Review- “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman

9780575073180-uk-300This book was recommended to me by a friend as he knew I was interesting in future fiction and it did not disappoint. The basic premise is that in the future and war is being waged between mankind and a mysterious race known as the Taurans who live many light years away but can be reached by a system of “collapsars” allowing vast distances to be covered in split seconds. The book is an excellent commentary on the futility of conflict and the pointless sacrifice of lives over what can amount to a simple misunderstanding.

I found a number of parts to the story particularly interesting:

  • Elite recruits: due to the sophisticated nature of operations and combat in a space environment, all recruits require a minimum IQ of 150.
  • Time dilation: Due to relativistic effects, many centuries pass during the conflict but the protagonist, William, only experiences a relatively small time change
  • Bio-technology: Limbs can be regrown over inorganic skeletons
  • Homosexuality: Due to the over-population of the Earth, homosexuality becomes the norm and William, who is heterosexual becomes an outcast. It tips this prejudice nicely on its head!
  • Stasis field: This is strange concept but means that some of the combat needs to be done using good old fashioned swords, bows and arrows!
  • Wrapped up nicely: I don’t like hackneyed plot devices but this does leave the reader with a nice feeling without being overly emotional.

I thoroughly enjoyed this yarn and will be on the look out for more by the same author!

Overall rating:

StarStarStarStarStar-half

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