The Forever War

The Forever War

eBook - 1991
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards: A futuristic masterpiece, "perhaps the most important war novel written since Vietnam" (Junot Dí az).

In this novel, a landmark of science fiction that began as an MFA thesis for the Iowa Writers' Workshop and went on to become an award-winning classic--inspiring a play, a graphic novel, and most recently an in-development film--man has taken to the stars, and soldiers fighting the wars of the future return to Earth forever alienated from their home.

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).

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Joe Haldeman including rare images from the author's personal collection.
Publisher: New York :, Avon Books,, 1991.
Copyright Date: ©1975
ISBN: 9781497692350
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 15, 2020

This space opera written by a veteran of the Vietnam War is one of the most satisfying sf novels I have read. It is a parable about the effects of being immersed in a war without a foreseeable end and the alienation felt by soldiers returning to societies and homes that they can no longer relate to. It is to Vietnam what Catch-22 was to WWII, and the worlds that it takes place in are as vast as those of Star Wars. Recommended for fans of science fiction, military fiction, dark humor, and good books in general.

Oct 07, 2019

This is one of my favorite books. Forever War is a science fictional parallel to Haldeman's own experience in Vietnam: going off to fight an enigmatic enemy, for unclear reasons, and finding that time has passed the soldier by when he returns to the "home" that is now just as foreign to him as the aliens. An engrossing war adventure as well as a personal odyssey, the book is engaging and satisfying on several levels. Forever War can also be read as a reply to and critique of Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

Sep 01, 2019

Wait for Steph

JCLIanH Jun 27, 2019

I was expecting more of a direct allegory for Vietnam, and while Haldeman's own experiences in the conflict provide a solid backbone for the Forever War, the novel is a masterful meditation on the futility of war in general (and a brilliant piece of science fiction as well).

Dec 01, 2018

One of the best Sci-fi books ever written. Yes there is casual sex and killing and other unpleasant things caused by war and killing and such. Always has been and always will be as wars are nasty things especially when fought for "reasons unknown". About as anti-war as a book can be while graphically telling the tale of war. Very well written as well.

Aug 22, 2018

Loved classic on trying to wage war with non-FTL drive & communications against non-human species with universal themes of home front changed, hard to get use to civilian life to hurry up & wait military life.
Of course there is swearing in dealing with life in death situations. You expect rainbows & unicorns?

Sep 07, 2016

Interesting take on war considering when novel was written. Good read!!

Jul 16, 2016

One might expect that a story set in the future, where men and women are drafted into military service in identical roles, would be worth reading. One would be wrong. Sexist slipping occasionally in to misogyny. I almost gave up on page 8 when I had reached my tolerance limit for the F-word, but gave it another 100 pages because it isn't good to just give up. Except sometimes it is.
Page 47:
"The orgy that night was amusing, but it was like trying to sleep in the middle of a raucous beach party. The only area big enough to sleep all of us was the dining hall; they draped a few bed sheets here and there for privacy, then they unleashed Stargate's eighteen sex-starved men on our women, compliant and promiscuous by military custom (and law), but desiring nothing so much as sleep on solid ground."

Jabberwock12 May 22, 2015

I read this a while back and gave it to a friend (and he never returned it)... A top-notch, great read. A true sci-fi novel.

Apr 29, 2015

Good old fashioned science fiction with no wizards, fairies, or magic.

View All Comments


Add a Summary
Dec 21, 2018

soldiers that hibernate, so they can travel to a distant planet (in the future) to fight with their enemy (which they have never met before).


Add a Quote
Apr 25, 2012

I was disgusted with the human race, disgusted with the army and horrified at the prospect of living with myself for another century or so... Well, there was always brain-wipe.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at MPL

To Top