The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974 etc)

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This is war story that covers both space and time.
William Mandella is a soldier drafted in to fight an ongoing war with an alien race known as the Taurans. They're called Taurans because, well, "Aldebaraniams is a ,little hard to handle!" That is from the book and is just one example of the subtle humour that runs throught this book.

Dont read this book expecting big space battles, this is no space opera; its far more significant than that! There are battle scenes against the Taurans but its far more than a simple war story; its about the human condition as much as anything else, about relationships and evolution (the character was born in the 1970s and the book ends in the 32nd century!!)
I may be making it sound boring but thats because I'm not too good at reviewing a book without giving away spoilers! There's some fun and interesting tech in this book. Like organ regeneration, the depiction of which was particularly good because it is a total surprise to the main character Mandella!

Joe Haldeman is a Vietnam vet and it shows, but he is also a physicist and astronomer which makes for good science throughout the book without being heavy or inaccessible to the lay person.

The story is at times brutal, at times funny, and the rest of the time a wonderful study on the nature of humanity and the perils and pointlessness of war and I enjoyed it far more than I expected to, and I loved the ending!

There are two sequels to this book but I dont need to read them. All the story you need is in this one book!
Conn, just buy it will ya!
(Inmportant side note. The edition I read, above, is the restored edition. The Forever War was originally serialized in Analog magazine with the central part changed-this version I am reading restores the story to the authors original.)
 

Rodders

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Nothing wrong with that review AE

There's an omnibus edition with the Forever War, Forever Peace and Forever Free. It's in the shops now.
 

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Nothing wrong with that review AE

There's an omnibus edition with the Forever War, Forever Peace and Forever Free. It's in the shops now.
Thanks Rod. I saw that anthology in the library at one point but well the other two stories don't really interest me. The second one is set in the 2047,about half way thru the time zone of Forever War,but with different characters.
 

Scifi fan

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The Forever War is an excellent book! I highly recommend it, and, as far as I'm concerned, it's an answer to Starship Troopers.
 

blacknorth

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Can I ask, which version of this book did you read? My copy is a revised edition with the story You Can Never Go Back included. I haven't read it yet so I'm wondering whether to read the revision or go back to an earlier edition.
 

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Can I ask, which version of this book did you read? My copy is a revised edition with the story You Can Never Go Back included. I haven't read it yet so I'm wondering whether to read the revision or go back to an earlier edition.
Well,as I said in my review above the copy I read was the fully restored version,with that missing section reinserted. The book has an introduction by Peter F Hamilton. Does yours have that? Also what publication date do you have?
 

blacknorth

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Well,as I said in my review above the copy I read was the fully restored version,with that missing section reinserted. The book has an introduction by Peter F Hamilton. Does yours have that? Also what publication date do you have?
Sorry, I read your review but my eye slipped over that last part, can't think how.

Mine is an Avon US paperback with an author's note by Haldeman. There's no publication date but the latest copyright is 1997, so that's probably it. Haldeman uses the note to express his frustration with previous pb editions, including the previous Avon. Cover shows an illustration of what looks like a Stargate.

I've set it aside for reading over the summer. :)
 

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That's it.
So it will have The missing bit reinstated. The thing with this book is there's no chapters as such. Its divided into 3 parts. Private Mandella,Sergeant Mandella and Major Mandella with kind of sub chapters in between. I suppose if you read it when first published and then read the newer edition you might notice.
 
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