The Forever War by Joe Haldeman – Graphic Novel Adaptation – #BookReview

Title: The Forever War | Author: Joe Haldeman | Illustrator: Marvano | Pub. Date: 2017-11-7 | Pages: 144 | ISBN13: 9781785860898 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy from the publisher free for review consideration

The Forever War

The legendary novel of extraterrestrial war in an uncaring universe comes to comics, in a stunningly realized vision of Joe Haldeman’s Vietnam War parable!

The visionary Hugo and Nebula Award-winning SF tale by Joe Haldeman is beautifully realized in full color by the legendary artist Marvano. An epic SF war story spanning relativistic space and time, The Forever War explores one soldier’s experience as he is caught up in the brutal machinery of a war against an unknown and unknowable alien foe that reaches across the stars.

Book cover for The Forever War

The Forever War Review

I went in to reading this graphic novel adaptation of The Forever War knowing surprisingly little about the story. I haven’t yet read the original novels. I have read a work inspired by it (Old Man’s War) and loved it, though. Keep that in mind when reading my review, as fans of the original novel may have an entirely different opinion of it than I do.

This adaptation covers all three books of The Forever War. The story has been distilled down to its essence, and delivered to the reader in 144 richly illustrated pages. The story is a moving one. It’s not focused on the war itself as much as the effects that the battles – and the time hopping – have on the main character. William Mandella is a character that is easy to feel for. He has no real desire to be a soldier. He just wants to do his time and then move on with his life. But he’s young, hearty, and trained, and Those in Power aren’t going to let him slip out of their grasp. I felt sorry for him. I can’t even begin to imagine how disorienting it would be to have the world shift dramatically around him every time he returned to Earth.

Joe Haldeman has an interesting vision of the future in The Forever War. Homosexuality is something that the author uses to show how drastically society has changed. It’s interesting because while I didn’t necessarily view the way he uses homosexuality as offensive, something about it still made me uncomfortable. It never felt condemning, per say, as much as it it felt like the subject was an unsavory one. Like when people say that they’re okay with homosexuality, but you can tell by the expression on their face and the little remarks they make about people’s sexuality that they’re not. It moves from “Okay, yeah, this makes sense” to shades of “the gay agenda”. For it’s time, its understandable, I suppose, but still not a comfortable piece to read.

The Forever War is well-paced, and the graphic novel does a great job of keeping the tension going. Normally I can’t do a straight read through on over a  hundred pages of a graphic novel. I get frustrated, get headaches, or just get bored. That wasn’t the case with this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the art, if I’m honest. It got the point across, but the panels weren’t exactly things of beauty that made me want to study each one individually. However, each panel got it’s point across, and I was so absorbed in the story that my eyes practically ran from one panel to the next. (One impression that stayed with me was that I did think that the helmets the humans used looked a bit like BB-8’s head. I had a few moments of giggling before I adjusted.) One final note on the art – it wasn’t that the art was bad, objectively. It was just not my style. I prefer bright colors and clean lines. 

The alternate covers at the end of the collection were stunning. 

This version of The Forever War gave me an itch that I think will only be scratched by reading the full novel series. The story Joe Haldeman tells is intriguing. A man outside of time, going from battle to travel inside time dilation to battle. The world changes around him, and all he can do is keep fighting the forever war. I can see why this is a well-loved classic. The story is the type that stays with you in ways few ever do. 

Buy Link: Amazon

Find a few pages below from the publication, courtesy of Titan Comics.

This is Sci-Fi, Issue 19: Anti Matter, Joe Haldeman, An Excess Male

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This is Sci-Fi, Issue 19 is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

This is Sci-Fi’s Weekly Quote:

“Science fiction invites the writer to grandly explore alternative worlds and pose questions about meaning and destiny. Inventing plausible new realities is what the genre is all about. One starts from a hypothesis and then builds out the logic, adding detail and incident to give substance to imaginary structures. In that respect, science fiction and theology have much in common.” 
― Lawrence WrightGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief


Science Fiction Movies

Featured New Release: Anti Matter

Release Date: September 9th, 2017

Movie cover for Anti Matter

Anti Matter (AKA Worm) is a sci-fi noir take on the Alice in Wonderland tale. Ana, an Oxford PhD student, finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened, and to find out who – or what – is behind the rising horror in her life.

Starring:  Yaiza FigueroaPhilippa CarsonTom Barber-Duffy

Watch the trailer on Youtube.


Coming Soon (September 29th, 2017)


Movie cover for Flatliners

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Science Fiction Books

An Excess Male Movie Poster


An Excess Male – Maggie Shen King – September 12th, 2017

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classic The Handmaid’s Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son. 

Now 40 million of them can’t find wives. China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all too plausible future.

Purchase on Amazon.

Goodreads Science Fiction Giveaways

(Covers link to the Goodreads pages)

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Science Fiction Trivia

With the recent burst of solar flares and storms (I might have the technical names wrong, I don’t science) it reminded me of something called The Carrington Effect.

In 1859 there was a solar storm so powerful that studies have shown that if it happened today the effects would be far more widespread due to society’s reliance on electrical devices. A similar solar burst in 2012 could have possibly done so but it passed by Earth without directly hitting it. The solar storm was observed by two amateur astronomers independently of each other. Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson. They each published a paper on it independently and each showed a drawing of the phenomena before the Royal Astronomical Society. I don’t know why Hodgson was left off the naming.

The more interesting phenomena connected with it were auroras that were so bright that it seemed like daytime and could be seen much farther away than normal. Telegraphs failed and would shock the operators. Telegraph pylons would throw sparks. Some operators reported being able to send and receive messages despite being cut off from the power supply.

In 2013 a study was made determining that if a similar event were to occur at that time the cost to the United States alone was estimated up to 2.6 trillion dollars. And that was 2013. I’d be curious to see a current cost report.

To wrap up I’d like to apologize for the brevity of the trivia section as (ironically) my internet service failed last night. I wanted to go more in-depth about it.

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