The Last Colony

The Last Colony

infobox Book
name = The Last Colony
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of first edition (hardcover)
author = John Scalzi
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Tor Books
release_date = 2007
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by = The Ghost Brigades
followed_by = Zoe's Tale

"The Last Colony" is the third book by John Scalzi set in the "Old Man's War" universe. It was nominated for a 2008 Hugo Award in the Best Novel category.

Plot Synopsis

John and Jane Sagan, the former Ghost Brigade clone of Johns dead wife, are offered a position as colony leaders for the new site of Roanoke, which will be comprised of human settlers from every current human colony. After deliberating it, they decide to accept, and are sent along with Zoe, to the new colony. In tow are Zoe's Obin protectors, named Hickory and Dickory, who view her with almost religious awe due to her fathers success in giving the Obin emotion.

Upon arriving, the colonists quickly realize they are not at Roanoke. They are approached by another member of the Special Forces of the CDF, adapted to live in space, who had attached himself to the exterior of their craft, who informs them they have no option but to land and begin the colony anyway. The ship has been irreparably damaged to prevent the craft from leaving orbit, and all the colonists are considered quarantined from the rest of the Colonial Union. The Conclave was aware of the original position of Roanoke, and therefore was waiting to annihilate them. He further tells them that to isolate them fully, they are forbidden from using any advanced technology. This is offset by the presence of the Mennonites, a Amish-like group of colonists who are familiar with more basic machinery they had brought with them.

The colony is founded with surprisingly little difficulty. Several colonists are killed by stone age level werewolf-like creatures who view them as potential prey, but otherwise begin to settle into the colony. After a certain length of time, they are again visited by Special Forces, who informs them that the plan has partially succeeded, and the initial restrictions on technology have been lifted. The Union attempted to destabilize the Conclave by making them appear incompetent, due to their inability to find a single colony despite a years worth of searching.

After a brief interlude when their location is leaked to the conclave, they are visited by the Conclave fleet, consisting of a single ship from every race member of the Conclave. The Conclave leader begs John to either give up the colony or secede from the Union and join the Conclave. John refuses, and begs (General Gao) to give up and leave. Baffled, the leader tells him to make his peace, and orders the fleet to open fire. Almost immediately, the entire fleet is annihilated. Special Forces members, during the prior year, had methodically tracked down every ship that participates in the conclave fleet, and attached a anti-matter bomb to the hull. The officer who accompanied the Roanoke colonists then waited for every ship to arrive before detonating the explosives, save the leaders craft. This shatters the conclave into multiple factions, several of whom swear vengeance on the Union. An attempted attack is held off by Jane, remotely controlling the colonies defense lasers, though they are destroyed in the process.

After the attack, John is nearly arrested for almost ruining the plan to destroy the enemy fleet by asking the leader to surrender. He is eventually released, and after speaking with the Special Forces again, returns to Roanoke. He realizes that Roanoke is a sacrificial pawn. If Roanoke is destroyed, enlistment in the CDF will spike, allowing for a more aggressive campaign against the other alien races. This however will cause humanities eventual extinction due to raw attrition.

Realizing they are an expendable pawn for the Union, John abdicates the leadership of Roanoke, and joins the Conclave after being awarded a ship by them as his sovereign domain, with help from the Obin. Together with a majority the other members of the Conclave, he visits Earth to reveal what has been occurring in the rest of the universe.

The Colonial Union is thrown into disarray, with enlistment plummeting and potential colonists demurring, but the end of the book suggests that bringing Earth into the Union properly will allow for more diplomatic solutions and cooperation between the races.

ee also

*Old Man's War
*The Ghost Brigades
*The Sagan Diary
*Zoe's Tale
*John Scalzi

External links

* [ John Scalzi's blog
* About [ "The Last Colony"] and [ John Scalzi] at the [ publisher's official website]

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