Discussion (SPOILERS)- Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi

You have the regular soldiers who have a lifetime of experiences behind them before they enter their new lives and then you have the Ghost Brigade who have absolutely no life experiences but complete knowledge and skills necessary to their job from the moment they wake up. Which do you think is more effective and why?

The CDF doesn’t come across as particularly sinister and there is mention at the beginning that the elevator possibly serves as a reminder to the inhabitants of earth that the CDF is far more technologically advanced. After finishing the book, do you think that initial guess is accurate? Why is the CDF so secretive about its technology? Why doesn’t it share its technology with Earth? Will it eventually?

Did you get the impression that CDF and colonists look down a little on those who remain on Earth? Like they are ignorant? Sort of like the part of the book when the rest of the platoon doesn’t really acknowledge a newbie until they are tested in battle?

At one point, some characters discuss whether the still would have enlisted if they had known more details about what they were in for. Why does the CDF hide that from potential enlistees? Is it ethical not to disclose the details? In reality, do you think people would sign up for such an opportunity?

Going back to the secretiveness of it all, other than trying to keep knowledge of the true situation in the universe, why can’t people go back to Earth? Why would knowing about all the fighting in the universe be such a bad thing, especially if at some point Earth could be a target? Wouldn’t it be better if they knew so they could prepare in the event something got past the CDF?

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