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The Forever War Paperback – 17 Feb 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 228 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Griffin; Reprint edition (17 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312536631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312536633
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 53.2 x 531.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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"

"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

About the Author

A multiple winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Joe Haldeman is an ultimate household name in science fiction. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, since the original publication of The Forever War, Joe has maintined a continuous string of SF classics, and as a long-time Professor of Creative Writing at M.I.T., is widely acknowledged as a key mentor figure to many of this generation's top SF stars.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Forever War (1974) by American author Joe Haldeman is a rather deceptive book. For the first few chapters the novel reads like a standard Starship Troopers military science fiction novel detailing an interstellar war between humans and aliens (the Taurans), recruits getting trained to turn them into bad-asses and hi-tech weapons being used. But it won the Nebula Award in 1975, and the Hugo and the Locus awards in 1976 for best novel so there must be something different about the book?

And there is …. The story soon changes, the effects of time dilation as a result of near light speed travel are explored, as is the tragedy of one soldiers of loss of friends and family, alienation with humanity, not being able to fit into society plus having to deal with a seemingly endless pointless conflict.

The heart of the novel is about one reluctant soldier, Private William Mandella who is fairly ambivalent about the wars he finds himself in. He fights more from of a sense of duty and loyalty. The reader is subjected to a mixture of hard sci-fi: the aforementioned time travel and its effects, black holes and hi-tech arsenals along with descriptions of the social and political changes needed following on from a Malthusian-like catastrophe (population growth had outpaced agricultural production): homosexuality becomes the law (sex is treated by Haldeman in a non-judgemental and non-moralistic manner) and payment for work is in calories as opposed to actual money. The story also deals with love too. Mandella bonds with one woman in his company in particular and she provides his only connection to their known world of the past; as the book closes Mandella has travelled over twelve centuries.
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This book was not nearly as heavy as expected. It felt like quite a light take on how the human race might evolve, from a social perspective. Given that I thought this was meant to be a Vietnam-esque take on scifi soldiers trying to fit back in to society, I thought it was fairly light, interesting, and at times funny. Maybe the weightier subtext went over my head, but I figured that if this book was about Vets not being able to fit back in to society, then the Vets would be changed men/women. Instead, it was society that changed and the Vets (and the reader) wouldn't want to fit back in. But, as I said, maybe I missed the subtext. A good read regardless.
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I was surprised i had never heard of this book before.
It is a great piece of hard science fiction. Focusing on the damage a war does to those involved as well as society as a whole.
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Classic sci fi, well worth a read
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Great Sci/Fi.
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A breathtaking and inspiring book that will have you reading it for hours on end. I want to put it at 30/5 stars. Unbelivable. I don't have the words to describe it.
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By A Customer on 9 Mar. 2017
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Forever war is even paced, if a little ponderous at times. The interplay being history, fiction and a possible future was very clever.

An enjoyable read.
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Where's the film adaptation already?!
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