The Forever War (The Forever War #1)
This is the first part of the "Forever War" series, however it can be read as a standalone.
Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself -- a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth ...more
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"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
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.
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
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
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
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
“‘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
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 finest ...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
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
My enjoyment for reading, watching and learn ...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
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
I had so many preconceptions about this book. It won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and Ditmar Awards for Best SF novel back in 1975-6, and I knew it was a SF treatment of Joe Haldeman’s experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War. So I was expecting something similar to films like Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Brian De Palma’s Casualties of War (1989), Michael Cimino’s Th ...more
That's just one of the issues brought up in "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman.
In this novel of galactic war, the alien menace is the Taurans. The war is fought over collapsars, which ar ...more
In one sense, this book is an amusing and entertaining galactic war story that is smartly delivered and is faithful to physics, ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withdr ...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
In The Forever War, Haldeman's protagonist and narrator William Mandela is a soldier who fights a thousa ...more
Winner: Hugo Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1976)
Winner: Nebula Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1976)
Winner: Locus Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1976)
So I’m on a relativistic shuttle, waiting for you…. I never found anybody else and I don’t want anybody else. I don’t care whether you’re ninety years old or thirty. If I can’t be your lover, I’ll be your nurse.
Hey kids, you know how people keep using that word allegory, and you’re never really sure what they mean, and they probably aren’t even sure what they mean?
This. This is an allegory.
If there’s a reason we have the phrase “deceptively slim” in our book reviewing vocabulary, it’s for books ...more
William Mandella is a physics graduate drafted as a grun ...more
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
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Once they could talk, the first question was 'Why did you start this thing?' and the answer was 'Me?”