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Forever Peace

(The Forever War #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  18,925 ratings  ·  531 reviews
2043 A.D.: The Ngumi War rages. A burned-out soldier and his scientist lover discover a secret that could put the universe back to square one. And it is not terrifying. It is tempting...
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Ace (first published October 1997)
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Matt This is NOT a sequel. Forever Peace is a stand-alone story in a separate universe which is completely unrelated to Forever War. It has some similar th…moreThis is NOT a sequel. Forever Peace is a stand-alone story in a separate universe which is completely unrelated to Forever War. It has some similar themes and an obviously similar title but it is not a sequel. The only sequel to Forever War is Forever Free. It is not necessary to read.(less)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Welcome to the future...where the final war is being waged
....against war itself.

There is such a bounty of wonderful, insightful and important ideas stuffed into this novel that I find myself seriously bummed that weak storytelling and plodding central plot flow marred my enjoyment enough to keep me from awarding this a 4th star.

Still, from a component standpoint, this is a collection of gems.


The Haves:

The Alliance, led by the U.S., but including most of what we would conside
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a sequel to The Forever War.

Haldeman says it is not, in a statement at the beginning of the 1997 novel, that it is related in setting but not a sequel, and not really related that much.

So why the title?

Well, it’s about the storyline, a strangely intriguing idea that the reader doesn’t entirely get until near the end. Fans of his earlier Forever War, first published in 1974, will notice some similarities in the centralized welfare state and obligatory civil service, and in his casuall

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my HUGO WINNERS list.

This is the reading list that follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I loved reading the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners so I'm going to crack on with the Hugo winners next (but only the post-1980 winners, I'll follow up w
Never have I disagreed more with people who's opinions I respect. Forever Peace is a highly acclaimed and beloved book to many, but I disagree.

To begin with, this had nothing to do with The Forever War. So to market it as Forever War #2, sounds like a cash grab. That irritated me off the bat. The Forever War dealt with an interstellar war, where time dilation kept the players on an eternally shifting background.
It was a brilliant analogy for the futility of war, written by a Vietnam veteran to
Jun 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Forever Peace: Wildly implausible and poorly conceived
For the life of me, I can’t understand why Forever Peace won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for Best SF novel in 1997. Certainly his earlier 1975 The Forever War is a beloved SF classic that deals with the Vietnam War, time paradoxes, and the absurdity of endless conflict. First off, this book is not a direct sequel, and is hardly related other than sharing a military SF theme. Even that connection is tenuous, so I can onl
Mike Moore
This book starts slowly, then builds up a formidable foundation of ideas and possibilities before devolving to a fairly silly conclusion. In some ways I found it similar to works by the likes of Crichton or (Neal) Stephenson that build a fascinating world on an engaging premise, then rapidly and artificially generate and resolve a crisis to stand as a plot. I often wish that these authors could take the course of books that exist without plots of deadly peril or fearsome crisis... books like som ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The novel “Forever Peace” by Joe Haldeman was published for the first time in 1997. It won the Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell awards.

In 2043 there’s a series of wars between an alliance of advanced nations against third world nations. The allied army consists of robots remote-controlled by soldiers who can be thousands of miles away and use neural implants to have a realistic experience of the battles they fight.

The alliance also has nanoforge technology, a form of nanotechnology that allows
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is either the best "bad book" or the worst "good book" in science fiction, depending on your perspective. Its plot and structure are a jumbled mess: It basically reads like two separate novellas forced together into a single storyline. The first storyline revolves around the technological as well as psychological needs for fighting a near-future worldwide guerilla war, in which the powers behind a globalized World System must suppress desperate peasants who are on the losing end of tha ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Forever Peace (The Forever War #2), Joe Haldeman
Definitely not the quality of The Forever War. Don't get confused by the similar "Forever" title - this is not a second part of Forever War, it doesn't share the setting and is only vaguely based on similar ideas. (The second part of Forever War is Forever Free).

Nice story-telling. Characters are a bit extreme with suicidal tendencies and a good bit confusion. The last third reads rushed and the ending was a bit of a letdown.
A fascinating novel that effectively asks if war is an inevitable outcome of human nature and whether "to get rid of war, we have to become something other than human." About 100 years in the future, nanotechnology makes it unnecessary for peoples of the rich countries to work, but all citizens have to do a few years military service to deal with the pervasive revolutionary movements in the disenfranchised Third World countries under dictatorships in alliance with the dominant powers. The hero o ...more
Forever Peace is an interesting book in itself, describing how the group mind from The Forever War/Forever Free could come about, but I didn't really engage with it very much emotionally. Partially because the main character, Julian, is self-destructive and emotionally off. It's self-defence, perhaps. It's not a headspace I want to spend much time in. At least it's reasonably well handled.

It isn't really connected to the other books very closely, either, which doesn't help, and the switching bet
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Concepts are interesting but the execution is a bit weird. The thing that threw me out of the story the most was about the racism & some of the politics because it sounds like the kind of thing that happened in the 70-80's. BUT the reality is that some of those situations can happen anywhere there are small communities with little exposure. Heck, it can happen in a large city where people can live their whole life on a few blocks & it's exotic to travel a few miles away for special occasio
Dec 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Not related to The Forever War, this is a lesser book in every respect. Author Haldeman connects world conflict and pacifism to economic instability and dubious science, then to an unconvincing technothriller that somehow won the Hugo, Nebula and Campbell awards. I remain unconvinced.

The story starts with a McGuffin that allows soldiers to connect to their machines and each other. This leads to comparisons (bloodthirsty and pacifistic soldiers) and injuries (strokes and damage to human operators
Kara Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved *Forever War*, but I couldn't get into this book. There's a lot of plot, but no point.

The main character has a clear inner life, and the author tries to get him to develop, but it comes across as shallow and meaningless.

I don't really get what this book was supposed to be "about," and I didn't get the sense that the author did have a purpose here either. The best I can say is that in the last third of the book, I started *really* wanting the villains to lose, but there wasn't anything s
Chris Walker
3.5 stars. The technological elements of the story are really intriguing, as is some of the social commentary, but ultimately the plot doesn't do either of them justice.

I came to Forever Peace with reasonably high hopes and expectations after being pleasantly surprised with The Forever War. I knew that it was more of a thematic sequel, but seeing as those themes (the pointlessness of war, alienation from one's society of origin, shifting social views toward sexuality) are of great interest to me
“Gideon” Dave Newell
This book is a spiritual, if not narrative, sequel to Haldeman’s 1975 “Forever War”. Both novels won the Hugo & Nebula, and explore the theme of war’s futility, although from different perspectives and in separate story-worlds. Readers expecting a continuation of Forever War’s interstellar conflict or relativistic time dilation effects, will see that instead this story features a strictly terrestrial struggle between the wealthy nations, fueled by effortless nano-factory produced plenty, and the ...more
Dec 31, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked The Forever War.
Though not a sequel to The Forever War, it's similar name and same author force the comparison to be made.

The basic idea of Forever Peace is that implants in people allow them to control military equipment remotely by being jacked in. The controllers can die, so they're not entirely removed. People can also interact with each other while jacked in, and this allows for a deeper connection than is possible through normal interaction: speaking, touching, connecting. The theme is that this deeper co
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an science fiction story with a fascinating premise: the eradication of war through sensitizing individuals to powerful empathetic connections. Yeah, I know, but what is more intriguing to me is two opposing feelings that I took away from the book. One, I was overwhelmed and utterly convinced of the good in the idea. Two, I felt intensely guilty for witnessing the brainwashing of an entire (albeit fictional) world population. A thought-inspiring story that made up for in ideas what it la ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scififantasy
I really liked the author's Forever War.

This one, however, not so much. It was, well, weird. Seemed very unfocused; starts out as an exploration into the future of modern warfare. Then into some sort of apocalyptic doomsday conspiracy thriller. Very superficial feeling.

From a sci-fi standpoint, I was never convinced he knew the science behind what he was talking about which is a big no-no!

Ah well. A basically enjoyable read, but I wouldn't seek it out.
Fred Hughes
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Haldeman books are what I call easy reads. The storys track fairly fast and there is minimal character development, but enough. Haldeman has a potty mouth sometimes which I don't find offensive but younger readers may not appreciate his vivid language.

All his books are entertaining and easily read. There is not too much complicated plot lines so again easy to read.

Timothy Boyd
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Normally a sequel doesn't rate as high as the first book but this is an exception. A fantastic futuristic SiFi military story. Haldeman writes compelling and believable characters. plus the plot just sweeps you along. Highly recommended ...more
Matt Enlow
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of the year. A great work of literature, rather than my typical "a great fantasy book" or "a great scifi book" or "a great way to kill time"
("read" as an audiobook)
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is actually really good. A winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards, a fully deserved achievement, indeed.

Though, this book is supposedly the second book in a three-book series, it is completely unrelated to Forever War, the supposed first book of the series. The common theme is that there is an apparent long-term war being conducted in either book. However, there doesn’t seem to be overlapping events or characters.

While Forever War deals with millenium-long war against other alien speci
Neo Marshkga
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopies
In a post scarcity world, human greed and hate managed to make this almost Utopia into a nightmare. By limiting access to the technology that grants this, and by oppressing the rest of the world with their military might. This book resembles a lot the world were we live in a weird way.
America is the most powerful nation, controlling the Nanoforges, this machines that allow the creation of anything, and they use this power to wage war on Africa and South America.
A scientific experiment known as t
While totally not a sequel, you can tell why this book gets connected with The Forever War as a series. Again Haldeman takes a look at war but this time focusing on the real time effects rather than long-term as in Forever War. The story went in a couple directions I didn't expect which is always nice. I don't think it stuck the landing perfectly at the end, that was probably the difference for a 5 star rating.

Having now read Haldeman's two Hugo winners, I'd be interesting in checking out his o
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I chose this book because it won a prize and its author is well recognized. There is not doubt that Mr Haldeman is a good writer and the topic is interesting. The use of drones for war is not a new concept and the author manages it well and gives a realistic description of how those new technologies would be used in war.

Unfortunately, the book gets boring, it includes a silly love story and it sometimes loses its focus. Too bad that this is the first book I read from Mr. Haldeman. Good he has be
Matthew Fisher
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the worst second half of a book I've ever read after thoroughly enjoying the first half. It's shocking how utterly far the drop in quality is from one to the next. However, the writing itself is consistently poor from beginning to end, and therefore hard to justify more than a single star as a complete work. ...more
Vesselin Metodiev
Oct 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
So much wasted potential.
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Peace at any cost? 1 20 Mar 10, 2013 10:49AM  

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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

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

Other books in the series

The Forever War (3 books)
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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