Forever Peace
by Joe Haldeman

The first half of this sci-fi novel is depressing. The central characters are not likable. An impossible machine, controlled by the state can produce anything. The government uses it to centrally control production and distribution of everything in this welfare state. Nobody has to work, except for a couple years of required military service. This dystopia, a totalitarian imperialism centered in Washington DC, controls most of the world through advanced military equipment operated by draftees who “jack” their minds together. They remotely control advanced robots on missions to wipe out the remaining rebels in Central America, South America, and Africa. Just as this depressing story seems to be coming to an end, a new problem arises, which is first discovered by the central characters (a black physicist who is serving his military conscription time as a unit leader of one of the groups who operate the war robots, and his girlfriend who is also a scientist and professor at the same university in Texas where the black physicist teaches). It turns out that a previously unforeseen consequence of the largest scientific experiment in history, called the Jupiter Project, will destroy the universe if it isn’t stopped by September. They submit a paper with proof of this, but the paper is rejected and assassins are sent to kill them. At this point they become heroes trying desperately to save everything. An evil religious group called the Hammer of God has members in high positions throughout the government and military and they think the end of the universe would be a good thing. The writing is very good. The book won the Hugo Award for 1997.

Year Read: 2002


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