The Forever War

A futuristic masterpiece

Conscripted into service for the United Nations Exploratory Force, a highly trained unit built for revenge, physics student William Mandella fights for his planet light years away against the alien force known as the Taurans. “Mandella’s attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd, almost endless war is harrowing, hilarious, heartbreaking, and true,” says Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Junot Díaz—and because of the relative passage of time when one travels at incredibly high speed, the Earth Mandella returns to after his two-year experience has progressed decades and is foreign to him in disturbing ways.

Based in part on the author’s experiences in Vietnam, The Forever War is regarded as one of the greatest military science fiction novels ever written, capturing the alienation that servicemen and women experience even now upon returning home from battle. It shines a light not only on the culture of the 1970s in which it was written, but also on our potential future. “To say that The Forever War is the best science fiction war novel ever written is to damn it with faint praise. It is . . . as fine and woundingly genuine a war story as any I’ve read” (William Gibson).

Author(s): Joe Haldeman
Year: 1970
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Joe William Haldeman is an American science fiction author. He is best known for his 1974 novel The Forever War. That novel, and other of his works including The Hemingway Hoax and Forever Peace , have won major science fiction awards including the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.

Many of Haldeman's works, including his debut novel War Year and his second novel The Forever War, were inspired by his experience serving in the Vietnam War, where he was wounded in combat, and by his adjustment to civilian life after returning home.