Now OT: Scalzi was Re: [LMB] (chat) series and titles

James Burbidge james.burbidge at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 14:32:15 BST 2007


On 29/03/07, Mark Allums <mark at allums.com> wrote:
> alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca wrote:
> > _The Ghost Brigades_ contains huge spoilers for _Old Man's War_, so, yes,
> > you should read them in order.
> >
> > However, if you take my advice, you will leave both of them strictly
> > alone. I have never been so digusted at a book in many years as with these
> > two. OMW in particular was xenophobic and continually used straw-man
> > arguments to try to make its points. I considered it intellectually
> > dishonest. It tries to be an updating of Heinlein's _Starship Troopers_
> > (the book), losing the morality completely. Regardless of whether you
> > agree with ST or not (and I don't), I think you have to admit that
> > Heinlein's moral system is self-consistent and had been well-thought-out.
> > Scalzi's future society and morality have huge logical holes in them.
> > Comparing the books is like comparing Gen. Eisenhower with some more
> > recent president.
>
> Old Man's War is not meant to be taken seriously.  It's a send-up of
> Heinlein, not an update.  It's reviewers who make that claim about the
> book, particularly Cory Doctorow and his ilk.  Haven't read the sequel,
> so I am prepared to be told off for being wrong, but I think the success
> of the first may have led Scalzi to begin to take it seriously himself.
>   Also:  The xenophobia is the characters', not Scalzi's.
>

In addition, my understanding is that _The Last Colony_ -- the third
book in the set -- makes explicit a number of the implicit issues
regarding the policies and treatment of aliens.  Scalzi has said that
he put them in the background of _Old Man's War_ but was also working
(very much) with an unreliable narrator.

James


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