The Forever War
by Joe Haldeman

The story of a young man who gets drafted to fight aliens in deep space. He ages only a few years while centuries pass on the Earth. He returns to find the whole planet under martial law, crime and unemployment are rampant, and homosexuality is encouraged as a way to keep the population down. He reenlists.

The difficulties of surviving in space suits on frozen planets are well described as are the battles. The characters have nothing about them to make you prefer their side to the anonymous aliens. They are all amoral conformists who do not question authority.

I was misled into thinking this was a libertarian book. It isnít. At the end we learn the war was unnecessary and was provoked be the Earthís military brass for selfish reasons, but that is hardly surprising, and it is not followed up by an anti-state moral.

Year Read: 2001

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