Archive for June 2nd, 2007

The Last Colony

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

The Last Colony is the final book of the Old Man’s War trilogy. The first two books are Old Mans’ War and The Ghost Brigades. Old Mans’ War was up for the Hugo Award and did win Scalzi the John Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author last year.

John Scalzi is hands-down the best science fiction writer in the last twenty years, bar none. His style is very reminiscent of Robert Heinlein, with an important addition. Scalzi’s characters live and breathe. Instead of the cardboard-figure characters of most SF, here are some fully exposed, human personalities.

Another area which Scalzi handles well is the internal functioning of a bureaucracy. One, very brief example:

“They’ve formed an Exploratory Committee to look into this?”

“Yeah, but I know about these things. They typically aren’t interested in finding out anything. Someone up high just needs to cover their ass.”

All three books are a joy to read.

Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
The Ghost Brigade, by John Scalzi
The Last Colony, by John Scalzi


Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Well I suppose it’ll come out sooner or later.
I’m (I being chris the guest blogger) a teacher.
I teach at San Diego High School of Intl. Studies
in the International Baccalaureate program
which I honestly believe, when done well, is the best secondary education philosophy money can buy (and we’re a public school!) though I do think our label as one of the top 100 schools in the entire nation
is bit silly. The rubric they use simply favors small schools (we are on an inner city campus/complex of nearly 3000 students but our small school has only 500) that give a lot of tests. IB requires six hefty exams (2-5 hours each) for a “diploma” candidate. Its nice PR but a bit misleading.
Anyhoot, my history students are “done” for the year, the history test is over, so I play a game with them that I thought might have some general interest.
There is a coup.
I am president.
They are my state department.
They have to fix the world.
They start at to research their specific roles. They have two weeks to work together and brainstorm a proposal. Yes I did send them the Dilbert blog of 6/01 where he argues we should “switzerlandize” ourselves.
I’ll let you know if they come up with anything clever.
Any ideas? I’ll be happy to pass them along.