Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Forever War

A 1974 book about an inter-stellar war that goes on forever, with an enemy we don’t understand, fought by soldiers that were drafted, and led by officers that are idiots. Vietnam anybody? Anybody?

This parable of the follies of war is as relevant today as it was in 1974. By taking the never ending war to a ridiculous extreme and by applying the paradox of near light speed travel to the protagonist, we get a hero who lives through the entire 1000 year war, while only aging a few years himself. The difficulties of integrating back into a culture that has gone through several generations while you aged two years also lets Hadleman say something about shell-shocked Vets that volunteered to go back to 'Nam 2 or 3 times.

Tea Party sympathizers, if they can even get through an anti-war novel, will recoil in horror and how humanity solves its war problem. Everybody should read this book though, especially those that won’t get it.

No comments: