In John Scalzi's best-selling Old Man's War series of science-fiction novels, we see this warrior woman as the other characters see her: silent and strong, from the outside. But now The Sagan Diary shows us Sagan from another point of view - her own. As she prepares to leave military life and join her new husband and adopted daughter on a colony world, Sagan reflects on her life, in her own words - recalling friends, battles, and experiences; illustrating all the violence and wonder of her times; trying to fit "an entire life into this compressed space".
For fans of Scalzi's works, it's an intimate and surprising glimpse into one of his most popular characters. As read by Stephanie Wolfe, it's unlike any other science-fiction story you'll hear this year.
©2006 John Scalzi; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
This is a poem about life and a love letter in book form. If you're looking for plot and action, skip this book. If youre looking for some amazing writing and thought provoking analogies this will fit it nicely after the ghost brigades.
The writing isn't bad, it actually had some interesting quotes. The problem is I paid 5 dollars for an hour of audio book. This should be free, especially considering it contains no direct value to the series.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I really liked Old Mans War and most of the rest of the series, but this had no story, no action, and the only Sci Fi was second hand. This is a short story length diary entry monologue by Jane about life, love, killing and death. Maybe (just maybe) if I had just finished Old Mans War yesterday, I might have found the references to that story compelling. I doubt it. It takes really good prose to support a format like this. Proust yes, Scalzi not yet. This is not at all bad, but the writing is just not up to this otherwise boring format. I can’t think of anyone I would recommend this to. If you just finished The Old Mans War and really would like to know Jane’s deep internal longings, well. I would read Old Mans War again, but maybe some people would enjoy The Sagan Diary.
I was so excited to get this audiobook, and there was a great interview with John Scalzi all about him trying a new format and really getting into the female mindset - it sounded so good I couldn't wait! All I can say is that he has no idea how women think (or he knows some very strange robot-like ones), and the new format was a mistake. I have never heard anything so boring, and I think it would be just as dull in print. What a shame! His other work is brilliant.
I have always enjoyed Scalzi's work. This is not one of his usual efforts. In the introduction he explains how this piece came about. I think he did a good job of meeting his goal, but it wasn't quite what I wanted. And at the end, I really don't think I learned anything important about Jane Sagan. I'm glad I listened to it, but I'm also glad it was short.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
If you're just beginning this series with "Old Mans War"-and take note..these books really need to be listened to in order-the place to listen to this totally different short story is after the second book.."The Ghost Brigades". IMO.
This short bit is written as a diary when Jane Sagan decides to make a big change in her life as a warrior and become a colonist. She downloads memories and thoughts that are supposed to be part of an encyclopedia on the fighters who have made the decision to change their lives but instead records personal thoughts on her past life (lives) and hopes for her future with John Perry.
Written in the first person, it's heartfelt, meaningful, and completely unlike anything Scalzi has previously written-and I commend him on his ability to write such a strong female personality into the book. It is good solid writing and Stephanie Wolfe does a grand job on the narration.
Scalzi himself gives a brief summary on the background of the short story and I am quite happy that he decided to fulfill his obligation by writing this....he really stretched himself and succeeded in making a tremendous addition to the series. A series I've come to enjoy a lot.
Do buy this if you've gotten hooked on the books-it adds a lot.
Book Blogger and Planetary Defense Commander
If you're like me, you are looking at this book because you loved old man's war, ghost brigades, and the lost colony, and you're hoping to get another entertaining, thought-provoking story. Here's a warning that I wish someone had given me:
In a prologue, the author basically states that he's good at writing dialogue and action, and wants to try a story without those elements. I wish I had just deleted the book at that point. I forced myself to listen to the entire book, although my mind kept wandering to topics it found more entertaining, such as fruit fly genetics. I kept hoping there would be something good later on, but there wasn't. If listening to a woman talk about her feelings for an hour and a half sounds like entertainment to you, maybe you'll enjoy this book, but I'm guessing that isn't the case for most fans of old man's war.
I have enjoyed listening to every John Scalzi book I could find, until now. And the rotten thing is, it's my fault I listened to this one. Had I done the most cursory of research, I would have realized that this book is not for me. (I haven't read The God Engines yet because I'm aware of its departure from his other work, fwiw, so I'm not sure what I was thinking.)
The Sagan Diary was written, Mr. Scalzi explains, to increase bids at a charity auction. He wrote in a completely different style than any of his other work- an internal monologue. He reports he loves the book. I am so glad that he wrote this book, enjoyed it and likes the outcome. I think many authors write to please their audience and their work suffers for it. Authors should, if they want to, write new things in a new ways that make them grow and develop as artists. Few things are as disappointing as the 18th (or was that 14th) book in a series that is the third book rehashed without the joy and creativity of the original and with no character growth.
Having said that, we, the readers, need to make ourselves aware of what we are getting into - by reading reviews, author notes, and / or listening to samples. I, unfortunately, did not do any of these things. What this book is and how it differs from all of his other writing are not secrets or even hard to find out about. Shame on me.The Sagan Diary is not my cup of tea. I made it through 2 chapters and then cut my losses. The reading is fine, the writing is fine, but I do not want to listen to someone's internal monologue with no story. I could be wrong, there could be a story and I didn't listen long enough to figure out what it was.
I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Scalzi so I am feeling pretty bad about what I'm about to type. I found this work to be pure navel gazing word vomit worthy of the most vapid sixteen year old.
If you are looking for something different by Mr. Scalzi, read this book. If you are looking for something more "typical" of Mr. Scalzi's work, this book is not for you.
It was the same as a character development within a story. BUT, without the story. Anyone could have written it. I learned my lesson with Scalzi. It takes years for an author to build integrity with his fans. But a trite experiment of high school quality will lose it faster than your intestines with food poisoning.
Warn us. Not print it. If he gives books away as he did here, do it with quality. Sooo disappointing.
Not automatically as before.
The cost was simply set up to rip people off. I will do my homework next time and not trust that this author portrays integrity. Drop 3 or 4 ratings down on radar. Bad books are a warning for those who are not ready. I was had. Lesson learned.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I am really only rating this book as '3 Stars' out of honor for the other books in the series, which were VERY good in my opinion... If I'd listened to this book as a "Stand Alone" I probably wouldn't have even bothered to rate it, but since I enjoyed the other books in the series, I guess I have to give it at least a 'three' for filling in a little background on one of the main characters... Having said that, it's not a book I'd listen to again just for the enjoyment, and to be honest, I struggled to finish it.
As I said in my review of the first book in the series ("Old Man's War"), "The Sagan Diary" seems to be some sort of "Side-Step" to the main series, and in my opinion didn't really add anything important to the "actual" series. It was written as a "prize" for the highest bidder when one of the other books in the series was auctioned to benefit a library... I'm sure it's a masterpiece of prose, but I like "Sci-Fi" and action, not a deep treatise that I now remember only as "how do I feel about feeling when not born to feel?" (Those aren't exact words, but it's the "feeling" *I* got from reading it ;)
The narration by Stephanie Wolfe was very well done, and I truly think her performance was just about the only thing that actually kept me paying attention to the story overall.
"Passive tense, introspective and a tad boring."
I love Scalzi and his world. It's generally action filled, humorous and insightful. This was more a tale of someone saying 'I'm different ... I can love' but it was hard to connect with either the character or world.
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