Sunday, December 18, 2011


I haven’t used GUARDIANS OF THE GENRE! to review the books I read, because most of the books I read either didn’t  motivate me enough to spend my time reviewing; or I didn’t think enough of the followers of this blog would be interested in reading them.
As I mentioned in my SHELFARI IS DA SHIZNIT! post April 18, 2010, I joined this social networking website devoted to books earlier that month. I have been using Shelfari’s features – which include creating your own custom profile, building a virtual bookshelf , rating and discuss books and discovering new books – for the past nineteen months and have surprised myself by posting thirty-one (mostly short) reviews of the forty-five books I’ve posted there as having read in the past two years.
Anyone interesting in reading some of my book reviews, or just some of the books that I’ve read, can click on the Shelfari widget in the right column of this blog (right below the “Labels for lookin’”) or click on this link:
I was sufficiently excited by Old Man’s War by John Scalzi to share with you this brief review.
Vincent Chong's artwork for the Subterranean Press limited edition of Old Man’s War
John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” is definitely in the tradition of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and Haldeman's "Forever War”. However, Mr. Scalzi’s take on future war is more concerned with how technology affects man, than in the actual combat itself.
The point-of –view character of “Old Man’s War”, John Perry, is very much an everyman. But unlike the characters from the previously mentioned classics (both of which I’ve read and liked), Perry is an elderly man who volunteers to join the Colonial Defense Forces, [MINOR SPOILER] so that he will be put into the body of a young man and given a second chance at life – provided he survives his ten years of service. This gives his character a different outlook on advanced technologies, alien conflict and general human philosophy. Scalzi examines all these topics and more, while advancing the plot of Perry’s training in the CDF and his eventual trail-by-combat.
I greatly enjoyed “Old Man’s War” and its humanistic approach to the problems of future war. I will definitely be reading the sequel “The Ghost Brigades”!
For science fiction fans who have been dissatisfied with the recent depictions of human and alien conflict in both film and Television, you may find reading Old Man’s War will satiate your need for a more in-depth  depiction of the subject.
Director Wolfgang Petersen
If you need any more motivation to read this book: Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the John Scalzi novel Old Man’s War, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct and David Self adapting the tale into a large-scale science fiction project. Scott Stuber will produce through his Stuber Pictures banner, with Petersen also producing.

Read the book now, so that when you see the movie you can groan along with me and say, “The book was better!”

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