John Scalzi wrote a book called The Android’s Dream that got me kicked out of bed for laughing. Old Man’s War is one of Scalzi’s earlier efforts. Less funny, but a solid work of military science fiction.
I’m a big fan of sci-fi, but military sci-fi usually leaves me cold. It’s so often about technology and gun-worship, instead of interesting situations, colorful characters and compelling plot.
Old Man’s War twists the basic formula by asking an unusual question. Would you join the army on your 85th birthday? Would you join if they could give you a body in its 20s? How would those decades of wisdom and experience make you a better or worse fighter?
The writing is solid and the concept interesting. I liked the narrator, a kind of surly curmudgeon we loved Clint Eastwood as in Gran Torino. Only without the racism. Once we get past the basic premise, it turns into a pretty standard military training and first missions story. I liked it, but didn’t love it. On the other hand, I’ll probably read one or two more in the series.