I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get to this book; I read The Forever War a few years back and decided it was one of the best piece of Science Fiction writing I’d ever come across. Anyway, here’s the review:
It must be Joe Haldeman’s background as both scientist and combat veteran that allows him to deliver such a stark perspective of both the futility and strange necessity of war. Like his first book, The Forever War, Forever Peace is the story of a long running conflict told from the perspective of a foot soldier. The writing is vivid and pared to the bone, leaving no excess detail to shroud the numbness that overcomes those forced to kill in a manner alien to their nature.
The book is often described as sequel to The Forever War, which I don’t think is strictly true. I would say that it’s more of a ‘late prequel’, telling of a period time in Earth’s history that may have occurred while the Forever War was being fought. Anyway, it’s an exciting, well-paced read that effectively describes a world in surprisingly few pages.
The Science Fiction element is almost incidental; it’s Haldeman’s getting inside the characters’ heads that really brings the whole piece to life. The story could have been about any war in any time, and I think the lessons demonstrated would have been the same. Again, I feel it’s the writer’s experiences in Viet Nam that enable him to drive this point home so vividly.
If you’re a Science Fiction buff, then Forever Peace is a must.
So what was that? Eight months? Quite a siesta, even for me, so what happened?
I had a really good Christmas, writing-wise. Lots of stuff I was really happy with. I wrote a couple of shorts and a started work on a sequel to Regarding Avalon. Early mornings and late nights.
And I missed Christmas 🙁
Not of all of it (I watched a lot of telly) but I did miss the important parts (the family stuff) and I think a lot of that was down to the early mornings and late nights hammering at this very keyboard. I guess when you’re working full-time, you tend to use the holiday to make as much headway as you can, instead of actually taking a holiday.
I decided that while intensity was a good thing, I needed to get away from the screen and do something else for a while: focus on family, get the real career moving again. Just do more stuff basically, and get out of the mindset that dedication ≠ 24/7 in front of a screen (it shouldn’t for any job, really).
So I took some time off from writing about artificial life so I could try some of the real thing. And the most surprising thing I discovered was that it’s a lot harder not to write than I thought.