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'''''Old Man's War''''' is a series of SpaceOpera novels by author Creator/JohnScalzi. Its follows the recruits of Earth's [[SpacePolice Colonial Defense Force]], tasked with protecting Mankind's far-flung colony worlds from ruthless alien species. The twist? All recruits to the CDF are ''elderly citizens''; the minimum sign up age is 75 years old. Recruits sign up while they are still on Earth, having already lived a long life, and are then given young, genetically-enhanced bodies upon joining the CDF.

The series thus far:
* ''Old Man's War'': The first novel, following a man named John Perry as he joins up with the CDF. The story follows his experiences as he is given a young new body, goes through hellish training, and is sent out into the galaxy to protect various colonies of humankind. In the middle of a pitched battle, John sees the face of his long-dead wife...on the body of a Special Forces soldier named Jane Sagan, who has no clue who John is.
* ''The Ghost Brigades'': A rouge human scientist named Charles Boutin turns traitor against his own race and becomes a hero to another. To figure out why he did it and what he plans to do next, the Colonial Union downloads his stored memories into a new clone body so they can interrogate him. When the process doesn't work, the not-quite Boutin is given the new identity "Jared Dirac" and assigned to the Special Forces as a soldier in a new body. But things don't go quite according to plan as Boutin's memories start to resurface in Dirac. Along the way, Dirac meets Jane Sagan and finds out more about the mystery behind her.
* ''The Last Colony'': Follows the founding of a new colony [[WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt called Roanoke]]. John Perry and Jane Sagan, reunited at last, are placed in charge of making sure the colony succeeds. Amid hostile local lifeforms, limited technology, and tensions between the colonists, John and Jane find out things are even worse than they seem: the Colonial Union violated a galactic agreement in creating the colony, and now every intelligent alien species in the area wants to wipe the colony out.
** ''Zoe's Tale'': A companion novel to ''The Last Colony'' that [[POVSequel retells the events of the story]] but from the perspective of Zoe, John and Jane's adoptive daughter.
* ''The Human Division'': Takes up the where the series left off, dealing with the fallout from ''The Last Colony'' and bringing back old characters while introducing new ones. Serialized as a "season" of short stories/chapters, it was released in weekly e-episodes, with each installment featuring unique cover art by illustrator John Harris. [[http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/04/09/the-human-division-episode-thirteen-earth-below-sky-above-is-now-live-an-announcement-about-the-future/ A second "season" has been confirmed.]]

In August 2014, the Syfy Channel [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/syfy-adapting-futuristic-military-drama-723323 announced]] it was adapting the books into a television series called ''The Ghost Brigades'' (it still will begin with John's story from ''Old Man's War'', they just thought the name [[RuleOfCool sounded cooler]]).
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!!This series provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: [[spoiler:The werewolves of Roanoke never come up again after the first conflict with them. Zoe's War goes into a bit more detail about them, though.]]
* AlienAmongUs: Hickory and Dickory.
* AlienInvasion: Not on Earth, but pretty much everywhere else.
** BenevolentAlienInvasion: [[spoiler:Earth's enforced isolation is ended by a Conclave trade fleet.]]
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: No in-plot examples, but Master Sergeant Ruiz mentions having had it happen to him; characteristically, the reason he brings it up is to make the point that if you're attracted to a fellow soldier, the time to talk about it is not when you both should be concentrating on not getting killed.
* AnyoneCanDie: John Perry, Jane Sagan, and Zoe seem to have PlotArmor, but nobody else does [[spoiler:including Jared Dirac, who dies via TakingYouWithMe]].
* ArtificialLimbs: Actually, whole artificial bodies in ''Old Man's War'', but also soldiers regularly have whole limbs replaced and regrown using nanobots.
* AscendedExtra: Harry Wilson, one of the last three survivors of the Old Farts in ''Old Man's War'', returns as an extra in ''The Ghost Brigades'', and is a major protagonist in ''The Human Division''.
* [[spoiler:TheBadGuyWins: How ''The Human Division'' ends, with the conspiracy succeeding in driving a permanent wedge between Earth and the Colonial Union.]]
* BatmanGambit in multiple ways: [[spoiler:In ''The Ghost Brigades'', Charles Boutin's attempts to gain revenge on the Colonial Union and repeated adapting to changes in plans; In ''The Last Colony'', they're all over the place--The Colonial Union's attempt to destroy the Conclave, John Perry's plan to defeat Admiral Eser, and the most convoluted, General Szilard's "plan" to bring the Special Forces into the open.]]
* BiTheWay: Several of John's fellow recruits turn out to be bisexual. It's dealt with in exactly as matter-of-fact a manner as the trope suggests.
* BizarreHumanBiology: Human soldiers have green skin, cat eyes and nano-bots instead of blood.
* BlackComedy: And plenty of it. This is, after all, a war story.
* BloodyMurder: CDF soldiers can ignite parts of their [=SmartBlood=] at will. It's mostly used to deliver a satisfying demise to alien mosquito-analogues, but Jared comes up with some more... ambitious applications. ''The Human Division'' has further application of this, with [[spoiler:a captured CDF officer using it to incapacitate her torturer.]]
* BrainInAJar: Mentioned in ''The Ghost Brigades'' as the CDF punishment for refusing direct orders. [[spoiler:The [[TheConspiracy Evil Conspiracy]] in ''The Human Division'' uses them to turn spacecraft into drones, with the added bonus of making it look like the Colonial Union is behind things, thanks to the aforementioned punishment.]]
* BrainUploading:
** Charles Boutin in ''The Ghost Brigades'' perfects the storage and downloading of mental copies, though it has kinks.
** Not to mention the process of moving from your old body into your soldier body upon enlisting in the CDF.
* BullyingADragon: The CU's plan to break the Conclave turns into this. [[spoiler:They humiliate the Conclave by using Roanoke as bait for their unified fleet and destroy it. Somehow they missed that nearly every ship in the fleet was the flagship of each member race and give 412 member races a personal kick in the nuts.]] So they get the internal strife they wanted, but [[NiceJobBreakingItHero it's largely over whether or not to just kill us all off in retaliation]]. Turns out, though, that it worked out better than it seemed it would when it happened, as explained in the Conclave chapter of The Human Division.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Averted due to the CU monopoly on skip drive. Trade, communication, and most of all colonization are strictly controlled.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:Weaponized [=SmartBlood=] and the use of trees climbing to avoid hostile guns in ''The Ghost Brigades''.]]
* ChildSoldiers: Ghost Brigade soldiers are rarely older than fourteen, due to the unusual nature of their creation. Despite being utterly deadly, barely-human killing machines, the lack of emotional maturity does show on occasion.
* CloningBlues: The Old Man's War trilogy features extensive cloning, where the clones usually aren't brought to consciousness before having a progenitor's consciousness installed.
** Technically, none of the CDF bodies are clones because they are based on highly modified versions of the original DNA.
* ColonyDrop: In ''The Ghost Brigades'', one of the techniques used by the Special Forces to cover their tracks is drop an asteroid on it. They've apparently used this trick often enough to become very good at making it look like an accident.
** They actually drop asteroids (with some pre-placed seismic sensors) for underground recon.
* CongruentMemory: In ''The Ghost Brigades'', the reason copying Boutin's mind into Jared doesn't work at first is that he's a blank slate with nothing for the mind to connect to. When he starts having experiences that relate to Boutin's (enjoying one of Boutin's favorite foods, visiting a place Boutin has been), parts of Boutin start to reappear.
* CozyVoiceForCatastrophes: How else would we read calmly about such things as the graphic sentient mold attack?
* CreativeSterility: The Obin, because they possibly [[spoiler:don't have souls.]]
* CutTheJuice: In ''The Ghost Brigades'', [[spoiler:Steve Seaborg blows up the power generator running the Obin [=BrainPal=] jammer, and himself]].
* DeadpanSnarker: All of his protagonists either start out this way (John and Zoe) or grow into it (Jared). Also, Savitri and Gretchen. Each character has their own flavor of snark too.
* [[DefeatMeansFriendship Defeat Means We Tolerate You For A Bit]]: Want answers from the Consu? You have to kill their dishonored criminals in single combat. For each one your side kills, you get one question.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Master Sergeant Ruiz, who tells the recruits that he is not like those [[LampshadedTrope drill sergeants you see in the movies]], he really does think they're worthless because he knows what humanity is up against.
** Also some comments from other characters suggest that that might be his actual personality.
* DropShip: It's military sci-fi. Everyone's got 'em.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Jared Dirac planting a Trojan Horse virus in his body that will destroy it when the guy taking it over opens a message explaining just how screwed he is.]]
* ElectronicTelepathy: The [=BrainPal=], especially when used by Special Forces.
* EmptyShell: The Obin. They were uplifted to give them intelligence but not individual self-awareness. Their own word for their species means "lacking." They border on TheSoulless due to their drive to acquire consciousness [[spoiler:and the utterly inhuman debt they feel towards Boutin for working on how to provide one for them]].
* EvilGenius: Charles Boutin.
* FasterThanLightTravel: The skip drive.
** Actually a subversion (discussed in the first book). Since you can't go faster than light, you drop your ship into a nearly-identical [[AnotherDimension analogue universe]] while ''their'' virtually-identical version of the same ship drops into ''your'' original universe. For pragmatic purposes, it's teleportation: the physicists tend not to dwell on the fairly mind-boggling ramifications when laymen are around.
* FictionalUnitedNations: The Conclave, intended by its creator to put an end to the incessant territorial warfare between the LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces and divvy up colony worlds fairly. First mentioned in ''The Ghost Brigades'', ''The Last Colony'' and ''Zoe's Tale'' deal with an attempt by the Colonial Union to sabotage it. [[spoiler:After determining that the alien in charge had the right idea after all, especially since the Union's success immensely pissed off 412 different species, he and Zoe help the Conclave reform and pull the BenevolentAlienInvasion above.]]
* FirstPersonSmartass: John and Zoe.
* ForScience: Why the Consu uplifted the Obin. They just wanted to see what would happen.
** Possibly also an example of ItAmusedMe.
* {{Gendercide}}:The Crimp which made 1/3 of Earth's male population sterile.
* [[GladToBeAliveSex Glad To Be Alive Orgy]]: In ''The Ghost Brigades'' this is apparently a tradition after each mission for the Special Forces.
* GovernmentConspiracy (see BatmanGambit below)
* GrandTheftMe: In ''The Ghost Brigades'', [[spoiler:Charles Boutin, having discovered that Jared Dirac is his Special-Forces-enhanced clone, attempts to steal Jared's body]].
* GraveMarkingScene: The first thing John Perry did on his seventy-fifth birthday was visit his wife's grave.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Subcontinental War in ''Old Man's War''.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: The members of the CDF, their skin is photosynthetic, they are all in perfect physical shape, and they are possibly even altered to look sexier than their normal genetics would allow to encourage bonding and to exploit the natural human tendency to treat good looking people better.
** Ruiz calls out minorities during his spiel at the start of basic training... then yells "BULLSHIT! You're all green!" (He has NWordPrivileges, being Hispanic.)
* GreyAndGreyMorality: And plenty of it. Interestingly, it's often the Colonial Union (i.e., ''humanity'') that comes across as a slightly darker shade of grey, though it's a very close-run thing.
* HatesEveryoneEqually: Ruiz can come up with a reason to hate ''everyone'' except John (whom he finds a reason to ''like'', which scares him).
* HeroAntagonist: [[spoiler:General Gau]]. He's a honorable man with few personal ambitions who is working hard for peace.
* HellishPupils: The members of the CDF have feline pupils.
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: The Obin.
* HigherTechSpecies: The Consu.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Specifically the Colonial Union, which is often of the [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] variety. It keeps Earth, its source of colonists and soldiers, as an isolated, technological backwater. It strictly controls communication and travel between the colonies themselves. Even set against a backdrop of hundreds of feuding alien species, very few of whom are nice guys, humanity stands out for its merciless tenacity. That said, the series does note that a lot of the more bastardly tendencies are justified by the more horrifying tendencies of the opposing species. For example, most (hostile) alien species are depicted as eating humans and other intelligent species. Humans don't. And mostly humanity is just absolutely, completely ruthless, far from actually malevolent, which is actually required for survival because humans are one of the newest and smallest species on the galactic stage. Anything else means extinction, at best, or being farmed for meat, at worst.
* HumansThroughAlienEyes: The opening in ''The Ghost Brigades''.
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: All members of the CDF look like in their mid-twenties (with green skin and feline eyes).
* ImmortalProcreationClause: The bodies of the CDF soldiers are infertile/sterile and do not age. It's partially intentional, so they don't get ideas about trying to supplant humanity.
* KickTheDog: The CU does this a few times in each book, with increasing severity as the story goes along.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Knowing the title of book four, combined with the OneSteveLimit, takes most of the surprise out of a major plot twist in book two.
* LilliputianWarriors: One of the alien races fought in ''Old Man's War'' are almost exactly like humans, except they're only an inch tall. They're depicted as being hopelessly outmatched by the human military in ground battles, but at the very least evenly matched in space battles. Tiny ships can only have tiny weapons, but they're also too small to aim at properly... and they're [[ZergRush very, very cheap]].
* LongevityTreatment: The CDF's main selling point. Rejuvenation treatment via consciousness transfer to a genetically enhanced body is only available to military personnel--and the minimum age for joining the military is 75.
* LostColony:
** Roanoke, though it's both deliberate and temporary. LampshadeHanging ensues when, after he figures out what's happening, the main character chews himself out for having missed the reference.
** Before the CU monopoly on skip drive "Wildcat" colonies were fairly common, most failed within a year.
* LowCultureHighTech: The Consu give the Rraey a sensor far in advance of any race's ability and understanding that can predict the exact location a ship will exit hyperspace in, which they only bother to use for it's intended purpose. When Perry manages to get the "owner's manual", it's enough to revolutionize human understanding of hyperspace theory and allows major breakthroughs in the following books.
* LoyalPhlebotinum: The standard CDF assault rifle is designed so that it won't fire except in the hands of its authorized operator. In training, that's weapon's owner. In combat, that's any CDF soldier. This comes in handy more than once, but becomes a problem in ''The Ghost Brigades'' when the villain disrupts the authentication process, leaving the attacking soldiers stuck with guns that won't fire for anybody.
* MachiavelliWasWrong: [[spoiler:And the Colonial Union gets itself into some serious trouble as a result.]] But then manages to get out of it without a war.
* MadScientistLaboratory: Charles Boutin has one in ''The Ghost Brigades''.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Zoe, though fairly well subverted in that you meet her at the age of 7.
* MeaningfulName: ''The Last Colony'' has a few spoilerish examples: [[spoiler:Roanoke colony and Perry calling himself a Commodore play it straight. Trujillo, the ambitious politician, is a subversion, since he's one of the good guys.]]
* MentalFusion: Special Forces are raised with an active [=BrainPal=] from "birth", allowing them to share their senses, thought, emotions and memories. While not a HiveMind, it creates a powerful anti-self pro-group type of bias in them, and it's very unpleasant for them to be denied integration.
* ModernStasis: Earth
* {{Nanomachines}}: Used as armor, ammunition, blood substitute, etc.
* NeglectfulPrecursors: The Consu created and abandoned the Obin, and have been extremely uh, snippy every time the Obin try to get in touch.
* NeuralImplanting: Multiple instances and variations, particularly in ''The Ghost Brigades''.
* [[NeverAcceptedInHisHometown Never Accepted In His Homeplanet]]: Big time {{masquerade}}.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: Special Forces soldiers can't ever meet their dead progenitors, and it's sheer accident that John even finds out what happened to Kathy's "unused" clone.
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Averted. Alan, one of John Perry's fellow recruits, is 75, and his "arousal test" was administered by a naked man
* NumberedHomeworld: The Obin planets except Obinur.
* OneManArmy: Daniel Harvey
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: An intelligent, humanoid yet hairy species on Roanoke are called "werewolves" because that's the closest thing they resemble. As far as we know, they don't shapeshift.
* PhysicalFitnessPunishment: On the platoon's first day in training, Master Sergeant Ruiz makes a point of finding a reason to give each and every person a twenty-kilometer run, with the threat of everyone having to do it again if one person takes longer than an hour. This is partly so everyone knows where they stand with him, and partly to make the point that, with their new technological enhancements, they all ''can'' run twenty kilometers in an hour, among other feats.
* POVSequel: ''Zoe's Tale''.
* PeopleFarms: One possible fate of a human colony conquered by aliens who think human meat makes good eating (which, unfortunately, is most of them).
* ProHumanTranshuman: The soldiers of the CDF. During boot camp one guy asks why they're bothering to defend baseline humanity when their new bodies are the next step in human evolution. Sergeant Ruiz tells him he couldn't be more wrong, all the alien DNA in their genomes makes them sterile and thus an evolutionary "dead end". In fact one of the reasons for the advanced enlistment age is so most of the recruits would have grandkids back home they would want to protect from baby-eating aliens.
* PsychicLink: Created through [=BrainPal=] technology for soldiers.
* PunyEarthlings: The reason why the Colonial Union no longer uses unaltered humans as soldiers.
* TheQuietOne: Maggie
* RadioSilence:
** Used during the battles on Coral because the Rraey can detect [=BrainPal=] communication.
** Forced upon the Roanoke colonists in order to avoid the Conclave's attentions.
* RankUp: Perry starts ''Old Man's War'' as a Private, and is a Lieutenant by the end. It's mentioned in ''The Lost Colony'' that he later rose to be a Major and commanded a battalion before retiring.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Played with with Jane. She is her own person and wants to be treated as such but also wants very much to know about Kathy's life and John.
* SarcasticDevotee: Savitri
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The Consu. Curiously enough, though, that dogma makes them ''less'' dangerous than they might be - they could easily steamroll everyone else in the galaxy, but they prefer their battles to be religiously-significant or at least sporting (i.e., fair) instead, to the extent that they'll even equip their troops with technology similar to that of their enemies, whomever that might be (though technology levels don't vary too radically between species, except where the Consu are concerned).
* SenseLossSadness: In ''Ghost Brigade'', being pulled out of Integration (a type of MentalFusion) has this effect, as does having the [=BrainPal=] shut off. Given that [=SpecOps=] troops are literally raised by their [=BrainPals=], and spend pretty much their entire lives integrated, it's less 'sadness' and more 'crippling, mind-destroying shellshock'.
* SettlingTheFrontier: ''The Last Colony'' and ''Zoe's War'' both focus on the difficulties facing settlers creating a new, secret colony.
* ShootTheDog: How the Colonial Union justifies the various atrocities it commits. Much of the series involves deciding whether or not its actions are necessary for humanity's survival. [[spoiler:Turns out that not only are they unnecessary (despite what initially seem like some pretty decent justifications), they're actively harmful.]]
* ShoutOut:
** In ''Old Man's War'', two of Perry's fellow recruits are named [[NeilGaiman Gaiman]] and [[DaveMcKean McKean]].
** ''The Ghost Brigades'' introduces the Gamerans, whose collective name [[{{Gamera}} is itself a shout out]], and who take their individual names from science fiction writers, including [[Creator/CharlesStross Stross]] and [[GeorgeRRMartin Martin]].
** The chap named [[Webcomic/PennyArcade Gabriel Brahe]] can't be a coincidence.
** The Obin are an author-admitted tip of the hat to Creator/DavidBrin's Uplift series.
** In ''Old Man's War,'' a whale-like species known as the [[TheSilmarillion Finwe]] gets a brief mention.
** The entire first book [[http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/002329.html is a tribute to]] Literature/StarshipTroopers.
** A piece of software that tricks a ship's computer into running on a virtual machine, [[LotusEaterMachine leaving it unaware it isn't running on its real hardware]], is known as [[Film/TheMatrix Blue Pill]].
* SpaceAmish: The Colonial Mennonites in ''The Last Colony'', though they don't seem to actually have an objection to technology per se, but simply object to ''excess technology'', and that's why the CU sends a large group of them to Roanoke, which is likely to be cut off from the rest of the CU for a very long time, meaning that coping with lower tech levels would probably be necessary at some point.
* SpaceElevator: On Earth, but operated by the Colonial Union. A notable example because even though a SpaceElevator could be built in the real world, the one the C.U. operates ''isn't'' physically workable (its anchor is in too low an orbit). This gratuitous violation of physics indicates to astute Earthlings that the C.U. is keeping secrets from them...
* SpiritualSuccessor: Although it is definitely its own novel, ''Old Man's War'' is fairly clearly an homage to [[Creator/RobertAHeinlein Heinlein's]] ''Starship Troopers,'' without descending into the {{Anvilicious}} territory that makes the older book a little jarring.
* StarCrossedLovers: Harry and Danielle look like they're heading in that direction by the end of ''The Human Division.''
* StarfishAliens: Just about everything in that isn't a human. There's only one race of aliens mentioned who are roughly humanoid, and they're about an inch tall. The most advanced race in the known universe look like giant, blade-armed stingrays.
** A few like the Whaidians and Covandu are physically different from us but seem quite comprehensible in terms of motives and culture. Even the Consu have understandable (if odd and frightening) values. Hell, the man-eating Rraey even have celebrity cooking shows!
** The Gamerans are [[HumanSubspecies Starfish Humans]].
* StrawmanPolitical: Interestingly played with in ''Old Man's War''. On one of their missions, John's squad gets a new recruit in the form of an ex-politician, who initially seems to perfectly fill out the military sci-fi stereotype of the obnoxious, sanctimonious bleeding-heart liberal. However, it soon turns out that his political views are at least somewhat correct - his problems (in the form of a raging Messiah-complex and blindness to practical concerns) are purely a matter of personality.
** It's weird in 2014 how Bender, described as "two time Democratic senator from Massachusetts, former ambassador to France, Japan, and the United Nations, Secretary of State in the otherwise disastrous Crowe administration," sounds in 2014 like a possible {{Expy}} for John Kerry, who wouldn't become Secretary of State until 8 years after the book was published.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Consu.
* SuperSoldier: The Colonial Union's soldiers require only a few hours of sleep, can hold their breath underwater for several minutes, and have a fantastic {{Healing Factor}}.
** And that's just the basic soldier, their Special Forces have even better reflexes and reaction times, not to mention being born that way. And there are even some who can [[SpacePeople survive in hard vacuum.]]
** Of course, as the drill sergeant in the first book [[JerkassHasAPoint points out]], the Union isn't giving its volunteers brand-new, youthful, super-tough bodies bristling with genetic and nanotech enhancements because it ''loves'' them: it's spending all this money because all the other sapient species out there have their own SuperSoldiers, and baseline humans would be totally outclassed.
* SwissArmyGun: Justified in that it is a MatterReplicator for several different flavors of hurt.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Dirac's nasty surprise for Charles Boutin after the latter took over Dirac's body]].
** [[spoiler:How Captain Coloma deals with the ''Erie Morningstar''.]]
* {{Telepathy}}: Possible to be done on anyone with a [=BrainPal=], by anyone with the right clearance.
* ThemeNaming: Special Forces soldiers have the last name of a famous person in science and philosophy (or science fiction, for the Gamerans).
* ToServeMan: Some species, the Rraey in particular, find humans to be quite tasty.
* TranshumanAliens: The Gamerans. Human brains, but everything else about them is a bizarre space-monster. They're specialized military forces, but the other facet of their existence is to get at least one branch of humanity out of the fighting-for-limited-real-estate game by letting them live free in outer space.
* TreeBuchet: Used by Special Forces soldiers to escape an enclosure guarded by automatic turrets that lacked the ability to aim up. Justified by it being a treelike lifeform on an alien planet, more elastic than actual trees.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Subverted.
* UnitedSpaceOfAmerica: The Colonial Union. English is the main language, the military is dominated by former US citizens, and the influential, older colonies are populated by many descendants of American (and other first-world) colonists. But subverted in that all the new colonies are populated by people from countries and regions that can't support their populations (thanks to being kept that way by the CU), which amounts to most of them being from Africa and Asia (especially India), though Norway is also mentioned as being unable to support its population, and so is a source for colonists.
* WeirdnessMagnet: Whilst it's never quite clear whether he's blessed with exceptionally good luck or cursed with exceptionally bad, John tends to be at the centre of a ''lot'' of improbable coincidences.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Charles Boutin.
* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture: Mostly for the trademarked hardware that makes up a CDF soldier's body.
* WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: Roanoke, which is very much ''intended'' to act like its namesake.
** FridgeBrilliance as well - The "mystery" of the real Roanoke isn't really a mystery; the colonists all went off to join the native Americans. [[spoiler:Which is exactly what the Perry family does by the end of "The Lost Colony]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Lots of 'em, in all sorts of different directions. Let's just say that this is a series that believes in giving weight to many different viewpoints in many different situations and leave it at that.
* WikiWalk: The Special Forces [=BrainPal=] does this to explain concepts.
* WorthyOpponent: John gets two in 'The Last Colony', in the form of [[CommanderContrarian Manfred Trujillo]] and [[VisionaryVillain General]] [[NecessarilyEvil Gau]]. [[spoiler:By the end of the book, he's good friends with both.]]
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