My favorite part of the Old Man’s War series is listening to Scalzi tell stories and make jokes. He has a clear and polished voice and a great sense of comic timing which are disarming to “listen” to, on his blog or in his books.
Because John’s books are easy reads, and his prose relatively simple, I’ve heard people call his prose “transparent.” I think I’ve said it, too, actually. But on reflection, Scalzi’s prose is not transparent–although it’s easy to read, it’s also calibrated to catch the reader’s attention at one point, distract at another, deliver a punchline at a third. The prose isn’t just a mirror you look through to get to the story. It’s a calculated part of the reading experience.
I think of John Scalzi as belonging to a category of “storytelling” writers–writers whose authorial voices are the disarming strength of their work, like Neil Gaiman and Ursula Vernon.
A few weeks ago, I wrote Scalzi and asked if he had any directions for drawing a picture of Old Man’s War’s main character, John Perry. Scalzi said he’d imagined Perry with Caucasian features, but otherwise, I should go for it. I didn’t even manage to follow that trivial note.
In case you haven’t read the series, the main character, John Perry, is an old man who is uploaded and reborn into a fit young body in order to fight a dangerous space war. A fit, young green body.
That’s right. Kermit said it first.
It isn’t easy being green.
Thank you. I’ll be here all night.