Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Ongoing Book Discussion Discussion

Update 6/14/08: I'm going through some pangs over the idea of discussing this book. Personally, I like Joe Haldeman. I always got along better with his late brother, Jack, and Joe and I are nothing like friends — if he remembers me at all, it's probably for one time when I got in his face and was particularly assinine while drunk, for which incident I've never had the opportunity to apologize — but I stand in awe of his body of work and have the greatest respect for Mr. Haldeman's accomplishments as an author, while also having the greatest appreciation for all his efforts to try to make SFWA something other than some sort of silly hyperfanboy marching and chowder society.


I've read The Forever War at least three times now: once in the form of a string of short stories in Analog, once in the original St. Martin's hardcover, and most recently in the 1997 Avon "definitive" with "everything restored" hardcover edition. Somehow, this latest reading leaves me with the feeling that this was a much better book thirty years ago.

Am I simply getting crankier and more critical with age, or is The Forever War one of those 1970s things that just plain hasn't aged well? There are entire classes of similar cultural icons — Tiny Tim, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, In-a-gadda-da-vida, the movie, The Magic Christian — that I now find I can only explain to my children by saying, "It was the Sixties (or Seventies). Drugs were involved."

Does The Forever War fall into that category, and should I give up on my efforts to convince The Kid that it's worth reading now?

Your thoughts, s'il vous plait.

Original post 6/7/08
As I've said many times before, I read omnivorously and constantly. At the moment, along with everything else, I'm re-reading Joe Haldeman's multiple award-winning science fiction novel, The Forever War.

Is anyone else interested in discussing this one: what works, what doesn't, what you liked about it, what you hated about it? If so, let's meet back here next Saturday, 6/14/08.

Also, do you have any recommendations for any other books that might be worth doing as a Mongolian cluster group read 'n' discuss?