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Old Man's War by John Scalzi

Old Man's War (original 2005; edition 2007)

by John Scalzi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,499272790 (4.08)3 / 389
Title:Old Man's War
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:Tor Science Fiction (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Science Fiction

Work details

Old Man's War by John Scalzi (2005)

  1. 162
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (goodiegoodie, jlynno84)
  2. 163
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ohdio, jlynno84)
    ohdio: This book contains a lot of action, while still maintaining a nice human element.
  3. 100
    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (JulesJones)
    JulesJones: Two books which examine in different ways what happens to the recruits in an interstellar war who by the very nature of their service can never go back to their home culture.
  4. 80
    Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold (jlynno84)
  5. 30
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Karlstar)
    Karlstar: John Scalzi introduces the universe of the Colonial Union in this book. Similar in feel to Starship Troopers, in many ways.
  6. 20
    Dauntless by Jack Campbell (goodiegoodie, BruderBane)
  7. 31
    Armor by John Steakley (goodiegoodie)
  8. 10
    Future War by Jack Dann (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: An anthology of stories in this vein.
  9. 10
    Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein (JulesJones)
    JulesJones: The obvious Heinlein influence on Scalzi's "Old Man's War" is "Starship Troopers", but this also covers some of the same ground as Heinlein's YA "Space Cadet".
  10. 10
    Containment by Christian Cantrell (freddlerabbit)
  11. 00
    Expendable by James Alan Gardner (PhoenixFalls)
  12. 00
    Cobra by Timothy Zahn (PhoenixFalls)
  13. 00
    47 Echo by Shawn Kupfer (tottman)
    tottman: 47 Echo lacks the depth (and the universe-spanning scope) of Old Man's War, but the story and the fighting are both quite enjoyable. I won't say it's nearly as good as Old Man's War, but it is a quick, fun enjoyable read. And there's a lot of potential from this author I hope to see come out in future books.… (more)
  14. 00
    Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred (goodiegoodie)
  15. 00
    Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell (tcgardner)

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English (265)  Swedish (1)  Croatian (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (272)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Part Ender's Game (without the hero worship) part Starship Troppers (without the fascism) and quite a lot of fun. A few plot errors (one pertaining to the whereabouts of the crew of the Sparrowhawk spring to mind) and a couple of "just so"-moments took a little bit away from it. ( )
  pan0ramix | May 26, 2017 |
I've been reading John Scalzi's blog, Whatever, for a few years now, but I haven't gotten around to reading one of his books until now. I think Old Man's War is one of his most famous books, and I was able to get it for a bargain at Half Price Books, so that's the one I chose to start with.

From reading his blog, I expected Scalzi to be a good writer, but he exceeded my expectations by far! Old Man's War is set in a future where humans are colonising the stars, but livable space is at a minimum, so there are constant battles. The Colonial Union, an entity entirely separate from Earth's government, controls all human space efforts. The only way to get off-world is either to get picked by them to colonise, or join the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) on your 75th birthday. John Perry is doing the latter.

The world of Old Man's War is fascinating, although it seems like it's about to come crumbling down. Given the mystery of the CDF, I expected a grand conspiracy or a secret plot, but Scalzi plays it totally straight. The book was obviously inspired by Starship Troopers (which I actually like a lot), but has better writing and an author that's not crazy. I haven't read a good adventure story in a while, and this book definitely filled a craving I didn't even know I had.

I loved the idea of the CDF recruiting old people to fight, since they have the life experience necessary to be wise and understand the importance of their fight. It's a very sensible idea. John Perry is a great protagonist, and every character in the book, no matter how minor, is full of life. Scalzi has a great sense of humour, and it shows!

I can't wait to read the next book, The Ghost Brigades. ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
If you like Heinlein's "Starship Troopers", with a dash of Joe Haldeman's "Forever War" thrown in for a bit of flavor you will like "Old Man's War".

John Scalzi has produced a book that is a homage to Heinlein; it's fast paced, interesting and is just fun to read.

Recommended. ( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
I wanted to like this more, but it all felt pretty thin. Not bad, but our noble hero is pretty Mary Sue-ish and the exposition overwhelms the plot in a lot of places, not to mention the strong echoes of Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.

That said, the world shows promise, and it was a fun, fast read, so I'll probably read at least one more to confirm/disconfirm my initial impressions. ( )
  sinceyouasked | Mar 17, 2017 |
Muy entretenido. Me lo he pasado genial leyéndolo. En breves, la segunda parte. ( )
  Owdormer | Feb 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emerich, BernadetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Regan Avery, first reader extraordinaire, And always to Kristine and Athena.
First words
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.
There has never been a military in the entire history of the human race that has gone to war equipped with more than the least that it needs to fight its enemy. War is expensive. It costs money and it costs lives and no civilization has an infinite amount of either. So when you fight, you conserve. You use and equip only as much as you have to, never more.
The reason we use force...is that force is the easiest thing to use. It's fast, it's straightforward, and compared to the complexities of diplomacy, it's simple. You either hold a piece of land or you don't. As opposed to diplomacy, which is intellectually a much more difficult enterprise.

. . . "There has never been a military in the entire history of the human race that has gone to war equipped with more than the least that it needs to fight its enemy. War is expensive. It costs money and it costs lives and no civilization has an infinite amount of either. So when you fight, you conserve. You use and equip only as much as you have to, never more."

He stared at us grimly. "Is any of this getting through? Do any of you understand what I'm trying to tell you? You don't have these shiny new bodies and pretty new weapons because we want to give you an unfair advantage. You have these bodies and weapons because they are the absolute minimum that will allow you to fight and survive out there. We don't want to give you these bodies, you dipshits. It's just that if we didn't, the human race would already be extinct."

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765348276, Mass Market Paperback)

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 alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going 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. Everybody knows 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 two years 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"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."--"Publishers Weekly," starred review. A Hugo Award finalist.… (more)

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