Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi

The sequel to Old Man’s War, this episode is told from the point of view of a member of Special Forces, a group of soldiers created from the DNA of the dead. I didn’t find this as inventive as Old Man’s War, but the plot was more interesting. One of the newly created Special Forces members has a memory overlay attempted but seems to fail. However, over time more and more of the other personality begins to break through; considering this other set of memories belong to a traitor, the table is set for an interesting action jaunt with some light examination of what it means to be an individual.

As with most of Scalzi’s writing, the sense of humor here is undeniable. In a scene where newly hatched soldiers are exploring pre-Colonial speculative fiction to learn about humanity, Scalzi gets to throw in his snide opinions on Starship Troopers, The Forever War, and the Star Wars series. “Everyone wanted a lightsaber and was irritated the technology for them didn’t really exist. Everyone also agreed the Ewoks should all die.” There is no mention of the chronologically first three Star Wars movies, so my assumption is they didn’t stand the test of time—as it should be!

First Sentence:
No one noticed the rock.

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