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Forever Peace (Sf Masterworks) by Joe…
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Forever Peace (Sf Masterworks) (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Joe Haldeman

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1,720376,019 (3.48)35
Member:dennymeta
Title:Forever Peace (Sf Masterworks)
Authors:Joe Haldeman
Info:Gollancz (1999), Paperback, 351 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Forever Peace (Remembering Tomorrow) by Joe Haldeman (1997)

Recently added byprivate library, thindor, rhastings18, orphu, emeraldgirl68, bmdenny, mrshen, Mezriss
  1. 10
    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (sturlington)
    sturlington: Forever Peace is a thematic sequel to The Forever War.
  2. 00
    Washington's War on Nicaragua by Holly Sklar (LamontCranston)
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
excellent story ( )
  longhorndaniel | Jul 19, 2017 |
I just reread Forever Peace. It's been several years since I read it originally, and I hoped that my opinion somehow changed regarding the quality of this novel.

I loved The Forever War, it is probably in the top 20 of all science fiction novels ever written. I had high expectations of this novel, considering it was marketed as part of the "Forever Universe". However, as far as I can tell it's not part of that universe at all, and the labeling must somehow be part of a Marketing plan designed to take advantage of the popularity of the Forever War.

The plot of the book is intriguing, how can humanity not wage war.

While the main character is sympathetic and interesting, there are times in the book that Haldeman can't explain through his characters what is occurring and so he resorts to some 3rd person omnipotent narrator that catches us up to whats going on. When this happens its so jarring that you lose the character's perspective and it drops you out of the entire mood of the novel. This catch-up process occurs throughout the book to describe what is happening outside of your characters and it doesn't work. At all. Disappointing.

( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
In the year 2043, our world is embroiled in a large-scale war between the Alliance, composed of industrialised Western nations, and the Ngumi, a loose coalition of developing nations without access to the nano-forging technology that contributes to much of the Alliance’s wealth. Our viewpoint into this war comes from Julian Class, a draftee who controls one of the remotely-operated mechanised units called soldierboys, a job that requires an intimate mind-link and cooperative effort with the rest of the platoon.

It’s such a promising setup for a story. You have a conflict in which neither side is unambiguously the white hat, and which could serve as a lens through which today’s racial and regional tensions could be reflected and examined. The Ngumi are largely made up of oppressed peoples who can’t hope to climb out of the well that a lack of equitable wealth distribution has left them in without resorting to violent measures (a situation that has its parallels in our societies), but their tactics are sometimes reprehensible and the casualties vast. The Alliance draws the scorn that is directed at many regimes and individuals who soak up wealth and hoard it beyond all reasonable measure when others are suffering for want of it, but as corrupt as the governments may be, the individual on the street isn’t necessarily enjoying any great life for living under them -- access to the nano-forging technology is beyond rigidly controlled, and we see glimpses into areas of poverty and urban and moral decay worse than the ostensibly wealthy societies of real world 2015 already harbour. Our protagonist’s life mirrors the conflict in a microcosmic way, as he starts the story in an interracial relationship which has to be hidden even from friends and acquaintances lest it face a level of censure one would hope we would have long moved past by 2043.

Lots of promise. So why the low rating? Because absolutely none of it is realised, and the book is completely muddled about what it’s trying to be. The interesting setting we start with never gets fleshed out beyond a skeletal background. The middle of the book meanders through Julian’s relationship angst based on his girlfriend’s inability to jack with him -- to experience the mind-link that allows the soldierboy mechanics to experience each other’s thoughts, fantasies, memories, physical sensations -- something which could make an interesting basis for a story itself, but doesn’t have any link to the established story arc so far or to the more compelling drama that could’ve been wrung out of the war’s direct effects on their relationship and its lack of social acceptance. Finally, from there we shuffle into a conspiracy to use the jacking technology to effectively brainwash humanity into widescale pacifism to prevent the utilisation of a doomsday device, which again, would be a great -- if thoroughly implausible in its execution -- concept for a novel that has nothing to do with the one I started off reading. It seems Haldeman gets bored even with this, considering how abruptly, almost dismissively, it’s wound up.

Incidentally, if you’re waiting to hear what any of this has to do with The Forever War, the answer is nothing. This is the second book in the trilogy but the relationship between the books is only conceptual, and that only really applies to the first third of it, in which it still appears the author is going to turn a cynical eye on the realities of war, just on a more intimate scale than the millennia-spanning intergalactic war of the first book. I think that would’ve been a good novel, especially as Haldeman’s writing seems to have reached a more polished level from a technical standpoint and Julian is a more compelling protagonist than the relative blank slate that was William Mandella. I think the other two books that could’ve been spun out of the ideas smushed into this one could’ve been pretty enjoyable too, but as it is, Forever Peace is much less than the sum of its parts.

Review from Bookette.net ( )
  Snumpus | Aug 10, 2016 |
Awful piece of rubbish. ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this story. As the summary says, "two creatures have wandered the Earth for generations. The aliens have no knowledge of each other...One, the changeling, has survived by adaptation, taking the shapes of many different organisms. The other, the chameleon, has survived solely by destroying anything or anyone that threatens it." I thought the development of the aliens was great - the changeling develops an empathy toward the humans it encounters and sometimes becomes; the chameleon develops into a malevolent being whose favorite human is Josef Mengele.

There are some areas where the book appeared too farfetched - especially the response of one of the main characters to discovering the existence of an alien - but overall the story held my interest and was actually quite a study in human behavior and rituals. ( )
  bhabeck | Mar 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Haldemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hrnčíř, Mareksecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reß-Bohusch, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogner, Jürgen F.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Man was born into barbarism, when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh."

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dedication
This novel is for two editors: John W. Campbell, who rejected a story because he thought it was absurd to write about American women who fight and die in combat, and Ben Bova, who didn't.
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It was not quite completely dark, thin blue moonlight threading down through the canopy of leaves.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441005667, Mass Market Paperback)

Julian Class is a full-time professor and part-time combat veteran who spends a third of each month virtually wired to a robotic "soldierboy." The soldierboys, along with flyboys and other advanced constructs, allow the U.S. to wage a remotely controlled war against constant uprisings in the Third World. The conflicts are largely driven by the so-called First World countries' access to nanoforges--devices that can almost instantly manufacture any product imaginable, given the proper raw materials--and the Third World countries' lack of access to these devices. But even as Julian learns that the consensual reality shared by soldierboy operators can lead to universal peace, the nanoforges create a way for humanity to utterly destroy itself, and it will be a race against time to see which will happen first. Although Forever Peace bears a title similar to Joe Haldeman's classic novel The Forever War, he says it's not a sequel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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...

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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