Book Review: The Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

SF 4-/5

When John Perry’s wife dies, he joins a futuristic army that values the wisdom of old people, but puts them into enhanced bodies in order to fight aliens on other planets. I was really looking forward to this book,  but when I started it, I was a bit disappointed that the characters and underlying assumptions were clichéd. Then I learned from my daughter (with a PhD in creative writing) that the expectations of this genre (military science fiction) are that the central character must be a perfect cog in the machine while also being an outstanding uber-cog—if this doesn’t occur, the book doesn’t fit its genre expectations. Once I understood this and stopped being so judgmental, I really enjoyed the book!

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