I remember the first time I saw Old Man’s War. It was in my local Borders—a good one, where the books mostly had their spines intact and the staff actually knew what they were talking about. I asked the science fiction guy if he’d read anything good lately, and he pointed me right at it. But I guess I saw that throwback cover art and thought “Heinlein”—and “early Heinlein,” at that. The Heinlein who hadn’t yet embraced free love and freakydeaky libertarian thought experiments. The one who wrote Starship Troopers, an undoubtedly significant novel, but whose John Wayne attitude to war had always rubbed me the wrong way.
I would eventually fall in love with Old Man’s War—even though it is, in one sense, a love letter to Starship Troopers. But it would take some time.