Do you like classic science fiction? And no, I’m not talking about 50’s sci-fi B-movies. But stuff like Asimov, Pohl and Heinlein? Well then you will be very well served by John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War novels. These books are set in a not-so-far future with faster-than-light travel, transhuman augmentation, and many different, intelligent (and competitive) alien species. Yet this is a future where you will find a society that is recognizably human, with all that entails.
John Perry, the main character, is a decidedly old guy who is plucked from the Earth, augmented extensively, and made into a soldier for the Colonial Defense Forces. The CDF is in the business of protecting the human’s colonized worlds while also depriving other alien species of their own colonies. What could be more entertaining than that, I ask you?
Scalzi explores some interesting themes in these books – the meaning of war, xenophobia, what super-longevity could bring, etc. However, these topics do not weigh the books down. These are definitely action/adventure stories and great entertainment.
I completed the third book in this series during the visit to see my parents in Kansas City early this week. In The Last Colony John Perry is no longer a soldier but now a colonist and family man. His augmentations have been stripped away and he is now back to being human; but still an old man in a young body. This doesn’t stop him from becoming embroiled in war and political intrigue.
These books are easy to read and their stories are compelling. Also, John Scalzi’s blog is quite fun. Be sure and check it out.