Your audiobook is waiting…

Forever Peace

Narrated by: George Wilson
Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (581 ratings)
Regular price: $32.87
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Drawing on his own war experiences, Vietnam veteran Joe Haldeman creates stunning works of science fiction. Forever Peace is not a sequel to his previous award-winning work, The Forever War, but it deals with similarly provocative issues. When it was published, Forever Peace was chosen as the Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. It also won the coveted Hugo Award.

War in the 21st century is fought by "soldierboys". Remote-controlled mechanical monsters, they are run by human soldiers who hard-wire their brains together to form each unit. Julian is one of these dedicated soldiers, until he inadvertently kills a young boy. Now he struggles to understand how this has changed his mind.

Forever Peace is a riveting portrayal of the effects of collective consciousness, and it offers some tantalizing revelations. Narrator George Wilson's skillful performance weaves together the elements of futuristic technology with the drama of a trained soldier reconciling basic human needs.

©1997 Joe Haldeman (P)2000 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1998
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1998

"At once a hard science, military, and political thriller, this book presents a thoughtful and hopeful solution to ending war in the 21st century. Essential for sf collections." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    199
  • 4 Stars
    213
  • 3 Stars
    123
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    207
  • 4 Stars
    156
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    146
  • 4 Stars
    161
  • 3 Stars
    91
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    16
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Noah
  • Bryan, TX, United States
  • 08-25-10

Good, but not as good as The Forever War

In terms of sheer writing skill, and the ability to portray the raw tragedy, loneliness, and emptiness of being a soldier, Joe Haldeman is without equal. This book is melancholy, depressing, and despairing. It is not, however, as good as The Forever War, and in fact has no relation to that epochal work.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

'Walk a mile in their shoes' Syndrome

This book is a spiritual, if not narrative, sequel to Haldeman’s 1975 “Forever War”. Both novels won the Hugo & Nebula, and explore the theme of war’s futility, although from different perspectives and in separate story-worlds. Readers expecting a continuation of Forever War’s interstellar conflict or relativistic time dilation effects, will see that instead this story features a strictly terrestrial struggle between the wealthy nations, fueled by effortless nano-factory produced plenty, and the struggling excluded masses. The earlier novel, written in the immediate post-Vietnam days of an antagonistic welcome for returning veterans, further exaggerated the alienation of the protagonist with a fish-out-of-water situation that placed the character hopelessly out of touch with his own century. Here, in the 1998 novel, one senseless war is supplanted by an invisible one to end all wars, as the protagonist discovers a pacification treatment that involves sharing one of the military’s tightest-held tools with all of humanity to bring individuals together into a community incapable of violence outside of self-defense. Haldeman uses SF technology as vehicle to explore the age-old thought that ‘if we only walked in our enemies shoes for a day’. At the same time, the greatest opponent to this peace movement is one of religious zealots who inexplicably seem to want death and destruction for its own sake. I felt that not enough insight was given to their internal motivation, even when the narrative was told in first person perspective of one these characters. This left them a bit too archetypical and cartoon-evil for me. On the human-scale drama of this story, there is a compelling relationship that is shown conquering the challenges of race, age, military-civilian differences, then ‘jacked’ vs natural minds until it is thoroughly proven to be unshakable. There are also some notable thriller scenes and a number of high-tech asymmetric warfare scenes as well. Absent, sadly, are any aliens or Space Opera tropes or any references to advanced climate change expected over the coming century (CliFi).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I refuse to believe that this is a 3 time award winner!!!

Nonsensical plot devices, shallow characters, lackluster dialogue.

Characters that are supposed to be doctorate-level logicians repeatedly miscalculate and make horrible decisions.

Clumsy switching from 1st to 3rd person.

Worse, the protagonist is Black, a scientist, a soldier, and mentally ill but somehow manages it insult Blacks, scientists, soldiers, and the mentally ill.

This isn't THE worst book ever, but it's really bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Both entertaining & exploring interesting subjects

While the story is entertaining, the novel brushes on a lot of interesting subjects: what would a society where everything was virtually free be, what would it feel to know what's going on another person's head, will next humanity step be engineered evolution...
All of these subjects spice the story. One of these novels that make you think about possible futures.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Speculative Fiction!

Great philosophy and speculation regarding the future of science and humanity! Haldeman writes in the tradition of all the great, serious, science fiction authors who were actually seriously contemplating the future of humanity and/or the universe, rather than merely entertaining vapid readers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Lazy in conception and execution

I'm a huge fan of Forever War. Knowing that the two books have nothing in common but the author and the word "forever" in the title, it took me quite a long time to get around to reading Forever Peace. Unlike Forever War, this story simply does not work. The main character is borderline interesting, but the premise of the book is extremely weak and poorly thought out: a universe ending plot device and crazy plan to prevent the destruction of the universe that makes no sense, what-so-ever. There are also seemingly random switches between 1st and 3rd person narrative. Those might work fine enough when reading the text, but wind up being confusing in an audiobook.

I can't believe this book won so many awards - while you can agree or disagree with the point the author is trying to make (nothing new, btw), it simply doesn't work as a story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great, but a little odd.

I’ve read reviews that are angry that Forever Peace isn’t a proper sequel to The Forever War, but advertising sometimes misleads.

*Spoilers*

Forever Peace reads almost as if it’s set sometime during The Forever War. We know, at the end, humankind becomes Man. Forever Peace could be the first step humans took toward becoming Man. I kept the end of The Forever War in mind as I read and was satisfied with that assumption.

My only real problem with the book itself is that it feels like two short novels were shoved together to make a book. On the one hand, you have the Jupiter Project and a cult that wants to make sure it continues. On the other, you have the humanization and pacification of the world. I think both would have been better stories on their own.

In general, I really got to know and love the characters. Haldeman can usually do that to me and that’s why I have loved his writing for so long. I will probably add this book to my list that gets repeat listens.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great ideas. Not so emotionally evocative though

It is definitely entertaining , adventurous and unpredictable.. so "jack in" Soldier Boys! The future realism and thoughtful ideas on quantum physics was worth it alone for me. CERN is the future of humanity. For better or worse.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

To quote Mr Mackey from South Park, " War is Bad."

I cannot dis a two time Hugo winner. I just expected more.The resolution of our aggresive nature seemed much too simplistic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Forever peace

A very moving book . I hope some day it would by happen at .

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr M Letch
  • 04-28-15

A Sci-Fi thriller that reads like a film.

Joe Haldeman, said although this wasn't a direct prequel to The Forever Wars, there's aspects of the story that fit into that universe.

There's three stories interweaving within the book, one of them the military industrial complex and the futility of war, another is a love affair between a couple of different races and ages, and thirdly a threat that could kill us all.

What more do you need from a Thriller!

The reader is fantastic, a voice that is pure Americana with a slightly world weary sardonic tone, that I think references the sense of war weary America that this book portrays.

I have a lot of audio books and I regularly come back to this one, knowing what's going to happen before you listen, but it not mattering as you're so immersed in the books universe, says a lot about the quality of the story and the reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gavin Jones
  • 07-29-15

An Enjoyable Romp

What did you like best about Forever Peace? What did you like least?

The first half of the book. The second half of the book.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The stuff at the beginning. The stuff at the end.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoyed "The Forever War" then I can see no reason why you wouldn't enjoy at least the first half of this book. The second half, although entertaining, just seemed a bit daft. Having said all that, the whole thing was infinitely better than listening to Radio 2 or John Humphrys.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mikael
  • 07-27-15

Uninteresting

Unlike his first book, this one was completely uninteresting stock scifi-action with scarcely a hint of novelty to it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful