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Encyclopedia > Old Man's War
Old Man's War

Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Author John Scalzi
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Tor Books
Publication date 2005
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 320 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-765-30940-8
Followed by The Ghost Brigades

Old Man's War is a science fiction novel by John Scalzi published in 2005. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2006. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... John Michael Scalzi II (born May 10, 1969) is an author and online writer, best known for his Hugo Award-nominated science fiction novel Old Mans War, released by Tor Books in January 2005, and for his blog Whatever, at which he has written daily on a number of... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Tor Books is an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC which publishes popular fiction, and is particularly noted for its science fiction and fantasy titles. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN-13 represented as EAN-13 bar code (in this case ISBN 978-3-16-148410-0) The International Standard Book Number, ISBN, is a unique[1] commercial book identifier barcode. ... The Ghost Brigades is the second book by John Scalzi set in the Old Mans War universe. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... John Michael Scalzi II (born May 10, 1969) is an author and online writer, best known for his Hugo Award-nominated science fiction novel Old Mans War, released by Tor Books in January 2005, and for his blog Whatever, at which he has written daily on a number of... // Events February 25 - Canada Reads selects Rockbound by Frank Parker Day as the novel to be read across the nation. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ...


A loose sequel, The Ghost Brigades, was published in 2006, and a more direct sequel, The Last Colony, was published in 2007. The Ghost Brigades is the second book by John Scalzi set in the Old Mans War universe. ... The Last Colony is the third book by John Scalzi set in the Old Mans War universe. ...

Contents

Plot introduction

The first-person narrative is about a soldier named John Perry and his exploits in the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces). Old Man's War is similar in overall structure to Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Joe Haldeman's The Forever War as it follows Perry's military career from CDF recruit to the rank of captain. Set in a universe heavily populated with life forms, colonialists from Earth must compete for the scarce planetary real estate which is suitable for sustaining life. As such, Perry must learn to battle against a wide variety of aliens. While the soldiers in Starship Troopers and The Forever War relied on powered body armor to gain advantage over their aliens, the soldiers in Old Man's War have enhanced D.N.A. and nanotechnology, giving them advantages in strength, speed, and endurance. First-person narrative is a literary technique in which the story is narrated by one character, who explicitly refers to him or herself in the first person, that is, I. the narrator is a fool putting his nose into the storytelling exercise. ... Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Starship Troopers Starship Troopers is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published (in abridged form) as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October, November 1959, as Starship Soldier) and published hardcover in 1959. ... Joseph William Haldeman is an American science fiction author. ... 1977 Orbit paperback edition. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Starship Troopers Starship Troopers is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published (in abridged form) as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October, November 1959, as Starship Soldier) and published hardcover in 1959. ... 1977 Orbit paperback edition. ...


Plot summary

The novel tells the story of John Perry, a 75-year old retired writer, who joins the Colonial Defense Forces. Applicants are required to sign a letter of intent when they are 65 - which John and his now deceased wife Kathy had signed 10 years prior. He takes a space elevator to the CDFS Henry Hudson, where his mind is transferred to a new body. This new body, based on his original DNA, has been enhanced for enormous strength, and has been supplemented with several proprietary products which increase the oxygen loading capacity of his blood, provide enhanced eyesight and other enhanced senses. It also features a BrainPal - a neural interface that allows Perry to communicate with other members of the CDF. Perry names his, "Asshole," and the names of his fellow recruits' BrainPal's reflect this sentiment.


After receiving basic training on Beta Pyxis III, Perry is shipped out to the CDFS Modesto. Their first engagement is with the Consu, a fierce and intelligent alien species. Perry improvises a tactic which enables the CDF to win his first battle. This is soon followed by a battle with the Whaidians and a battle with the tiny Covandu.


Now a war-seasoned veteran, Perry then participates in the Battle for Coral. The CDF plans to rapidly transport in a small number of vessels to Coral, which is being held by the Rraey. Somehow, the Rraey are able to predict the trajectory of the vessel's skip drives, whereby they destroy the fleet. Perry and a small number of others escape in a shuttle craft and make for the planet's surface, where they are taken out with missiles. Perry is left for dead, only to be rescued by the mysterious "Ghost Brigades," the Special Forces units of the CDF. The leader of the Ghost Brigades rescue team, Jane Sagan, looks like Perry's dead wife Kathy.


After being regenerated, Perry tracks down Jane Sagan, who turns out to have been generated using Kathy Perry's DNA, as legally allowed by her letter of intent to join the CDF. Unlike John, Jane has no memories of her previous life. Jane manipulates her chain of command to promote John as an adviser for a subsequent attack on Coral. The CDF determines that the Rraey have received tachyon technology from the Consu, allowing them to predict the location of their ships. Jane and John then participate in a Ghost Brigades mission to attempt to capture or destroy this technology in advance of a major invasion. While John is instrumental in the successful outcome of the battle, he loses track of Jane as she returns to the insular Ghost Brigades.


Skip Drive

Old Man's War introduces a new form of FTL interstellar travel called a Skip Drive. This is a misnomer because it is not a drive system at all as it has nothing to do with acceleration. The Skip Drive simply takes an object, like a space ship, and punches a hole in the universe you're in, and places the object at its destination, just in a new, essentially identical universe. The universe in general doesn't like anomalies, due to the laws of physics, so it considers such a huge anomaly as a completely new spaceship as too much change and attempts to keep everything in the new universe identical to the previous universe to keep differences as small as possible. There are limits on the skip drive due to the users in the book not knowing all there is to know about how it works. It is likely that the Humans in the book did not invent it, or at least by themselves. The limitations are as follows: FTL may refer to: Faster-than-light, a speculative concept in physics and science fiction FTL (Battlestar Galactica), faster-than-light travel as used specifically in Battlestar Galactica Flash Translation Layer, a software layer used in computing to support normal file systems with flash memory Full Truckload, a standard logistics...

  • The object skipping must be out of a major gravity well
  • The object skipping cannot skip out too far, as it will exceed its skip horizon.

Obviously, in the second book The Ghost Brigades, the CDF knows more about the Skip drive than the reader because they are continually modifying it. They come out with a new, smaller skip drive that can be operated at the gravity point between two gravity wells, planetary objects. The Skip Horizon is touched upon, but clearly no CDF member in the book knows why the Skip Horizon exists. It is the maximum range of a skip drive. If an object skips beyond the Skip Horizon it disappears, and no one knows what happens to it. More advanced races have a more complex understanding of skip drives and can even detect ships skipping into a system. The Ghost Brigades is the second book by John Scalzi set in the Old Mans War universe. ...


External links


 
 

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