Old Man's War

Old Man's War

by John Scalzi
4.5 329

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Old Man's War by John Scalzi

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 into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What's known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

Old Man's War Series
#1 Old Man’s War
#2 The Ghost Brigades
#3 The Last Colony
#4 Zoe’s Tale
#5 The Human Division
#6 The End of All Things
Short fiction: “After the Coup”

Other Tor Books
The Android’s Dream
Agent to the Stars
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
Fuzzy Nation
Lock In
The Collapsing Empire (forthcoming)

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429914710
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 04/01/2007
Series: Old Man's War , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 9,776
File size: 333 KB

About the Author

John Scalzi is a prolific journalist, columnist, and non-fiction writer whose books include The Rough Guide to the Universe and The Book of the Dumb. His web journal Whatever is one of the longest-established and most widely-read weblogs on the net. Old Man's War is his first novel in print.

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel for Redshirts, and his debut novel Old Man’s War was a finalist for Hugo Award as well. His other books include The Ghost Brigades, The Android’s Dream, The Last Colony and The Human Division. He has won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for science-fiction, the Seiun, The Kurd Lasswitz and the Geffen awards. His weblog, The Whatever, is one of the most widely-read web sites in modern SF. Born and raised in California, Scalzi studied at the University of Chicago. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.

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Old Man's War 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 329 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.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read that doesn't belabor the sci-fi tech.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminiscent of the sci-fi of old
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Old Mans War' is one of the Most Amazing & Wonderful War-type Sci-fi book that I've read in ages! The characters are deep & interesting. The plot starts at the beginning and successfully moves throughout the difficult lives of the new space soldiers as they grow & serve in "The Colonial Defense Force." It presents a fascinating view of what humanity really means. As well as, a discussion regarding why we engage in war. Its quite brutal in parts and emotionally challenging at times. Overall, I highly recommend this book. -AvidReader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But I guess I have to write something, too. I'll just put the same thing for all of Scalzi's work. Basically, funny dialogue and narration, completely lacking in pretension, and clever plot-writing to boot. I don't usually have favorites if anything, but Scalzi has earned the position of my favorite author.
scifi_fan_1973 More than 1 year ago
An excellent book. The author has done a great job in transporting the reader to a fascinating universe. The book is addictive....I could not put it down. As soon as I was done, I ordered a copy of Ghost Brigades (the second book in the series).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good plot, but way too much foul language / cursing. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.