John Scalzi is a best-selling American author of science fiction novels and the popular blog Whatever. In 1999, he published his first novel, “Agent to the Stars,” on his website, but it wasn’t until a few years later that he gained popularity with Old Man’s War, a military science fiction book, and its sequels.
John Scalzi expanded the Old Man’s War world by writing new series such as the Lock In series, The Interdependency series, and others, as well as stand-alone novels and non-fiction publications.
How to read John Scalzi’s Books in Order?
Follow the guide to read All of John Scalzi’s books and series in order!
The Old Man’s War Series in Order
This is a Military science fiction story that begins with a 75-year-old soldier in the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) named John Perry. Like his colleagues, Perry gets rejuvenated into a young and enhanced body before being sent to combat in the Galaxy. His chances of survival are low.
For more information, go to our Old Man’s War Reading Order.
- Old Man’s War (2005)
- Questions for a Soldier (short story, 2005)
- The Ghost Brigades (2006)
- The Sagan Diary (novelette, 2007)
- After the Coup (short story, 2008)
* The next two novels tell a story from two different points of view. You can read them in the order you want. That said, Zoe’s Tale is considered by some as optional.
The Lock-In Series in Order
- Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome (2014) – In a short while, a virus will spread over the world. Most people will only experience mild flu-like symptoms, while 1% of people will experience permanent alteration. Hundreds of millions of people experience being “locked in,” awake and conscious yet utterly powerless over their body.
- Lock In (2014) – In not too distant future, a brand-new, very infectious illness spreads over the world. Most people who are sick only suffer from the flu, a fever, and headaches. However, the sickness results in “Lock In” for the unfortunate one percent, or just under five million people in the United States alone. Victims who experience this condition are awake and conscious but unable to move or react to stimuli. The illness affects people of all ages, socioeconomic classes, and races. The environment adapts to the difficulty. In a world influenced by what is now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” twenty-five years later, rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is teamed with seasoned agent Leslie Vann. They are given a case that seems to be a murder connected to Haden.
- Head On (2018) – Players in the violent game of hilketa assault one another with swords and hammers. Getting your opponent’s head and putting it through the goalposts is the game’s major objective. Such a sport would not be conceivable with flesh and bone bodies. However, since all of the participants are “threeps,” humanoid robots controlled by individuals with Haden’s Syndrome, anything is possible. No one is wounded, but the crowds enjoy the actual ferocity. until a pro athlete suddenly dies while playing.
The Android’s Dream Universe in Order
- The Android’s Dream (2006) – When a human ambassador kills an extraterrestrial envoy in a very… peculiar… manner, he sparks an interplanetary controversy. Earth’s authorities must locate an equally peculiar item-a kind of sheep (“The Android’s Dream”)-that was used in the extraterrestrial race’s coronation ritual in order to prevent conflict. The government asks hacker, ex-cop, and war hero Harry Creek to help them discover the sheep. With the aid of an old acquaintance who has become an AI, Harry searches the whole planet for the uncommon animal. However, there are others who have similar aspirations for the sheep. military mercenaries under their employ. followers of a covert religion inspired by a sci-fi novelist from the twenty-first century. Aliens who want to spark a revolution on their home planet and a war on Earth are also there.
- Judge Sn Goes Golfing (short story, 2009) – The misanthropy and lack of social graces of Judge Nugan Bufan Sn, a bright extraterrestrial judge, are only surpassed by his useless, unrequited love for the game of golf. The unexpected occurs as he steps onto the golf course at the awful Dulles Woods: He starts to play well. Sn, though, must contend with dangers other than sand traps and uncooperative caddies on the course.
The Interdependency Sequence in Order
Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster-than-light travel is impossible―until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.
- The Collapsing Empire (2017) – Humanity extends to many more worlds by riding The Flow. Earth has been abandoned. The Interdependency, a new empire founded on the idea that no human colony can live without the others, rises to power. It serves as a buffer against interplanetary conflict and a system of governance for the empire’s leaders. The Flow is timeless, yet it is also dynamic. The Flow alters its route in the same way that rivers do. Whole universes have on occasion been cut off from the rest of humanity. Three people are forced to work quickly to determine what, if anything, can be saved from an interplanetary empire that is on the verge of disintegrating when it is revealed that the whole Flow is shifting and may one day permanently separate all human worlds from one another.
- The Consuming Fire (2018) – To protect the survival of billions, Emperox Grayland II of the Interdependency is prepared to take drastic steps. But those who think the Flow’s collapse is a fiction, or at the very least a chance for power ascent, are positioned in front of her. Others are getting ready for a civil war while Grayland is prepared for doom. A conflict that will occur between spacecraft and battlefields as well as in government buildings, commercial marketplaces, and places of religion.
- The Last Emperox (2020) – From those who oppose her and contest the veracity of this collapse, Emperox Grayland II has finally taken back control of her realm. However, “control” may be a shaky concept, and even as Grayland works to rescue as many of her people as she can from poverty and isolation, those who oppose her reign will make one last, desperate effort to remove her from her throne and from her position of authority. To preserve themselves and all of mankind, Grayland and her dwindling number of friends must employ every tactic at their disposal. However, it might not be sufficient.
The Dispatcher Series in Order
- The Dispatcher (2016) – In a short while, it will be nearly difficult to purposefully kill someone since, 999 times out of a thousand, the person will return. How? We are unsure. But it alters every aspect of existence-war, crime, and ordinary life. Tony Valdez works as a dispatcher, a qualified and bonded professional whose responsibility it is to compassionately remove people from the path of death so they might have another opportunity to escape the Grim Reaper. However, Tony discovers that certain things are worse than death and that some individuals are willing to do nearly everything to avenge what they perceive as injustice when a fellow dispatcher and old buddy is reportedly abducted.
- Murder by Other Means (2020) – Tony Valdez is used to carrying out his duties as a dispatcher in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state. But because of the current economic climate, Tony is forced to walk a thin line between what’s right and what will help him pay his obligations. Tony learns that individuals around him are passing away for unexplainable reasons following one of these sketchy jobs and after being a witness to a crime gone tragically wrong. These deaths may be related to him.
- Travel by Bullet (2023) – Tony is unwittingly drawn into a web of plans and machinations involving billions of dollars, with massive troves of riches ranging from real estate to cryptocurrencies up for grabs, when he is summoned to a Chicago emergency room by an old friend and fellow dispatcher. Tony’s only concern is for the safety of his friend. But it’s difficult to accomplish when foes make alluring offers, friends hold secrets, and nothing is ever as it seems. The landscape has altered. But life and death are still at stake.
More Stand-alone Novels by John Scalzi
Agent to the Stars (1999) – The spacecraft The first interplanetary relationship between humans and the Yherajk has arrived on Earth to meet with us. They smell like rotten fish and are abominably ugly, which is the only issue. Therefore, winning the public’s trust is difficult. The Yherajk require a deal-closer to assist them. Enter Thomas Stein, a deal-closer with some experience. He’s one of the sexiest young agents in Hollywood. Stein may have just closed the largest transaction of his career, but negotiating for a whole extraterrestrial race is a far different matter. He’s going to need all the knowledge, abilities, and wits he can gather in order to earn his % this time.
The God Engines (2009) – A man of faith, Captain Ean Tephe is unwavering in his loyalty to his master and to his ship. The Bishopry Militant is aware of this, and Tephe is the captain assigned to lead a ship and crew on a sacred, covert mission to a remote location. Tephe is aware from away that his assignment will be an aptitude test. What counts is what he is unaware of: the ultimate purpose for which his religion and ship will be used; and the fact that the challenges he will encounter will not only come from his deity and the Bishopry Militant, but from an entirely different, more malicious source.
Fuzzy Nation (2011) – A re-imagining of H. Beam Piper’s 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy. Jack Holloway is going to strike it wealthy on the planet Zarathustra. has’s a contractor for the galactic corporation ZaraCorp, and has recently found a mining seam that is worth billions. The company would make a fortune, and Jack would be set for life. He finds out about the Fuzzies after everyone wins. The Fuzzies are the cutest critters this side of the cosmos. They are little, clever, and cat-like. They’ve made themselves at home in Jack’s cabin and have bonded with his dog. Additionally, they are obstructing ZaraCorp’s financial success. Because native sentient life must be eradicated before the planet’s resources may be used. The Fuzzies must be permanently eradicated, according to ZaraCorp. And everyone who intercedes, even Jack, will be rendered completely silent.
Redshirts (2012) – Ensign The Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, the organization’s flag ship since the year 2456, has just been allocated to Andrew Dahl. Even though it’s a high-profile position, Andrew is thrilled to be working at the ship’s Xenobiology lab. Although there are a few unusual things happening, life couldn’t be better: The ship’s captain, the chief scientific officer, and the dashing Lieutenant Kerensky always escape these encounters; at least one low-ranking crew member is always murdered. Every Away Mission includes a deadly conflict with extraterrestrial forces. The amount of effort put in below decks to avoid being issued an away mission is suddenly less shocking. Andrew’s fate could have been predetermined, but then he finds some knowledge that changes everything.
The Kaiju Preservation Society (2022) – Jamie Gray is trapped as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps while COVID-19 sweeps over New York City. That is, until Jamie delivers something to Tom, an old friend who works for what he refers to as “an animal rights organization.” To tackle the situation on their next field trip, Tom’s squad needs a last-minute grunt. Jamie quickly joins up because she is anxious to get started. Tom fails to inform Jamie that the creatures his crew looks for are not living in this world. At least not our Earth. Massive dinosaur-like animals known as Kaiju inhabit a warm, human-free world in an other realm, and they’re in peril. Not just the Kaiju Preservation Society has accessed the parallel universe.
Starter Villain (2023) – It’s trickier than you may think to inherit your uncle’s villainous enterprise. especially if you find out who is in charge there. Charlie’s life is stagnating rapidly. The only thing a divorced substitute teacher wants is to start a bar downtown, if only the bank will accept his financing. He lives with his cat in a house that his siblings want to sell. Then Charlie inherits Jake’s villainous company (equipped with an island volcanic lair) after his long-lost uncle Jake passes away. But lava pits and enormous laser death beams aren’t the only challenges a supervillain faces.
Slow Time Between the Stars (2023, as part of the Far Reaches series) – A sentient ship is dispatched on a last-ditch search for a new home for civilization, armed with all of human knowledge. many kilometers. thousands of years. The AI has plenty of time in between to reflect on life, the size of the universe, everything it was made to accomplish, and-with a viewpoint shaped by humans but not constrained by them-what it ought to do.
Non-fiction books by John Scalzi
- The Rough Guide to Money Online (2000)
- The Rough Guide to the Universe (2003)
- Uncle John’s Presents Book of the Dumb (2003)
- The Book of the Dumb 2 (2004)
- The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (2005)
- You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing (2007)
- Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 (2008)
- The Mallet of Loving Correction (2013)
- Don’t Live For Your Obituary: Advice, Commentary, and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008–2017 (2017)
If you like our article about reading John Scalzi books in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in The Landry series, The Dollanganger series, Joe Haldeman’s Forever War series, and The Murderbot series by Martha Wells…