Saturday, June 13, 2009

Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

Set in the near future where Earth is involved in an interstellar war, our hero joins the Colonial Defense Forces when he turns seventy-five. The Fountain of Youth hasn’t been found and neither has technology or medicine extended life-spans to hundreds of years, so what the army wants with the elder generation is the mystery explored in part I. Parts II is more straightforward space military fiction, and part III gives a closer look at the aliens along with a satisfying conclusion.

Scalzi writes in a fashion that is both engaging and smart, something I treasure in pulp fiction. For instance, part I ends with an excellent foreshadowing of what happens at the conclusion of part II, but is subtle enough so that you don’t realize it until it hits you in the face. Humor is prevalent as well, with the main character cracking jokes at which nobody laughs throughout. One of my favorite parts was when we find out the names our band of friends give to their personalized AIs: Asshole, Dipshit, Bitch, Dickwad, Fuckhead, Satan, and Sweetie. Clearly one of the crew wasn’t as disturbed as the rest when the AI was activated! I quite enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel, The Ghost Brigades.

First Sentence:
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.

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