Old Man's War

John Scalzi
Old Man's War Cover

Old Man's War


It turns out, this book is secretly a story about love and about friendship, with a whole lot of alien guts and rituals and brutal soldier deaths in between.

In our distant future, life does not end with death. It ends with war. Citizens of Earth are welcome to register themselves with the Colonial Defense Force, which they will join when they are 75 years old--hence the title. But this isn't about old men literally fighting in a war. Well, it is, but there's a whole process that involves turning old people into young people with 75 years worth of knowledge and experience in their heads. How this works, John Perry doesn't know, but we get to go along with him on a journey that begins at his wife's grave.

If you've ever seen Scalzi interacting on social media, then you will not be surprised by the writing, which is filled with snark, wit, and self-deprecation (though with less ALL CAPS than Scalzi's Twitter feed).

The story is much like any other soldier goes to boot camp, then heads out to face the brutality of war, with the interesting twist being the "old" part. This, combined with Scalzi's casual, colloquial style, makes for a pleasantly quaint read, despite the seriousness of war and death.