- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Tor; Reprints edition (5 Nov. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1447295374
- ISBN-13: 978-1447295372
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Old Man's War (The Old Man's War Series) Paperback – 5 Nov 2015
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Gripping and surpassingly original. It's Starship Troopers without the lectures . . . It's funny, it's sad, and it's true (Cory Doctorow)
I enjoyed Old Man's War immensely. A space war story with fast action, vivid characters, moral complexity, and cool speculative physics, set in a future you almost want to live into, and a universe you sincerely hope you don't live in already (Ken MacLeod)
John Scalzi is the most entertaining, accessible writer working in SF today (Joe Hill)
Scalzi is one of the slickest writers that SF has ever produced (Wall Street Journal)
Clever dialogue, fast-paced story and strong characters (The Times)
It gladdens the reader's heart . . . great fun (Daily Telegraph)
Top-notch. His combat scenes are blood roiling (Washington Post)
Astonishingly proficient (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
A virtuosic debut novel in the tradition of Robert A. HeinleinSee 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,
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 ›
The opening paragraph grabs: "I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife's grave. Then I joined the army." Simple, direct, and immediately intriguing. And from this idea of geriatric soldiers the entire story unfolds: how these advanced age people are given new, enhanced bodies, interfaced with a remarkably effective internal computer, and sent to fight the baddies of the universe. Why they must fight. What the reasons are for living. Where the human race is heading. The problems with making assumptions about other life forms - and the effect that has on diplomacy.
Plot wise, this is a series of incidents and battles in the life of a soldier, without any strong goal or endpoint in mind. But as the scenes unfold, the person that is John Perry comes into clearer and clearer focus, a quiet, unassuming man who nevertheless can think on his feet, is not dismayed by radically new things, a natural leader with seventy-five years of experience to back up his decisions and actions, a man capable of deep love. Most of the people around him are not so well realized, but they really don't need to be.
Comparison is obviously invited with Heinlein's Starship Troopers with its similar theme and environment. But where Starship Troopers is very much a coming-of-age story, this is an adult trip into the land of survival.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast delivery. Brand new as described. Have not finished the book but what i have read about 90 pages i engrossed and have order the next 3 books in the series. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Paul Orritt
I was looking forward to reading this, as it's often mentioned alongside Starship Troopers and The Forever War. Read morePublished 25 days ago by juice
Scalzi is one ive been meaning to read for years snd this did not dissappoint. Vrry enjoysble while provoking a few thoughts in places too...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
great author, great book series. Cant recommend enough.
I purchased the whole series and it doesn't disappoint....more please!!!
For me it was more of the latter. Read on its own and not in the context of all the similar books that have proceeded it, this is a fun, military SF novel. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SirChutney
I have been a fan of military sci-fi for many years.
The Old Man's war series comes highly recommended and did not disappoint. Read more
First sitting with this book and i was 150 pages in. Absolute cracker. Already ordered the next one.Published 4 months ago by jamie5432189