The Forever War
The Forever War marks my first foray into the genre of science-fiction known as Space Marine. I am reading this as a preamble and preparation for reading Starship Troopers by Heinlein and will probably read a few others such as War Dogs as well.
Overall, very much worth reading. It was a page turner that I didn’t want to put down, as I was much invested in the lead character Mandella and the changing story which surrounded him.
The Role of Time
Every good piece of the science fiction has a notion or idea which it explores. In the Forever War the dominant notion is relativistic time dilation. Naturally, as a Physics guy, I find this interesting but even more interesting is the compelling story which the author used time dilation to divide the acts, so to speak.
Consider the following: what would war be like if every rest between battles resulted in a gigantic leap in technology? What would happen to the human psyche as it tried to survive in such future shock?
The Earth swings like a pendulum between societal extremes, the weapons of warfare advance with head numbing rapidity…as a reader you feel the future shock and the disorienting effect of such change…very immersive.
Futility of War
I was a bit surprised to find in the space marine genre such a jaded view of the military. The ever present military conflicts and huge casualties seemed to have very little meaning. Lives were lost, aliens were half-heartedly attacking, and the marine’s morale was artificial. I have to imagine this is conditioned by being written so close to the Vietnam War. It’ll be interesting to see if a similar corollary exists with others in the genre.