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The Forever War

The Forever War

Author:  Joe Haldeman
Rating: 5/5
Last Read: November 2018
Who Should Read: Sci-fi fans, fans of military fiction, fans of Old Man's War

I've been told that I should read The Forever War at least three times a year for the past ten years. I finally got around to reading it, like John Scalzi in the book's introduction, and all I really have to say is: everyone was absolutely right. The Forever War is a wonderful book.

The novel is set in a future (circa 1996) where Earth is engaged in a war in the far-out reaches of space with another sentient race. Earth conscripts the best of humanity for soldiering and trains them to fight in laser-equipped battle suits. The novel follows the soldiering career of William Mandella, starting with his "boot camp" experiences and moving through various interstellar battles. Each battle involves a large relative time shift for Mandella, so on each return trip to our solar system he experiences "future" shock due to societal changes that happened in the hundreds of years he was away.

This book is an award-winning sci-fi classic for a good reason. There's plenty of action, interesting future scenarios, and commentary on society and humanity.

To my mind, there are two things that make a novel a “classic”—a genuine classic, as opposed to merely “old and continuing to sell.” The first is that it speaks to the time in which the novel first appeared. There is no doubt The Forever War did this; its awards and acclaim are signifiers of that fact. The second thing is tougher, and that is that it keeps speaking to readers outside its time, because what’s in the book touches on something that never goes away, or at the very least keeps coming around.

I stopped at the first book (I tend to avoid series), but if you are interested in continuing there is another book in the series.

If you enjoy The Forever War, you will also enjoy John Scalzi's Old Man's War. (The same applies if you loved Old Man's War - read this book!)

My Highlights

‘Man was born into barbarism, when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh.’ — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Relativity propped it up, at least gave it the illusion of being there … the way all reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.

Since the planet rotated rather slowly — once every ten and one-half days — a ‘stationary’ orbit for the ship had to be 150,000 klicks out. This made the people in the ship feel quite secure, with 6,000 miles of rock and 90,000 miles of space between them and the enemy. But it meant a whole second’s time lag in communication between us on the ground and the ship’s battle computer. A person could get awful dead while that neutrino pulse crawled up and back.

‘Sarge, tell that computer to do something! We’re gonna get—’
‘Oh, shut up, Mandella. Trust in th’ lord.’
‘Lord’ was definitely lower-case when Cortez said it.

… I felt my gorge rising and knew that all the lurid training tapes, all the horrible deaths in training accidents, hadn’t prepared me for this sudden reality … that I had a magic wand that I could point at a life and make it a smoking piece of half-raw meat; I wasn’t a soldier nor ever wanted to be one nor ever would want—

‘Night.’ It’s almost impossible to get sexually excited inside a suit, with the relief tube and all the silver chloride sensors poking you, but somehow this was my body’s response to the emotional impotence, maybe remembering more pleasant sleeps with Marygay, maybe feeling that in the midst of all this death, personal death could be very soon, cranking up the procreative derrick for one last try … lovely thoughts like this.

I fell asleep and dreamed that I was a machine, mimicking the functions of life, creaking and clanking my clumsy way through a world, people too polite to say anything but giggling behind my back, and the little man who sat inside my head pulling the levers and clutches and watching the dials, he was hopelessly mad and was storing up hurts for the day—

I hardly heard him for trying to keep track of what was going on in my skull. I knew it was just post-hypnotic suggestion, even remembered the session in Missouri when they’d implanted it, but that didn’t make it any less compelling. My mind reeled under the strong pseudo-memories: shaggy hulks that were Taurans (not at all what we now knew they looked like) boarding a colonists’ vessel, eating babies while mothers watched in screaming terror (the colonists never took babies; they wouldn’t stand the acceleration), then raping the women to death with huge veined purple members (ridiculous that they would feel desire for humans), holding the men down while they plucked flesh from their living bodies and gobbled it (as if they could assimilate the alien protein) … a hundred grisly details as sharply remembered as the events of a minute ago, ridiculously overdone and logically absurd. But while my conscious mind was rejecting the silliness, somewhere much deeper, down in that sleeping animal where we keep our real motives and morals, something was thirsting for alien blood, secure in the conviction that the noblest thing a man could do would be to die killing one of those horrible monsters

I spent a long time after that telling myself over and over that it hadn’t been me who so gleefully carved up those frightened, stampeding creatures. Back in the twentieth century, they had established to everybody’s satisfaction that ‘I was just following orders’ was an inadequate excuse for inhuman contact … but what can you do when the orders come from deep down in that puppet master of the unconscious?

While I was lying there being squeezed, a silly thought took hold of my brain and went round and round like a charge in a superconductor: according to military formalism, the conduct of war divides neatly into two categories, tactics and logistics. Logistics has to do with moving troops and feeding them and just about everything except the actual fighting, which is tactics. And now we’re fighting, but we don’t have a tactical computer to guide us through attack and defense, just a huge, super-efficient pacifistic cybernetic grocery clerk of a logistic, mark that word, logistic computer. The other side of my brain, perhaps not quite as pinched, would argue that it doesn’t matter what name you give to a computer, it’s a pile of memory crystals, logic banks, nuts and bolts … If you program it to be Genghis Khan, it is a tactical computer, even if its usual function is to monitor the stock market or control sewage conversion. But the other voice was obdurate and said by that kind of reasoning, a man is only a hank of hair and a piece of bone and some stringy meat; and no matter what kind of a man he is, if you teach him well, you can take a Zen monk and turn him into a slavering bloodthirsty warrior.

‘She’s very pretty.’ A remarkable observation, her body torn and caked with crusting blood, her face smeared where I had tried to wipe away the tears. I suppose a doctor or a woman or a lover can look beneath that and see beauty.

‘One cannot make command decisions simply by assessing the tactical situation and going ahead with whatever course of action will do the most harm to the enemy with a minimum of death and damage to your own men and material. Modern warfare has become very complex, especially during the last century. Wars are won not by a simple series of battles won, but by a complex interrelationship among military victory, economic pressures, logistic maneuvering, access to the enemy’s information, political postures — dozens, literally dozens of factors.’

‘I hope none of you ever has to face such a decision. When we get back to Stargate, I will in all probability be court-martialed for cowardice under fire. But I honestly believe that the information that may be gained from analysis of the damage to the Anniversary is more important than the destruction of this one Tauran base.’ He sat up straight. ‘More important than one soldier’s career.’

‘William, face it. It’s a miracle she survived to get into surgery. So there’s a big chance she won’t make it back to Earth. It’s sad; she’s a special person, the special person to you, maybe. But we’ve had so much death … you ought to be getting used to it, come to terms with it.’
I took a long pull at my drink, identical to hers except for the citric acid. ‘You’re getting pretty hard-boiled.’
‘Maybe … no. Just realistic. I have a feeling we’re headed for a lot more death and sorrow.’

‘I don’t know. If they could condition us to kill on cue, they can condition us to do almost anything. Re-enlist.’

‘I’m twenty-three, so I was still in diapers when you people left for Aleph … to begin with, how many of you are homosexual?’
Nobody.
‘That doesn’t really surprise me. I am, of course. I guess about a third of everybody in Europe and America is. ‘Most governments encourage homosexuality — the United Nations is neutral, leaves it up to the individual countries — they encourage homolife mainly because it’s the one sure method of birth control.’
That seemed specious to me. Our method of birth control in the army is pretty foolproof: all men making a deposit in the sperm bank, and then vasectomy.

‘Of course, an illegal market developed, and soon there was great inequality in the amount of food people in various strata of society consumed. A vengeance group in Ecuador, the Imparciales, systematically began to assassinate people who appeared to be well-fed. The idea caught on pretty quickly, and in a few months there was a full-scale, undeclared class war going on all over the world. The United Nations managed to get things back under control in a year or so, by which time the population was down to four billion, crops were more or less recovered, and the food crisis was over.

‘Incidentally, the General translated the money coming to you into dollars just for your own convenience. The world has only one currency now, calories. Your thirty-two thousand dollars comes to about three thousand million calories. Or three million k’s, kilocalories.

‘Also, we no longer have the abundance of electrical power I remember from boyhood … probably a good deal less than you remember. There are only a few places in the world where you can have power all day and night. They keep saying it’s a temporary situation, but it’s been going on for over a decade.’

Wars in the past often accelerated social reform, provided technological benefits, even sparked artistic activity. This one, however, seemed tailor-made to provide none of these positive by-products.

And in the past, people whose country was at war were constantly in contact with the war. The newspapers would be full of reports, veterans would return from the front; sometimes the front would move right into town, invaders marching down Main Street or bombs whistling through the night air — but always the sense of either working toward victory or at least delaying defeat. The enemy was a tangible thing, a propagandist’s monster whom you could understand, whom you could hate. But this war … the enemy was a curious organism only vaguely understood, more often the subject of cartoons than nightmares. The main effect of the war on the home front was economic, unemotional — more taxes but more jobs as well. After twenty-two years, only twenty-seven returned veterans; not enough to make a decent parade. The most important fact about the war to most people was that if it ended suddenly, Earth’s economy would collapse.

We got into a discussion about the war, with a bunch of people who knew Marygay and I were veterans. It’s hard to describe their attitude, which was pretty uniform. They were angry in an abstract way that it took so much tax money to support; they were convinced that the Taurans would never be any danger to Earth; but they all knew that nearly half the jobs in the world were associated with the war, and if it stopped, everything would fall apart.

Every time I’ve come down to Earth the past ten years, I’ve wondered whether she’d still be there. Neither of us had enough money to keep in very close touch.’ He had told us in Geneva that a letter from Luna to Earth cost $100 postage — plus $5,000 tax. It discouraged communication with what the UN considered to be a bunch of regrettably necessary anarchists.

Desperate fun, as I said. Unless the war changed radically, our chances of surviving the next three years were microscopic. We were remarkably healthy victims of a terminal disease, trying to cram a lifetime of sensation into a half of a year.

‘It doesn’t add up, though. Why would they haul me all the way from Heaven to take a chance on my “shaping up,” when probably a third of the people here on Stargate are better officer material? God, the military mind!’ ‘I suspect the bureaucratic mind, at least, had something to do with it. You have an embarrassing amount of seniority to be a footsoldier.’

Perhaps this statement is true of any hierarchical structure, but certainly of businesses:

A good sign that an army has been around too long is that it starts getting top-heavy with officers.

One thing we didn’t have to worry about in this war was enemy agents. With a good coat of paint, a Tauran might be able to disguise himself as an ambulatory mushroom. Bound to raise suspicions.

Hilleboe had called them to attention and was dutifully telling them what a good commander I was going to be; that I’d been in the war from the beginning, and if they intended to survive through their enlistment they had better follow my example. She didn’t mention that I was a mediocre soldier with a talent for getting missed.

‘Part of UNEF. Only has authority on Earth.’ She took a deep sniff at the empty capsule. ‘The idea was to keep people from making babies the biological way. Because, A, people showed a regrettable lack of sense in choosing their genetic partner. And B, the Council saw that racial differences had an unnecessarily divisive effect on humanity; with total control over births, they could make everybody the same race in a few generations.’

The art of chastising subordinates is a delicate art. I could see that I’d have to keep reminding Hilleboe that she wasn’t in charge.

‘As you will read in this book, the war ended 221 years ago. Accordingly, this is the year 220. Old style, of course, it is 3138 ad ‘You are the last group of soldiers to return. When you leave here, I will leave as well. And destroy Stargate. It exists only as a rendezvous point for returnees and as a monument to human stupidity. And shame. As you will read. Destroying it will be a cleansing.’ He stopped speaking and the woman started without a pause. ‘I am sorry for what you’ve been through and wish I could say that it was for good cause, but as you will read, it was not.

The 1143-year-long war had been begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate. Once they could talk, the first question was ‘Why did you start this thing?’ and the answer was ‘Me?’

‘Say, bartender.’
‘Yes, Major?’ ‘Do you know of a place called Middle Finger? Is it still there?’
‘Of course it is. Where else would it be?’ Reasonable question. ‘A very nice place. Garden planet. Some people don’t think it’s exciting enough.’

Summary

Major Characters

  • William Mandella
  • Marygay Potter
  • Sgt Cortes

Most other characters appear and die quickly.

Outline

When I read fiction, I make an outline as a memory aide. If you don't want to see any spoilers, skip this section.

  1. Boot camp - elite conscripts w/ IQ over 150
  2. Sent to Charon - dark + cold - for training in battle suits
  3. Training + Deaths + Graduation
  4. Sent to Starbase for construction
  5. Sent to first battle against the Taurans - massive slaughter - one escapes
  6. Second battle - advanced weapons used, kill 1/3 of crew, abort attacks
  7. Leave army, return to Earth - Potter + Mandella experience future shock
  8. Mandella stays with Marygay's family; family gets attacked and killed
  9. Return to Mandella's mom - she does of illness
  10. Rejoin army as instructors on Luna. They immediately get transferred to a strick force
  11. Attack goes poorly; Potter + Mandella are amputees and sent to Heaven to regrow limbs and recover
  12. Marygay + Mandella are separated on separate strike forces
  13. Travel to the farthest known gate
  14. Set up base + wait for Taurans to attack
  15. Outlast Tauren attack, return to Starbase
  16. Meets "Man", learns the war is over and was a big mistake
  17. Reunited with Marygay on Middle Finger

My Highlights

‘Man was born into barbarism, when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh.’ — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Relativity propped it up, at least gave it the illusion of being there … the way all reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.

Since the planet rotated rather slowly — once every ten and one-half days — a ‘stationary’ orbit for the ship had to be 150,000 klicks out. This made the people in the ship feel quite secure, with 6,000 miles of rock and 90,000 miles of space between them and the enemy. But it meant a whole second’s time lag in communication between us on the ground and the ship’s battle computer. A person could get awful dead while that neutrino pulse crawled up and back.

‘Sarge, tell that computer to do something! We’re gonna get—’
‘Oh, shut up, Mandella. Trust in th’ lord.’
‘Lord’ was definitely lower-case when Cortez said it.

… I felt my gorge rising and knew that all the lurid training tapes, all the horrible deaths in training accidents, hadn’t prepared me for this sudden reality … that I had a magic wand that I could point at a life and make it a smoking piece of half-raw meat; I wasn’t a soldier nor ever wanted to be one nor ever would want—

‘Night.’ It’s almost impossible to get sexually excited inside a suit, with the relief tube and all the silver chloride sensors poking you, but somehow this was my body’s response to the emotional impotence, maybe remembering more pleasant sleeps with Marygay, maybe feeling that in the midst of all this death, personal death could be very soon, cranking up the procreative derrick for one last try … lovely thoughts like this.

I fell asleep and dreamed that I was a machine, mimicking the functions of life, creaking and clanking my clumsy way through a world, people too polite to say anything but giggling behind my back, and the little man who sat inside my head pulling the levers and clutches and watching the dials, he was hopelessly mad and was storing up hurts for the day—

I hardly heard him for trying to keep track of what was going on in my skull. I knew it was just post-hypnotic suggestion, even remembered the session in Missouri when they’d implanted it, but that didn’t make it any less compelling. My mind reeled under the strong pseudo-memories: shaggy hulks that were Taurans (not at all what we now knew they looked like) boarding a colonists’ vessel, eating babies while mothers watched in screaming terror (the colonists never took babies; they wouldn’t stand the acceleration), then raping the women to death with huge veined purple members (ridiculous that they would feel desire for humans), holding the men down while they plucked flesh from their living bodies and gobbled it (as if they could assimilate the alien protein) … a hundred grisly details as sharply remembered as the events of a minute ago, ridiculously overdone and logically absurd. But while my conscious mind was rejecting the silliness, somewhere much deeper, down in that sleeping animal where we keep our real motives and morals, something was thirsting for alien blood, secure in the conviction that the noblest thing a man could do would be to die killing one of those horrible monsters

I spent a long time after that telling myself over and over that it hadn’t been me who so gleefully carved up those frightened, stampeding creatures. Back in the twentieth century, they had established to everybody’s satisfaction that ‘I was just following orders’ was an inadequate excuse for inhuman contact … but what can you do when the orders come from deep down in that puppet master of the unconscious?

While I was lying there being squeezed, a silly thought took hold of my brain and went round and round like a charge in a superconductor: according to military formalism, the conduct of war divides neatly into two categories, tactics and logistics. Logistics has to do with moving troops and feeding them and just about everything except the actual fighting, which is tactics. And now we’re fighting, but we don’t have a tactical computer to guide us through attack and defense, just a huge, super-efficient pacifistic cybernetic grocery clerk of a logistic, mark that word, logistic computer. The other side of my brain, perhaps not quite as pinched, would argue that it doesn’t matter what name you give to a computer, it’s a pile of memory crystals, logic banks, nuts and bolts … If you program it to be Genghis Khan, it is a tactical computer, even if its usual function is to monitor the stock market or control sewage conversion. But the other voice was obdurate and said by that kind of reasoning, a man is only a hank of hair and a piece of bone and some stringy meat; and no matter what kind of a man he is, if you teach him well, you can take a Zen monk and turn him into a slavering bloodthirsty warrior.

‘She’s very pretty.’ A remarkable observation, her body torn and caked with crusting blood, her face smeared where I had tried to wipe away the tears. I suppose a doctor or a woman or a lover can look beneath that and see beauty.

‘One cannot make command decisions simply by assessing the tactical situation and going ahead with whatever course of action will do the most harm to the enemy with a minimum of death and damage to your own men and material. Modern warfare has become very complex, especially during the last century. Wars are won not by a simple series of battles won, but by a complex interrelationship among military victory, economic pressures, logistic maneuvering, access to the enemy’s information, political postures — dozens, literally dozens of factors.’

‘I hope none of you ever has to face such a decision. When we get back to Stargate, I will in all probability be court-martialed for cowardice under fire. But I honestly believe that the information that may be gained from analysis of the damage to the Anniversary is more important than the destruction of this one Tauran base.’ He sat up straight. ‘More important than one soldier’s career.’

‘William, face it. It’s a miracle she survived to get into surgery. So there’s a big chance she won’t make it back to Earth. It’s sad; she’s a special person, the special person to you, maybe. But we’ve had so much death … you ought to be getting used to it, come to terms with it.’
I took a long pull at my drink, identical to hers except for the citric acid. ‘You’re getting pretty hard-boiled.’
‘Maybe … no. Just realistic. I have a feeling we’re headed for a lot more death and sorrow.’

‘I don’t know. If they could condition us to kill on cue, they can condition us to do almost anything. Re-enlist.’

‘I’m twenty-three, so I was still in diapers when you people left for Aleph … to begin with, how many of you are homosexual?’
Nobody.
‘That doesn’t really surprise me. I am, of course. I guess about a third of everybody in Europe and America is. ‘Most governments encourage homosexuality — the United Nations is neutral, leaves it up to the individual countries — they encourage homolife mainly because it’s the one sure method of birth control.’
That seemed specious to me. Our method of birth control in the army is pretty foolproof: all men making a deposit in the sperm bank, and then vasectomy.

‘Of course, an illegal market developed, and soon there was great inequality in the amount of food people in various strata of society consumed. A vengeance group in Ecuador, the Imparciales, systematically began to assassinate people who appeared to be well-fed. The idea caught on pretty quickly, and in a few months there was a full-scale, undeclared class war going on all over the world. The United Nations managed to get things back under control in a year or so, by which time the population was down to four billion, crops were more or less recovered, and the food crisis was over.

‘Incidentally, the General translated the money coming to you into dollars just for your own convenience. The world has only one currency now, calories. Your thirty-two thousand dollars comes to about three thousand million calories. Or three million k’s, kilocalories.

‘Also, we no longer have the abundance of electrical power I remember from boyhood … probably a good deal less than you remember. There are only a few places in the world where you can have power all day and night. They keep saying it’s a temporary situation, but it’s been going on for over a decade.’

> Wars in the past often accelerated social reform, provided technological benefits, even sparked artistic activity. This one, however, seemed tailor-made to provide none of these positive by-products.

And in the past, people whose country was at war were constantly in contact with the war. The newspapers would be full of reports, veterans would return from the front; sometimes the front would move right into town, invaders marching down Main Street or bombs whistling through the night air — but always the sense of either working toward victory or at least delaying defeat. The enemy was a tangible thing, a propagandist’s monster whom you could understand, whom you could hate. But this war … the enemy was a curious organism only vaguely understood, more often the subject of cartoons than nightmares. The main effect of the war on the home front was economic, unemotional — more taxes but more jobs as well. After twenty-two years, only twenty-seven returned veterans; not enough to make a decent parade. The most important fact about the war to most people was that if it ended suddenly, Earth’s economy would collapse.

We got into a discussion about the war, with a bunch of people who knew Marygay and I were veterans. It’s hard to describe their attitude, which was pretty uniform. They were angry in an abstract way that it took so much tax money to support; they were convinced that the Taurans would never be any danger to Earth; but they all knew that nearly half the jobs in the world were associated with the war, and if it stopped, everything would fall apart.

Every time I’ve come down to Earth the past ten years, I’ve wondered whether she’d still be there. Neither of us had enough money to keep in very close touch.’ He had told us in Geneva that a letter from Luna to Earth cost $100 postage — plus $5,000 tax. It discouraged communication with what the UN considered to be a bunch of regrettably necessary anarchists.

Desperate fun, as I said. Unless the war changed radically, our chances of surviving the next three years were microscopic. We were remarkably healthy victims of a terminal disease, trying to cram a lifetime of sensation into a half of a year.

‘It doesn’t add up, though. Why would they haul me all the way from Heaven to take a chance on my “shaping up,” when probably a third of the people here on Stargate are better officer material? God, the military mind!’ ‘I suspect the bureaucratic mind, at least, had something to do with it. You have an embarrassing amount of seniority to be a footsoldier.’

Perhaps this statement is true of any hierarchical structure, but certainly of businesses:

> A good sign that an army has been around too long is that it starts getting top-heavy with officers.

One thing we didn’t have to worry about in this war was enemy agents. With a good coat of paint, a Tauran might be able to disguise himself as an ambulatory mushroom. Bound to raise suspicions.

Hilleboe had called them to attention and was dutifully telling them what a good commander I was going to be; that I’d been in the war from the beginning, and if they intended to survive through their enlistment they had better follow my example. She didn’t mention that I was a mediocre soldier with a talent for getting missed.

‘Part of UNEF. Only has authority on Earth.’ She took a deep sniff at the empty capsule. ‘The idea was to keep people from making babies the biological way. Because, A, people showed a regrettable lack of sense in choosing their genetic partner. And B, the Council saw that racial differences had an unnecessarily divisive effect on humanity; with total control over births, they could make everybody the same race in a few generations.’

The art of chastising subordinates is a delicate art. I could see that I’d have to keep reminding Hilleboe that she wasn’t in charge.

‘As you will read in this book, the war ended 221 years ago. Accordingly, this is the year 220. Old style, of course, it is 3138 ad ‘You are the last group of soldiers to return. When you leave here, I will leave as well. And destroy Stargate. It exists only as a rendezvous point for returnees and as a monument to human stupidity. And shame. As you will read. Destroying it will be a cleansing.’ He stopped speaking and the woman started without a pause. ‘I am sorry for what you’ve been through and wish I could say that it was for good cause, but as you will read, it was not.

The 1143-year-long war had been begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate. Once they could talk, the first question was ‘Why did you start this thing?’ and the answer was ‘Me?’

‘Say, bartender.’
‘Yes, Major?’ ‘Do you know of a place called Middle Finger? Is it still there?’
‘Of course it is. Where else would it be?’ Reasonable question. ‘A very nice place. Garden planet. Some people don’t think it’s exciting enough.’

Summary

Major Characters

  • William Mandella
  • Marygay Potter
  • Sgt Cortes

Most other characters appear and die quickly.

Outline

When I read fiction, I make an outline as a memory aide. If you don't want to see any spoilers, skip this section.

  1. Boot camp - elite conscripts w/ IQ over 150
  2. Sent to Charon - dark + cold - for training in battle suits
  3. Training + Deaths + Graduation
  4. Sent to Starbase for construction
  5. Sent to first battle against the Taurans - massive slaughter - one escapes
  6. Second battle - advanced weapons used, kill 1/3 of crew, abort attacks
  7. Leave army, return to Earth - Potter + Mandella experience future shock
  8. Mandella stays with Marygay's family; family gets attacked and killed
  9. Return to Mandella's mom - she does of illness
  10. Rejoin army as instructors on Luna. They immediately get transferred to a strick force
  11. Attack goes poorly; Potter + Mandella are amputees and sent to Heaven to regrow limbs and recover
  12. Marygay + Mandella are separated on separate strike forces
  13. Travel to the farthest known gate
  14. Set up base + wait for Taurans to attack
  15. Outlast Tauren attack, return to Starbase
  16. Meets "Man", learns the war is over and was a big mistake
  17. Reunited with Marygay on Middle Finger

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The Forever War
By Joe Haldeman
 

What I'm Reading: December 2018

Flashman

Flashman