November 06, 2015

Three John Scalzi Reviews by Jon Moss

Back in 2013, KaCSFFS held a 50-Word Review Contest, soliciting reviews for the Blog by KAXFEN and friends of KaCSFFS. The winner of that contest was the prolific and well-read Jon Moss--but after the contest ended we didn't manage to publish all of her reviews. 

Now we are seeking reviews of books or other materials that fall into Hugo Award categories, and we specifically want reviews for works that are eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards. These, of course, will be presented at Kansas City's own MidAmericon II

Please consider this a long-overdue tip-of-the-hat to the inimitable Jon Moss, and a challenge to consider writing and submitting your own review of something published during the year 2015. We'd love to hear from you. 

Now let's hear from Jon Moss, on three popular novels by John Scalzi

Old Man's War (2007-4 stars) 
A good story, regardless of genre, and an especially great military science fiction tale.

For me, the best parts of this story were the relationships. They were sparse but gripping. Perry's memories of his wife and marriage. The familial bonding among the Old Farts and the grief of their passing.

I recommend this to anyone who loves military science fiction, with a good dose of wit and sarcasm, flavored with a gentle touch of what it means to be human in an insane non-human galaxy. 

The Ghost Brigades (2007-4 stars) 
The first half of this sequel to Old Man's War immersed us in Special Forces, as experienced by Jared Dirac, a very unusual recruit to the Ghost Brigades. Jared's squad leader is none other than Jane Sagan. 

The second half reveals more of the politics driving the war and fight to colonize in this corner of the galaxy. Jane and Jared discover ever more frightening information regarding the aliens.

I enjoyed this novel at least as much as the first one. If you've read Old Man's War, you won't be disappointed in this sequel.

The Last Colony  (2007-3.5 stars)
I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the plot twists, and the conundrum of The Last Colony. I couldn't keep from reading it, even while attending an all-day technology conference. No one looked at me strangely between sessions, since we were all geeks and I was reading a Scalzi novel, for goodness sake.

On an interesting side note, I now understand why John Scalzi is listed as a creative consultant to the Stargate:Universe television series. The fate of the stranded, lost people trapped on the Destiny mirrors many of the challenges and situations faced by the members of the colony Roanoke.

IMAGES: Many thanks to MidAmericon II for their logo; and to Amazon for the cover art of Old Man’s War, to SF Reviews for the cover of The Ghost Brigades, and to Cephus’ Corner for the cover of The Last Colony.

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