Monthly Archives: January 2005

Another Review for OMW

This one from SFReviews.net (not to be confused with SFRevu.com, from the last post). The full review is here; I’ll quote the opening graph:

Old Man’s War is a tremendous, confident SF debut for well-known blogger John Scalzi. Openly patterning itself after Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, Old Man’s War takes an exciting tale of alien conflict and dresses it up intelligently with such themes as individual identity, what makes one human, the significance of mortality, and the ethics of life extension. Economically told at just over 300 pages, the story, peopled with remarkably well-drawn and memorable characters, never flags for an instant and steers a steady course without veering into self-importance or maudlin sentiment. Its a top-drawer first novel that should put Scalzi high on your “Writers to Watch” list.

That works for me.

One of the things I’ve really appreciated about the reviews I’ve seen so far — both on sites like these and on individual blogs — is that by and large they’re digging through the text to highlight things they find interesting as well as things they find aren’t quite working for them; in other words, classic criticism, aside from the simple “like it/don’t like it” dichotomy. As a writer you can’t ask for more than that.

SFRevu Review & Interview + SF Book Club Release

Merry New Year. I hope you’re all still with us, and if you’re not, well, you won’t be reading this anyway.

To start off the year, some Old Man’s War news:

1. SFRevu.com has both a feature review of Old Man’s War and an interview with me about the book and other topics. The review is positive, which is nice: “it behooves you to catch Scalzi now, both to encourage this promising author and to enjoy his strong start.” And of course I’m inclined to agree. SFRevu.com editor Ernest Lilley also asked some pretty interesting questions for the interview, so I think the responses are a cut above my usual blatheration. Check ‘em out.

2. Two other reviews of the book, also nicely positive, from Chad Orzel (“It’s very much a book in the tradition of Robert Heinlein, only, you know, not so annoyingly polemical”) and Andrew Cory, who puts the book into some rather long-term perspective: “It would do Humanity no irreparable harm if, in 500 years, this book is utterly forgotten. After all, we have only a bare few of the plays of Aeschylus. My own life, however, would be the poorer had I not the opportunity to read this book.” As I do tend to write for people today rather than the ones half a millennia from now, I can live with this.

3. Those of you who have been waiting for Old Man’s War to show up at the Science Fiction Book Club need wait no longer: It’s now listed, and for $11.99, which isn’t a bad price. And if you’re not a member, you can always sign up and pick it as part of your 5 books for $1 introductory price (although you’ll have to pay full club price for four other books over the course of a year — one of those pesky details). As I’ve mentioned before, it matters not to me how you get the book, so if you’re a club member, get it that way. The book is also an Alternate Book for the club’s “Winter” offering, which I understand goes up for consideration within the week.

That’s the current book news.