John Perry enlists in the Colonial Defense Force on his 75th birthday and gets whisked off to war in a new and improved body, defending Earth's colonies against alien races. Will John be one of the few that survives his first year?
John Scalzi's blog is one of the few I've followed in 2010 and I'm pleased to say that if Old Man's War is any judge, his novels are just as entertaining as his blog.
I've been pretty omnivorous in my reading tastes the last couple of years and I think that's why I liked Old Man's War so much. While it's a sf book inspired by Heinlein's Starship Troopers, it's also really funny, somewhere between Christopher Moore and Donald Westlake's Dortmunder series. It's narrated in the first person and John Perry is a pretty funny guy.
The Scalz has a lot of great sf concepts packed into Old Man's War; you've got the new bodies the senior citizens are given upon enlisting, the beanstalk, the skip drives, alien species that aren't humanoid, the list goes on and on. While the concept of 75 year old military recruits sounds like comedy fodder, it's actually pretty well explained. Getting a new body, even though it will be repeatedly shot at, would be very tempting at 75.
There were so many things I loved about this book that I can't possibly mention them all without giving away large parts of the plot. Let's just say that this one is definitely in the top 10 of 2010.