top of page

The Forever War


Joe Haldeman

The Forever War
average rating is 4 out of 5

Science Fiction, War

R. Alex Jenkins

Science fiction can leave you in a strange state of mind. On the one hand it’s magical, but on the other it’s sometimes over the top, too far-fetched and closely related to the fantasy genre. It often takes commitment to learn all the concepts, planets, names, factions, and so on…

The Forever War is more of a jaunt than hardcore sci-fi and a great deal of fun, although it takes itself seriously too. A romp rather than a mind-bending experience.

Thoroughly enjoyable with bombastic flaws, conceptually out there, fun and interestingly thought-out ideas:

  • Travelling across open space gains time by warping – a sort of time lag - by folding continuums that are overcome by humans through cryogenic hibernation. While travelling billions of miles and ageing very little, those at home get older and lose decades.

There are so many  interesting ideas such as free love and open relationships as part of the military norm. It’s like Full Metal Jacket in which it’s okay to make out with your brothers instead of the Vietnamese ‘luv you long time’ gals.

The battles are fought on land by freshmen in bouncing moon suits, almost out of control, against gangly aliens that are even more inept, bungling into confrontation and getting copiously wiped out, self-eliminated and even slaughtered.

It’s a brilliant swirl of sci-fi opera, with very good concepts, conclusions and satisfying objectives. At certain points it seems a bit much and unrealistic, but by full circle this is a thoroughly enjoyable read with many plus points to recommend it.

bottom of page