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Old Man's War

Old Man's War

Author: John Scalzi
Rating: 8/10
Last Read: 12/2014

Old Man's War is an excellent science fiction novel with some thought provoking aspects to it. The novel is set in man's future, where we have expanded to the stars. The interesting twist of the book is that the Colonial Defense Force (CDF) recruits soldiers from the elderly population: 65 and up. Although they are not sure why old farts are wanted, they eventually find their minds transferred into genetically engineered super-soldier bodies. Their new lease on life comes at the cost of serving in the CDF's ongoing wars, however.

The overall concept is interesting, and I certainly haven't read another sci-fi book with this particular theme. I highly recommend Old Man's War for sci-fi lovers.

P.S.: The first book is the best in the trilogy, but I also enjoyed the two novels that follow Old Man's War.

My Highlights

Kathy’s marker has her name (Katherine Rebecca Perry), her dates, and the words: BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER. I read those words over and over every time I visit. I can’t help it; they are four words that so inadequately and so perfectly sum up a life. The phrase tells you nothing about her, about how she met each day or how she worked, about what her interests were or where she liked to travel. You’d never know what her favorite color was, or how she liked to wear her hair, or how she voted, or what her sense of humor was. You’d know nothing about her except that she was loved. And she was. She’d think that was enough.

For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.

The problem with aging is not that it’s one damn thing after another—it’s every damn thing, all at once, all the time.

“I didn’t mind getting old when I was young, either,” I said. “It’s the being old now that’s getting to me.”

“What is the weak point of the human body?” Ruiz asked as he circled around our platoon. “It’s not the heart, or the brain, or the feet, or anywhere you think it is. I’ll tell you what it is. It’s the blood, and that’s bad news because your blood is everywhere in your body. It carries oxygen, but it also carries disease. When you’re wounded, blood clots, but often not fast enough to keep you from dying of blood loss. Although when it comes down to it, what everyone really dies of is oxygen deprivation—from blood being unavailable because it’s spewed out on the fucking ground where it doesn’t do you a goddamned bit of good.

“What is it like when you lose someone you love?” Jane asked. “You die, too,” I said. “And you wait around for your body to catch up.”

“Is that what you’re doing now?” Jane said. “Waiting for your body to catch up, I mean.” “No, not anymore,” I said. “You eventually get to live again. You just live a different life, is all.

“I’m not insane, sir,” I said. “I have a finely calibrated sense of acceptable risk.”

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Old Man's War
By John Scalzi
 
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