Recent OMW Notices
Posted on January 19, 2005 Posted by John Scalzi 5 Comments
Some Old Man’s War nuggets out there on that InterWeb thing that all the kids are talking about these days:
Rick Kleffel of The Agony Column had nice things to say about Old Man’s War:
‘Old Man’s War’ by John Scalzi manages to set a particularly difficult but specific goal for itself and then achieves the goal with the kind of reckless ease exhibited by its hero, John Perry. John Scalzi has done no less than write an adult version of a Heinlein-juvenile-styled novel for the adults who grew up reading Heinlein’s originals. While the book is aimed at an mature audience it provides those that audience the warm thrills they experienced some twenty-thirty-forty-fifty-sixty-seventy years ago when they first read science fiction. But Scalzi’s success is not just nostalgia. He’s written a thoroughly entertaining addition to the science fiction canon of Space Adventures with a few original twists.
Blogger Waddling Thunder also posts up a positive review, and comments on the minor “is it anti-war or not” kerfuffle about the book:
I suppose, before saying anything else, I should note that this is not an anti-war novel, as some have alleged (Scalzi talks about this on his blog, to which there’s a link from Bainbridge). Certainly, there’s a sense in which the titular war is somewhat senseless, and the brutality of conflict is well depicted (at least from the perspective of someone who hasn’t been to war. Soldiers may disagree). But to believe those points alone make something anti-war is foolish – lots of people who have seen war and who can write tellingly of its horrors support wars nonetheless. The question, for all but the harshest pacifist, is whether this or that particular war is worth it. In any case, Old Man’s War is neutral ground for politicos from either or all sides. It tells a good story, and leaves politics to others.
SF writer Sherwood Smith checks in with a thumbs up:
The sense is that this is a short book, though it isn’t, really. It feels short because so much happens, there are many transitions and summations, there are characters who appear just to raise this or that issue then are swept away-and that is not necessarily a bad thing. The science is fascinating, the questions good ones, and there are some deft character touches (including a biggie that takes Perry utterly by surprise, and raises even more fascinating questions) leaving the reader by the past page wanting more. Scalzi writes with vividness and humor, the latter quality making bearable some otherwise grim scenes.
(She also gives a thumbs ups to Elizabeth Bear’s Hammered: “My expectations were high, and she met them head on.”)
There’s also a small feature on the book in the month’s Pages magazine; you can see the online version here (this link may eventually point to something else, so if you’re reading this many months after I posted it — sorry).
Oh, and, hey, my mom liked it. And that’s really the most important thing, isn’t it.
I promise to write about something besides my books soon. I swear.
Yeah… aside from “A Terrifying Moment of Personal Introspection,” there really isn’t anything that comes *close* to “taunting the tauntable,” and that one’s even a bit of a stretch. Slacker!!! ;-)
Rick Kleffel has certainly done a good job of describing my situation.
I’ve been around theatre enough to notice a few things – do you have to walk sideways through doors now because your head has gotten so big?
Hey, I joke, I joke. You seem pretty grounded to me. But remember, fame is fleeting. Enjoy it while you can!
“Do you have to walk sideways through doors now because your head has gotten so big?”
Heh. Well, I am enjoying the fact people seem to like the book in general. I won’t lie. But I doubt if it will swell my head. For one thing, Krissy won’t allow that. For another, being 35 gives one a certain amount of perspective on head-swelling and the desirability thereof. For a third, I can think of other writers I feel deserve to have swelled heads more than I. And for a fourth, it’s not like my ego was tiny to *start* with. In all, I think I’ll stay pretty much the same.
Personally, I like reading about your book. Don’t feel you have to stop.
Half the time, my mom doesn’t like what I write, and she’s not shy about saying so. When she does like it, I consider it a kudo beyond kudos.
So conga-rats! That’s a major accomplishment!