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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi I really did like this book and even though it was short I surprised myself by finishing it in only four days. I have a lot of other things to do and that indicates that I must have liked it because I kept reading it when I did have other things to do. However, there was something that bothered me. The premise is that humans have many far flung colonies among the stars that all operate pretty much as a seperate political entity from the Earth. They are in virtually perpetual conflict with other species out in the Galaxy and they need soldiers to conduct their wars. They recruit these soldiers from Earth and they accept only people who have reached their seventy-fifth birthday. The conciousnesses of the old folks are transferred into brand new cloned and enhanced bodies which then receive military training and are then sent to battle aliens. There is some mention of preferring old people because of their life experiences or something similar, but that is passed over pretty quickly. It is something that can be accepted, though, up until a certain point. That point comes when rather late in the novel the special forces are introduced. These are soldiers with cloned bodies too, but they are especially enhanced. Another difference, a major difference, is that they have not had septuagenarian conciousnesses transferred into them. In fact, no pre-existing personalities have been transferred into them. Their personalities are prefabricated. On the day of their birth they wake up in adult bodies that are superior to normal bodies and they already have a high degree of education in their brains. Their entire personas have been constructed to make them the perfect soldiers and they are much better soldiers than the regular troops which have been recruited from elderly Earth people. Here is what bothers me. These special forces soldiers can be mass produced and trained much quicker than old people can be recruited and trained. They are better at fighting too. So why bother with recruiting old people from Earth to be soldiers? That is never explained to my satisfaction. No, forget about my satisfaction. It is never explained at all.