Zoe’s Tale

Anyone who can invent a word like “unhugged” to describe a perfectly common thing that there is currently no word for, gets a gold star as far as I’m concerned. John Scalzi gets the gold star, and every other award I can think up.

This was my first read of Zoe’s Tale. Having previously read his books Old Man’s War, and The Ghost Brigades some time ago I never quite got around to finishing the rest of the series after they were publish. Listening to an episode of The Secret Lair where they discussed Old Man’s War prodded me into moving it up the “Books to Read” queue in OmniFocus. (Yes, I’m exactly THAT much of a geek.) I have now re-read the entire series. Why being a constant fan of Scalzi’s blog The Whatever (You should check it out) hasn’t convinced me to do this sooner probably speaks to his poor marketing skills. (A joke, for anyone who doesn’t get it.)

When the story got to “What you are” vs. “who you are” part at the back, I think I may have missed a few words on account of my eyes being unexplainably covered with salty liquid. Haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Tried to re-read, but got the same effect. Suspect my copy has some sort of weird chemical on the pages of chapter 20.

Or, it could just be that this is one hell of an amazingly written book. I’ve been a proponent of Old Man’s War since the day I read it, and Zoe’s Tale so nicely complements the universe, filling in some gaps left in The Last Colony, and giving the entire universe even more of a human-interest angle.

The entire Old Man’s War universe (all 4 books) will be of great interest to anyone interested in the concept of “Sci-Fi”. Remember the first time you read Starship Troopers? Armor? This is right up there. Asks intensely interesting science questions? Check. Hard moral dilemmas? Roger! Creates a deep connections to the characters? Maybe induces an occasional tear? Right’o! Induces you to wish your life had led down a path where you might someday get to go to space or explore something instead of sitting at home writing blog posts? Umm.. [sigh]
That’s what Sci-Fi should do, and that’s exactly what the Old Man’s War books do.

I really cannot say much more. READ IT.