Friday, May 27, 2005

16. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Forever War book pictureHoly Karst! This is the first book I've read in way too long. I blame the internet. Over a month. I've lost my pace now and am going to have to really pound them out to get 50 this year.

I picked up The Forever War at a thrift store for a quarter. It had a nice '70s sci-fi pocket book cover and lots of accolades. It definitely comes out of the tradition of the '60s and the Vietnam war. The story concerns the life of a soldier recruited as a young man into a war against some unseen aliens and follows his career throughout the war as it progresses. What makes it interesting is that the engagements continue to be farther and farther away. The soldiers are put into stasis when they travel to the outer reaches. Most are killed, but those few who do survive come back to a future earth that is hundreds of years ahead of them. The protagonist's life spans 1800 earth years and by the time it's over things have changed radically. He goes through an entire period where heterosexuality is considered taboo and he's the only straight soldier in his platoon.

It's an interesting concept and ultimately is set up to show the ridiculousness of war. The story is fairly linear, though and lacks much actual conflict. It's more like an exploration of the theme rather than a real story, though the main character is sympathetic and well-written. It's okay.

1 comment:

Lantzvillager said...

It sounds as though it's a bit like Card's Enders Game in some ways. I have heard many good things about that Haldeman book but it souds as though it may have been "of it's time".