Friday, June 28, 2013

Fiction: John Scalzi, Old Man's War

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I gave up on sci fi some time ago. I think of myself as still liking it in principle, but so much of it seems, even by my rather modest standards, unreadably awful... So I kind of abandoned the genre. But I've been testing the sci fi waters again, and just finished John Scalzi's Old Man's War.

I'd call this a good beach read. It's perhaps not quite a space opera...maybe it's a space operetta... It'll remind you of Starship Troopers (though any such book probably will), but it's far from a generic space infantry tale. Just when you think you're in for a straight-up bug hunt, Scalzi will throw in an idea that will liven up the old formula enough to keep things fresh. There are some decent characters and more than a little genuinely amusing banter (though that typically goes on a line or two too long, and tends to pass amusing and wind up being cutesy...but, hey, that's not going to kill you).

Old Man's War isn't a classic of the genre or anything, but I think it's a solid effort. I've been reading for straight-up entertainment of late, and those are the standards I'm applying here...  But I simply abandon way more than half of the novels I start. If a book doesn't have something to offer, I just toss it and start something else. But I eagerly finished OMW, and would read a sequel if one showed up (which it won't, since the tale seems fairly self-contained).

So there's that opinion, FWIW.

2 Comments:

Blogger Random Michelle K said...

My late grandmother was very fond of SF (she also loved mysteries, and romances without boinking) and she quite enjoyed Scalzi's books.

I personally, can't stand to read SF (no idea why, just don't) but my husband and father like SF, so I'm exposed to it.

My husband liked Kim Stanley... Robinson? I forget... Mars series. Red Mars, Blue Mars, Green Mars I believe.

Also, I'm doing a summer reading program for charity this summer (as are several friends) so you're welcome to make your summer reading count towards charitable donations of several sorts.

(http://klishis.com/Books/summer_reading/index.php)

My CAPTCHA is ssockem sense? That sounds like a 70s kids game featuring Jane Austen characters.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several sequels out there.

Ghost Brigade was the first sequel.

Then Zoe's Tale I think, and maybe another one.

All by Scalzi.

If you're looking for a fun read that pokes fun at the whole Sci Fi Genre, I laughed out loud several times at Scalzi's Redshirts.
~MMR (old hbr221f)

12:06 PM  

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