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Reading Room

Your quiet and comfy lounge to pick up a great book and discuss sci-fi literature.

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Old Apr 6, 2009, 03:36 PM   #1
HighWiredSith
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The Forever War

Anyone read this book? For some reason, I felt like SF would enjoy this one, if you haven't already (if not, you should pick it up, read it before the imminent movie screws up the experience). Someone gave a new print of it for Christmas, either an anniversary print or maybe just a reprint in lieu of the film that Ridley Scott has talked about making later this year or next. Haven't read it in at least fifteen years. Recalled enjoying it, did not recall any of the larger themes of the book. Considering current events of the past 7 or 8 years, I'm surprised it's taken someone this long to mine this classic SF novel for the big screen.

I started reading Saturday and finished on my lunch break today. It's somewhat dated and can seem a little simplistic on the surface (a Vietnam story retold in a SF context) but I found it to be dramatically relevant in today's climate.

This is not the same cover that I have - wish I could find a pic of the newest cover, great cover art.

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Old Apr 6, 2009, 03:47 PM   #2
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: The Forever War

It was a pretty good read. They're making a movie now?
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Old Apr 6, 2009, 09:19 PM   #3
Iwata
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Re: The Forever War

The novel's pretty good, and I suggest the "companion" graphic novel as well. They complement each other beautifuly.

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Old Apr 7, 2009, 05:17 AM   #4
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: The Forever War

They made a graphic novel now?
As for it being "dated:" how so? A military SF novel that was inspired by the author's experience in the US-Vietnam war is no more inherently dated than a military SF novel based on the author's impressions of WWII, or for that matter the author's attachment to the works of Kipling. Unless you mean stylistically. Even in that sense, I don't recall it indulging in any of the more egregious excesses of New Wave SF i.e. purple prose *IN SPACE!*

The novel is a very good metaphor for the very institution of war. The war only ends when all war ends. The Forever War isn't Vietnam- it is war as an institution and our hero is Phil Ochs' Universal Soldier. Like the song, the novel was written in the shadow of the US-Vietnam War but it is not about Vietnam. Not just Vietnam anyway. The message certainly resonates more while our government is fighting a war that is as absurd as the US-Vietnam war and today's murderous imperialist adventure.

It's not as much of a fun adventure story as say "Starship Troopers," but it most certainly has a less simplistic take on war.

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Apr 7, 2009 at 08:43 AM. Reason: grammer
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 06:53 AM   #5
Iwata
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Re: The Forever War

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF_not_Sci-Fi
They made a graphic novel now?

They sure did, way back in 1988. They were some of my favourite books growing up (there are three volumes), and they still have place of honour in my shelf.

Sadly, I never could find "Forever Free" nor "New Beginning", the sequels to "Forever War". Anyone read them?
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 08:22 AM   #6
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: The Forever War

I've seen one or two of them around in used book shops but never picked them up. Try Amazon or Half.

EDIT: here you go!
http://product.half.ebay.com/Forever...nfoQQprZ743183

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Apr 7, 2009 at 08:36 AM.
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 04:25 PM   #7
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Forever War

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF_not_Sci-Fi
They made a graphic novel now?
As for it being "dated:" how so?

In terms of the technology and even some of the cultural references, the novel can seem quite dated at times, although it does tend to be heavy into quantum physics which I can only assume have not changed in the last 40 years.

It was written the early 1970's so it's certainly to be expected but I've known readers who were actually put of by SF that failed to predict technological and social trends and changes 40 years in the past. Personally, I love reading classic science fiction and enjoy contemplating what someone from 1970 imagined 1997 would look like. Like all great SF literature, the themes are timeless. This book is no exception.
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 06:49 AM   #8
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: The Forever War

Didn't Asimov have the microcomputer be invented tens of thousands of years in the future in Foundation?
That sort of thing is only really bothersome when it pops up in SF that is more about technology than society. Jules Verne can only be read as a curiosity these days while HG Wells still holds up pretty well.
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 08:27 AM   #9
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Forever War

Probably Ė Asimov seemed to enjoy speculating, often going to great lengths to describe gadgets, clothing, and technology oftentimes that had no direct bearing on his story; cigarettes that light themselves when you inhale, clothing that opens and closes when you touch it, intricate future transit systems, etc. As a result, his writing can seem severely dated and for a lot of readers lose its significance. Weíve talked about this before, but Iíve always loved the contrasting styles inherent in Asimovís two primary SF writing periods, the 1950ís and the 1980ís, Golden Age SF vs. Post-Star Wars SF.
Iíve noticed that many modern SF writers tend to avoid technology speculation. We live in an age where technology has gone through massive leaps in evolution in a relatively short span of time. Who, as few as fifteen years ago, could have predicted the impact of digitalization in the entertainment industry or the signficance of the internet or, on the flip side, the lack of progress in our space programs. Surely we should have colonized the moon by now but weíve yet to make a return trip in nearly 40 years.
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 08:29 AM   #10
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Forever War

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwata
The novel's pretty good, and I suggest the "companion" graphic novel as well. They complement each other beautifuly.


Nice, but the fight suit is all wrong and so are the drop ships.
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 08:38 AM   #11
Iwata
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Re: The Forever War

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighWiredSith
Iíve noticed that many modern SF writers tend to avoid technology speculation. We live in an age where technology has gone through massive leaps in evolution in a relatively short span of time. Who, as few as fifteen years ago, could have predicted the impact of digitalization in the entertainment industry or the signficance of the internet or, on the flip side, the lack of progress in our space programs. Surely we should have colonized the moon by now but weíve yet to make a return trip in nearly 40 years.

What the world needs is another world war.
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 12:23 PM   #12
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: The Forever War

Hah! If the cold war didn't spur us to build moon bases, then I doubt a world war will. What strategic advantages would such a thing give us that couldn't be more easily achieved?

The reason that we haven't colonized the moon is because there is no conceivable reason to colonize the moon.
If we have another World War it'll only make the earth that much more difficult to colonize by a saner spacefaring species after we've blasted ourselves to smithereens.

Any space excursions beyond earth orbit are done for scientific purposes. Robots fulfill these functions much more cheaply and effectively than manned missions do. Thus no ****ing moon bases.

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Apr 18, 2009 at 01:03 PM.
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Old Apr 18, 2009, 04:41 AM   #13
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Re: The Forever War

Plus i think that forty years ago, after spending BILLIONS.....someone finally found the truth. That the moon holds no interesting secrets. There's nothing there. Just dust and rocks.
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Old Apr 18, 2009, 01:05 PM   #14
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Re: The Forever War

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5smPcN8AoE
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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