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.