The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Still a classic. Want a war-driven novel constrained by the limits of relativity but still as inexplicable, funny, and as sad as the regular kind?
How about a novel right out of 1977 that explores what it means when all of society transforms over millennia into something awfully strange... a world where the hetero norm has become a homo norm in response to overpopulation...
To where the old outdated concept of future-shock is dusted off and given new life...
To where it's only reasonable for old soldiers to re-up forever in hope that their world will resemble something sane once they get back... AGAIN.
In a lot of ways, this is less a parable about future war than it is a Science-Fantasy extrapolating what it means to be a veteran returning to a changed world and what it means to be completely and utterly lost to the life you left behind. Taken perhaps a bit more extreme than that of the soldiers coming back from Vietnam, maybe, but the concept is still quite valid.
Fortunately for all of us, there's not just tragedy and isolation here, but humor, absurdity, and a good solid story among the cool SFnal alien murders and explosions and the problem of troops, soldier confraternity, and cats on ships. :)
It still holds up nicely for an old Hugo winner. :)
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