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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Revenger
Alastair Reynolds
Progress: 218/432 pages
The Nightmare Stacks (A Laundry Files Novel)
Charles Stross
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 120/346 pages
Hero And Leander
Christopher Marlowe
Progress: 34/100 pages
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics
P.A. DAVIDSON, E.J. Hinch, S.H. Davis, Mark J. Ablowitz
Progress: 93/452 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
Plasma physics
R.A. Cairns
Progress: 4/244 pages
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 37/272 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 108/1102 pages

Old Man's War, John Scalzi

Old Man's War - John Scalzi

I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm not sure the world really needed another Starship Troopers or even another anti-Starship Troopers and I don't even know which this is. The characters discuss whether the endless conflicts with all and sundry are really necessary or not but the genuine political situation is never made clear and the author's politics of conflict is left in doubt, too.

 

What I see is a cleverly plotted story about an under-developed world (we get very little by way of a big picture), using the kind of smart-arse protagonist that seems to be Scalzi's default. It's fun, funny and minus all the SF trappings is a Vietnam war movie novelisation with nothing new to say. It is more of a novel than the thinly disguised screen-plays of later years, though.

 

Weirdly, despite the flimsy feel of it, I'd happily devour the sequels - or maybe because of the flimsy feel of it - I want to learn what that missing big picture is!