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Review: Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

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Joe Haldeman's The Forever War is one of those sci-fi titles I'd heard about here and there, but hadn't ever hunted down or seen on a shelf until recently. People regarded it as a classic, and when I saw this very stylin' edition at good ol' Half-Price Books, I had to pick it up.

And I'm very glad, because people who said it was a classic were right; I enjoyed this book very, very much. It blends military sci-fi with hard science with the social perspective unique to good scifi. Because I suspect The Forever War bridges aspects of much older science fiction and elements of scifi books from the last two decades, I won't talk about the plot. Like the teenager who complains that Shakespeare seems to talk in pure cliche, anyone who says his plot elements are a rehash probably is at the wrong end of the telescope.

Haldeman's "Author's Note" claims that this edition is the definitive edition, including all the bits rejected or printed separately, combined together as they should be. Certainly, the book hangs together the way a masterwork should (a good start to this "SF Masterworks" series!). Readers of scifi, and good novels of all types, should keep their eyes open for this one.

Joe Haldeman, The Forever War. Millennium, 1997. ISBN 1-85798-808-6

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