Old Man's War by John Scalzi

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John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

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 aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone 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, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What's known to everybody is 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 your time 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 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.


About John Scalzi

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JOHN SCALZI is the author of several SF novels including the bestselling Old Man’s War sequence, comprising Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, and the New York Times bestselling The Last Colony. He is a winner of science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and he won the Hugo Award for Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of essays from his popular blog Whatever. His latest novel, Fuzzy Nation, hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
Published April 1, 2007 by Tor Books. 332 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Horror, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Old Man's War

BC Books

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I also recommend avoiding Paul Verhovan's film version of Starship Troopers which, although I know some view it as a great exercise in satire, utterly and steadfastly manages to avoid any of the elements that make Heinlein's book a good read.

Nov 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War

BC Books

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Aside from the story length, the only quibble I had plotwise with Old Man's War was the black-and-white, everybody-versus-everybody vision of the OMW's universe.

Nov 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War

BC Books

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Do you forever leave your family, friends, and everything you have ever known with the carrot being that in two years you might be able to start over on some planet light years from Earth and of which you know absolutely nothing?

Jul 22 2006 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War


But if you’re one of those people who really dislikes following the crowd’s book advice, please believe me when I say that I’m one of those people too and Old Man’s War is definitely a great read.

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SF Site

That said, I believed in and did largely enjoy the book's earlier sequences -- those on earth, in orbit and during the obligatory boot camp scenes -- but once these were done with and the shape of galactic "society" became apparent, Old Man's War seemed to drift into becoming a competently writte...

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SF Signal

Second, both books tell the story of a soldier’s rise through the ranks, only instead of a young newbie, Old Man’s War‘s protagonist is a seventy-five year old widower brought into top fighting condition through advanced rejuvenation techniques.

May 23 2005 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War

SF Signal

Related posts: REVIEW: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi REVIEW: The Last Colony by John Scalzi REVIEW: Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi REVIEW: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi REVIEW: Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi Tagged with: aliens • cybernetics • enhanced humanoid • future • John Sca...

Nov 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War

Geek Speak

As readers of this fine webzine know, though, Starship Troopers is one of my favorite books of all time (as opposed to, you know, favorite books of the week), and thus one could guess that I would like this book as well.

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Jackson District Library

If you like military sci-fi, or sci-fi in general or just like the idea of old people kicking A** I think you will like this book.

Jul 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Old Man's War

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Pete Herner 23 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5