The Forever War
"Most of the time, Im bored. When I'm not bored, I'm scared."
Remember, the author was a grunt in Vietnam, and the book is based very heavily on this.(less) (hide spoiler)]
OK, so yes, there is an interstellar war with human troops in high-tech armored suits battling an alien enemy on distant planets. I know it sounds like another version of Starship Troopers or countless other bad genre sci-fi tales that copied it, but this one is different. Hell, when it was published in 1975 it won the Hugo, the Locus an ...more
More than just a book about a futuristic war, Haldeman describes a society built around the codependency of the industrial military complex and with a fluid dynamic socio-economic culture that is fascinating to watch unfold.
And the welfare recipients get a bag of dope with their check.
Haldeman’s protagonist, William Mandella, is in an elite military group that travels light distances to ba ...more
Let's start with the positive... I enjoyed following a main character struggling to adapt to the changes on Earth while he's at war. 2 years for him end up being 26 on Earth due to time relativity. It only gets worst as the war progresses.
The rest was a mess for me. This book is often mentioned as a "classic sci-fi" and is on so many "best sci-fi of all time" lists... To me a classic has to survive the test of time and this book did not age wel ...more
1. Gratuitous sex and nudity.
2. Social relevance (it's about Vietnam, stoopid!)
3. Evil aliens.
4. General relativity.
5. Wormholes. Interstellar, Joe Haldeman was here first!
6. Freaky high-tech zone where you can only fight with swords.
7. Unexpected twist! (view spoiler)[The evil aliens actually turn out to be good aliens. (hide spoiler)]
8. Hive minds.
9. Feel-good happy ending.
10. Gratuitous sex and nudity.
I liked the concept. Scientifically, it was intriguing. However, the story was repetitive and slow. The exact same thing kept happening over and over again. Set up base. Boring Battle, many people die. Get back on ship. Stay in space for a long time. Get bored. Return to base. Go back out. Repeat.
There were long, long s ...more
This was a book which I had been wanting to read for a long time, and then as part of March's Bossy Book Challenge (Time Travel for one of the SF groups I belong to - Apocalypse Whenever, the person I was paired with gave me this novel as one of my choices , and so I jumped at it.
Was it a good SF novel, well yes, for certain, would I class it as Time Travel, erm no. Yes it had time passing (ultra quickly) whilst the hero (and heroines) were travelling just sub-light (Time Dilatio ...more
By using the tropes of SF, Haldeman vividly illustrates not only the psychological effects on the combatants, but also the desperate disassociation wrought between the "soldiers" and the rest of society - his reference point was the Vietnam veterans, but it could apply anywhere and anywhen. ...more
How about a novel right out of 1977 that explores what it means when all of society transforms over millennia into something awfully strange... a world where the hetero norm has become a homo norm in response to overpopulation...
To where the old outdated concept of future-shock is dusted off and given new life...
To where it's only reasonable for old s ...more
Well I think it's safe to say that I'm not the target audience for this book. This is hard sci-fi military space opera and I haven't even seen any of the Star Wars movies, or Star Treks, and only a handful of Doctor Who episodes (I only found out last year what a TARDIS is).
I probably shouldn't have even been *allowed* to read this. Somebody
for me, the most important ...more
There was apparently a point in the distant, fortunately-gone past where all you needed to write science fiction was a good idea. Not a plot. Not characters. Not writing that was remotely competent or dialogue that sounded like human beings might say it or any sort of ability to extrapolate human society or even any understanding of what humans are like. You just had to have a good idea and you could write a classic! The Forev ...more
Cliched SF: "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman
I remember when I read Haldeman's "The Forever War"; it was considered a critique of "Starship Troopers". I have heard an anecdote that Haldeman attended an event where he was going to be on a panel with Heinlein and was dreading the meeting, fearing Heinlein would take him to task. Instead, Heinlein thought Haldeman's book was a great read and take on that theme, much to Haldeman's relief. ...more
I'm really surprised this has such a high rating. There's really not much to it.
Okay, it presents a cool concept. What would it really be like to fight a war with an alien race across the vast reaches of space? Even with something that allowed you to "jump" vast distances you would have to get to these places. As the ship you travel in nears the speed of light, time for you slows down. So for the main character who was born in 1997, he returns from the war in 3143 having aged only a few years bu
The Forever War is touted as one of the best science fiction military novels ever written. At least, that is how I’ve always heard it described, and so going into this one, I was expecting lots of gritty Vietnam-inspired fighting and combat. And I got that. However, what I also got was an amazing mixture of science and societal evolution that made the fighting even more entertaining and the story as a whole well worthy of its “One of the Best Sci-fi Nov ...more
Like me, you might be getting tired of encountering this storyline. Tired of reading what too often turns out to be Full Metal Jacket In Space - Minus The Social Criticism.
If that’s the case, borrow twenty bucks, get to a bookstore and order a copy of The Forever War. This is military-flavoured bootcamp-to-war Science Fiction in its fine ...more
Interesting take on things. In a way in the end this is more an "anti-war" book than a stand alone novel. It unfortunately reflects the Utopian type views that came out of the 60s/70s reaction to Vietnam, the one that asks the question, "what would happen if they gave a war and nobody came?" Of course the unaccepted (but logical)answer to this question is, they bring it to you. Se ...more
One of the primary concepts from the book is the main character returning from space travel (complete with Spacial Relativity) to an Earth that was completely foreign to him; it was a massive dose of culture shock which progressed deeper and deeper the further the story went. I was in the US Air Force for 22 yea ...more
“‘Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.’ The guy who said that was a sergeant who didn’t look five years older than me. So if he’d ever killed a man in combat, silently or otherwise, he’d done it as an infant.”
The opening paragraph provides a glimpse into the most intriguing aspect of “The Forever War,” that of the affect of time dilation, officially defined as: the principle predicted by relativity that time intervals between events in ...more
A star gate like natural phenomena has been discovered that allows man to roam the stars - but each journey albeit instantaneous seems and equivalent amount if time will have passed on Earth. As the UN-led Erath ratchets up space colonisation, aliens, the Taurans, destroyed Earth ships, thus sparking a war, a war that goes on for ever!
If I had to choose one theme for The Forever War, it would be futility. As a reader, I knew the futility the "but I'm no military leader" characters felt, as they were recruited to fight an alien race, for reasons they didn't understand, to protect a world and people they returned to find they could neither relate to nor appreciate.
To truly value this novel, one must realize it mirrors the issues faced by those who fought in Vietnam, and likely countless other wars and conflicts. (Hald ...more
1. Time dilation. Haldeman takes this one feature of space-time travel and makes it the central character of the novel. It messes with the protagonist's life, makes military strategy interesting in that your enemy could suddenly have weaponry far more advanced that you (or just as likely could be carrying sticks), and it gives the story a far-reaching feel.
2. Simplicity. There's no complex world-building (although some hi ...more
|Dragons & Jetpacks: The Forever War / Overall Discussion / ***Spoilers***||19||73||Aug 03, 2020 02:37PM|
|Play Book Tag: [Flurries - Veteran's Day] The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 3 stars||4||9||Nov 24, 2019 09:33PM|
|Sci-Fi Group Book...: * The Forever War (The Forever War #1) by Joe Haldeman||13||25||Sep 02, 2019 10:50AM|
|The Evolution of ...: July 2019: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman||75||42||Aug 05, 2019 07:33AM|
|Science Fiction Masterworks Book Club||8||81||Jul 29, 2019 10:23AM|
|Thoughts and Opinions||2||18||Feb 26, 2019 09:13AM|
|Space Opera Fans : Oct 2018 READER Pick: Forever War by Haldeman||47||48||Oct 16, 2018 12:24PM|
Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres ...more
Other books in the series
Articles featuring this book
Once they could talk, the first question was 'Why did you start this thing?' and the answer was 'Me?”