Forever Free

Joe Haldeman
Forever Free Cover

Forever Free


I should start by saying that if you have not read "The Forever War" and you do not want the ending to be spoiled, you should probably stop reading now.

I find that I have to give, in quick succession, faint praise to two authors who know a lot more about military service than I. I am forced to the conclusion that military service is far less pleasant than I would like to think.

This is just an instance of the human condition and particularly, the American one. We would like happy endings and pleasant futures, when most rational analysis would suggest that these are unlikely.

"Forever Free" is Joe Haldeman's direct sequel to his famous "The Forwever War". His "Forever Peace" is set in the same universe, but shares no main characters. After the Forever War ends, William Mandella and his wife Marygay live and raise their two kids under the thumbs of Man; for the War has lasted so long than humanity is mostly run by the clones of one person, collectively called Man, and the "friendly" similar collective of the Taurans who were humanities antagonists during the War. Mandella and other old-fashioned humans resolve to find some other place to live that is not so dominated by Man.

Once out in deep space, strange events happen that seem to be against the known laws of physics. Mandella and his friends must try to figure out what is going on.

I don't intend to spoil this book as I did the previous one. Let me just say that one is left with a similar feeling as after reading "The Forever War": the ending is logical and not unreasonable, and yet not really pleasant or enjoyable.

So, for a view on how the future of humanity may unfold, I recommend this book. I suspect I will not wish to read it again.