Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman


When it was first published over 20 years ago, Joe Haldeman's novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards and was chosen Best Novel in several countries. Today, it is hailed a classic of science fiction that foreshadowed many of the futuristic themes of the 1990s: bionics, sensory manipulation, and time distortion. William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends? Narrator George Wilson's performance conveys all the imaginative technology and human drama of The Forever War. Set against a backdrop of vivid battle scenes, this absorbing work asks provocative questions about the very nature of war. Drawing on his own war experiences, Vietnam veteran Joe Haldeman creates stunning works of science fiction. Forever Peace is not a sequel to his previous award-winning work, The Forever War, but it deals with similarly provocative issues. When it was published, Forever Peace was chosen Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. It also won the coveted Hugo Award. War in the 21st century is fought by "soldierboy" avatars operated remotely. This idea was incorporated by James Cameron in Avatar, and the novel was optioned by Ridley Scott for a movie. Remote-controlled mechanical monsters, they are run by human soldiers who hard-wire their brains together to form each unit. Julian is one of these dedicated soldiers, until he inadvertently kills a young boy. Now he struggles to understand how this has changed his mind. Forever Peace is a riveting portrayal of the effects of collective consciousness, and it offers some tantalizing revelations. Narrator George Wilson's skillful performance weaves together the elements of futuristic technology with the drama of a trained soldier reconciling basic human needs. Joe Haldeman is an American author of award-winning science fiction and nonfiction works and a part-time professor at MIT. He earned a BS degree in physics and astronomy, as well as an MFA in writing. Drafted into the military, he served in Vietnam as a combat engineer in 1968 and 1969, was severely wounded, and earned a Purple Heart. His experience in war and in returning to civilian life are themes he uses in much of his writing. He is the author of numerous novels and several series, including the Forever War series. His science fiction has earned many awards, including five Hugo Awards, five Nebula Awards, a John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, a Locus Award, three Rhysling Awards, a World Fantasy Award, and a James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Also, he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2009, received the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 2010, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. 


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