John Scalzi the author of Hugo Award nominated science fiction novel Old Man’s War has built what started as a story serialized in his blog into a series of full novels and short stories. The latest installment in the OMW universe, Zoe’s Tale is quite a departure from the previous three books. It is the first of Scalzi’s sci-fi novels written intentionally as young adult fiction. In a move that I am sure will continue to fuel Scalzi/Heinlein comparisons, Zoe is a precocious young woman thrust into a world of adventure and danger. In just three years Scalzi has built an impressive resume as an author of fiction and Zoe’s Tale will be no small part of what looks to be an influential and outstanding career.
John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe now spans four novels, The Last Colony is the third. Of those initial three this is the one that is most a sequel. The first, Old Man’s War and the second, The Ghost Brigades each stand alone. And I think that The Last Colony actually can do so as well, but this is the first where the main characters are both from the previous books. That said, this is still a complete story and may even appeal to readers who may have not been crazy about the previous books.
In 1988 Infocom put out a book called “Planetfall.” It was based on the interactive fiction game of the same name. The game was a huge success for infocom. The book, not so much. But what does this have to do with modern day and John Scalzi? Well, I remember reading “Planetfall” and really enjoying some parts. At the same time I felt like there was a lot of potential that was missed. It wasn’t as funny or as exciting as it could have been. Going for just funny – say something like what Douglas Adams could do with such genius would have been cool. But “Planetfall” was shooting for some action and adventure along with the laughs. (Unfortunately there were not enough of either.) Well with “The Android’s Dream”, Scalzi has show that it can be done. An incredible action/adventure sci-fi book with an incredible sense of humor. Sometimes crass, other times dark and twisted, but never boring or disappointing.