John Scalzi

biodroid

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I'm not sure if a thread has been started for John, so here goes. I am currently Kindling Old Man's War and am really glad I started reading it. This is really a fun, witty, sad, laugh out loud "science fiction/space opera?" story. About and old man who turns 75 and joins the military to be drafted into a new super body to fight for a military campaign. I don't want to get into details about the plot, I am only 30% in. John may not be the greatest writer out there but he gets his point across very easily. He is good at making you like and perhaps love his characters which is obviously a plus. The book so far is flowing well and the plot is building up with a good pace. I have seen some of you Chrons have read his books but I found it deserving of a thread in his name. Let me know what you think, and please no spoilers unless you indicate you are going to include spoilers in your post.

Cheers!!:D
 

Rodders

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John's been on my to buy list for a long time now as i've heard so much about his books and nothing negative. Next haul i promise i'll get some. :)
 

biodroid

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Rodders - So far from what I have read you won't be dissappointed.
 

Coragem

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I've read it, and what stands out for me is the humour. Scalzi does really punchy dialogue -- loads of "he said" and "she said", but it really works.

He is clearly aware of the ridiculousness of old people being given a new (green!) body, and sent off to fight a war with bizarre-looking aliens. So, tongue often in cheek ... and yet the book still manages to point to the horrors of war, in a moving way.

On the strength of Old Man's War I went off and bought the whole series.(There's The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and one other -- I forget the title) However, I haven't read them yet ...

I think there was "something" that limited my emotional investment in the first book -- probably the humour and the silliness of some of the aliens, limiting the extent to which the world and the characters felt real.

I will go back to the series though.

Coragem.
 

Hypnos164

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Zoe's Tale is the latest OMW book - which is a re-telling of the events of The Last Colony from an alternate viewpoint (which works really well).

I really like his books, and I have read all of them except a couple of small press publications.

As you note he writes characters that its easily to get emotionally involved with, keeps the plot moving and writes with a pleasantly optimistic "tone".

He has been frequently compared to Heinlein and I can't recall anyone else that comes as close to capturing the "charm" of the early "juvie" Heinlein's
 

Vertigo

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I've read all the series bar the last one - Zoe's Tale - which I will get around to. I thoroughly enjoyed them. Some of his other books are very specifically comedy - Agent to the Stars (hilarious) and The Android's Dream (about to read this one), which is fine in small doses. However the OMW series whilst written with a light touch and humour are not comedies and I think I prefer them; he gets the level of humour about right I think.

Also note that the second book is very different to the first one and the third brings the two together really. Highly recommended.
 

Vertigo

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Yes J-WO I remember you recommending it to me some time back and I've only just got around to reading it. Thoroughly enjoying it so far. The humour is not quite as outrageous and continuous as in Agent to the Stars but excellent all the same. And behind the humour and the fundamental (deliberate) silliness of the whole idea there is actually a good, well paced story as well.
 

jojajihisc

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Agent to the Stars is by far his funniest. Looking forward to Fuzzy Nation in paperback.
 

biodroid

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I am ripping through OMW at a rate of knots. Very easy to read, still light hearted but I expect it to become more serious and darker along the way.
 

Vertigo

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I am ripping through OMW at a rate of knots. Very easy to read, still light hearted but I expect it to become more serious and darker along the way.
That is does and I would say the second and third books are definitely darker.

I've just finished The Androids Dream which I thought was an excellent read. Not as outright funny as ATTS but more so than OMW, however once it got going the comedy, though good, definitely takes second place to a wonderfully tortuous and clever plot. I'm a little surprised he hasn't written any sequels; not so much as an extended story arc but rather stand alone novels using the same main character and setting. I would certainly buy it!

He builds interesting and likeable characters and his dialogue is really excellent; smooth flowing, natural and witty. I wish I could do that!
 

Dornish First Sword

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Read the first Old Mans War book the other week and was very impressed. Can anyone provide any idea on why the second book is not available on kindle yet the others are???
 

Vertigo

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It's probably a regional thing. They are all available for Kindle in the UK for £5.32, £4.08, £5.56 respectively. In fact that's where I got mine. If you really want them for Kindle I would be very happy to get them for you, strip the DRM and then email them to you? Drop me a PM if you are interested. However that way you would need to maintain your own backup of the books as they wouldn't be on your account.
 

J-WO

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I've just finished The Androids Dream which I thought was an excellent read. Not as outright funny as ATTS but more so than OMW, however once it got going the comedy, though good, definitely takes second place to a wonderfully tortuous and clever plot. I'm a little surprised he hasn't written any sequels; not so much as an extended story arc but rather stand alone novels using the same main character and setting. I would certainly buy it!
He was doing so but stopped to write Fuzzy. Apparently its still on the cards.
 

Vertigo

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OK that's interesting, it had that sort of feel to it. A bit like Neal Asher's Ian Cormac but with a bit more humour.
 

Dornish First Sword

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Thanks very much for the offer, I got the first one on kindle. I am in no real rush to get the rest of the series just yet though, once again thanks for the offer.
 

Lord Soth

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Just started listing to Agent to the Stars on Audible read by Wil Wheaton, really is rather good.
 

Vertigo

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I can imagine that book would work particularly well as an audio book. It's interesting that it has graduated to paper and audio considering it was originally not written for real publication but only for optional donation style download.
 

Moggle

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I really like Old Man's War. Ghost Brigades and Last Colony weren't bad either.
 
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