Friday, June 28, 2013

Fiction: John Scalzi, Old Man's War


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.


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.


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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