"Today we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man." The first line of this 1974 sf war story still grabs hard: The Forever War
, winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards, is a fine choice to launch Millennium's "SF Masterworks" series of classic reissues. Future soldier William Mandella's service in the interstellar "Forever War" chillingly echoes Vietnam, where Joe Haldeman was severely wounded and won the Purple Heart. Afterwards, many real-life veterans found themselves distanced and alienated from US society: thanks to starflight's time dislocations, Mandella returns from weeks or months of combat duty to an Earth which after centuries of change is no longer his home. Though armed with increasingly futuristic weaponry--laser fingers, nova bombs, stasis fields--the infantry still suffers the long agonising waits, the sudden flurry and horror of battle, the shock of loss in a futile war without glory or glamour. But there's still room for tenderness, and for a satisfying ending as the cruel equations of relativistic time finally work in Mandella's favour. Incidentally, this is the first full British edition. When The Forever War
was serialised, the magazine editor vetoed one section; it was omitted from the 1974 novel and is now restored. Highly recommended. --David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"To say that "The Forever War" is the best science fiction war novel ever written is to damn it with faint praise. It is, for all its techno-extrapolative brilliance, as fine and woundingly genuine a war story as any I've read."
--William Gibson, author of "Neuromancer, Spook Country
""There are a handful of moments when an American science fiction novel abruptly and seemingly effortlessly satisfied every possible expectation conveyed not only by the genre's ambitions, but of those of the whole literary landscape with which it was contemporary: Sturgeon's "More Than Human," Dick's "The Man In The High Castle," LeGuin's "Dispossessed," Gibson's "Neuromancer." "The Forever War" is one such book, and like those others still carries with it that air of recognition and possibility."
--Jonathan Lethem, author of "Gun With Occcasional Music, Fortress of Solitude
""Perhaps the most important war novel written since Vietnam . . . Haldeman, a veteran, is a flat-out visiona