Cindy's Reviews > The Forever War

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
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's review
Mar 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, sci-fi, aliens, gender-or-sexuality-issues


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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Jayme You haven't read this yet either? And you call yourself a sci-fi fan...

I wasn't super impressed with this. It was only okay for me. Are you reading it soon?

Jayme Oh, do you know what I did love by this guy? Camouflage!

Cindy Heh. Yeah, I've got a long list of SF canon books and canonical authors I haven't read. I'm pathetic!

I'm supposed to be reading it by April 1. We'll see if I get to it. I seem to be doing a fair amount of military SF at the moment, and it's getting to be a bit of a burn-out. And W&P is turning me off to all things military. blech.

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather I have this one on the tbr. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it!

Cindy Yes, I did! But I have to admit I wasn't thinking about it critically when I read it while traveling. It's a group-read for another group I'm in, and quite a few people there had problems with the book. Now that I have time to think about it, I think I agree with them.

I have no idea why I was able to suspend my critical mind so much while reading this book. So take my 4-stars as my initial reaction to the book.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather Now I'm totally intrigued :-) What were some of the problems you noticed?

Cindy There is no regard to the idea of limited resources: people, energy, natural materials. It's something we take for granted today, that it's not always easy to have enough cheap energy or food. But Haldeman was writing this in 1974, and I would imagine those conservation issues weren't ubiquitous.

But that does lead to something that's fascinating about the book - it is in many ways a commentary on the Vietnam war. Certainly it's a reaction to it. Which to me added a new depth to the story.

The other huge controversial issue is how the book deals with hetero-normative roles. Some people were disappointed, some were impressed at how equitable Haldeman was. It's a difficult one to parse, because the book is told from a first-person POV, so it's easy to say the character is a homophobe.

Anyway, I would highly recommend the book, and I can't wait to hear what you think, Heather!

BTW: the only critical gripe I had while reading the book is that Haldeman didn't understand the temperature of the Universe is 2.7 K. He was quite careful in other scientific calculations. (There's a fair amount of physics in the book, btw.) But then I realized they didn't have an accurate measurement of that when it was written, so maybe I'll give him a pass. ;)

Jayme What did you think of the idea of the female astronaut mattress? I wasn't a big fan. As if any rules could ever come up where you didn't have a choice not to sleep with's too locker room fantasy writing for me. Heinlein pulls that kind of crap too I find.

Cindy Totally, Jayme, totally. I cringed when I read that shit. Why was it mandatory for women, but not men during training? Yet, in other ways women in the military were on the same level as men. And there was no: "eeewww, I don't want to serve with them in the field" which was nice.

Jayme That's true, it was kind of a pass/fail I guess.

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