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review 2017-04-25 12:17
Old Man's War, John Scalzi
Old Man's War - John Scalzi

I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm not sure the world really needed another Starship Troopers or even another anti-Starship Troopers and I don't even know which this is. The characters discuss whether the endless conflicts with all and sundry are really necessary or not but the genuine political situation is never made clear and the author's politics of conflict is left in doubt, too.


What I see is a cleverly plotted story about an under-developed world (we get very little by way of a big picture), using the kind of smart-arse protagonist that seems to be Scalzi's default. It's fun, funny and minus all the SF trappings is a Vietnam war movie novelisation with nothing new to say. It is more of a novel than the thinly disguised screen-plays of later years, though.


Weirdly, despite the flimsy feel of it, I'd happily devour the sequels - or maybe because of the flimsy feel of it - I want to learn what that missing big picture is!

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review 2017-04-21 02:21
Old Man's War by John Scalzi - My Thoughts
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

I've been eyeing Scalzi's work for a while, but not being a huge sci-fi fan, I've always tended to pass over his books.  But after getting hooked on the TV shows The Expanse and Dark Matter, and reading the first of the Expanse books and loving it, I decided - after a quick check with some long time friends - that it was time for me to try Scalzi out.  It helped, of course, that the book was on a really good sale.  :)

And I liked it.  :)  Military space opera.  A protagonist that's closer to my age than most others these days and some really intriguing future world-building that wasn't too scientific for me.  I don't enjoy reading scientific treatises, you see.  And quite frankly, that's why this isn't 4 stars - there was a little too much techy-techy, OMG what are we going to become etc... for me.  I felt like this book was a good tale, a romp with some great characters and terrific bantering dialogue and those few parts that were of a techsophical bent just seemed preachy to me.

Anyhoo, I really did enjoy the book.  Enjoyed Scalzi's voice for the most part and will indeed read further in the series.  When they go on sale again.  *LOL*  The budget, man, the budget!!


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review 2017-04-20 23:33
Quickie #Audiobook Review: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
The Dispatcher - John Scalzi,Zachary Quinto

I picked up The Dispatcher as a freebie from Audible after a reading a favorable review. I found myself in between books recently, so I popped in my earbuds and gave it a go. What an excellent surprise!


Mr. Scalzi weaves a gripping whodunit set in a world where murder is nearly impossible. In fact, only one out of one thousand murder victims actually dies; the other 999 end up naked and alive back in their own homes. This gave rise to the Dispatchers, those hired to humanly kill people who are about to die from accidents and natural causes, so that they can avoid death.


The story focuses on locating a missing Dispatcher as a fellow Dispatcher and police detective as they unravel a series of clues. The pace of the tale is quick and the impact is fierce. But it's the dialogue surrounding the moral and religious impacts of the Dispatcher profession that makes the title really stand out. Throw in a few good twists and you've got a real winner.


Narration by Zachary Quinto is wonderful. Although his voice is highly recognizable, I found myself never once thinking of his famous characters from TV and movies. His even temperament and soothing tones drew me into the story. He reaches a wide range of female and male voices, each well suited to the character.

Regardless if The Dispatcher is still a freebie, I highly recommend picking it up and given it a listen.


Story: A
Narration: A

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review 2017-04-12 18:23
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi  
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

Interesting and so much fun. I'm going to love this series. This is a different universe for Scalzi: the planets are mostly not habitable on their surfaces, The universe isn't full of fascinating intelligent species, although there are a fair number of humans scattered about. Two of the main protagonists are women, both of them clever as hell, one also profane as hell. Her language, her incredible, individual, hand-crafted bespoke foul language is one othe the lightest and best ongoing jokes.

The story is concerned with a colonized universe, a new emperox of same, a clever mathematician, a clever foe, political machinations, and much of it slower than slugs because of the time constraints on communication.But even though the timeline is lengthy, the books never flags. It zips on, only filling in small amounts of the gaps.Oh, the depths of those plots!

It reminds me a bit of some of the Foundation books, except with a lot more humor. It more closely resembles Scott Westerfeld's novels of his Succession empire.

Scalzi does a great job of keeping the story grounded, while also maintaining his sense of humor.

Supremely enjoyable.
Library copy

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review 2017-04-11 21:38
Tried and Just Gave Up at 25 Percent (DNF)
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

I tried repeatedly to read and finish this book, but finally gave up at 25 percent (DNF). 


Look I like John Scalzi a lot. I loved "Redshirts" and "Lock In", but this book right here is all the worst bits of "The Android's Dream" and I refuse to read that book ever again.


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I think the biggest issue of why I couldn't get into this book is that I felt like I just got dropped right in the middle of an interesting story. But no one wants to take the time to explain to me why this story is so interesting and just wants me to shut up and get the big picture of whatever it is I am reading. Phooey to that noise. I just am not in the mood for a book set up this way like this.


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I finally asked another friend if they were feeling this book at all and she apparently moved on weeks ago and just gave her book to someone else. This may or may not have erupted into me calling her a betrayer or some such nonsense. Seriously though, I think if I had known she quit this book too, I would have DNFed it much sooner. I felt like a bad person for not liking this book. 


The flow was all over the place. I could not begin to tell you who is who in this book. I was too busy stumbling over names (Marce. Kiva, and Cardenia). Not that you can see this, but I seriously just spelled both of those characters names wrong like three times. Finally had to go back to the darn book to make sure. If it's still wrong, I don't even care.


I am not going to lie it's kind of an interesting idea (The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars that is now coming under fire when people realize that the Flow is moving people away from Earth as they know it). But maybe cause things are kind of terrible in the real world, I didn't get why everyone was up in arms about the whole thing.


Also Scalzi does my least favorite thing in his books when he tries to over explain the science behind things that made me go wait a minute, what and causes me to spend my time Googling things and not actually reading the book. 


Also because I am 2 years old every time I thought of "The Interdependency" I started thinking of that Matt Damon movie with Emily Blunt where they were running from the men in hats who were part of time travel and then I maybe got distracted and started watching that movie again. 


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Yeah. Once again, not going to feel sorry about it at all. 

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