I read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi this weekend.
I’m still reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, but, Friday, I got a free newsletter from Tor Books and it included a link to Old Man’s War as an ebook. Naturally, I dropped everything to read it. And, am I ever glad that I did!
John Scalzi is one of those authors that I’ve been hearing about the past year or two as being one of the new faces to watch in science-fiction, and, after reading Old Man’s War, I can see why. On the surface, this is an old-fashioned colonization/space-war book in the vein of Heinlein or Niven, but with something else, too, that reminded me of Joe Haldeman at his peak. This is truly great work and I’m sure I’ll be buying more of Mr. Scalzi’s books very, very shortly.
The story follows one seventy-five-year-old man, John Perry, who’s lost his wife of more than fourty years as he joins the Colonial Defense Forces so that he can get a new lease on life, literally. Apparently, the only way for citizens of non-Third-World countries to colonize space, and take advantage of some slightly secretive, possibly shady, physical rejuvenation program, is to sign up for the military. The story follows Perry as he leaves the planet, gets his new body and life, and sees the galaxy as a soldier in the Colonial Defense Force. From there on out, Mr. Scalzi shows us a well-thought-out universe that, frankly, is rather hostile to humans. He also gives us a compelling story of mankind’s place in that universe and how we might evolve, live and fight in the future.
He also writes a ripping yarn.
I cannot recommend Old Man’s War enough. I don’t want to go into too much detail on this, so I don’t ruin it for you, readers, but, if you like science-fiction, you owe it to yourself to get this book and read it.