am 8. November 2015
The books starts with a fascinating premise and has some great characters. John Perry is a well thought out 3 dimensional character. He is relatively intelligent, comes from a middle-class background, was against a war on earth but becomes a soldier. What happens when you take someone who is so "normal", turn his world upside down by taking him out of his environment away from everyone and everything he has ever known, give him a new body and then inform him is going to fight in a losing battle against beings he never knew existed all to protect a planet he can never go back to? John isn't some gung-ho GI Joe type that goes out with guns blaring. He tries to survive and make sure that through his actions the people around him aren't endangered. He has his crisis of conscience, is paired with impossible individuals and has to survive things he couldn't imagine that a human would ever be confronted with. And all the while he tries to stay sane and "human". An admirable person.
For everyone who is so eager to find alien sentient life out in the universe - be careful of what you wish for.
am 21. Februar 2007
Those of you who are intimidated by the people who write it reads like Heinlein, well Heinlein at its best without the political agenda would be more fitting. Earth is still a backwater, hardly changed from today while space has been colonized by humans, to be more precise the part of space not conquered by other alien races. And there are several hundred of them out there. So soldiers are needed and lots of soldiers and they are recruited from earth. Die of old age or die with a young body in the army is the choice at hand. Everybody wants to survive his term and become a settler on a planet. The fighting is as realistically described as possible in SF, the characters tune in well, what disturbs me is of course that the hero becomes a sort of super soldier... It is in any case very good reading and gives some food for thought in the end.
am 28. Januar 2016
Oh boy, what a pleasant surprise! This book is absolutely fantastic and fun to read. I know that people say this all the time but this book really is a page-turner where you just cannot stop reading.
The story was surprisingly deep and well-crafted for a – what I thought – mere military sci-fi action novel.
The characters were complex, likeable and authentic.
My favorite part was the humor, though. John Scalzi writes in a really funny way that makes you genuinely laugh. Seriously, that happened quite often to me while reading the book on a train or in the bus :) .
I can hardly wait for the second part “The Ghost Brigades” of the “Old Man’s War” series and can give a 100% recommendation for this first part!
am 29. März 2008
An seinem 75. Geburtstag tritt John Perry den Kolonialen Streitkräften bei, was nicht so absurd ist, wie es klingt. Nur Menschen ab 75 werden rekrutiert, diese aber wieder jung gemacht, wodurch sie buchstäblich ein zweites Leben erhalten. Sollten sie es überleben - wofür die Chancen 1:3 stehen - können sie sich auf einer der menschlichen Kolonien niederlassen. Doch davor müssen sie diese Kolonien gegen eine Unzahl feindlicher und gefährlicher Aliens verteidigen.
Das Vorbild, Heinleins "Starship Troopers", ist unverkennbar, doch hat Scalzi hier nicht einfach eine Hommage geschrieben, sondern die Grundideen dieses Buches weiterentwickelt. So kämpfen Perry und seine Kameraden nicht gegen die obligatorischen insektoiden Aliens, sondern gegen eine ganze Menge unterschiedlicher Rassen, was nicht nur die Kämpfe, sondern auch die Geschichte abwechslungsreich macht.
Darüber hinaus ist es für Perry unvermeidlich, sich früher oder später Gedanken zu machen über das, was die Kolonialen Streitkräfte da tun und ob es nicht auch andere Möglichkeiten gibt. Ein interessanter Aspekt ist auch, dass sämtliche Rekruten zwar Freiwillige sind, doch eigentlich nur beigetreten sind, um noch einmal jung zu sein. Ob es den Preis wert ist?
Das Buch ist flüssig und spannend geschrieben, durchsetzt mit feinem Humor, vor allem Perrys Anfang als Rekrut. Die Charaktere bleiben ein wenig zweidimensional, mit Ausnahme nur von Perry selbst, der mit seiner sympathischen Art allerdings vieles wettmacht. Und, wie es nun einmal in dieser Armee so ist, die meisten seiner Freunde bleiben einfach nicht lange genug am Leben, um sie besser kennenlernen zu können, was dem ganzen auch eine etwas melancholische Note verleiht.
John Scalzi ist eine vielversprechende Ergänzung zu den Autoren von Military Science Fiction und ein Name, den man sich merken sollte.
am 12. September 2015
Scalzi can write, and rather well. The characters are fun, flip and a bit of american stereotype. Once you get by this somewhat republican ethic, the novel is plain ol' fun in the lines of Heinlein (who is sighted as an influence with due respect). Often predictable, in the end this becomes less important as the actions and dialog are very human and entertaining. I smiled a lot. In other words, not pushing the envelope, but playing about and offering a good read. I may even read another in the serie, when I need a break. Recommended!
am 22. Juli 2015
Old Man's War
A new sort of read for me, quick and filled with ideas - that all fit well together. Good plot. In the vein of Heinlein, in some ways, but also a writer who seems to have his own particular sar(donic)(castic) voice. Something positive in the story, and there are more to come in the series, that I am definitely looking forward to.
am 5. Januar 2015
Ein Buch, dass nicht von Zeile 1, oder zumindest dem ersten Absatz an, überzeugt ist es selten wert gelesen zu werden. (zumindest ist das meine Erfahrung).
Es gibt sicher Ausnahmen - die schleppend starten und sich dann entwickeln, oder hervorragend begingen und zum Ende langatmig und irgendwie überflüssig werden, doch Old Man's gehört in keine dieser Kategorien.
Der erste Absatz hat mich gepackt und dann konnte ich nicht mehr aufhören zu lesen.
am 8. Februar 2013
The first part of the book has a friendly feel, slightly reminiscent of "Cocoon," and the second part switches gears like a kick to the head, feeling much more like "Starship Troopers" (the film, not the book), all the while maintaining its own particular feel and consistency. The story runs linearly, in a single thread, with no distractions. That is a good thing - too many authors nowadays tend to bog down their stories with too many threads and/or characters (e.g. George R.R. Martin) or tons of colorful but otherwise irrelevant poetry (e.g. Tad Williams). Scalzi gets straight to the story and keeps it moving at a very comfortable pace - there is not a single boring or superfluous scene in this book. While i tend to believe the "advanced species are more likely to be peaceful," school of thought, Scalzi does a good job of arguing for the opposite, providing us with a universe full of warring species and potential for continued adventures. This truly is science fiction, as opposed to modern people being portrayed in front of a futuristic facade. It's easy to imagine this being turned into a film, and a filming would have very little "fat" to trim out.
am 19. August 2007
This is great SF, written in a very nice style; John Scalzi handles the characters, technology, and political dimension equally well. His ideas are (at least in this setting) novel and convincing - the basic concept of drawing octogenarians for galactic war offering them a new life is just brilliant (not the concept as such, but as idea for a SF story, of course).
His main character is set up brilliantly, and Scalzi has wonderful timing, never loosing the reader?s attention. This is a pageturner, and if you like well written SF, highly recommended.
The sequel ?the ghost brigades? has a slightly different focus, but is as gripping.
am 18. Mai 2013
Sometimes you read a sf novel and think, yes, it could be like this. Recycling pensioners into super soldiers is a whiz idea and I would try it too. It's a bit Starship Trooper, only the protagonists are wise old folks with 75 years of experience behind them, in rather fine young and souped-up bodies. So the companionship is warm and convincing, the humanity is ever-present, the humour is well crafted.
The whole idea of second lives for old people is well thought out, including the thoughts about what happens if you die before... well, I won't spoil it for you, but it's a new idea and you don't see many of those these days.
It's not so much a novel as a row of short stories. Why must aliens always be bad? I will look out for more in this vein. I gather there is a sequel, I will get it soon.