Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries... From Goodreads

I read this book for the 2012 Sci-Fi Challenge. As for most books in this challenge it is a book I would not have chosen if I did not take part in this challenge.Like several of the other books this has been a positive surprise. I found the idea of the soldiers not ageing much while back on earth  centuries flies by quite fascinating, and how much the accepted culture changes. From mainly heterosexual to it being illegal, to being look down upon and back to being the main sexuality again. Every time they engage the enemy they don't know how much the enemy fighting has changed as it has been decades since they last fought the enemy a few months ago. Very good read.

This book qualifies for:  
100 books in a year Reading Challenge 2012, 
Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge, 
2012 Ebook Challenge
2012 Sci-Fi Challenge

1 comment:

  1. "The Forever War" is considered a classic in so many diffrent sub-genres of Sci-fi such as miltary sci-fi, psychological sci-fi, and cultural sci-fi because of the author's artful melding of so many themes in his book. It's considered a contemporary of both Heinlein (Starship Troopers) and Asimov (The Foundation series).
    The author pulled from his own experience during the Vietnam war to create the psychological experience of actual combat; that is to say the seemingly endless waiting, nagging fear, adrenalin rush of the moment, comradely closeness, and so many other emotions that make many of us both human and soldiers.

    At the same time, Haldeman's scientific extrapolations of where combat might go in terms of social indoctrination, training, and organization of soldiers in addition to to technical aspects of combat that reaches into the stars is nothing short of brilliant. His descriptions of starships is both believable, enjoyable, and feasible. The soldier's personal armor makes this one of the great "battlesuit" novels including Steakley's "Armor" and Heinlein's "Starship Troopers."