This is one of my favorite science fiction novels. Though it is a completely different story - it *is* in many ways a sequel to his Forever War. Haldeman explores the notion of a lasting peace and how humanity might achieve such a lasting peace.
The setting is our world divided by conflict between the haves and the have-nots. The economically advanced nations fight their wars by sending in Soldierboys - robots controlled by mind-meshed soldiers. The have-nots respond with guerilla warfare and whatever weaponry they have on hand. Meanwhile there is a secret science project going on on the moons of Jupiter in an attempt to recreate the Big Bang and a shadowy group called the Enders who are trying to bring on the End of things.
If the Enders succeed then there will be Forever Peace - simply being the absence of anyone or anything. The other road to Forever Peace involves true understanding and it is that path that Haldeman presents in this book and which I think we really need in our world.
Julian Class is a full-time professor and part-time combat veteran who spends a third of each month virtually wired to a robotic "soldierboy." The soldierboys, along with flyboys and other advanced constructs, allow the U.S. to wage a remotely controlled war against constant uprisings in the Third World. The conflicts are largely driven by the so-called First World countries' access to nanoforges--devices that can almost instantly manufacture any product imaginable, given the proper raw materials--and the Third World countries' lack of access to these devices. But even as Julian learns that the consensual reality shared by soldierboy operators can lead to universal peace, the nanoforges create a way for humanity to utterly destroy itself, and it will be a race against time to see which will happen first. Although Forever Peace bears a title similar to Joe Haldeman's classic novel The Forever War, he says it's not a sequel.
Not a sequel, but one of the possible futures in parallel with the Forever War. This book tossed around several interesting concepts and stitches them together more-or-less successfully. Despite the turns in the plot, I found myself enjoying this book.
Decent story and plot, horribly written. Haldeman had a few instant classics but his quality has dropped off tremendously.