Forever Peace

Forever Peace

3.5 4
by Joe Haldeman, Joe Haldeman
     
 

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2043 A.D.: The Ngumi War rages. A burned-out soldier and his scientist lover discover a secret that could put the universe back to square one. And it is not terrifying. It is tempting...

Overview

2043 A.D.: The Ngumi War rages. A burned-out soldier and his scientist lover discover a secret that could put the universe back to square one. And it is not terrifying. It is tempting...

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
This is a thematic follow-up to Forever War, Haldeman's best-known novel, though the plot is unrelated. The industrialized nations battle the Third World using soldiers who are mentally connected to mechanical fighting machines in this scathing indictment of the dehumanization of war.
—Don D'Ammassa
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It isn't the sequel to The Forever War (1975) that it was rumored to be -- except, perhaps, on a thematic level -- but Haldeman's latest novel holds its own with that SF classic. In the year 2043, an American-led Alliance has been at war with Ngumi, a third-world confederation, for eight years, due largely to the Alliance's refusal to share new technology. Aside from a few thermonuclear strikes, most of the fighting, at least on the Alliance's side, has been carried out by "soldierboys," killing machines run under remote control by brain-jacked "mechanics," many of them draftees like physicist Julian Class. Meanwhile, in orbit around Jupiter, humanity's most ambitious scientific experiment ever, the Jupiter Project, is coming to fruition. But Julian's lover and former adviser, Amelia Harding, discovers that potentially the Project could destroy not just our solar system but the entire universe, in a reprise of the Big Bang. When Amelia and Julian try to stop the Project, their way is blocked by the Hammer of God, an influential Christian cult dedicated to bringing about the Endtime. As always, Haldeman, a Vietnam vet, writes with intelligence and power about the horrors of war, and about humanity's seeming inability to overcome its violent tendencies. Julian Class, like so many of Haldeman's protagonists, is an essentially good man who, forced by the military to become a killer, has been driven nearly to suicide by guilt. His story packs an enormous emotional punch, and this novel should be a strong awards contender. Author appearances. (Oct.)
VOYA - Marsha Valance
With this work, Haldeman supplies science fiction readers with an instant classic-a book that will be read and discussed for many years. Julian Class is one of the most well-drawn, convincing protagonists in recent SF. An African-American physicist drafted into the U. S. Army of 2043 as a "solderboy mechanic" (cybernetic operator of an indestructible war machine), he turns into a pacifist through his war experiences, but then must kill to prevent worldwide destruction. The world of 2043 is lightly sketched but totally credible. The reader is quickly involved in the fast-moving plot, as Julian, while on leave in Texas with Amelia, his postdoctoral advisor/lover, is alerted to a military experiment that could destroy the solar system and which fanatical militarists are determined will proceed on schedule. The in-text portrayal of the ethics of war moves the plot forward without distracting from the action. The vivid depiction of Amelia's affair with another physicist is far from graphic but still might be offensive to some readers. This book belongs in every senior high library alongside Haldeman's Hugo- and Nebula-Award winning The Forever War (St. Martin's, 1975). VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
Not a sequel to Haldeman's 1974 masterpiece, The Forever War, though the concepts and issues inevitably are similar. In 2043, the US-led Alliance is fighting a prolonged and dirty war against the third-world force of Ngumi, or "rebels." "Mechanic" sergeant Julian Class, a black soldier fighting for a predominantly white establishment, cyberlinks via a jack implanted in his skull to a robot "soldierboy" body—and to the other members of his platoon. The result is full, instant telepathy, in which secrets are impossible. Meanwhile, Julian's white lover, professor Amelia Harding, discovers that a particle accelerator experiment being assembled near Jupiter could destroy the entire universe. Then a colleague of Julian's, the military researcher Marty Larrin, reveals that prolonged cyberlinking "humanizes" people, that is, renders them incapable of killing. Julian, a near-pacifist, agrees to help Marty humanize all the military's bigwigs while he and Amelia attempt to halt the accelerator project. Trouble is, the Alliance armies are riddled with ruthless religious-fanatic Hammer of God moles, who think that the end of the universe would be a splendid idea.

Hardworking, often absorbing, and agreeably narrated, but the hard-to-fathom plot rubs uneasily against the chaotic and not altogether convincing backdrop.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441005666
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
474,326
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Joe Haldeman is a Vietnam veteran whose classic novels The Forever War and Forever Peace both have the rare honor of winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He has served twice as president of the Science Fiction Writers of America and is currently an adjunct professor teaching writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Forever Peace 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cwreynolds More than 1 year ago
This one was just okay. I tried to like it more, but just could not. I loved The Forever War and A Seperate War, so I really tried to love this one but could not. The good: The concept of soldierboys, flyboys, and waterboys powered armor always grabs my attention. The futuristic powerplays and Central and South American AORs are even relevant today. The bad: The swapping between third person and first person narrative gets tiring after a few times. One of the best aspects of The Forever War was the first person narrative. The story just kind of ends. The build up seemed to promise more than the ending resolved. There are quite a few ethical issues with the premise. Overall, it is a good story. However, if one is looking for a sequel to The Forever War, this is not really it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
More so than any other SF author, with Forever Peace Haldeman exfoliates the human soul to its bare core. Not the most scientifically innovative, exotic, or complex SF book you will read, but certainly one that will stick with you through the years. As stylish and engaging as anything from the Pulitzer crowd, with more than enough to satisfy those of us who dream of the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Joe Haldeman's Forever Peace and thought it did a good job illustrating the horror and guilt of war. In fact, the first half of the book is spent exploring and describing the world in which the story takes place. It is an uneven world where a massive global war is fought on one side (the western world), by remote control where there are few human casualties and on the other side (the third world), where humans are butchered daily. The plot really gets going in the second half of the book when the set up ends and the interesting discussions, science, and action begin. Once you cross over that line in the book, you can't stop reading. To boil it down, a small group of academics formulate a plan to change the world, and humanity, as we know it. Weather their plan is good or bad for humanity is open to debate but the author certainly comes down on the side of the academics. I would have liked to see more time spent exploring the 'plan' and it's ultimate ramifications on humanity if successful. I thought this was a good book and well worth the read but just can't see how it rises to the level of a Hugo award winner. It could be that I'm just spoiled reading this story in a post Matrix world where the central scientific concept of the book, jacking minds together via a socket in the back of the neck, has been thoroughly explored and therefore does not seem as fresh and brilliant to me. It was probably more ground-breaking and innovative at the time it was published. However, it was a very well written book that kept me turning the pages late into the night. Its central theory about humanity is very interesting and I recommend it to all science fiction lovers out there.