but will seek out the following novels in the sequence.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
"Classic" science fiction writing. A bit gory for my taste, but Scalzi writes with such an assured stroke that he had me enrwapped in his vision of the future from page 1.Published 1 month ago by Paul Glynn
I thought there were some really interesting concepts in this story. Author created characters that you cared about and built then into a credible story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Philip Baker
Really beginning to like reading John Scalzi. Some great original ideas and concepts. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.Published 2 months ago by Mr Peter Nicol
I think over the last decade I've read just about every decent space opera ever penned. I didn't expect this one to grip me like it did. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alan
I've just popped onto Amazon to see the reviews for this book and I am not sure what to be more surprised at - why there are so many extremely positive reviews or how one... Read morePublished 3 months ago by aj
If you like space science fiction, you'll probably love this book. Detailed enough to suck you in, yet light enough to be fast-paced and nimble with the action to keep you engaged. Read morePublished 3 months ago by RSP
To me a successor to the Black jack novels. Plan to work my way through these novels. Looking forward to itPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer