Tuesday, November 22, 2011

They Liked It!: Old Man's War

Ever since a devastating misunderstanding around Grendel (note: it's not primarily an AU Beowulf) which nearly led to me getting kicked out of my book club, I've been nervous about recommending books.  Never mind that my new club is much more laid back, and that we have a strictly enforced rule about not reading the book if you don't want to, the scars remain.  So I was very sensitive to the skeptical looks when I proposed John Scalzi's Old Man's War to them.  Most of of the members are not into the space war genre, except for the occasional Bujold.

To my great relief, it was a complete success.  Not everyone finished it, since Scalzi's demand is apparently greater than King County can keep up with, but everyone declared they enjoyed it.  We met on Veteran's Day, so talking about a book starring soldiers seemed especially apt.  It turned out than no one else had read Heinlein's Starship Troopers, so there wasn't a lot of contrasting with other SF soldier-building stories, but we looked at the differences between old age and youth, at what grief meant at different stages, and what the effects of war would be on anyone from an adolescent through a retiree.  The delights of snarky comments also got mentioned.  And I had some tasty food.

As an added bonus, my oldest son pulled off a successful babysit of my youngest nephew.  The adults concerned were all a bit nervous about the arrangement since when the two of them are near other responsible parties, things tend to degenerate into screaming and wailing, but apparently when it's just the two of them and a remote control to the television, things go a lot smoother.  Although they deny it vehemently they share many video preferences.

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