Old Man's War by John ScalziOld Man's War by John Scalzi

Old Man's War

byJohn ScalziAs told byJohn Scalzi

Mass Market Paperback | January 15, 2007

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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.

Old Man's War Series
#1 Old Man's War
#2 The Ghost Brigades
#3 The Last Colony
#4 Zoe's Tale
#5 The Human Division
#6 The End of All Things
Short fiction: "After the Coup"

Other Tor Books
The Android's Dream
Agent to the Stars
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
Fuzzy Nation
Lock In
The Collapsing Empire (forthcoming)

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and Old Man's War, his debut novel, was a finalist for science fiction's Hugo Award. His other books include The Ghost Brigades, The Android's Dream and The Last Colony. He has won the Hugo Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for science-fiction, the Seiu...
Title:Old Man's WarFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 6.99 × 4.27 × 0.98 inPublished:January 15, 2007Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765348276

ISBN - 13:9780765348272


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good SF in the same vein as Robert Heinlein John Scalzi's writing is very heavily influenced by Robert Heinlein whose SF novels were revered for their precise look at how humans interact with each other and their surrounding. The focus in this book is on John Perry, a 75 year old man who enlists with the Colonial Forces in return for a new, younger version of himself. Scalzi's, at times humorously, describes how Perry becomes this younger soldier, but also gets some of the nuances with the change (muscle tone again, improved sex drive and an appetite for adventure). Perry however has his moments of doubt, and even questions if what he is doing is ethical or just. However he realizes that he isn't just fight for the colonists he protects, but also the people in his squadron; his friends. The biggest issue I had with the book was that, while it focussed on Perry and his journey through the first year of life in the military, it just kind of hopped from one battle to the next with only a loose connections between them. Sure, the focus was Perry and his ever changing feelings and thoughts out his decision to enlist, but I felt there could have been something more consequential to it all. And maybe, there isn't a point to war and that's what Scalzi's wanted to prove in the first place.
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from expositional intro to an exciting new world scalzi is an amazing storyteller
Date published: 2018-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining Somewhat reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's classic Ender's Game, but with a twist - this time, the protagonist is not a young child, but on old man, joining the Colonial Defense Forces after his wife's death. The absurdity of war, and the consequences of blindly following orders is on full display here. Very much looking forward to reading the sequel.
Date published: 2018-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All the good stuff from Starship Troopers What if Starship Troopers kept all the fun stuff and got rid of all the awkward Heinlein-y philosophising? I really loved this - it's fun, it's funny, and it's thoughtful without sacrificing any of the fun. Did I mention it's fun?
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Simple and amusing This was a simple and enjoyable science-fiction read. It avoids the complexity of many sc-i-fi novels who have a lot of neo-jargon or tech we do not understand. On the flip side, you won't get much dept from this military space opera. I would recommand it to people who just want a relaxing funny read or are new to sci-fi.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painful read I so wanted to like it. The ideas themselves were right up my alley: big sic fi universe, multiple civilizations, etc. I found it poorly written, with needless gore that added nothing to the story. The sorest point for me was that all female characters were pointless props for the males. They had no stories or motives of their own. I will not be picking up any other Scalzi novels if this is how he writes women.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Simplistic Fiction (Si Fi) I picked this up because there were reviews on the book comparing Scalzi to Heinlein. I can say those reviews are terribly inaccurate. As another review said, this might be a good book for someone just approaching scifi, because it is so simplistic. The characters are simple, story, setting, technology.. The only thing Scalzi seems to put any effort in is the action, which is nothing special either. The main character, even the idea that a 75 year old would make a good soldier because they have 'lived' is kind of goofy. As a person ages it's not just the body, the mind does as well. So seniors in young bodies seems like an ill thought gimic to me. But the basis of this book is: at 75 you can join the space marines. They go from planet to planet killing aliens, the main character John Perry is just amazing at it... well just because. That is the story, there isn't much else touched on. I would suggest The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
Date published: 2017-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely best in the series Intriguing world/tech building going on in this book. The main character is someone that you can really empathize with since he is just a regular guy. More on the light reading side, so you can get through this one pretty quick.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from scalzi Really great military science fiction. I flew through this in a weekend. Very exciting read.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read John Scalzi's vision of the soldiers of the future captured my attention and his writing grabbed me from page one. Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Approachable sci-fi for someone just starting in the genre I don't typically read sci-fi, but this came highly recommended from a friend, so I gave it a shot. It's very engaging, and while there's a lot of world-building and introduction of alien species and fanciful technology, none of it ever felt like too much or that I was spending all my time trying to remember a ton of details. Plus, it's a series, so you can enjoy another 5 books in the same world!
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wild and witty while some of the ideas may not be the most original, the writing itself is top quality
Date published: 2015-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Mil SF Title Scalzi's story of an old man joining the colonial forces is amazing. Scalzi tells a story that you can't put down.
Date published: 2015-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Scifi Awesome book . Well written and easy to read. No better an author to put all the elements needed to do a great scifi book.
Date published: 2015-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it What can I say, I was entranced, couldn't put the 'book' down. I greatly enjoyed this, the next in the series is the next book I will purchase
Date published: 2015-05-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid sci-fi I was a bit disappointed that Scalzi didn't get in to more detail about the organization of the CDF and the human colonies, but there was enough to keep me curious. The premise is excellent and I enjoyed the execution.
Date published: 2015-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sci fi in Starship Troopers style I've come back to traditional space opera sci fi after a long absence and this was a great place to start. A seventy-five year old brand new recruit goes to the stars, gets blown up, blows things up, finds love, starts life anew -- what's not to like?!
Date published: 2014-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting and fast paced A 75 year old signs up for the space army and must come to terms with life, death, and technological progress. The universe John has built is ironic and entertaining, with aliens both more advanced than us and some only an inch tall.
Date published: 2014-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fukushima Scalzi is quickly becoming a favourite. Red shirts was very amusing. This book reminded me a little of those brave seniors at Fukushima who put themselves in harms way to mitigate a disaster so younger professionals with families or yet to start families would not have to be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. It was either Clarke or Heinlein that suggested space should be explored by seniors to keep the best and brightest active in the gene pool.
Date published: 2014-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from None Well writen, good read
Date published: 2014-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Old man's war Right up there with Heinlein, the writing is excellent, the characters and dialog are engaging, making this an excellent read!
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good, no big deal Good book but not much of a wow factor
Date published: 2013-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Old man war This is an excellent book. Well written, gives you something to think about. Would you leave your old life for a chance at a new life, younger life, if so, would you be willing to start that life as a warrior? Read the book!
Date published: 2013-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The old mans war Interesting read,one of the best science fiction books I've read next to Enders game!
Date published: 2013-05-13

Read from the Book

"In this room right now are 1,022 recruits," Lt. Colonel Higgee said. "Two years from today, 400 of you will be dead."Higgee stood in the front of the theater, again. This time, he had a backdrop: Beta Pyxis III floated behind him, a massive marble streaked with blue, white, green and brown"In the third year," he continued, "another 100 of you will die. Another 150 in years four and five. After ten years -- and yes, recruits, you will most likely be required to serve a full ten years -- 750 of you have been killed in the line of duty. Three quarters of you, gone. These have been the survival statistics -- not just for the last ten or twenty years, but for the over two hundred years the Colonial Defense Forces have been active."There was dead silence."I know what you're thinking right now, because I was thinking it when I was in your place," Lt. Colonel Higgee said. "You're thinking -- what the hell am I doing here? This guy is telling me I'm going to be dead in ten years! But remember that back home, you most likely would have been dead in ten years, too -- frail and old, dying a useless death. You may die in the Colonial Defense Forces. You probably will die in the Colonial Defense Forces. But your death will not be a useless one. You'll have died to keep humanity alive in our universe."

Editorial Reviews

"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...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." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Solid.[Scalzi] sidesteps most of the cliches of military science fiction, delivers fast-paced scenes of combat and pays attention to the science underpinning his premise." -San Francisco Chronicle"Thought-provoking!" -Entertainment Weekly"Smartly conceived and thoroughly entertaining, Old Man's War is a splendid novel." -Cleveland Plain Dealer"Gripping and surpassingly original. It's Starship Troopers without the lectures. It's The Forever War with better sex. It's funny, it's sad, and it's true." -Cory Doctorow"John Scalzi is a fresh and appealing new voice, and Old Man's War is classic SF seen from a modern perspective--a fast-paced tour of a daunting, hostile universe." -Robert Charles Wilson"I enjoyed Old Man's War immensely. A space war story with fast action, vivid characters, moral complexity and cool speculative physics, set in a future you almost want to live into, and a universe you sincerely hope you don't live in already." -Ken MacLeod