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Paperback The Forever War Book

ISBN: 0060510862

ISBN13: 9780060510862

The Forever War

(Book #1 in the The Forever War Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Obviously a criticism of Vietnam War, but nevertheless a commentary on the never ending idea that so

This book is truly a classic and there's much meat with those vegetables in this book. It discovers and explores many interesting Concepts, some of which I think are stupid, but a vast majority are brilliant! It does a great job of examining the human heart, wishes for the future; which at the end they finally get!

Great Science Fiction

Science fiction in it's purest form. It's a very succinct book, I finished it in two days. It's a parable of a soldiers experience in Vietnam, Anti-war without really trying to be. Enough science to keep the nerds happy, enough action and just a little bit of drama to keep everybody else entertained. I wish they would make the movie for this one, though if they made it right I'm not sure R rating would be high enough. Not appropriate for younger readers by any means.

A true classic

I have read 10 thousand+ books in my life easily. Sci-fi at the beginning. I loved reading so much I got a job working in a municipal library where I would speed read every day. This was in addition to a real life of toil and hardship. A while ago I read this book and loved it. I loved it so much I finally bought it and more from Haldeman. It is a solid part of my tightly-edited collection.

Should you read The Forever War?

The Forever War follows the life of one man from the initial training and then first battle of Earth’s new space-based military branch in their war against an alien race. There are two parts that make the book worth reading. On the technical side it’s fun to see the effects time dilation would have on such an interstellar conflict. There is not only the perspective of William Mandella who ages a few years between transits to and from firefights while people back on earth age centuries, but the odd effect this would have on the war itself: one fleet of ships could set off with technology that ends up being hundreds of years behind that of its opponent’s (or vice versa) or those coming to reinforce. The actual human part of the story starts out dull but becomes quite moving as the book progresses. I found myself getting an emotional glimpse of the grief Mandella feels as he sees that he is fighting a never-ending war which was supposed to make him a well-off hero, only to see that Earth he is fighting for is changing so dramatically in his lengthy absence that he may never be able to feel at home again, and regardless, all those he loved have long since died. His only meaningful companionships become those he has with fellow soldiers, but due to the time dilation every reassignment is sure to put hundreds of years between them, thus magnifying his sense of loss which grows throughout the book. The ending was a little lackluster, but was definitely appropriate and tied it up well. About a third of the way through the book, I wasn’t sure if I should keep going. As I closed the back cover I was grateful for having done so, and I hope you will continue on to read it too.

Classic hard and soft sci-fi at its very best!

University student William Mandella, an exceptionally bright university student with an IQ well north of 150 has been drafted. After a thoroughly modern and terrifyingly brutal boot camp with very deadly and very live modern weapons conducted in deep space conditions beyond Pluto's orbit, he'll be part of an interstellar war against the enigmatic Taurans, an alien species discovered when they supposedly attacked human ships. Sci-fi fans know that most authors have a tendency to favour the hard or soft side of the genre. Clifford Simak, for example, is well known for his pastoral writing style that takes eager fans by the hands and lovingly guides them on astonishing tours through the soft side of science philosophy. Robert Sawyer, on the other hand, a talented and thoroughly modern Canadian author, grabs his readers by the throat and pulls them deep into the other side of the sci-fi spectrum through the implications of modern hardware and scientific discovery. Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" cleverly straddles BOTH sides of the fence and beyond all expectations deals brilliantly with four separate themes, two soft and two hard, combining them into a single compelling but surprisingly short novel! The titles gives away the obvious fact that war is an issue. "The Forever War" was published in 1974 and Haldeman is writing his story in the politically turbulent aftermath of the US experience in Vietnam. Whether Haldeman is vilifying warfare or simply presenting it as a fact of life and leaving it up to his readers for their own decisions will, of course, be a moral judgment that you will have to make for yourselves. (Comparisons will be made between this novel and Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and Scalzi's "Old Man War" which also touch on the same topic of war with slightly different approaches). Also on the softer side of the sci-fi genre, Haldeman has postulated a future in which asexual cloning has replaced normal reproduction and world governments have encouraged homosexuality as a solution to the world's population problems. In a clever twist on the world's current prejudices, Haldeman ultimately creates a world in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is perceived to be a perverted deviation. I've no doubt in my mind that a reader's current comfort level with alternative sexual orientations will also determine their reaction to this particular theme in the novel and whether or not they find it amusing or deeply disturbing! On the hard side of the science spectrum, Haldeman deals imaginatively but realistically with two realities - the hard core rigors of deep space travel and the realities of relativistic effects such as time dilation. No matter which side of the sci-fi spectrum you favour, you owe it to yourself as a fan to read Haldeman's novel. Unequivocally recommended as I go out to the second hand book stores to seek out the other books in the series, "Forever Peace" and "Forever Free". Paul Weiss

Science Fiction at it's best

I first learned about this book when I read that Ridley Scott was going to Adapt Forever War to film. I am a big fan of his films so I had to find this book. This book was simply science fiction in it's purest form. Halderman writes at a great pace and about half way through I just couldn't put it down. It's one of those books that will keep you up late into the early morning because you can't stop reading.

Space 'Nam

"The Forever War" is authored by a Vietnam Veteran who uses the colorful setting of the future "Forever" War as an allegory for The 'Nam and the feelings of its vets. This powerful book grabs the reader quickly and throws him straight into the first-person world of William Mandela, would-be physics professor turned soldier by the Earth's military fight alien Taurans in a war with nebulous origins. Due to complications posed by relativity, each time the combatants engage, the battle is completely lopsided because one race will have the technological advantages endowed by time on their side. For example, if Earth sends a mission that takes 300 years for the mission to reach it's goal, the enemy already had 300 years to prepare and upgrade defenses, so the mission's tech is obsolete. Then, if the Taurans attack our outpost, the same thing happens. With no communication between the two races, no chance of winning, but the ever present chance of defeat, an eternal war is created. Halderman also captures the disorientation experienced by GIs who came back from horrific combat, and were expected to instantly adjust to 1960's "Ozzy and Harriet" American culture. The "Forever War" has a cynical ring that I instantly loved, as well as sublimely juxtaposing the positive and negative potentials of humans as individuals and a race. The military details are right on target, from the lingo and attitudes to soldiers' attitudes. Overall, I'd definitely recommend "The Forever War" to anyone with an interest in Sci-Fi. It'll also teach you about the motivations of warriors who turn peacemakers.

Perfect Scifi

This book is a perfect blend of hard-edged scifi, thrilling action and wrenching emotion. I was instantly enveloped in the story and involved with the character of Mandella, the almost accidental,reluctant everyman/hero. Many have compared/contrasted this book with Starship Troopers I have even read a critique referring to it as a "caustic reply" to the Heinlein classic. I feel thay have more in common then differences and in fact make a great companion pieces. Once you understand that both authors were involved in different kinds of wars in real life you can understand their different experiences of war, Heinlein,the "Great Crusade" of WW2, and Haldeman,the greatest foreign policy disaster in US history, Vietnam. It's no wonder Haldeman is somewhat more cynical about conflict, its causes and its purposes. But neither author is cynical about the spirit of the common man.
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