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Old Man's War by John Scalzi
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Old Man's War (original 2004; edition 2007)

by John Scalzi

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4,4292131,107 (4.1)1 / 305
Member:yarriofultramar
Title:Old Man's War
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:Tor Science Fiction (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:ebook, John Perry, Jane Sagan, Conciousness transfer, military sci-fi, sci-fi

Work details

Old Man's War by John Scalzi (2004)

Recently added bygurpsgm, Debbie.Schuler, vda, private library, Oakfairy, Knusper2000, -sunny-
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  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
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    Karlstar: John Scalzi introduces the universe of the Colonial Union in this book. Similar in feel to Starship Troopers, in many ways.
  6. 20
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  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".
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  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)
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English (208)  Croatian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (213)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
The military side is not as in depth as some authors but on the reverse the human side is better developed than many. There is minimal character development in this title but what can you expect when the main character starts as a 75 year old. Overall I enjoyed the title, its world building, and its characters. There was a fairly realistic consequence model without being ugly in a dark way as it presented (i..e. not leaving a feeling of disgust or hopelessness) overall 90% ( )
  jason9292 | Jul 17, 2014 |
Brought closer to reality by some of the suggestions that Mars be colonized by older people—with no thought of return trips—John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War imagines a future where Earth has colonies all over the place.

But so do other species. And some of them think we’re pretty tasty eating.

To defend colonies and fight off interstellar enemies, the Colonial Defense Force was born. Using stolen, purchased and/or reverse-engineered alien technology, the CDF promises their geriatric recruits a young, healthy body in exchange for being declared legally dead on Earth. Sign up for—and survive—a 10-year hitch, and you get a chance to colonize elsewhere.

John Perry and his wife, Kathy, decided to sign up. But between their initial interest—at age 65—and their actual enlistment—at age 75—Kathy suffered a fatal stroke. Now, John’s got nothing left to worry about, so he’s off on an adventure.

And boy, does it turn out to be an adventure. Things aren’t quite what they sounded like, and—on top of everything else—the fatality rate for CDF forces is pretty freakin’ high.

Then there’s this weird special ops group, the Ghost Brigade. What’s that all about, anyway?

Scalzi is always appealing—seriously, try his novels Redshirts or Fuzzy Nation—but here, he’s got all sorts of space opera action-adventure mixed up with the reality of aging. ( )
  KelMunger | Jun 5, 2014 |
As this started I really thought it was going to be exceptional but it only turned out to be good. ( )
  Matt_B | Jun 3, 2014 |
Protagonist that's not flaily and, well, young? Yes.

Science fiction that doesn't spend all its time trying to be twee and clever? Yes.

Hell, I even like the logic, and the setup. Sure, lots of reviews complain about the whole "but what is the point of an army like that?" but I'm also a bit of a military geek, and it makes a hell of a lot more sense than a straight clone army.

But that's another debate. Suffice to say, if you like your protagonists older than thirty, and all that comes with that, welcome to the club.

Basically this was a good book for me to read right now. Entertaining, clever and unpretentious.

...Even if my favorite secondary character died. That ALWAYS happens to me. ( )
  cendri | May 30, 2014 |
Along the same vein as The Forever War by Haldeman, Old Man's War is a great read about changing your life and going to war in space. I actually enjoyed Old Man's War more than The Forever War. The neat concepts regarding the technology used by the characters was very cool and I particularly enjoyed the 2nd half of the novel more than the first half (too much focus on sex). Would definitely recommend and am eager to read the following novels in the series. ( )
  briandarvell | Apr 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (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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Dedication
To Regan Avery, first reader extraordinaire, And always to Kristine and Athena.
First words
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.
Quotations
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)

(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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