Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/the-forever-war-pdf-summary/
We all have that anger and impatience engrained within us. Sometimes we feel engrossed by the political reality that is more often than not manipulative.
It’s unnecessary to embellish this global stalemate but instead, offer a viable solution.
The fictional premise in this classic should not be construed as an effort for veering off course but as an attempt to uphold essential principles.
Who Should Read “The Forever War”? And Why?The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was originally published in 1977, and since then has raised many eyebrows across the world due to its questionable narrative.
With regards to the modern political system, this novel is like a wake-up call for the upcoming generations.
With that being said, we firmly acknowledge the possibility of a political standoff – which makes this book suitable for everyone eager to expand.
Joe Haldeman BiographyJoe William Haldeman is a renowned American science fiction author born on June 9th, 1943. He has been garnering accolades for his incredible achievements in the science-fiction realm.
As the recipient of the Hugo Award and Nebula Award, he continues to mesmerize its readers with astonishing wording.
PlotWilliam Mandella is the central character and the very instigator of the science-fiction narrative. A man who is lauded as one of the top thinkers, military personnel, and fitness instructors. Due to his unvarnished stature, he became a notable figure in the upper circles.
The present predicament impels him to enlist in the army or the United Armed Services and join the elite group. For all we know, the battle that precedes should put an end to the deceitful Tauran aliens.
The scope of this war or military stalemate stretches beyond an average lifespan and practically spans over a millennium. Mandella participates in all areas of battle from the outset to the very end thanks to travel wormholes, which act as time-machines.
His seemingly exposed disgust for the war but that leaves little room for alternative action.
The name “The Forever War” is taken within the context of brutal and eccentric encounters that shape and try to subvert a political system.
The likes of Mandella are aware that the stretch of war will leave a mark on the society as a whole and affect the civilians.
Among other things, Mandella receives a notification that he’ll be the first line of defense against the invaders.
The military informs him of their arch enemy and why the elite group will be the first to face this deadly threat. The training he receives prior to the battle is in the realm of strategic and physical preparation, because no one is absolutely sure of the storm that could decimate the entire population.
The training unfolds in sub-zero temperatures in order to imitate the conditions that may befall the warriors.
The Army discovers that the collapsars-stars provide little to no heat, therefore, the group must be ready for battle in the most hospitable of environments.
Mandella and his compatriots feel that some parts of the training are ridiculous but are in no position to disobey their commanders. Such audacity could result in immediate execution.
The whole process is underway, and the military officials begin to plan the mission.
It takes them a couple of months to put the finishing touches to the assignment and launch a counter attack.
When the elites set their foot on Earth, they detect egregious behavior inflamed by aggressive society. Their homeplace is brewing, and they don’t know whether the people are justifiably outraged.
Mandella is heartbroken when he sees his mother, who has grown older.
He also can’t believe his eyes when he discovers that his mom is engaged in a relationship with another woman. Also, a global twist emerges as a result of overpopulation and acceptance of alternative sexual genders.
Marygay Potter, Mandella’s sweetheart, feel like they don’t belong in this new world order.
This form of isolation brings about changes in their behavior. Meanwhile, Mandella’s mother passes away on her seventieth birthday after being labeled as unworthy of receiving medical care.
Mandella decides to pay a visit to Marygay’s family residing in South Dakota.
Upon arrival, they lay eyes upon their dead parents, apparently killed by raiders. With little options in mind, they hit the road while harboring doubts regarding the prospect of ending their military involvement.
They eventually come to the conclusion that is better to have one enemy, than be surrounded by thousands. They need to keep plugging away and refrain from making stupid moves which could mean death.
They receive a task, which doesn’t fall under the category of “easy” as they hoped. Keenly aware that refusal is not an option, they are designated to lead combat platoons. In the line of duty, both of them end up severely injured.
They are taken to “Heaven” – a military hospital and resort center to recover from their injuries. Mandella loses a leg, while Marygay has only one arm left. In the meantime, they ponder about their lives after the surgery and how that will affect them.
They are shocked once they discover that due to time-dilation, medicine has advanced in helping people grow new limbs. It doesn’t take them long, and both Mandella and Marygay are back on their feet with a new assignment on their hands.
Now, however, they have different tasks. It’s been more than 200 years since the war began, but this is the first time they’ll be facing separation. They fear the possibility of never seeing one another and try to challenge this decision.
In order to root out evil, they are forced to say goodbye and run into the hellfire of battle.
War rages, but the colossal battle is yet to commence.
Mandella heads over to the launch-sight, where the mission should take a full swing. He is apprised of a crash-course labeled as the “can” which was created a few weeks before his arrival.
The “can” is primarily designed to instill information into a user’s brain to give them the upper hand in the Major of Strike in 2458.
It comes to pass that Mandella’s training takes place in a gas tank that contains a lot of insights regarding the battles he fought, challenges he surmounted, etc. It also encompasses the newly-developed weaponry that ought to be the main incentive for achieving victory.
When Mandella is reinstated into the military, he realizes that he is the only heterosexual among other things. He feels alienated from society and unfitting.
In addition, Mandella is at least a couple of hundred years older than his military colleagues, which comes as a cultural shock to him. Even the language he speaks is not accommodated to this new era, and everyone strains to understand his points.
Cultural barriers aside, Mandella is appointed as the new leading commander that should take control over a freezing planet.
On that spot, they should lay the groundworks for a base that should be able to withstand potential Tauran attack and ward off the enemy.
The Taurans arrive at the planet and manage to take away a huge victory mostly due to the inability of Mandella to instill his authority. With the chain of command in chaos, Mandella’s company is annihilated.
The surviving few take a long 10-month trip to Stargate only to bear witness to total reorganization. Earth also suffered a complete overhaul in terms of cloning and the development of single consciousness.
Upon arriving home, they are greeted with an explanation that the 1143 year-long war was merely fueled by ill-defined concepts and wrong ideas.
It all boils down to the possibility of coming to peaceful terms with the Taurans.
The Forever War EpilogueOnce all cards are placed on the table, Mandella takes in the information and gets to reminiscing. He immediately realizes that the leaders’ rhetoric of war as the single tool for unification was the main trigger to this agony.
The survivors are given the freedom to choose what to do, where to live, and how to adjust their lives. They are no longer duty-bound to follow order and military protocol.
Mandella runs through his personnel file and finds a note from Marygay that she is waiting for him. During this time, she has been utilizing the space-cruiser as a time machine.
Upon arrival and first after-war encounter with Mandella, five years have passed. They too end up having children roughly 1500 years after Mandella first bump into Marygay.
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"The Forever War PDF Quotes"[bctt tweet="Science fiction as a genre has the benefit of being able to act as parable, to set up a story at a remove so you can make a real-world point without people throwing up a wall in front of it." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“Heaven was a lovely, unspoiled Earth-like world; what Earth might have been like if men had treated her with compassion instead of lust.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“I called to the waiter, ‘bring me one of those Antares things.’ Sitting here in a bar with an asexual cyborg who is probably the only other normal person on the whole goddamned planet.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“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.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical ReviewWe really were on the fence while reading this novel. You never know what’s coming next and you should allow the storyline to sink in.
Having said that, we find it highly enjoyable and even insightful with regards to our constant need for guidance.