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Old man's war by John Scalzi

Old man's war (original 2004; edition 2005)

by John Scalzi

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4,329None1,136 (4.1)1 / 294
Title:Old man's war
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:New York : A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2005.
Collections:Your library

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Old Man's War by John Scalzi (2004)

2008 (17) aging (23) aliens (76) colonization (23) ebook (117) fiction (343) goodreads (18) Hugo Nominee (25) Kindle (55) library (17) military (122) military sf (102) novel (38) Old Man's War (51) own (19) paperback (23) read (97) Scalzi (21) science fiction (1,069) series (32) sf (216) sff (46) signed (31) space (32) space opera (74) space travel (19) speculative fiction (32) to-read (84) unread (40) war (120)
  1. 152
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (goodiegoodie, jlynno84)
  2. 143
    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 (one-horse.library)
    one-horse.library: 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 (203)  Croatian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi – Interstellar space travel has enabled humanity to colonize planets in other solar systems. However, alien civilizations also are colonizing and the competition for acceptable planets has resulted in continuous intergalactic wars. On their 75th birthdays, humans on Earth have the opportunity to enlist in the military (Colonial Defense Force). Many choose to pursue this opportunity because the advancement of medical science enables the CDF to rejuvenate the enlistees, i.e., to make them young and strong again. Although they will never be able to return to Earth, they will receive generous severance benefits on a colony planet if they survive their term of combat. John Perry takes the deal after his wife dies, and the reader follows him through his rejuvenation, subsequent grueling training and perilous combat duty. This is a unique and very interesting novel about future intergalactic warfare. However, it is also a revealing look at human beings attempting to reclaim their youth, by risking their survival under savage conditions and dubious odds. It’s a very good beginning to this series. ( )
  clark.hallman | Apr 17, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

* In this universe, experience counts.
* Guns don’t kill people. The aliens behind the triggers do.

John Perry is 75 years old, his wife is dead, and he has nothing left to live for. It’s a perfect time to join the army, and the Colonial Defense Force is recruiting. They need a lot of loyal human bodies to maintain the universe colonization project, so their preference is to recruit old people, rejuvenate their bodies (nobody on Earth knows exactly how this happens), and train them to fight for the human race. Most of them will be dead within a few years, but that’s all they were expecting on Earth anyway. The Colonial Defense Force gives them something valuable to do for humanity, and a chance for a new life.

Old Man’s War is one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read this year. The premise — old people being rejuvenated — makes for an excellent twist on the usual alien-fighting theme. The elderly, as opposed to the usual young heroes we find in so many speculative fiction novels, have had a lifetime to accumulate knowledge, skills, wisdom, and experience. I found John Perry and his cohort to be mature heroes whom I could admire and enthusiastically cheer for. I cried for them, too, as they lost each other or ruminated on past loves. Perry’s explanation of why he missed being married was moving and reminded me of my graduate school days when I would have felt lonely and unsupported (and maybe quit) if it hadn’t been for my husband’s presence.

Scalzi’s villains, on the other hand — all those alien creatures — are absolutely horrifying! The humans usually have no idea what they’ll find on a new planet, which is why their mortality rate is so high. It could be an insectoid creature with razors for hands, or a jumping slime mold, or a virus... The diversity of alien life that Scalzi has created adds suspense and terror to his story.

Old Man’s War is not a comedy, but it’s often funny — very funny. I laughed hard and out loud many times. William Dufris, the narrator of the audiobook version I listened to, contributed to the humor by reading the funny parts in a perfect deadpan voice. Dufris was outstanding and I highly recommend Macmillan Audio’s version.

I will definitely be reading John Scalzi’s other books in this series. Old Man’s War was excellent.

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
The best science fiction uses the future technology as a lens to look at humanity. Scalzi puts his protagonist into space as part of the Colonial Defense Force. The catch is that he enlists at 75, an old widowed man. ( )
  dougcornelius | Apr 3, 2014 |
With over 200 reviews on LT I don't feel the need to say much about Old Man's War. I liked it as a fun read that I might reread one day and I will eventually track down a copy of the next book The Ghost Brigades.
  hailelib | Mar 28, 2014 |
Any thing you get for free is automatically suspected of being less than average in quality. Having never read any work by [author: John Scalzi], and it being the first download I received from Tor's free Sci-Fi book download at Watch the Skies - Tor.com hopefully you can understand my original misgivings about reading [book: Old Man's War]. Thankfully, I was wrong.

[book: Old Man's War] is an excellent read which follows 72 year old John Perry as he leaves Earth after the death of his wife a few years earlier and becomes a solider in the Colonial Army. I won't discuss the plot from there as it is impossible to do so without spoiling the first surprise in the book, but I will say I had a hard time putting the book down once I started reading it.

[author: John Scalzi] does an excellent job writing characters you want to continue reading about and weaves a story that draws you in and invites you to stay for a while. I know Tor's overall objective is to sell more books by giving some away and in this case, they have succeded as I am now planning on buying the other books written in this series such as [book: The Last Colony] and [book: The Sagan Diary]. I would invite you, urge you actually, to read this book if you get the chance. ( )
  AndyG1128 | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:50 -0400)

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"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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