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Topic: Joe Haldeman

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Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Subject: Joe Haldeman
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Well, I've decided to try for another author discussion.  I believe I have mentioned it before, but one of my favorite authors is Joe Haldeman.  I consider him to be the best Hard SF writer alive today.  Interestingly enough, I found out about him from my 12th grade English teacher.  That was a pretty good class...he also let me do my final paper on Dune.  Anyway, I have read 25 books by Haldeman, and I'll just mention a few here:

The Forever War - The classic that made Haldeman's career.  It is almost an anti-story to the usual type of military SF.  The horrors of war are not glossed over at all.  As a combat veteran, Haldeman knows his gore, but the story also has its high points and a hopeful ending.

Buying Time - Long life is enabled...though every ten years you have to turn your entire fortune over to an evil corporation.  Very complex and fascinatig story.  Also, a street in a shady neighborhood comes up at one point...I live on a street by the same name :p

Camouflage - Poweful alien beings re mingling in with human society.  Neat story, but much more might spoil it.

I believe I have read every one of Joe Haldeman' books, except part III of Marsbound and two old books written under the name Robert Graham I can't find.  I'd be happy to discuss any or all of them. 

Final note: I started a Haldeman group on Facebook last year...what do you know, Joe himself joined!  I doubt if he spends much time on facebook, but I was honored.  His son provided some pictures for the group as well.



Last Edited on: 11/8/08 6:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
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I have read some Haldeman.  The Forever War and Forever Peace. Also Camoflage, which I liked.  It was a serial in Analog.  I also rea an early effort.  Forget teh name, it wa  about a magic ring a guy had that enabled him to get people to do his bidding.  Similar to a book by Damon Knight called : Why Do Birds..."

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Matt -

As far as I know, Joe and Gay never had any children. Could it have been his nephew-in-law?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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As far as I know, Joe and Gay never had any children. Could it have been his nephew-in-law?

I don't remember now.  Maybe I just assumed it was his son because of the same last name...I have since closed my facebook account, so I can't easily check.

it was about a magic ring a guy had that enabled him to get people to do his bidding.

Could that be Tool of the Trade?  The main character was a deep cover Soviet agent in the U.S. during the Cold War and had created a device that emitted ultrasonic waves that would hypnotize people and allow him to give them any command.  It was in a watch, though, not a ring.  I think this was the first book of Haldeman's I read, and still one of my favorites.

I liked Forever Peace as well.  Have you heard in the news about this new huge super-collider that's opening up?  Some people are saying it's dangerous and I am reminded of life following art :)

 

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Okay, his name sounded familiar (though I haven't read any of his books).  My friend has taken 1 or 2 creative writing classes with him, and she LOVES him. :)

(And for someone who would like to get to know his writing but doesn't know where to start, what book(s) would you recommend?)



Last Edited on: 11/9/08 9:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/9/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Your friend is very fortunate to take classes with Haldeman!  I know he teaches a semester a year at MIT, and is very popular.  I would highly recommend his collection: A Separate War and Other Stories  for someone reading Haldeman for the first time.  It has a lot of stuff from throughout his career.

All of his short story collections are pretty good, and you can't go wrong with reading The Forever War as that's still his most prominent work.  I will warn you that War Year (a novella) and the novel 1968 are not science fiction, they are more general fiction dealing with the Vietnam war from a soldier/vet's perspective.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/9/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Here are Haldeman's collections that I remember:

1) Infinite Dreams

2) Dealing in Futures

3) None So Blind (I think this one includes The Hemingway Hoax, but it is an abridged version and you'll want to read the entire novel separately)

4) A Separate War and other stories

5) War Stories - released about the same time as A Separate War and has some of the same material, which was a little confusing.

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Yup -- my friend attended MIT. :)  She's currently taking time off to work on her own writing.

Thanks for the recommendations -- I'll look into them.

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
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I forgot to mention that my favorite Haldeman (so far) is 'Camouflage' - I think it begs for a sequel. :-)

Followed closely by his 'Worlds' trilogy.

Tried to read '1968' (since I'm a completist) but I couldn't get through it.

By the way - I have 'None So Blind' and 'A Seperate War and Other Stories' on my bookshelf.

Hint :-)

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Karen -- I took the hint.  It looks like someone else took "A Separate War" before I could, though. :)