Peace and War by Joe Haldeman

Peace and War by Joe Haldeman (The Forever War #1-3)
English | 2006 | Science Fiction | EPUB | 895 KB

The Forever War: The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic– Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi The Earth’s leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand–despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But “home” may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries… A multiple winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Joe Haldeman is an ultimate household name in science fiction. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, since the original publication of The Forever War, Joe has maintained a continuous string of SF classics, and as a long-time Professor of Creative Writing at M.I.T., is widely acknowledged as a key mentor figure to many of this generation’s top SF stars. Winner of the Hugo Award Winner of the Nebula Award

Forever Peace: 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.

Forever Free: In this long-awaited sequel to The Forever War, Haldeman describes the postwar life of retired soldiers William and Marygay Mandella on the half-frozen planet Middle Finger, where they and other humans have been secluded by the newly evolved, superhuman race of Man. The long war with the Taurans is over and William and company are little more than relics, kept around to provide archaic genes should the Man ever wish to alter their own, cloned near-perfection. Dissatisfied with their stagnant lives, William and his fellow vets steal a starship. They plan to travel so far and fast that time dilation will allow them to return only a decade older but millennia in their world’s future. Disaster strikes just days into their voyage, however, when their antimatter engines mysteriously malfunction in direct violation of the laws of physics. Returning home in escape craft, Mandella and his mates discover that everyone on the planet has disappeared, leaving only their clothes behind. Further, all communication with the outside universe has been cut off. Despite a slow start, Haldeman builds considerable tension with the mystery that confronts his human survivors of what appears to be the complete disappearance of not only humanity, but also of Man and the Taurans. Some truly weird events have occurred and Haldeman gives them a genuinely spooky feel. Mandella’s laconic narrative, so effective in getting across The Forever War’s antiwar message, proves just as effective in this sequel. The novel is weakened, however, by what feels like an overly hasty conclusion, burdened by Haldeman’s decision to invoke not one but two deus ex machinae in the book’s final chapters. Still, this is a well-written and worthy sequel to one of SF’s enduring classics.

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