Alternative words for panel there:
JUMP, MARIO! JUMP! JUMP, YOU UNION-LOVING PLUMBERBUTT! I HATE YOU SO MUCH, YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO JUMP! THE OLYMPICS WOULD OPENLY MOCK YOU AND YOUR TINY LEG-STUMPS! GAH!
I can’t stand to think about a heart so big it hurts like hell
Oh my god I gave my best but for three whole years to end like this
Well do you want to fall apart?
I can’t stop if you cant start
Do you want to fall apart?
I could if you can try to fix what I’ve undone
Cause I hate what I’ve become
- “The First Single” by The Format
Let’s get one thing straight: we don’t have any answers
We are proposals in a cosmic nursery
And these massive stars — they’re just little twinkles
If I can’t possess them at such magnificence
So if you can really hear me,
And you think you really believe in it
Then there must be some kind of privelege here
To putter around with such an existence
- “Proposals” by Cursive
Finally, a book that convinces me that old people can do more than shuffleboard their days of retirement until darkness sets in. In Scalzi's universe, geriatrics of all shapes, sizes, and teeth-counts are able to join the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF), with the promise of military enhancements to help them fight the many aliens populating the many, many colonizable worlds in the galaxy. Basically, the old become young, healthy, horny, and expendable. Our lead star is John Perry, a 75-year-old retired writer that takes the plunge (molasses-slow crawl?) into the CDF ten years after his wife died of a sudden stroke. Much along the narrative lines of Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, we follow Perry from the beginning of his career in the CDF as a low-ranking bag of flesh to his rise in leadership. A few surprises pop up along the way, but it is mostly A to B, with each skip marked by the loss of something or a campaign against a hostile alien race.
It's a very fast read, a real PgDn'r if you will, and the part of the book that stood out the most to me was just how cold Perry is over the death of his teammates. I get the idea behind it, that these are not young women and men dying off, never getting their chances in life, that they are fully aware of their purpose, but his utter calmness after watching a squadmate become a puddle of mush under the attack of a thousand Consu brutes is just...disturbing. He reflects later that everyone agreed it was the most interesting way anyone's died since, but it's this light/dark humor that Scalzi inserts into all his characters that ultimately ruins a lot of serious moments. If anything, it helped to ring home that notion that Perry is slowly becoming less and less human, a thought that he himself struggles with on a day-to-day basis.
If there was one disappointing part of Old Man's War, it was most certainly with the Rraey, the end-of-days alien race that were the major threat and final battle of the novel. Unfortunately, they were not an interesting race. Where the Consu shined with their religious and ritualistic quirks, the Rraery are merely there as opposition. It's a letdown, after all the interesting and more dangerous beings Perry and his crew have come across. Still, there's a lot of great action scenes and funny one-liners, and Scalzi's book is just like reading his blog (except there's more sex and vulgarity), which makes for a quick, entertaining read. I'm definitely gonna scout out the next in the series at some point.