Congrats to John Scalzi

Congrats to John Scalzi for his Hugo nomination for "Old Man's War".  I hope he wins.  I read a lot of science fiction including several of the other nominated books but Old Man's War was one of those instant classics, a book that 25 years from now could easily be included in a best of science fiction series.  I also have to agree with Glenn Reynolds on the accesability of his work.  If I wanted to get someone excited about science fiction, I would likely hand them "Enders Game", "The Foundation", and "Old Man's War"*.  I just finished Vernor Vinge's "Deepness in the Sky", which was awesome.  It and his previous book "Fire Upon the Deep" are beautiful and rich and deep and textured masterpieces, but I would never hand them to a SciFi first-timer.  SciFi needs writers who bring the general population back to SciFi, and Scalzi along with Card and a few others will certainly help.

* Honestly, if you rank yourself as someone who hates or just doesn't read science fiction, give just one or two of these three a try.  Scifi is not all cute robots and Imperial Star Destroyers.  And for those looking for the next step beyond these books for more hard-core stuff I might suggest classics like "Mote in God's Eye", "Ringworld",  "Dune", or about anything by Louis McMaster Bujold.  After that, your ready for anything, from Charles Stross to Harlan Ellison (the latter if you want a good downer).


  1. Chris Yeh:

    I'm a big fan of Scalzi, including his first novel, "Agent to the Stars," which is a minor classic in the business satire genre, and is available for free online:

    I also cannot echo enough the recommendation that people read Bujold's work. Her characterization, ability to avoid cliche, and examination of real personal issues rather than grandiose causes rank her, in my opinion, among the best authors writing today across all genres.

    It is a shame that an untalented hack like David Weber, who couldn't write his way out of a paper bag, is the current king of Science Fiction sales. Weber's work isn't even sci-fi, merely an inferior clone of the Horatio Hornblower series, moved into the future and laced with wretched cliches (though he surely earns the designation of the Tom Clancy of sci-fi for his loving descriptions of hardware being blown up).

  2. Robert Durtschi:

    The thing that always bothers me about books like "Old Mans War" is the apparent necessity of murdering the old body. I've seen the same thing in SF that involved mind transfer to a new planet. The mind is placed in a new body and the old body destroyed. They never explain the necessity of destroying the old body. There is no mention that the old body would somehow be non-functional after making a copy of the brain, or whatever it is they copy.