This week’s book recommendation is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. First published in 1974, this book quickly became a staple in science fiction. I first read it a few years ago and was surprised at how relevant the story remains. A lot of early science fiction becomes dated when trying to predict the future. Even some science fiction written today falls victim to the exponential growth of technology, but The Forever War is a well-written novel that succeeds in its commentary on the human race. Its predictions may never come to pass, but they are not dated and remain intriguing. Some of them may actually be more relevant now than they were in 1974. Though I must admit, I never would have known this book was a critique of the Vietman war if someone didn’t tell me that it was.
The story follows a soldier who travels across the galaxy fighting a race of aliens that humanity is at war with. Party of the issue is that even though he is fighting the enemy, he has never seen them. Also, every time he travels via the speed of light, he ages slower than the rest of those who remain on planet Earth and other colonies. Scientifically accurate and an intricately hard concept to keep in a story but it is done well here. This, and other concepts, make this book extremely interesting.
If you like science fiction, check this book out. The use of time dilation is fairly accurate and incredibly well used to tell the story. Traveling at the speed of light can do crazy things to a person. Specifically the way it effects their lifespan in comparison to others.