Monday, 11 July 2011

John Scalzi - Old Man's War

Title: Old Man's War
Author: John Scalzi
Pub. year: 2007
Pages: 320
Editor: Tor Books

Summary : With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left him: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including fast-clotting "smartblood" and a brain-implanted personal computer. All too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry fights for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds.

I took the liberty of putting the awesome cover of the Subterranean Press edition instead of the ugly Tor one—I hope you don't mind. I thought that maybe, with a nicest cover, more people would try it... because let's admit it, not only the ugly cover but also the summary doesn't really give you the sudden urge to read this book. Doesn't work with me, at least—and yes, I'm not a huge hard SF fan, so sue me. But that, dear, that would be a great mistake. Because this is not hard SF. This is not a boring scientific book for nerds full of battleships and the likes. This, my lovely little bunnies, is the funniest and most awesome SF book I had the chance to read for a very long time.

I usually aren't that fond of old people, especially an old hero, but this one is an amazing old guy. His wife died and he realises that nothing really awaits for him anymore, so instead of wasting his last years, he enrolls in the Colonial Defense Force. Some people say that they only take in old people to make them young again before sending them to battle... and being young again is the dream of a big part of these old jeezers. Perry soon becomes friends with a bunch of them, naming themselves the Old Farts. Along with him being sent to weird planets needing to be protected from Aliens attacks, we follow the adventures of those guys, how they meet, how they live, how they die.

Yes, it's mostly about fun, but it's also about dying. The whole book is a deeply human adventure where people think about their lives, about all they lost, and all they will lose. About the right they have to conquer those planets, their right to kill other species for their own survival. About the rightness of their choices. Yes, you will have fun, this I can guarantee. You will also see the stars, some ships, some amazing technologic discoveries and some weird creatures, and the trip will take you to the end of the universe and back. But Perry will keep your feet on earth, that's for sure. Lucky you, if you miss him already, there are three sequels - not that any mystery is left at the end of the first book but I must say, more of this, it's hard to say no!

1 commentaires:

Great writer!
Here's a competition to win advance copies of his new book Redshirts!

John Scalzi Redshirts Competition

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