The Forever War

The Forever War A book that s near perfect Peter F HamiltonPrivate William Mandella is a reluctant hero in an interstellar war against an unknowable and unconquerable alien enemy but his greatest test will come when

  • Title: The Forever War
  • Author: Joe Haldeman
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Forever War

    A book that s near perfect Peter F HamiltonPrivate William Mandella is a reluctant hero in an interstellar war against an unknowable and unconquerable alien enemy, but his greatest test will come when he returns home Relativity means that for every few months tour of duty centuries have passed on Earth, isolating the combatants ever from the world for whose futurA book that s near perfect Peter F HamiltonPrivate William Mandella is a reluctant hero in an interstellar war against an unknowable and unconquerable alien enemy, but his greatest test will come when he returns home Relativity means that for every few months tour of duty centuries have passed on Earth, isolating the combatants ever from the world for whose future they are fighting.Only a writer as skilful as Haldeman could use war s dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deploy that same fascination to show the effect of this orchestrated barbarism on the human soul A book about corruption, atrocity, hope, stupidity, and triumph Throw in faultless advanced military technology, fascinating aliens, and a dangerously believable future Earth, and you have a book that s near perfect Peter E HamiltonThe Forever War, published in 1974, won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel and cemented Joe Haldeman s reputation as one of SF s major writers His experiences in Vietnam, where he won a Purple Heart, influenced much of his writing.

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    One thought on “The Forever War

    1. Kemper

      This book is a military style space opera withWait! Where are you going? Get back here. I hadn’t got to the good part yet. Give me a second to explain. Geez…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 [...]

    2. Lyn

      First published in 1974 and winner of the 1975 Hugo and Locus awards, Forever War by Joe Haldeman kicks ass.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 [...]

    3. Manny

      In case any movie producers are listening in, ten reasons to film The Forever War: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.

    4. Piotr Reysner

      I bought and read this book based upon the many glowing reviews I saw on the internet. It's heralded as a classic and one of the best Sci-Fi books of all time. I have to disagree.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 [...]

    5. Scurra

      Catch-22 is often cited as one of the great books about the futility and inherent paradoxes of war. I think this is easily its equal, but is often overlooked because it is dismissed as "just" science fiction.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. [...]

    6. Trudi

      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 Kemper should have ripped it right out of my hands decrying: "You're not worthy!" and they'd probably be right. Despite my keenest efforts, The Forever War [...]

    7. Kyle

      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 b [...]

    8. Scott

      Conscript-to-brutal bootcamp-to-faraway-alien-war. Countless novels have followed this story structure, aping Heinlein’s Starship Troopers with mixed results.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 fi [...]

    9. Apatt

      I first read The Forever War a couple years ago in audiobook format, I quite liked it but to be honest it did not leave much of a lasting impression. I suspect the audiobook format is not suitable for this particular book, I don’t remember there being anything wrong with the narration, I just could not retain much of the details after finishing it, just a vague feeling that it is quite good. I love audiobooks, but I am beginning to think that short sci-fi books are not really the ideal for thi [...]

    10. Bookwraiths

      Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews 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 [...]

    11. Raeden Zen

      An Epic Satire of the Art of War“‘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 interval [...]

    12. Steve

      This is obviously a classic in the realms of sci-fi and of anti-war novels, and another book with thousands of reviews that I can't improve upon, but I'll just offer a couple of insights.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 [...]

    13. Kane

      The Forever War is a great classic military sci-fi joint for a few reasons: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 [...]

    14. Keely

      I've had the longest fascination about war and the military lifestyle whether in historical books or works of fiction in general. There's just something deeply stirring about men and women giving up their lives in service of country or a government system even when that kind of loyalty demands death, destruction and bitter endings. I have great respect and admiration for this kind of people even if those things are mixed with pity and sadness as well. My enjoyment for reading, watching and learn [...]

    15. thefourthvine

      Okay, K asked me to elaborate on why I hate this book, so. Here we go.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 [...]

    16. Maria

      2021. Înspăimântată de un posibil atac al tauranilor (o rasă extraterestră inteligentă), FENU (Forța de Explorare a Națiunilor Unite) decide formarea unui corp militar de elită alcătuit din cei mai inteligenți și mai sănătoși tineri ai planetei. Printre cei 100 de "norocoși", iată-l pe William Mandella, un tânăr fizician prins în vârtejul fără sens al războiului, conștient de absurditatea acestuia și sperând doar să supraviețuiască suficient cât să se întoarcă [...]

    17. Mike (the Paladin)

      Originally reviewed 2009, I just came back to put in a spoiler tag, which I didn't know how to do at the timeoops.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. See t [...]

    18. Ron

      After completing The Forever War, I had to take a step back and think about what I’d just read. This is good and this is not so good. I did not particularly care for the story, in fact I’d expected better, but there was a meaning behind that story, and therefore I was left with an indelible impression. A lot of praise has been given to this book written in 1974 by Haldeman, a Vietnam Veteran. His experience is felt in these pages, but not in an obvious manner. The Forever War is analogous to [...]

    19. Stuart

      The Forever War: Not as much impact as I was expectingOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureI 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 Cimin [...]

    20. J.L. Sutton

      While it reminded me of Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Avatar (especially the beginning where recruits are told about all the things that could kill them and how they likely wouldn't make it back alive), Haldeman's Forever War takes a different turn. Haldeman's book focuses on a soldier fighting an interstellar war. Because our character is traveling to his battles at near-light speed, when he returns to earth between missions, decades pass. Haldeman speculates about the social changes taking [...]

    21. Gary

      Another notch in my journey to revisit the classics of SF I read as a youth. I think I was a sophomore in high school when I first read this one; now, as then, I preferred it to that other classic of MilSF - Starship Troopers. I suppose it is a preference, with fiction, for story and character over political philosophy lectures, particularly when the lectures are tendentious and self serving. In The Forever War, Haldeman's protagonist and narrator William Mandela is a soldier who fights a thousa [...]

    22. Mark

      Let's say you're shipping off to a particular battle in a war. By the time you reach the battle, fight it, and return home, everyone you know has died of old age and the society you protected has evolved (or devolved) into something you don't recognize or particularly like. What would you be fighting for?That's just one of the issues brought up in "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman. The PlotIn this novel of galactic war, the alien menace is the Taurans. The war is fought over collapsars, which ar [...]

    23. Kyle

      After some thought, I had to bump this rating up a star. Originally, the laconic writing style gave me the impression the book fell short of the masterpiece it was capable of being; but, I now realize the Spartan prose works perfectly well with the delivery and message of the book. I have to admit now, the book is undeniably a masterpiece and deserves to be seen as such.In one sense, this book is an amusing and entertaining galactic war story that is smartly delivered and is faithful to physics, [...]

    24. Rick Riordan

      The main character William Mandella is among the first recruits sent off to fight an alien species. The only problem? The distances are so vast that every faster-than-light jump means decades have passed back on earth. With each campaign that Mandella fights, his home planet changes until it is almost unrecognizable. As many readers have noted, Haldeman's book is first and foremost a great novel of war and its effects on society. You can tell it was written at the close of Vietnam, as it speaks [...]

    25. Megan Baxter

      The cover blurb on the copy I was reading referred to it as the science fiction Catch-22. While The Forever War has some of the same attitudes as Catch-22, what kept popping up in my head was how much this was a post-Vietnam response to Starship Troopers. On doing the barest of research, it appears Haldeman was wounded in combat in Vietnam, and that perspective is definitely in this science fiction book. In particular, what happens when you come home.Note: The rest of this review has been withdr [...]

    26. Ben Babcock

      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 voc [...]

    27. Özgür

      Yazarın Vietnam gazisi olduğunu, kitabın yazıldığı zaman Vietnam savaşının hala sürdüğünü ve bitecekmiş gibi görünmedigini öğrenince ismi çok daha anlamlı oluyor. Fazlasıyla askeri ve teknik terim içermesi okuma sürecimi beklediğim kadar çok etkilemedi. Sonuç olarak bu kitabın neden bir bilim kurgu klasiği haline geldiğini biraz olsun anlamış oldum. Türün meraklısı olmayanlara da tavsiye ederim.

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