Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hugos: The Forever War

In 1976, the year I was born, Joe Haldeman won the Hugo award for 'The Forever War'.

It concerns the adventures and tribulations of William Mandella and Marygay Potter, Earth soldiers in an interstellar war with the Taurans, of whom nothing is known and with whom the Earth is at war "for no raisin".  

From 2007 to 3143 these bright young people suffer the brutality of war on several brief tours of violent duty which take them not only away from Earth but centuries of out of time.  Due to relativistic time dilation, they return to a home world which they can no longer relate to and which reviles and despises them.

Take away the sci-fi trappings and it's familiar enough tale to the veterans of Vietnam (such as Haldeman), or indeed of any war.  I really enjoyed this one, 4 stars out of 5, I'm glad to own it and I'm looking forward to more from this author.

For what it's worth, I thank VETERANS today.  

I may be an ungrateful pacifist couch potato, but I wouldn't even be THAT without their sacrifices.  

I'm talking sacrifices of all kinds.  My grandmother's brother came back from WW2 but it killed him anyway.  Drove him mad.  I'm VERY glad they turned my grandpa down when he tried to enlist.  Plenty of our grandpas did not come back, and from where I stand that might have been the last time a war was WORTH IT.

It's just a fantasy, of course, but a good one: someday we'll either stop having these things (on land, sea, or space) or we'll treat our veterans better.

Meanwhile, never forget.

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