26 Dec 2005

Heinlein Redivivus

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Old Man's War

Glenn Reynolds is a Sci Fi enthusiast, and commonly mentions titles he has recently read. Last week, he recommended John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

Scalzi is a clever author. Old Man’s War is an affectionate homage to Heinlein’s beloved Starship Troopers, updated to meet perfectly the need for wish fulfillment fantasy of aging boomers. Where ST featured teen-agers joining the Space Marines in order to serve a tour of duty as the price of citizenship, OMW features senior citizens signing up for interstellar combat tours as the price of physical rejuvenation.

Enlistment in the Colonial Defense Force provides seniors a one-way ticket to a Darwinist Gallactic frontier, in which Homo sapiens is fiercely engaged in battle for survival in a Universe with limited resources and lebensraum, and apparently unlimited hostile competing alien species, many of whom look upon mankind as a tasty entrée. Fortunately, humanity’s fate is in the hands of the same kind of clear-eyed WWII-style no-nonsense “kill ’em all” kind of leadership we remember from the original Heinlein œuvre.

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