Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

I'm late to the John Scalzi party.

My social media addiction regularly introduces me to authors whose works I haven't read.  Most of the time, I respond with an internal thought of  "I should get around to reading her/his stuff."   Every once in a while the social media universe (for me, that's mostly the blogosphere and the Twitterverse and the FB galaxy) provides multiple reference to a new work or for a single author.  Eventually, those repeated points of contact hit critical mass, and I accept the advice the social media world is sharing.

This time, it was "READ JOHN SCALZI."

And so I did.

And then I was annoyed that the social media pundits had waited so long to send me a sign.

People, I'm way late to the party, and it's a hell of a shindig.

According to his own website, John Scalzi is best known for a series of books that started with Old Man's War.  I devoured the first one last week in Italy, and I plan to start (and finish) the second one, The Ghost Brigades, tomorrow.  (I'm not alone in this admiration.  Old Man's War was nominated for major awards and polls as a reader favorite for sci-fi fans.  I TOLD you it was a hell of shindig.)
What if all that was old
could be new again?

Old Man's War is a tale of John Perry, a widower who joins the military ranks on his seventy-fifth birthday.  (Yes, you read that right. Thus, the name of the book.)  This particular army is interested in recruits willing to cut their ties to Earth for a chance to live in a galactic colony after serving at least two, but as many as ten, years.  Most people sign up because they assume that the army has a way of fixing all the physical indignities of the natural aging process.  Why else would they let senior citizens sign up?While the chances of serving and surviving aren't high, the chances that most 75-year-olds will make it to 85 without medical intervention are just as slim.  And so John goes.  He IS fixed up, and he fights, and he learns about an entire universe of technology and biology he never knew before.  

Old Man's War is a story of major "what ifs". What if you could be physically "cured" when you hit 75?  What would you give up in order for that to happen?  What if there were intelligent lifeforms smarter, faster, meaner, and more zealous than anything Earth has to offer?

I thought this was an amazing book because it took some crazily complicated technological possibilities and made an easy read out of them.  I, like a few of the characters in the book, don't have the math to understand the physics of John's new world.  That didn't stop me from reading, (mostly) understanding, and enjoying what was going on.  So please don't let a lack of science (or math) stop you from reading this.  It's THAT good.

Come on.  Join me in making a tragically late appearance to the John Scalzi party.

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1 comment:

  1. I won a copy of his new book Red Shirts, but it hasn't arrived yet. :-) It's a really interesting premise, based on the sci fi world joke how red shirts on Star Trek were always the expendable crew members.