It's been a while since I've read some good sci-fi, and there is no doubt that this fits the bill. This book is first in it's series and develops a rich universe. Best of all, it builds that universe leaving you interested in reading further along without making you fell like you only bought half a book.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
This is the first book in the series, and the only one I've read so far. As the title alludes, in this future geriatric recruits are sent off-world to fight humanity's wars with the aid of modern medicine and technology. Much of the drama comes from the sudden renewal and then loss of youth.
I can't help but compare to Joe Haldeman's classic "The Forever War", which also told a first-person story of a new conscript into an interstellar war. Both stories are filled with fish-out-of-water wonder at adjustment to military life, and both protagonists find that they can never fully return to the civilian life they once knew. Scalzi's voice, however, has greater humor, and in this regard reminded me of Robert H. Heinlein's snark.
The alien enemies have varied appearances, but the two species which are most closely examined both fit familiar stereotypes, unfortunately: hungry predators and warlike religious zealots. What was unique to this story universe was its state of perpetual war in every combination on all galactic fronts; the most competitive neighborhood imaginable. While it is a decidedly pessimistic outlook in one sense, Scalzi manages to make it seem both unsurprising and not worrisome by focusing on the individual human relationship scale. His ending leads me to believe a reunion is in store for these characters in the four subsequent novels of the series.
The characters are very enjoyable. John Perry is someone that is easy to like. I liked that Scalzi added a lot of humor to the story that lightened up the mood. Whether it was "Smart Blood (trade mark)" or the names of their brain pals.
The story also flows well. Im also glad that Scalzi doesnt try to make the future seem to realistic by explaining everything. Ultimately this story is about the people who are in a futuristic place - not about how cool that place is.
His reading of the story is very professional and I find his voice easy to listen to. the construct of the story's dialog leads to a number of "he said" or "she said". I only point it out because it is noticeable.
I cant stress enough how much I enjoyed this book. Its hard to pick out the best things because so much is good. If you dont hate books about the future you will love this book.
I would not listen to it again as I typically only re-read educational books, not novels.
The premise was very interesting. The story is engagingly written. Kept my interest and was easy to follow.
I have not listened to this reader before but he was very good.
No extreme reaction, but it does get you thinking about life and growing old.
Overall I liked it but was a bit disappointed in the ending as I found it abrupt and inconclusive.
John Perry's life starts over at age 75, with his induction into the army. In humor, tragedy, and everything in between, John fights for humanity against the universe. When I read the perceptive and moving OLD MAN'S WAR at the time of its release, I thought it should win the Hugo.
I was dismayed when I fired up the audio of OLD MAN'S WAR and heard it was being read by the man whose superior drawl was such a poor fit for Rhennthyl of IMAGER. Fortunately, that voice is a much better fit for John Perry, who tackles his new life with experience and humor. The voice also has a flexibility it lacked in IMAGER. I laughed all the way through the pamphlet introducing John to his new possibilities, admired the insight of his relations with an enemy species, and hung on every word of high heroism.
OLD MAN'S WAR has surged to the top of my 2013 favorites so far, whether print or audio.
I have only been listening to audio books for a few months now and I have to say, This so far, Is my Favorite!!! I am glad I stumbled across John Scalzi, and Old Man's War especially. This book is very engaging and creates a very believable world and characters. I found myself excited to get in the car and here more of the story everyday.
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
I just finished Agent to the Stars and found it amusing enough to give Scalzi another dance. But gee, somewhere in there I just lost interest. I don't know (or care) if JS is scientologist but the taste of the lingo is there and the storyline feels soooo redundantly familiar and meh. I suppose I've mined the space sci-fi market too much not to find it growing stale. Maybe it's just me. It was narrated nicely, I just really felt like it was more of the same old story.
When things are nominated for Hugo awards, I expect them to be good fiction. This wasn't. It felt vaguely like a YA version of Starship Troopers, until it started including poorly written sex scenes and dumb-jock-style military dialog. Then I wasn't sure what it was. Would it have an ironic twist? Or perhaps some carefully constructed conceit that made it read better than a throwaway Star Trek novel from the early '80s? Nope. It was just dumb.
John Scalzi has written several sequels, so someone must be into this kind of thing. I'm going to go dig up some more early '80s Star Trek novels instead.
Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!
the life lessons behind it
When you get a brand new body the first thing you do is... plain honest writing
He did a great job with all different voices
yes but not to the point of tears
Say something about yourself!
It was a great story. It had a lot of new ideas and concepts that had not been explored so much in depth since Robert Heinlein. The whole idea gave a new twist to the ideas that I read almost 50 years ago in Starship Trooper.
John Perry was a great central character.
I enjoyed the unveiling of the whole idea of becoming a warrior. I do not want to spoil some of the surprises in the book.