September 1, 2015

The Forever War

by Joe Haldeman

A fresh visit to this popular and influential military SF tale, which refracts Haldeman’s experience of Vietnam through an Iowa MFA and also through Starship Troopers. Haldeman, in turn, is clearly the touchstone for such later work as Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and perhaps for Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga. Beyond his adventure-filled but unjingoistic use of combat to drive the narrative, Haldeman’s story of the soldier’s progressive alienation from mankind – by the time he comes back, everyone has changed and the world for which he was fighting is a strange and alien place – anticipate’s Stross’s singularity stories and also anticipates what has become the mainstream narrative form of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.