The Forever War Hardcover – 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Always loved the reflection of science fiction to the present world, and this novel provided plenty.Published 22 days ago by Nicholas Huang
A fantastically written military scifi classic. Great for new initiates to the genre and veterans alike.Published 3 months ago by Naren
An absolutely fascinating examination of how humans deal with conflict, love, drugs and times moving past them. Real page turnerPublished 4 months ago by Joseph D Garner
I really enjoyed The Forever War. The main character, William Mandella, is a participant in a war of unknown origin, whose tours of duty see him fight an alien race called the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr. Tea