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a good omnibus edition
on 17 May 2016
This omnibus edition provides 3 novels at a reasonable price. It collects "The Forever War" (1974), "Forever Free" (1999), and "Forever Peace" (1997), all written by Joe Haldeman, in a single 700 page volume. The first of these novels is the best, although the two subsequent novels are still interesting.
This is military science fiction, and concerns an interstellar war that rages for centuries. The human soldiers who take part are regularly subjected to near-lightspeed travels - and this has massive relativistic effects. What for them appears to be mere weeks or months does, in fact, take decades or centuries on Earth ... It becomes very difficult for the few soldiers who do survive to fit back into civilian life. Indeed, society changes in radical ways ... with homosexuality becoming the norm, and eventually cloning becoming standard. Ultimately, the story proceeds into the distant future, many millennia from now, when the central protagonist - a scientist and soldier named Mandella - meets 'God'.
This is a human drama played out against both intense conflicts (originally inspired by the Vietnam War) and the implications of science. The story is well-written and imaginative - indeed, often thought-provoking.