I’d read bits and pieces about this on the Internet and knew the name John Scalzi so when, on a recent visit to Macmillan, Peter Lavery handed over a copy of Old Man’s War I was happy enough to take it away and give it a go. The comments on the book from other authors were pretty good and here are the ones I think most relevant: ‘His dialogue is suitably snappy’ – Paul DiFillipo, ‘It’s Starship Troopers without the lectures’ – Cory Doctorow, ‘vivid characters’ – Ken McCleod. This book was also shortlisted for the Hugo award. Now, I always take such comments with a pinch of salt, because there are too many crap books out there lauded by an author’s author buddies and, as for awards, the opinion of a few voters or committee I feel is less important than that of those who actually go out and buy the books, and it strikes me that too many awards are political and nepotistic. I won’t tell you how wonderful was this aspect or that aspect of this book. Suffice to say I picked it up a couple of days ago and didn’t want to put it down, and I’ll certainly want to read its sequel The Ghost Brigades.