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Starred Review. Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master. Seventy-five-year-old John Perry joins the Colonial Defense Force because he has nothing to keep him on Earth. Suddenly installed in a better-than-new young body, he begins developing loyalty toward his comrades in arms as they battle aliens for habitable planets in a crowded galaxy. As bloody combat experiences pile up, Perry begins wondering whether the slaughter is justified; in short, is being a warrior really a good thing, let alone being human? The definition of "human" keeps expanding as Perry is pushed through a series of mind-stretching revelations. The story obviously resembles such novels asStarship TrooperandTime Enough for Love, but Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy. The novel's tone is right on target, too—sentimentality balanced by hardheaded calculation, know-it-all smugness moderated by innocent wonder. This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10:  0765348276
ISBN-13:  978-0765348272
Author:  John Scalzi
Publisher:  Tor Science Fiction
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More Old Man's War reviews
review by . May 14, 2011
posted in SF Signal
I have to be honest, I’m really sad that I didn’t read this book sooner. John Scalzi’s 2005 novel Old Man’s Warencompasses everything that is good about military SciFi, and I’m very happy that I read it. John Perry is 75 years old and joining the Colonial Defense Force after his wife dies. The CDF promise a return to youthfulness, but the cost is never being able to return to Earth. John meets a motley crew of “old farts” on the way to begin training, …
review by . May 22, 2011
Intellectual Stealth Warfare
I read Old Man's War years ago because I had heard so many good things about it.  It was mentioned in the same breath with Starship Troopers (the book) and The Forever War.  Since the 90s I have been suspicious of books I hear good things about.  It is as though there has been a gradual star inflation since the early 70s.  Books that would have gotten 4 stars in 1973 get 5 stars today and 3 stars back then get 4 stars today.      Well I read Old Man's …
review by . June 15, 2010
Pros: A fantastic mix of story, comedy, and somberness     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: This novel surprised me in many ways and I enjoyed every second of it.     I shouldn't be, I really shouldn't be, but I have an image in my mind of what a science fiction novel includes.  I'm a total moron for thinking that, but at least I know it.  Suffice to say, I expected something completely different when I finally got around to reading …
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