Old Man's War

Old Man's War

by John Scalzi

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Friday, October 19  Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details


Old Man's War by John Scalzi

A perfect for gift for an entry-level sci-fi reader and the ideal addition to a veteran fan’s collection, John Scalzi's Old Man’s War will take audiences on a heart-stopping adventure into the far corners of the universe.

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it to the stars. The bad news is that, out there, planets fit to live on are scarce—and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Responsible for protecting humanity, the Colonial Defense Force doesn’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth, never to return. You’ll serve two years in combat. And if you survive, you’ll be given a homestead of your own on a hard-won planet light-years from home.

John Perry is taking that deal. He thinks he knows what to expect. But the actual fight is far, far harder than he can imagine—and what he will become is far stranger.

“Gripping and surpassing the original. It’s Starship Troopers without the lectures. It’s The Forever War with better sex. It’s funny, it’s sad, and it’s new.” —Cory Doctorow

“Smartly conceived and thoroughly entertaining, Old Man’s War is a splendid novel.” —The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi’s astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765348272
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 01/02/2007
Series: Old Man's War Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 32,935
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.86(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)

About the Author

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut, Old Man’s War, won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, Redshirts, which won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel, and Lock In. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

"In this room right now are 1,022 recruits," Lt. Colonel Higgee said. "Two years from today, 400 of you will be dead."

Higgee stood in the front of the theater, again. This time, he had a backdrop: Beta Pyxis III floated behind him, a massive marble streaked with blue, white, green and brown

"In the third year," he continued, "another 100 of you will die. Another 150 in years four and five. After ten years — and yes, recruits, you will most likely be required to serve a full ten years — 750 of you have been killed in the line of duty. Three quarters of you, gone. These have been the survival statistics — not just for the last ten or twenty years, but for the over two hundred years the Colonial Defense Forces have been active."

There was dead silence.

"I know what you're thinking right now, because I was thinking it when I was in your place," Lt. Colonel Higgee said. "You're thinking — what the hell am I doing here? This guy is telling me I'm going to be dead in ten years! But remember that back home, you most likely would have been dead in ten years, too — frail and old, dying a useless death. You may die in the Colonial Defense Forces. You probably will die in the Colonial Defense Forces. But your death will not be a useless one. You'll have died to keep humanity alive in our universe."

Table of Contents

TOC not available

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Old Man's War 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 339 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Old mans war has to be the best book that i have ever read. I stumbled apon it in the airport on one of my journeys across the country the last summer. The book was marveing and i found it to be so interesting that i couldn't put it down. The story of John Perry giving up his 'old' body for a new military green one to fight for the CDF. As the book moves on you will became attached to the characters as they went on missions against alien species bent on destruction of mankind and the aquisition of planets that bare natural resources. I won't tell about the book because it would give away the book, but i will tell you that if your a sci-fi/action&adventure lover that this book is definently for you! Be warned that this book and the sequels to this book(The Ghost Bridgades, The last Colony) are extreme in detail to violence/gore and love/sex. But all in all one of my favorites along with the sequels. !!!Enjoy Them!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
When he turned seventy-five, earthling John Perry visits the grave site of his wife of forty-two years Kathy interred in an Arizona cemetery. He reflects how much he misses her, how he hates coming here, and that her last words dealt with finding vanilla as she was making pancakes when she stroked to death. With nothing to keep him here, John abruptly decides to join the Colonial Defense Force struggling to defend or annex other worlds in deadly competition with alien races for control of the few hospitable planets....................... As a recruit, John receives standard gear to include a much younger healthier body that is beyond the ability of most non government citizens to buy except the affluent. Like his brothers and sisters in arms, he bonds with them as they are his family and his hope to survive one skirmish after another in many cases against superior aliens. As his comrades die and collateral damage devastate civilian population, John begins questioning the worth war that enables a few to economically gain a lot at the cost of others even as he begins to ponder whether he is still human.................... Paying homage to Heinlein (Starship Trooper the book not the movie), John Scalzi provides a tense anti-war military science fiction thriller that will leave fans pondering what is war good for. Readers will also wonder about who benefits from scientific advances and military operations and what actually a human is as science changes Homo sapiens. The story line is action-packed once John enlists as the audience get inside his head while he goes from ¿youthful¿ awe to experienced cynic. OLD MAN¿S WAR is a terrific tale of a belligerent future in space.......................... Harriet Klausner
LaKitteh More than 1 year ago
When I saw this book compared to 'Starship Troopers', I was skeptical. As a lifelong sci-fi reader I can honestly say that not many books can be compared to Robert A. Heinlein books... but this book, this ENTIRE series of books, is the exception! Once I picked it up I was unable to put it back down. Imagine a future where the OLD are encouraged to go into the army while the young stay behind... the lure? To be young again. Follow along as John Perry leaves behind Earth and old age, to be a soldier for the Colonial Defense Forces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Way back when I read the classic 'Starship Troopers' as a sci-fi fan and always rated it one of the best. Old Man's War takes it's place as my favorite in this style. All of it is very believable which makes for great sci-fi. Especially the problems of traveling great distance in the universe. And how old men and women can live another life starting at age 25 with the wisdom of age 75.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a refreshing change for me after reading a couple of so-so (non-scifi) books from my favored authors. I rember reading scifi back in the 5th grade and had forgot how good credible scifi can be. I have to believe this one is among the better modern scifi novels availbale today - if you've been away for a while, here's a book that could bring you back - highly recommended!
BigLazyTomcat More than 1 year ago
Unique story with interesting concepts. If you like stories where the morality of the "Good Guys" comes into question, you'll like this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I stumbled across this book about a month ago. This was an enjoyable read for me. I especially liked the way Scalzi explained how technology worked in his universe, without getting too technical. I have since read the Ghost Brigade and Lost Colony and I'm currently reading Zoe's Story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fellow employee showed it to me and the first two sentences sucked me in. A very original story and the writing style made me really like the main character. I like scifi and this was pretty good. Looking forward to reading more by this author.
Jonathan_Stewart More than 1 year ago
The first of Scalzi’s series, Old Man's War, pays obvious homage to Heinlein, himself a master of the Science Fiction genre, but does so with such originality and such a careful touch of modernity that you don't feel like you're reading a retread of a classic, instead you see what it means for someone to stand squarely on the shoulders of a giant. The power of this book comes from the immense universe it imagines, one that goes far beyond the Star Trek universe, even the Ender's Game universe (which itself is paid clear tribute to in book two of this series). It supersedes those universes in its imagination of worlds and races -hundreds of them, not just dozens. And it puts humanity in a relative underdog position against the universe, rather than at the center. In sci-fi, we are typically governors or rebels against the invading force, but in this series we’re just on the periphery, exactly as our placement in the Milky Way Galaxy would suggest. It's a healthy bit of humility that sci-fi doesn't always force us to face Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think of it like a cross between "Avatar" and "Cocoon"! Characters are fun and the book seems to fly by. Wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the plot really drew me in. Enjoy!
twelve_gauge More than 1 year ago
The book started a little slow but picked up quickly, and I was totally engrossed for the first few chapters. Then suddenly, it became a chore to read. The descriptions of the aliens was a total turn off. Some were described as a cross between a bear/giant flying squirrel and deer like. Not what I would imagine alien species would resemble. I lost confidence in the book at that point, and almost stopped reading. Turns out I should have, because it got really boring toward the end.
Skylinesend More than 1 year ago
Gritty Military Sci-Fi. In the future, the Colonial Defense Forces protects the planets that have been colonized by humans from aliens that want to kill, or even eat us. (Humans are a delicacy in space.) The recruits come from Earth, and the only requirement for joining is that you are 75 years old. Fun and fast paced. I really enjoyed this book.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
“Old Man’s War” is a good old fashioned sci-fi book. Take 1 parts future, 1 parts spaced aged technology, 1 part aliens and mix well. Throw in a couple of twists and good characters and you’ve got yourself a winner, and that’s what we have here. The characters are well written (if a bit too fortunate at times) and easy to connect with despite being old. There is enough action to keep you interested and the overall story does well to pull you into this brave new world. Highly recommended for the Sci-fi lover in you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want my SF/Fantasy hard, epic and spanning multiple books. This book delivers without getting long winded or depressing even though main characters die. The author takes a balanced approach to war and rightly takes a potshot at belliphobe and belliphile alike. The ending is paced well, satifying and wraps up optimistically.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just not good. Boring and stilted. Weak action.
robert on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Pretty good, but ultimately disapppointing.This is the first book I've read from John Scalzi, and I'll certainly be on the look out for more. But that said, I was ultimately disappointed by this book, perhaps mainly because it set its sights so high.The overall territory for this book is that of Starship Troopers, and it's an area that has been visited many times by different authors. It's a tricky area, because the procedural aspects of the story can quickly overwhelm the innovative aspects.I think that's basically the problem here. Despite an innovative setting, with good science and some interesting developments, the story gets bogged down in the same old army story stuff we always see in these novels. There's the grizzled old sergeant who ultimately softens somewhat (even if he claims he won't), the squad mates who die messily, the rapidly promoted protagonist, and so on.The first half of this book sets up some interesting possible directions, but they're never really followed up. For instance, the first half sets up brutal combat against nearly unstoppable aliens, but in the second half most of the fights are cakewalks, unless the aliens are armed with McGuffin-tech. That's my main complaint about this book: if the first half had kept going, I'd have enjoyed it a lot more. But instead it seemed to become another novel halfway through.(It also seems to wrap up well short of the end, but that may just be setting things up for the sequel).Overall 3 1/2 stars, but could so easily have been five.
ben_a on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Not a book to change your life, but one to read in a day and enjoy.
mial on LibraryThing 5 days ago
A fairly straightforward premise and story. Lots of fun battles and well-drawn and likable characters. Nothing galaxy-shattering though. An enjoyable quick read with a bittersweet ending.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 5 days ago
The first book in a trilogy. It's set in a future time, and all elderly people on Earth are given the option of joining the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces) when they turn 75. If you do it, you are taken off Earth and - on Earth, at least - declared legally dead. Nobody on Earth knows exactly what happens next...except that they somehow make you young again, to fight in the war. I love this book and, in fact, the whole series.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
In reading this book, one gets the impression that over a pitcher of beer Scalzi was given the dare he couldn't write a novel that was a synthesis of "Starship Troopers" and "The Forever War." Guess what, that's essentially what you have here, and if Scalzi doesn't quite rise above his sources he's still produced a fine first novel here. What really lifts the story above that of being just another military procedural/space opera is that Scalzi brings a bit of real poignance to the situation of his main characters. Where I do have to mark Scalzi down a bit is that I would have liked to have had a little more explanation of elements of his universe, particularly some sense of how Humanity survived long enough to get off planet and become players in a galactic culture described as being rather crowded and quite lethal.
Anonymous 8 days ago
This book is a good read, cool story.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Just a terrific read with characters and situations I cared about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting take on sci-fi book. Read entire book over one day. Characters were engaging and not your normal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing revolutionary for the sci-fi genre but nevertheless a great book.