Observation and Design

Richard Stowey's localised view of the world.

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My First Sci-Fi Novel – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

September 27th, 2010 @ 19:46 BST by Richard Stowey

Old Man's War

I didn’t really read much as a kid. There were always far more interesting things to do. It’s only since I left university the first time (ironically), that I really started to get involved with books. It all started with a Christmas present about 5 years ago. The Art of Innovation, from IDEO’s Tom Kelley, got me hooked on learning again.

Since then i’ve managed to build up a fair collection of books on design, innovation, project management. Basically, lots of theory and interesting information about real things, objects, events and people. I’ve realised though, that i’ve been missing fictional books in my life, and the potential that it throws into the mix. A story with a completely different set of ideals, characters, worlds and an interesting storyline to teach you something new about the world. Well, not this world, an imaginary world!

So, a few weeks ago I picked up my first Science Fiction book. I went for a military style sci-fi. Something which would have a story but also some elements which were very different to what exists in this world. Something different. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi arrived from Amazon, and I started through it straight away.

John manages to communicate in such a way that it’s easy to read. I wouldn’t say that I am a very fast or advanced reader, but I liked the style. It’s easy to get into for half an hour or so. There’s plenty of drama, energy and enjoyable parts of the book. And i’d definitely recommend it for a first science fiction book.

The story wasn’t predictable, and sets up the following two books The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony which I wouldn’t recommend reading the intro to, unless you want the entire plot of the previous book to be given away.

It’s a nice new idea, to start reading fiction books, and something which is nice to break up the more textbook like books which pretty much make up 100% of my collection.

Next up is Friday by Robert Heinlein. Already it’s a little bit more advanced reading. Faster and more complex, but interesting all the same. Let’s see how it goes!

  • Tamara Christensen

    In order to satisfy my interest in sci-fi and my short attention span, I have grown happily addicted to annual collection: The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Tons of critically curated sci-fi short stories that make perfect mini readings- especially if you have given up public transit reading time in favor of motorcycle rides to work.