First Lines: Old Man’s War

On his 75th birthday John Perry did two things. First, he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army. And not just any army, but the Colonial Defense Forces. It’s a bit like Starship Troopers: you get to distant planets, meet interesting alien races, and make them fucking extinct.

John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War is of course more than that, but then there’d be spoilers. And that’d be a shame, because you’d probably would want to find out for yourself. It’s a riot. Except when it isn’t, and it makes you sad. But then Scalzi throws you a bone like …

In the [screen] to the audience’s left a nightmare popped up—something black and gnarled, with serrated lobster claws that nestled pornographically inside an orifice so dank you could very nearly smell the stench. Above the shapeless pile of a body, three eyestalks or antennae or whatever perched. Ochre dripped from them. H. P. Lovecraft would have run screaming.

… and all is well again. Old Man’s War isn’t as much a book about the old man’s war, as it is a book about the old man in the war. It’s really character driven, which is always a big plus in my book. There are sequels, and as I say ever so often but never actually do, I should look into those.

John Scalzi — Old Man’s War
First Line
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.