Ghost Brigades Review in the San Antonio Express-News
Posted on May 22, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 9 Comments
And it’s a pretty good one:
In Heinleinesque fashion, the book is loaded with scenes of comradeship, isolation, ruthlessness and the protocols, which govern the lives of active-duty soldiers. But this is where Scalzi, famous for his blog “The Whatever,” surpasses Heinlein. Scalzi weaves in subtle discussions of humanity’s growing fear of aging and our simultaneous attraction and repulsion to the Frankensteinlike creatures we are able to create.
The reviewer also takes a nice long time exploring the political structure of the Colonial Union and coming to some interesting conclusions about it, some of which are relevant to the previous discussion of Old Man’s War that we had with Nick Whyte here (and which fellow writer Naomi Kritzer followed up on her LiveJournal here). I personally think it’s delightful that a mainstream newspaper gave up a truly healthy number of column inches to a science fiction book review; that it’s a really thoughtful review is a nice bonus (and that it’s positive review is the cherry on the top). So good on you, San Antonio Express-News, and Aïssatou Sidimé.
Also, in other news, I am apparently famous for the Whatever. Excellent. My plans for world domination via sloth continue apace.
I’m right there with you man!
Fame is fleeting but world domination? Rock on!
John, I hate to disappoint you, but I have been much more slothful than you, (no books published, no website, etc.) and it hasn’t helped MY plans for world domination so far.
In the future, I will apply myself more vigorously to slothfulness, and see if that helps.
Speaking of Frankenstein, I wonder what Mary Shelley would think of modern plastic surgery, organ swapping, organ farming and prosthetics. Would her monster be so monstrous today?
OK, my ‘satiable curtiosity is itching me. Does anyone know the origin of the reviewer’s name (Aïssatou Sidimé)? Usually I can at least guess the correct hemisphere…
Aïssatou is French African (Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, etc.) according to Google.
How does John manage to get them to mention The Whatever every-single-time his name is mentioned, no matter how small the article? I bet there are editors out there that would abreviate John’s name before would they cut a mention of The Whatever.
Hi John, whenever you mention a review it always gets me wondering about the reviewing process in general. Do books like yours usually just encounter a few waves of press after publication, or is it an ongoing process? Are you still getting as many reviews for OMW as you are for TGB? I was just wondering if you could give me a bird’s eye view on it.
I have to say I liked OMW better than Starship Troopers. I’d heard about Heinlen’s book when I was young, and all I knew about it was “futuristic battle soldiers defending earth from alien bugs”. That and there was an Avalon Hill board game based on it.
I saw the movie when it came out, and it was way over the top. I have a strong stomach and don’t mind a little ultra-violence once in a while, but even I had trouble with it. I felt sorry for the father sitting behind me who brought his two young sons. Seeing it at the largest screen theater in Wash DC didn’t help either.
But when I finally read the book a few months ago, I was really disappointed. Too much proselytizing and not enough science fiction. Old Man’s War on the other hand, went more into sci-fi and was light on the politics.