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review 2017-07-31 04:43
[Book Review] Old Man's War
Old Man's War - John Scalzi

Old Man's War / John Scalzi

July has proven to be a horrible month for me, so I went for a light read as the Virtual Speculation pick.  Old Man's War is a light military SF read, written in a similar tradition of Starship Troopers, but it also manages to act as both a tribute and satire.

Title page of Old Man's War by John Scalzi. Autographed and snscribed with "Tegan, thanks for the brownies! You rock!"In general I enjoy Scalzi's work.  Fun, light reads, and he's proven to be a pretty good person as well.  This is the second Scalzi read I've done, the first being Lock-In (which I've still failed to post an actual review of).  I've also met Scalzi several times, the last time being several months ago where, as the inscription on my copy of Old Man's War indicates, I brought brownies to the author event.  In case you were wondering, it was a giant star brownie.  Sadly, I was trying a new recipe for making them from scratch, and it was not my best baking result.  (Sorry, John).

I ended up sitting down and reading the book in three days.  It would have been fewer, but I read another book in the middle of that.  As I indicated, it's not a heavy read.  Almost all aspects of the book is kept relatively light, and you know what, that's exactly what I wanted.

Discussion Fodder:

  • In what ways does Old Man's War compare or contrast to similar military SF (Starship Troopers, The Forever War, others)?
  • What do you think of the logic behind CDF recruitment, and the choice of the recruits?
  • Let's talk about colonialism!  The CDF espouses a pretty strong expansionist policy, one that relies heavily on use of military force against alien races.  How do their arguments stand or fall in the face of more technology advanced aliens?
  • The Ghost Brigades are made up of recruits who die before they receive their new bodies.  How does this change their personal development?  What are all the ethical complications of their existence?
  • What makes something military SF?
Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/book-review-old-mans-war.html
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review 2017-07-30 22:21
Review of "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

Bottom line:  I am going to read more in this series.


I loved it.  I'm not sure I should have been as amused as I was -- and the book did take almost nearly to the end to get more serious with more involvement in the characters.  The military aspect, colonization policies, ... all serious stuff making for unique, complex worldbuilding ( and yet for some reason laughable moments for me).


I really don't get -- beyond involving military -- all the comparisons with "Starship Troopers." I very much did find it remniscient of  some favorite classic SF writers like H. Beam Piper ("Uller Uprising"), Lester del Rey, and most certainly Robert A. Heinlein (just oddly not his "Starship Troopers," I think maybe because main character is an old man rather than teenage recruit that it has more an air of "Moon is a Harsh Mistress," "Time for the Stars" with its can't go back to exact same world, and any of the ones with old fart characters).


It was very well suited to a bookclub read.  Lots of fodder for discussions.  Plot broke well at chapter marks where I could conveniently space out to participate in group read.  Unfortunately, despite being a booklikes bookclub selection, I did wind up being the only participant reading it during assigned month.


The time it took to get me to invest in the characters who themselves did not seem particularly invested in anything or connected with anyone?  Well, that's how it lost a star away from perfect.

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text 2017-07-29 21:30
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

I need to digest it before I write a full review, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Join the group read in booklikes' Virtual Speculation Book Club for Old Man's War at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/50/virtual-speculation .

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text 2017-07-29 02:27
Reading progress: 84%.
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

Well, now I know about the Ghost Brigade.  


And I have a bit more of a connection to John Perry and the others instead of just finding this an amusing tale.


This series might just go somewhere.

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text 2017-07-27 21:18
Reading progress: 70%.
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

Still enjoying, still amused, and still curiously uninvolved (because characters don't seem to be).


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