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The Forever War: Forever War Book 1 (Forever War Series) by [Haldeman, Joe]
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The Forever War: Forever War Book 1 (Forever War Series) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in Forever War Series (3 Book Series)
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Amazon Review

"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

Review

"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 visionary . . . and protagonist William Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd almost endless war is harrowing hilarious heartbreaking and true . . . like all the best works of literature THE FOREVER WAR takes you apart and then, before you can turn that last page, puts you back together: better, wiser, more human. Simply extraordinary."
--Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
""If there was a Fort Knox for Science Fiction writers, we'd have to lock Joe Haldeman up."
--Stephen King, author of "The Shining, The Dead Zone, The Stand
"""The Forever War" is not just a great Science Fiction novel, it's a great Vietnam war novel- and a great war novel, without qualification- that is also Science Fiction. A classic to grace either genre."
--Iain M. Banks, author of "Use of Weapons, The Player of Games, Matter
""FOREVER WAR is brilliant--one of the most influential war novels of our time. That it happens to be set in the future only broadens and enhances its message."
--Greg Bear, author of "Moving Mars, Eon, The Forge of God
""A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more."
--John Scalzi, author of "Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, Zoe's Tale
""I first read this twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonder and fury it kindled at the time. Anyone who talks about the glory of war has obviously never read it. A beautifully detailed and intensely personal account of a conflict which lasts for over a thousand years, as told by one grunt who lives through it all. Only a writer as skillfull and knowledgeable as Haldeman could use war's dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deplou the sam fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul."
--Peter F. Hamilton, author of "Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained, The Dreaming Void
""In a literature of ideas, "The Forever War" is a titan: a book filled with mind-bending ideas about relatavistic time-distortion and world-shaking ideas about the futility of war. In today's world, where we think declaring war on abstract nouns like TERROR is a winning strategy, we need THE FOREVER WAR."
--Cory Doctorow, author of "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother X
""It is to the Vietnam War what "Catch-22" was to World War II, the definitive, bleakly comicsatire."
--Thomas M. Disch, author of "Camp"" Concentration,"" 334
"""The Forever War" does what the very best science fiction does. It deals with extremes both societal and teleological; it places a frame around humankind's place in the universe to show us what is outside the frame; and it functions simultaneously at the literal and metaphorical level. Inarguably one of the genre's great novels, it is also among the finest novels ever written about war."
--James Sallis, author of "The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek"

""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."

""Perhaps the most important war novel written since Vietnam . . . Haldeman, a veteran, is a flat-out visionary . . . and protagonist William Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd almost endless war is harrowing hilarious heartbreaking and true . . . like all the best works of literature THE FOREVER WAR takes you apart and then, before you can turn that last page, puts you back together: better, wiser, more human. Simply extraordinary."

""If there was a Fort Knox for Science Fiction writers, we'd have to lock Joe Haldeman up."

"The Forever War" is not just a great Science Fiction novel, it's a great Vietnam war novel - and a great war novel, without qualification- that is also Science Fiction. A classic to grace either genre.--James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek

""A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more."

""I first read this twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonder and fury it kindled at the time. Anyone who talks about the glory of war has obviously never read it. A beautifully detailed and intensely personal account of a conflict which lasts for over a thousand years, as told by one grunt who lives through it all. Only a writer as skillfull and knowledgeable as Haldeman could use war's dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deplou the sam fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul."

""In a literature of ideas, "The Forever War" is a titan: a book filled with mind-bending ideas about relatavistic time-distortion and world-shaking ideas about the futility of war. In today's world, where we think declaring war on abstract nouns like TERROR is a winning strategy, we need THE FOREVER WAR."

""It is to the Vietnam War what "Catch-22" was to World War II, the definitive, bleakly comic satire."

"The Forever War" does what the very best science fiction does. It deals with extremes both societal and teleological; it places a frame around humankind's place in the universe to show us what is outside the frame; and it functions simultaneously at the literal and metaphorical level. Inarguably one of the genre's great novels, it is also among the finest novels ever written about war.--James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek

FOREVER WAR is brilliant--one of the most influential war novels of our time. That it happens to be set in the future only broadens and enhances its message.--Greg Bear, author of Moving Mars, Eon, The Forge of God

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 visionary . . . and protagonist William Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd almost endless war is harrowing hilarious heartbreaking and true . . . like all the best works of literature THE FOREVER WAR takes you apart and then, before you can turn that last page, puts you back together: better, wiser, more human. Simply extraordinary.--Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more.--John Scalzi, author of Old Man s War, The Ghost Brigades, Zoe s Tale"

I first read this twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonder and fury it kindled at the time. Anyone who talks about the glory of war has obviously never read it. A beautifully detailed and intensely personal account of a conflict which lasts for over a thousand years, as told by one grunt who lives through it all. Only a writer as skillfull and knowledgeable as Haldeman could use war's dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deplou the sam fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul.--Peter F. Hamilton, author of Pandora s Star, Judas Unchained, The Dreaming Void"

In a literature of ideas, "The Forever War" is a titan: a book filled with mind-bending ideas about relatavistic time-distortion and world-shaking ideas about the futility of war. In today's world, where we think declaring war on abstract nouns like TERROR is a winning strategy, we need THE FOREVER WAR.--Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother X

It is to the Vietnam War what "Catch-22" was to World War II, the definitive, bleakly comic satire.--Thomas M. Disch, author of Camp Concentration, 334

"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 visionary . . . and protagonist William Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd almost endless war is harrowing hilarious heartbreaking and true . . . like all the best works of literature THE FOREVER WAR takes you apart and then, before you can turn that last page, puts you back together: better, wiser, more human. Simply extraordinary." --Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"If there was a Fort Knox for Science Fiction writers, we'd have to lock Joe Haldeman up." --"Stephen King, author of The Shining, The Dead Zone, The Stand"

""The Forever War" is not just a great Science Fiction novel, it's a great Vietnam war novel - and a great war novel, without qualification- that is also Science Fiction. A classic to grace either genre." --James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek

"FOREVER WAR is brilliant--one of the most influential war novels of our time. That it happens to be set in the future only broadens and enhances its message." --Greg Bear, author of Moving Mars, Eon, The Forge of God

"A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more." --John Scalzi, author of Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, Zoe's Tale

"I first read this twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonder and fury it kindled at the time. Anyone who talks about the glory of war has obviously never read it. A beautifully detailed and intensely personal account of a conflict which lasts for over a thousand years, as told by one grunt who lives through it all. Only a writer as skillfull and knowledgeable as Haldeman could use war's dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deplou the sam fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul." --Peter F. Hamilton, author of Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained, The Dreaming Void

"In a literature of ideas, "The Forever War" is a titan: a book filled with mind-bending ideas about relatavistic time-distortion and world-shaking ideas about the futility of war. In today's world, where we think declaring war on abstract nouns like TERROR is a winning strategy, we need THE FOREVER WAR." --Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother X

"It is to the Vietnam War what "Catch-22" was to World War II, the definitive, bleakly comic satire." --Thomas M. Disch, author of Camp Concentration, 334

""The Forever War" does what the very best science fiction does. It deals with extremes both societal and teleological; it places a frame around humankind's place in the universe to show us what is outside the frame; and it functions simultaneously at the literal and metaphorical level. Inarguably one of the genre's great novels, it is also among the finest novels ever written about war." --James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek

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 visionary . . . and protagonist William Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd almost endless war is harrowing hilarious heartbreaking and true . . . like all the best works of literature THE FOREVER WAR takes you apart and then, before you can turn that last page, puts you back together: better, wiser, more human. Simply extraordinary. Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

If there was a Fort Knox for Science Fiction writers, we'd have to lock Joe Haldeman up. "Stephen King, author of The Shining, The Dead Zone, The Stand"

"The Forever War" is not just a great Science Fiction novel, it's a great Vietnam war novel - and a great war novel, without qualification- that is also Science Fiction. A classic to grace either genre. James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek

FOREVER WAR is brilliant--one of the most influential war novels of our time. That it happens to be set in the future only broadens and enhances its message. Greg Bear, author of Moving Mars, Eon, The Forge of God

A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more. John Scalzi, author of Old Man s War, The Ghost Brigades, Zoe s Tale

I first read this twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonder and fury it kindled at the time. Anyone who talks about the glory of war has obviously never read it. A beautifully detailed and intensely personal account of a conflict which lasts for over a thousand years, as told by one grunt who lives through it all. Only a writer as skillfull and knowledgeable as Haldeman could use war's dark glamour to lure the reader in and then deplou the sam fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul. Peter F. Hamilton, author of Pandora s Star, Judas Unchained, The Dreaming Void

In a literature of ideas, "The Forever War" is a titan: a book filled with mind-bending ideas about relatavistic time-distortion and world-shaking ideas about the futility of war. In today's world, where we think declaring war on abstract nouns like TERROR is a winning strategy, we need THE FOREVER WAR. Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother X

It is to the Vietnam War what "Catch-22" was to World War II, the definitive, bleakly comic satire. Thomas M. Disch, author of Camp Concentration, 334

"The Forever War" does what the very best science fiction does. It deals with extremes both societal and teleological; it places a frame around humankind's place in the universe to show us what is outside the frame; and it functions simultaneously at the literal and metaphorical level. Inarguably one of the genre's great novels, it is also among the finest novels ever written about war. James Sallis, author of The Long Legged Fly, Drive, Cripple Creek"


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1648 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060510862
  • Publisher: Gateway (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061QGJI4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,978 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really, really enjoyed this story. This is intelligent sci-fi at its best. You'll certainly need to get your head around the concept of "time dilation"; but I'm sure most of you sci-fi fans will have no problem with this.
The book portrays the politics of war as we know it today, showing that little changes in the distant future, regardless of technological and social advances.
The main character - William Mandella - is thrown into a war with a distant enemy who he knows little about. However, traveling through "wormholes" in space to the next battlefield and then back to HQ posses many difficulties, with decades and centuries passing
in the time that a 6 months mission is completed. Technology on both sides advance, but one never knows who is furthest advanced at any given time in the far reaches of space....
Soldiers are expendable and the enemy must be destroyed at all costs, no questions asked... sounds familiar??.
Each tour of duty takes Mandella further into an increasingly dizzily future and further up the career ladder until the war's final conclusion.

All in all, a book worthy of the SF Masterworks series. A thought provoking and worthwhile sci-fi experience.
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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading this remarkable book, I have to ask myself why I have never heard of Joe Haldeman before. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards--and deservedly so--but I was not at all familiar with this author up to now. I have to say that this book is an incredible read. It's not exceedingly long, but it is packed full of all kinds of ideas and strikes me as quite visionary for the time in which it was written, which was the early 1970s. I am not as well-read in the sci-fi genre as I would like to be, but I must say that the future earth Haldeman describes is one quite unlike any I have read about or thought about myself. The very premise strikes me as singular if not unique, and the end result is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that far exceeds the fare of most science fiction offerings.
In the late twentieth century, Earth develops the ability to travel to distant parts of the galaxy through portals called collapsars; they soon come into contact with an alien race called the Taurans, and war breaks out between the two worlds. The protagonist, William Mandella, finds himself drafted into the intergalactic service under the provisions of the newly established Elite Conscription Act of 1996. Rather than retain the future scientists and leaders at home, this act works to form an intergalactic army of the world's best and brightest young men and women. The new recruits endure a grueling and sometimes fatal training regimen before shipping out to the planets of disputed galactic areas. The trip itself is dangerous, and the troops must secure themselves in protective chambers while they make the long journey to their destinations. Traveling at speeds close to that of light, a journey of several months equates to centuries back home on earth.
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Format: Paperback
Private William Mandella finds himself fighting to defend an earth which has become more alien than the extra-terrestrial foe he fights.
Deep space flight, wormholes and relativity, mean that for every tour of duty he survives, although only months long to him, centuries pass on earth. Forced by circumstances to continue fighting, Mandella becomes detached from humanity in every way; emotionally, culturally and even sexually, until, the oldest man alive, he is transformed into a figure of ridicule and discust by the new generation of soldiers joining the conflict - soldiers which he now must lead!
Joe Haldeman has taken his own experiences of combat and the aftermath of the Vietnam War and turned them on their head. While the veterans of that conflict returned; profoundly changed, to a homelife that had barely moved on, the combatants of the Forever War come back to an earth which has altered in every way, while they have stood still.
Nicely paced and defly executed, Haldeman's unfussy prose leads the reader effortlessly through the story to a most satisfying conclusion.
Millennium's SF Masterworks series is a fantastic collection of books, and the Forever War is paramount among them.
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Format: Paperback
Get a hold of this book and start reading because it is pretty amazing. There's no doubting that this book deserves its No. 1 position on the Science Fiction Masterworks list. From the very outset this is a bit of a rock and rolling ride... training and fighting and loving and dying and accidents and confusion and changing attitudes and mind-boggling time dilations - all this and you still get characters that you care about... in the end, everyone is out of kilter a little bit and when you find out the ending you'll either be really happy or really sad. Happy as the people we've been following for the last couple of hundred turns are happy... or sad at the pretty terrible waste of time it all was in the end.
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Format: Paperback
This was an unexpected masterpiece in my mind, something that I idly bought but realised very quickly was something of some exceptional quality and content. The story, in summary, follows the martial life of a man named Mandella from his initial inception into a futuristic army, through to his first experience of combat, promotion (etc). Though this may resemble any war novel, The Forever War manages to take things one step further.

Due to the vast distances between conflicts and the problems incurred in travelling the interstellar gulf, years pass like month to the protagonist, each time he returns home it is to a world that has aged and developed into something completely alien to him.

Though the novel does set itself around a war against an alien race, they feature only very occasionally in the story. Moreover, this is not a novel punctuated by a series of graphic and bloody battles. It is more a story of how the war affects the individuals that fight in it.

The book, despite the science fiction, is quite a political novel with many issues that are of particular interest, exploring the nature of war and the fact that the young characters in this book suffer and die to fight for a cause that they have very little understanding of. As a political comment the ending of the book says a lot about war and about the lives that it dispenses with.

I would certainly rank this as an exceptionally good piece of science fiction, thoughtful and imaginative throughout.
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