A seventy-five year old widower, John Perry finds the Colonial Defense Force's offer of a new, youthful life intriguing. The CDF fulfills their end of the bargain, now he needs to fulfill his: ten years' commitment as a space marine, fighting the worst the universe has to offer. Funny, thoughtful, and packed with action, Old Man's War is a great read and one of Scalzi's seminal works.
Tales of the Dying Earth takes place in a future so far advanced that technology has become more akin to magic. This compilation spans four separate tomes and is written in the classic, no nonsense style as befitting a grandmaster of science fiction. The book is entertaining nonetheless, and should be on every serious reader's list.