The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea of what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine. And what he will become is far stranger.
©2005 John Scalzi (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
"Scalzi's imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated." (The Washington Post)
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I consider Scalzi to be a great story teller. His books are always innovative & interesting. As a craftsman, I'm not a great fan. There are very few instances at which I find myself saying, "wow,that's just a beautiful sentence" I listen to Scalzi for the stories, not for the language. For example, there's Scalzi's annoying habit over over-using "he said, she said, John said, Mary said, etc., ad nauseum. In all fairness there's relatively little of that in this particular book. In "Redshirts", it drove me stark, raving mad. In "Agent to the Stars" it was merely annoying. In "Old Man's War" it was barely noticeable. Don't get me wrong, I loved this book & just downloaded the next 2 volumes in the series. It's not a classic military sci fi but it's damned good and I'm getting to be more & more of Scalzi fan with every book to which I listen. As for the narration, it was quite competent. The few mispronunciations I thought I heard were, in fact, not mispronunciations and I apologize to William Dufris for certain slanderous subvocalizations that I might have made during my listening to this book! He is, in fact, a very fine narrator.
Always on the look out for a great story that sweeps me into another world, time, or person. I hate being bored by literature.
A fun space romp (literally) mixed with military saga and a persistent and nagging question of what it means to be truly human.
I enjoyed this novel. Scalzi's writing here is superior to Red Shirts and Lock In. Old Man's War had a likeable protagonist and the pacing never dragged as happens in so many novels. Most of all, I enjoyed Scalzi's humor which complimented the solid sci-fi/action scenes. Don't be put off by the title as the book is far from being old and tired.
Good characters, great story, compelling narrative. reminded me of starship troopers mixed with time enough for love. it made you care, and was very believable. i found the cursing distracted fro. the story. why do writers of late find the need to add thr F word so much? Heinlein never cursed in his boiks, amd thr story was rhe better for it. i will read more from this author.
Was not sure what to think but he has quickly grown to become one of my favorite sci-fi authorz. this title led me to some of his other works like Locked In. and the Ghost Brigades and I was just as happy with
them as well
Aires male -- often butts head against reality
It takes a while to chew through through the rind of the author's set-up before savoring the tastier plot morsels later on. Once you've shucked the shell of introductory material, there is a fair amount of guesswork -- enough to keep you listening. Also, the narrator is good at distinguishing voices; I was never at a loss for who was speaking. All these positives outweigh the negatives of Norman Rockwell sentiment and corny repartee. Overall, soldiering through "Old Man's War" along with the characters is a worthwhile investment in time. The author succeeds in drawing us into his world and reflecting on his questions about humanity even if the answers are not surprising.
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