(oh, okay, just one more thing)

Damn it, I knew this would happen once I told you all I was going away: I would find something I would want to link you all to. I’m a loser. Sue me. But on the other hand, this is too cool to hold off on: A nice, big, chunky review of Zoe’s Tale in the Los Angeles Times, technically not out until Sunday, but this is the Internet, where we live two days in the future.

“Zoe’s Tale” recasts the narrative of “The Last Colony” in the voice of John and Jane’s (adopted) daughter. Sarcastic, wise-cracking, morally responsive and smart, Zoe sounds a lot like Ellen Page’s character in the film “Juno,” and it’s possible that your response to that celluloid teen might indicate whether this book is for you. “Tale” is a misnomer, suggesting a simple moral narrative; a touch above 300 pages, “Zoe’s Tale” is a grab bag of banter, puppy love, high-stakes standoffs, alien species and PDA fetishism…

In one sense, given its rejection of pacifism (a peacenik politician-turned-grunt meets a gruesome end), “Old Man’s War” nods less to “The Forever War” than to Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 “Starship Troopers,” which set the militaristic-SF template (which Haldeman, in turn, would tweak, post-Vietnam War). “Zoe’s Tale” nods to a different strain of Heinleiniana — his still-readable juvenile SF, books like “Farmer in the Sky” (1950) and “Podkayne of Mars” (1963). Scalzi’s novels use the sturdiest of earlier models to forge something vigorous and new.

The reviewer has quibbles, but then, that’s what reviewers do. Overall it’s pretty positive, both about ZT and the OMW series in general. Hard to complain about that.

If one of you in LA will actually save the section the review is in for me this Sunday, I’d appreciate that.

Okay. Now I’m leaving for the weekend. See you Tuesday. Seriously.

12 thoughts on “(oh, okay, just one more thing)

  1. I get the LA Times and will give it to you at Denvention. Or mail it to you if you’d prefer.

  2. And you should be honored that the LA Times reviewed your book. They *rarely* review SF. And this week they said they’ve started cutting back in the print editons.

    (No need to respond till Tuesday or Wed or… I know you’re busy).

  3. Hi John,

    I’ll bring the review with me to Worldcon.

    Out of curiousity, any idea why they reviewed the book so far ahead of its official release? I have an order in for it, but it supposedly will not arrive until after I’ve returned from Denver. This is a little disappointing, as I had hoped to get it inscribed to my older granddaughter during my time at Worldcon. I can still catch you for that at LOSCON, but I prefer not to wait so close to Christmas, just in case something interferes with me making it to LOSCON.

    Wtih best wishes,
    – Tom -

  4. “Zoe sounds a lot like Ellen Page’s character in the film “Juno,” and it’s possible that your response to that celluloid teen might indicate whether this book is for you.”

    So, what they mean to say is she sounds like your average kid/young adult in the 1980-1995 boomlet. I had Juno’s shtick when I was her age back in the late 90s. All these people outside my demographic kept raving about how awesome she was, and then I saw the movie. Ten minutes in I had a perma-quirked eyebrow and wished to know who the hell followed me and my friends around in high school because great gobstoppers, they totally ripped us off, lol.

    So I guess that means you wrote a perfectly normal teenaged girl who will appeal to those of us who’ve been speaking her language since grunge was hip. …Okay, WHEN is this book coming out, again? *jiggles anxiously*

  5. Julia @ 5: Release date is listed as August 19th
    -et- @ 4: See above – that’s probably the reason you can’t have it in time for WorldCon

  6. John – the review’s not available in print, only on the web, where all the monthly genre columns live.

  7. So the book won’t be available at Worldcon? Bummer. I just recently read The Last Colony and loved it. I went on to read Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades. I suspect I’ll love Zoe’s Tale.

    See you in Denver.

  8. Rejection of pacifism? The book is not clear on that. A rejection of stupidly timed and stupidly implemented pacifism, for sure.

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