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La vieja guardia

(Old Man's War #1)

by
4.24  ·  Rating details ·  132,814 ratings  ·  8,306 reviews
«Apasionante y de una originalidad sorprendente. Sin los sermones de Tropas del espacio y con mucho más sexo que La guerra interminable . Divertida, triste, auténtica.»
- CORY DOCTOROW

«Ahora mismo en esta sala hay 1022 reclutas �dijo el teniente coronel Higgee- Dentro de dos años, cuatrocientos de ustedes habrán muerto. En el tercer año, morirán otros cien. Ciento cincuen
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299 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Minotauro (first published December 27th 2005)
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Popular Answered Questions
Charles I would say that Forever War is more a "Hard" science-fiction, building from the concept of time-dilation ala relativity to dive into how societies,…moreI would say that Forever War is more a "Hard" science-fiction, building from the concept of time-dilation ala relativity to dive into how societies, their technologies, and the stratagems of interstellar warfare change in a seemingly-abrupt way.

Old Man's War is more "flight-of-fancy" and not really grounded in too much hard sci-fi. Also, the depth of the characters in Forever War far-far-far outweigh the shallow development in Old Man's War. Actually this is my main gripe about Old Man's War, and that all the characters are pretty much the same person, just in different bodies.(less)
Delia Binder
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Community Reviews

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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  132,814 ratings  ·  8,306 reviews


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Mark Lawrence
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is, for me, a pretty short review as the key novel element here is one that it is fun to discover in the book, and not spoiling that severely limits what I can discuss.

I really enjoyed Old Man's War and think you should read it. For me it was a 5* first half and a 3* second half (I liked the 2nd half but it wasn't 5* 'amazing'). Scalzi can write! He opens with excellent characterization, touching and real. This skill at bringing the POV character to life, at catching the vibe of a vital ind
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Do not mourn me, friends
I fall as a shooting star
Into the next life


Holy Mother Of Graham Crackers! This book was awesome 😄

When you're an old person, you can sign up to go out into the galaxy to fight in the alien war. WHAT?

John Perry decided to do this when he turned seventy-five. His wife had been dead for awhile so he had nothing to lose. Or did he?

He went through this process and had to leave the Earth forever. Dead to the Earth.

John found some good friends on the way to their destinatio
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Shannon
There wasn't anything horribly wrong with this book, but I found myself unattached to any of the characters. And even for a science fiction novel I thought a lot of the plot was just unbelievable; the main character seems to excel at and have the answer to everything while his fellow soldiers get killed left and right. The people he meets are little more than cannon fodder and you don't really get a chance to like them so it's not that big a deal when they bite it. Scalzi chooses to barely descr ...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
EDIT 07/22/17: It has been brought to my attention that I may not have the proper Science Fiction background to understand what this book's purpose is. It's been said that it's poking fun at the genre (specifically Heinlein's work) in a way I don't have the context for.

I'm often frustrated when I see others misunderstanding The Magicians trilogy in the same way I seem to have misunderstood Scalzi's work. I'm going to leave my original thoughts/rating posted because they are genuinely how I feel
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Maggie Stiefvater
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended, adult
A few weeks ago, I was at one of my children's friend's homes, watching the two of them do a dubious job on a joint project and nattering away about fiction with the friend's father. At the end of the day, he pressed Scalzi's Old Man's War into my hands. He didn't pitch it. He just said I'd like it.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew Scalzi — I follow him on Twitter, we've sat on panels together, I could pick him out in a line up with confidence — but none of these things necessarily translates
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mark monday
sometimes a first novel gets everything right. writing that is clean, clear, and fluid. characterization that is simple, straightforward, and real. a narrative that hurtles forward but does not feel rushed or incomplete. ideas that feel new and that are conveyed with enthusiasm and a brisk, unpretentious freshness. such is Old Man's War.

this is a military science fiction novel and the first of a series. that probably brings up a whole host of automatic preconceptions about what will be happening
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Lyn
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi has been described as an exciting new take on the work of Robert A. Heinlein.

Scalzi himself acknowledges being inspired by the late grandmaster. Much of the tone and style of the book does seem to not only imitate RAH, but somehow channel his genius into a new voice for a younger generation. Most evident is that Scalzi has recreated Heinlein’s corny but endearing dialogue, espousing an approachable and likable optimism.

A Heinlein fan will compare this most readily t
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$2.99 Kindle sale, October 7, 2018. Old Man's War is about military life in the future, fighting aliens over planets to colonize. The mysterious Colonial Defense Force recruits 75 year old men and women to fight its wars, and many sign up because some sort of second shot at youth is involved, and at this point in their lives they figure there's nothing to lose. But exactly what are they getting themselves into? And how is the CDF going to turn all these old farts into fighting machines?

I was rea
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Megan Baxter
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about to say something I wasn't sure I'd ever say about a science fiction novel about interstellar war - this book is warmly humanist in its approach. From the first time I sat down to read it, I felt invited and welcomed into the world Scalzi was creating. I enjoyed meeting and spending time with the characters he creates, who are mostly interesting and intelligent people that you'd want to know. I loved the digressions about the morality of following orders, and war as the easy way to deal ...more
Dan Schwent
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 like
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Phrynne
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
This was a really fun read! Yes it is science fiction but there is a whole lot more to it than that, so even if you are not a sci fi fan you could still enjoy this book.

Old Man's War tells the story of aging people on Earth who volunteer for an off planet life in the army in return for a 'makeover'. There is a lot of humour and a lot about life, love and relationships. Of course there are also futuristic gadgets and space travel but none of it is too deep or over explained.

I really enjoyed the m
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Jokoloyo
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If somehow you read my Old Man's War review first before others (yeah, highly improbable), my first advice is: STOP reading this review, just read the book first!
















===========
OK, so you want me to elaborate more on this review?
Saying I had a good experience enjoying this book is an understatement: (view spoiler)
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carol.
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of soft sci-fi
Shelves: male-lead, sci-fi, classic
Definitely an enjoyable read. A nice mix of philosophical and humorous observations, especially in the beginning, manage to capture the tone of an older person looking back on a long life.

The beginning starts with John, the main character, entering a recruiter's office to review and sign his enlistment contract. It is a marvelous device, allowing John's internal commentary and reactions to provide needed background to the current political and technological setting. Scalzi's straightforward writ
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Mayim de Vries
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife's grave. Then I joined the army.”

Without dazzling innovation, but also far from depressing imitation, Mr Scalzi gathers all the best and most interesting features of space opera, constructing a dynamic and captivating story.

In distant future, several hundred years of technological development failed to conquer the greatest enemy of a man - the ageing of his body. The last hope for the pensioners is the Colonial Defence Forces, r
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Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5 stars] I’m so glad I finally started The Old Man’s War series – it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be. Filled with humor, action, exploration, and a touch of sentimentality, if you’re looking for your next great sci-fi read, this may be it! The book is essentially about John Perry, a 75-year-old man who signs up for the Army to fight an intergalactic war. John’s POV was my favorite element of the book. His “wisened” outlook on life and general mannerisms were a delightful contrast ...more
Michael
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Old Man's War is about old people giving up their lives on earth to join the colonial forces as supersoldiers to help defend humanity. That's a solid premise that I can get behind. Old Man's War is, however, not written well.

This book is bad. As I write this, I'm remembering that I only finished it to provide the most honest review. It was fun in spurts, but, on the whole, this book was, as I said, bad. The writing is pedantic at its best and horrid at its worst. Why do I keep expecting more fro
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Choko
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4.25 ***

"... “Part of what makes us human is what we mean to other people, and what people mean to us. I miss meaning something to someone, having that part of being human.”... ... ...

“What is it like when you lose someone you love?" Jane asked.
"You die, too. And you wait around for your body to catch up.”...."



This one sentence is how I felt after I lost the person I loved most in this life... It is a good thing we, as humans, always strive and tend to find other humans to relate to in or
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Jess McCabe
Apr 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. 'I did this cool thing, then I saved some people, then I single handedly rescued the mission, even though I was the least qualified, then I came up with this cool idea and got promoted. I was a green superhuman too.'
Temaris
This is an odd sort of book. Scalzi has a really neat central premise -- but the story gets lost up against it. The story is told in an oddly clinical fashion that leaves a sort of feeling that you're being given a report on story instead of the story itself. The story moves along briskly enough, but I'm left oddly unmoved by the protagonist's experience.

It doesn't help that while the premise requires that the protagonist excel at warfare etc., he surpasses all expectations -- stuns his drillma
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Kemper
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Getting old sucks but as the old joke says, it‘s better than the alternative. However, what if there was a way to get to be young again? The catch is that if you do it, you’ll probably die in some horribly bloody and spectacular fashion at the hands of aliens on a distant world. Any volunteers?

In this terrific novel, humanity has spread out to the stars only to find that they’re competing with several types of aliens for habitable planets. The Colonial Defense Force has been waging those wars an
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Jilly
“Our job is to go meet strange new people and cultures, and kill the sons of bitches as quickly as we possibly can."

Well, that's a new concept. Thank goodness we've never done anything like that here on Earth. This is happening in space.


Oh, there's a special day for that? Ooops. Better bring a pie over to the neighbors later. They live in a box on the corner now. I gave them some blankets that my kids used when they had chicken pox,
so they are staying warm. I'll bring them some beer too. Alco
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TS Chan
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this book. The first half of the book was a breeze to read and was peppered with a lot of humour that had me laughing out loud. The author had a very fluid and easy prose that just flows. The dialogue is often times hilarious and laced with dry humour (my favourite kind). The second half is where the action really starts and the tone of the book changes quite significantly.

While humourous, the story does carry some form of moral/ethical
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Vagner Stefanello
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

O que você faria se tivesse a opção de se alistar no exército aos 75 anos e voltar a ser jovem de novo? É uma ideia no mínimo tentadora, correto? E foi pensando nisso que o protagonista de Guerra do Velho, John Perry, decide se juntar às Forças Coloniais de Defesa (FCD) ao chegar nessa idade.

Uma decisão que a princípio parece fácil, já que você terá um corpo novinho em folha, habilidades aprimoradas, entre tantas outras vantagens, mas tudo isso tem um
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Terence
We all have regrets and things we wish we could do differently if life would allow it. What would you be willing to do to have an honest chance to live life over again? In Old Man's War that's not a philosophical question it's a real choice and one that many senior citizens take gladly. One such senior citizen is John Perry who on his 75th birthday chose to live his life over again.

In order to get that second chance John joins the army, well the Colonial Defense Force (CDF) to be exact. The CDF
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David Sven
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I loved this book from start to finish. I loved the premise, loved the action, loved the protagonist, I even loved the aliens. And I'm confident a lot of the aliens would love me back - in a purely culinary kind of way.

Set in the far future, Earth has branched out to colonize as much of the known Universe as possible for the survival and betterment of the human race. Unfortunately, we are not alone among the stars. Every form of intelligent life from here to the end of the space time continuum h
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Will M.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space, war, 2014
What would you do if you were given a chance to live longer, and have a new "young" body that is way better than the normal human body? The catch is, you're now a soldier, in a different planet, and you can never go back to Earth.

Old Man's War was a very entertaining read, but it wasn't phenomenal. The main character is an old man, John Perry, yet he talked as if he was 30 years younger. I just didn't seem to connect with him, and all the other characters. It's not that they were all flat and bo
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Stjepan Cobets
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan of Sci-Fi
Shelves: science-fiction
My rating 4.8

The book "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi I immediately liked when I started reading it. The first idea that old people are fighting is totally crazy but I have to admit that a writer has a lively imagination. As the writer flips the story, I simply walked into the world, strange aliens, planets, wars, and galaxies, where life and death are linked to angry wool. The question of humanity in this book hangs on a thin thread, and again as if everything is inverted, how humanity can be re
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Eon ♒Windrunner♒
2.5 stars

Picked this book up at random and read the first paragraph which was interesting and soon found myself enjoying a military scifi even though I generally struggle with scifi books.

The first part of the story, well basically ’s of the book, consists of the enlistment and training of a bunch of septuagenarians who have joined the cause to fight off planet against various alien species. In return they are made young again somehow, or so the rumor goes. I mean, why enlist old-timers otherwis
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Kaitlin
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
So I finnnnnalllyyy got around to reading this, I have been meaning to for a fairly long time now. I'm definitely glad that I did read this too becuase although it's a short book for me, it actually worked super well as a military SF that I enjoyed (not something too common for me to be honest). This story drew me in fast and then kept me interested right the way through by following the character of John Perry, an old man who joins the Space Army in exchange for somehow becoming younger.

I have
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Jenny Baker
Fantastic! I'm definitely reading this entire series. The Audible narrator is wonderful and I followed along in my paperback. If this is still on your TBR, I highly recommend that you read it.

My first experience with John Scalzi was when I read Lock In back in 2014. It was a four-star read, so I'm really surprised (and annoyed) that I waited this long to read another one of his books. I've already reserved Head On (Lock In #2), which releases soon and I'm really looking forward to it!

Thank you
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15,079 followers
John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)

Other books in the series

Old Man's War (6 books)
  • The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)
  • The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3)
  • Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)
  • The Human Division (Old Man's War, #5)
  • The End of All Things (Old Man's War, #6)
“For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.” 101 likes
“Now, you may think that this is some sort of generalized hatred that I will carry for the lot of you. Let me assure you that this is not the case. Each of you will fail, but you will fail in your own unique way, and therefore I will dislike each of you on an individual basis.” 73 likes
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