There's plenty to do in Thailand, but when I just couldn't muster the musclepower to do it (usually between 10 AM and 3 PM) then I passed the time reading with a frosty beverage or two.* And occasionally I'd compose a paragraph or two, so I'm clearing out a backlog of new posts.*
I read mostly non-fiction, but I've saved four shelves of bachelorhood science fiction through nearly 19 years of marriage.* Every once in a while I tear myself away from the Golden Age & the 1970s to read modern science fiction.* John Scalzi has been writing for a while, but this is his first sci-fi novel.
* It's described as Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" without the lectures and Haldeman's "The Forever War" with better sex.*
Scalzi has humanity colonizing the stars for two centuries despite plenty of alien competition.* The "Colonial Defense Force" fights to keep the diaspora alive despite being outmanned & outgunned.* Americans are welcome to join the CDF-- but only on their 75th birthday.* No one knows how it's done (until afterwards) but somehow the CDF turns geezers into youthful rejuvenated warriors.* If they survive their military career then they're entitled to a stakehold on the colony of their choice and a new lifespan.* And if they re-enlist again when they're 75 years old...
I can't reveal more without spoiling the plot, but it's a well-written philosopher's war saga wrapped up with a love story.* The infantry may be geezers but they've been quite successful in their previous lives and they're capable of critical thinking instead of merely following orders.* The chapters about the military's training commands are hilarious and Scalzi raises a slew of ethical issues.* He also has a lot of fun with PDAs and other computer assistants.* (After this book you'll wince whenever you see a physician with a PDA).* The plot lines are complicated enough that I read it twice.
His next book, Agent to the Stars
, is coming in August.