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The Forever Warby Joe Haldeman
Dealing with time dilation, the realities of war, sexuality, and the ever-changing definition of what it means to be human, Joe Haldeman's Hugo Award-winning Forever War is not to be missed.
I've been reading a lot of sci-fi lately, and right now I'm on The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. At its core, it's an indictment of the Vietnam War from the soldiers' perspective, similar to Heinleins' Starship Troopers but much more bleak. It's written in a very Spartan style, with no excess time wasted on unnecessary descriptions. The Forever War is the story of a man drafted into a war and sent through space to fight for his home. The distances are great, and the time is even greater. It deals a lot with abstracts of time and relativity, causing the main character, William Mandella, to live over a thousand years. While stark and realistic, this story is true to the feelings of those who lived during "The Draft" for Vietnam. A definite must-read for sci-fi and military buffs alike.
Synopses & Reviews
The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi
The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries...
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.
Winner of the Hugo Award
Winner of the Nebula award
The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sanddespite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries. This edition also features a new introduction by John Scalzi.
"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
"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 and 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 and 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 noveland a great war novel, without qualificationthat is also science fiction. A classic to grace either genre."Iain M. Banks, author of Use of Weapons, The Player of Games, Matter
"The Forever War is brilliantone 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, and The Forge of God
“A parable whose lessons are needful learning once more.”John Scalzi, author of Old Mans War, The Ghost Brigades, and Zoes 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 deploy the same fascination to show just what kind of effect this orchestrated barbarism can have on the human soul."Peter F. Hamilton, author of Pandoras Star, Judas Unchained, and 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 and 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, and Cripple Creek
Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself--a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away.
Clans of the Alphane Moon deals with one of Philip K. Dicks favorite themes: mental illness and what that actually means. The Alphane moon may be full of people with clinical disorders, but are the "normal" people who are supposed to cure them really any saner?
Dr. Bloodmoney is Philip K. Dick's darkly comic riff on Dr. Strangelove, a look at how humanity gets along after the end of the world. This Nebula Award nominee has all the wild characters and twisty science fiction plotting that Dick fans know and love.
In Vulcan's Hammer a super-computer makes all the important decisions for a worldwide government. But when religious fanatics decide to fight back, it leads a high-ranking official to question whether the peace provided by the computer is worth the abnegation of free will.
This satirical adventure from Philip K. Dick deals with issues of power, class, and politics, set in a world ruled by big-brained elites. But one man went to space to find help, and now he is returning with it—a giant, indestructible alien blob.
Ragle Gumm believes he lives in the 1950s and makes his living by making accurate predictions in a newspaper contest. But when he begins having hallucinations, it appears as if his world may not be what it seems, and in the contest he may be predicting something far more consequential. Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick at his twisty, paranoid best.
When a doctor is taken into a future where death is embraced by society, he is the only one who can save a time-traveling revolutionary.
Mars is not a happy place—a planet for exiles, drifters, and psychics, who would otherwise be executed. One such psychic is a ten-year-old boy named Manfred, a boy so powerful he not only looks into the future, but can send people there. But with the turbulent politics of Mars, that future might not be any better than the present. This twisty novel from Philip K. Dick is combines political intrigue, time travel, family drama, and all the perils that come with being the first at anything.
In Dick's only non-science fiction novel published in his lifetime, a man is obsessed with crackpot ideas, like the Earth being hollow, while his sister and brother-in-law are obsessed with creating the ideal American home. But will their obsessions overtake them? And which is worse?
The Glimmung is a mysterious alien, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In this hilarious Philip K. Dick novel, it recruits a disparate group of humans and aliens to help it raise a ruined temple from the bottom of the ocean.
In this collaboration with Roger Zelazny, an armless and legless painter must undertake a pilgrimage through a nuclear war-ravaged America in a search for the God of Wrath, whose picture he has been commissioned to paint.
A Maze of Death is a sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what theyve been witnessing the whole time.
After a devastating war in which the Earth lost most of its population, the new alien overlords have set up a worldwide game called Bluff, where players swap both land and spouses. But when Pete Garden loses Berkeley, it sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to humanity losing the whole planet. Psychics, aliens, and regular humans all attempt to out-bluff each other in this unpredictable comic misadventure from the mind of Philip K. Dick.
Years ago, Earth and Titan fought a war and Earth lost. The planet was irradiated and most of the surviving population is sterile. The few survivors play an intricate and unending game called Bluff at the behest of the slug-like aliens who rule the planet. At stake in the game are two very important commodities: land and spouses. Pete Garden just lost his wife and Berkeley, California, but he has a plan to win them back. That is, if he isn’t derailed by aliens, psychic traitors, or his new wife.
The Game-Players of Titan is both satire and adventure, examining the ties that bind people together and the maddening peccadilloes of bureaucracy, whether the bureaucrats are humans or alien slugs.
A sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what theyve been witnessing the whole time.Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it. And the mysterious building in the distance draws all the colonists to it, but when they get there each sees a different motto on the front. The mystery of this structure and the secrets contained within drive this mind-bending novel.
About the Author
Having won the Hugo and Nebula Award's more times than any other author, 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 maintained a continuous string of SF best-sellers, and as a speaker and panelist, has been a constant presence on the SF convention circuit. A longtime tenured Professor of Creative Writing at MIT, beyond his own career, from Cory Doctorow to John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman is widely awknowledged as a key mentor figure to many of this generation's crop of rising SF stars.
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