Haldeman, Joe (William) 1943-
HALDEMAN, Joe (William) 1943-
(Robert Graham, a pseudonym)
PERSONAL: Born June 9, 1943, in Oklahoma City, OK; son of Jack Carroll (a hospital administrator) and Lorena (Spivey) Haldeman; married Mary Gay Potter (a teacher), August 21, 1965. Education: University of Maryland, B.S., 1967; University of Iowa, M.F.A., 1975; also attended American University and University of Oklahoma; participated in the Milford Writer's
Workshop. Politics: "Skeptic." Religion: "Skeptic." Hobbies and other interests: Classical guitar, bicycling, woolgathering, strong drink, travel, gardening, astronomy, painting.
CAREER: Freelance writer, 1970—. University of Iowa, teaching assistant, 1975; former editor of Astronomy; has taught writing at University of North Florida and other schools; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, adjunct professor, 1983—. Author of screen story "I of Newton," The Twilight Zone, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1985. Screenwriter for film Robot Jox, Empire, 1990. Military service: Served with U.S. Army, 1967-69; became combat engineer; served in Vietnam; wounded in combat; received Purple Heart and other medals.
MEMBER: Authors Guild, Science Fiction Writers of America (treasurer, 1970-73; chair of Grievance Committee, 1977-79; president, 1992-94), National Space Society, Writers Guild, Poets and Writers.
AWARDS, HONORS: Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1975, Nebula Award, Science Fiction Writers of America, 1975, and Locus Award, Locus magazine, 1975, all for The Forever War; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1976, and Locus Award, Locus magazine, 1976, both for best short story, for "Tricentennial"; Ditmar Award, 1976; Galaxy Award, 1978, for Mindbridge; Rhysling Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1984, 1990; Nebula Award for Best Novella, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, 1990, for The Hemingway Hoax; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1991, for The Hemingway Hoax; Nebula Award, Science Fiction Writers of America, 1993, and World Fantasy Award, World Fantasy Convention, 1993, both for "Graves"; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1995, Nebula Award, Science Fiction Writers of America, 1995, and Locus Award, Locus magazine, 1995, all for "None So Blind"; Homer Award, 1995; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1998, and Campbell Award, University of Kansas, 1998, and Nebula Award for Best Novel, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, 1998, all for Forever Peace.
science fiction novels
The Forever War, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1974.
Mindbridge, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1976.
Planet of Judgment (a "Star Trek" novel), Bantam (New York, NY), 1977.
All My Sins Remembered, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1977.
(Author of introduction) Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star, Gregg (Boston, MA), 1978.
World without End (a "Star Trek" novel), Bantam (New York, NY), 1979.
(With brother, Jack C. Haldeman) There Is No Darkness, Ace (New York, NY), 1983.
Tool of the Trade, Morrow (New York, NY), 1987.
Buying Time, Morrow (New York, NY), 1989, reprinted, with an introduction by James Gunn, illustrated by Bryn Barnard, Easton Press (Norwalk, CT), 1989, published as The Long Habit of Living, New English Library (London, England).
The Hemingway Hoax (novella), Morrow (New York, NY), 1990.
Forever Peace, Ace (New York, NY), 1997.
Forever Free, Ace (New York, NY), 1999.
The Coming, Ace (New York, NY), 2000.
Guardian, Ace (New York, NY), 2002.
"worlds" trilogy; science fiction novels
Worlds: A Novel of the Near Future, Viking (New York, NY), 1981, reprinted, Gollancz (London, England), 2002.
Worlds Apart, Viking (New York, NY), 1983.
Worlds Enough and Time: The Conclusion of the Worlds Trilogy, Morrow (New York, NY), 1992.
adventure novels; under pseudonym robert graham
Attar's Revenge, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1975.
War of Nerves, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1975.
War Year, Holt Reinhart (New York, NY), 1972, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1978.
1968: A Novel, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1994, Morrow (New York, NY), 1995.
short story collections
Infinite Dreams, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1978.
Dealing in Futures: Stories, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.
More Than the Sum of His Parts, Pulphouse (Eugene, WA), 1991.
Vietnam and Other Alien Worlds (with essays and poetry), New England Science Fiction Association Press (Framingham, MA), 1993.
None So Blind, Morrow (New York, NY), 1996.
Saul's Death and Other Poems, Anamnesis Press (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
The Devil His Due (produced at the University of Iowa Film Workshop), published in Fantastic (New York, NY), August, 1974.
The Moon and Marcek, published in Vertex (Los Angeles, CA), August, 1974.
The Forever War, produced by Organic Theater Company, Chicago, IL, 1983.
Robot Jox, Empire, 1990.
(Author of screen story) "I of Newton," The Twilight Zone, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1985.
Cosmic Laughter: Science Fiction for the Fun of It, Holt Reinhart (New York, NY), 1974.
Study War No More: A Selection of Alternatives, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1977.
Nebula Award Stories 17, Holt Reinhart (New York, NY), 1983.
(With Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh) Body Armor: 2000, Ace (New York, NY), 1986.
(With Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh) Supertanks, Ace (New York, NY), 1987.
(Author of introduction) The Best of John Brunner, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1988.
(With Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh) Spacefighters, Ace (New York, NY), 1988.
Work included in numerous "best of" anthologies, including The Best from Galaxy, edited by Ejler Jakobbsen, Universal-Award, 1972; Best SF: 1972, edited by Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss, Putnam, 1973; The Best Science Fiction of the Year—1972, edited by Terry Carr, Ballantine, 1973; Best SF: 1973, edited by Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss, Putnam, 1974; The Best from Galaxy, Volume 3, Award, 1975; Nebula Award Stories 11, Harper, 1975; Best Science Fiction Stories, Dutton, 1977; Nebula Award Stories XII, Harper, 1977; Annual World's Best SF, DAW, 1978; The Best of Destinies, Ace, 1981; Best SF Stories of the Year, Dutton, 1980; Best of OMNI Science Fiction, 1980; Vicious Circles: The Best Modern Sestinas, 1994; The Year's Best Science Fiction, Eleventh Annual, St. Martin's Press, 1994; and Year's Best Science Fiction, edited by David Hartwell, HarperPrism, 1996.
Contributor to science fiction anthologies, including Orbit Eleven, edited by Damon Knight, Putnam, 1971; Showcase, edited by Roger Elwood, Harper, 1973; Analog 9, edited by Ben Bova, Doubleday, 1973; Combat SF, edited by Gordon Dickson, Doubleday, 1975; Frights, edited by Kirby McCauley, St. Martin's Press, 1976; Close Up: New Worlds, St. Martin's Press, 1977; Time of Passage, Taplinger, 1978; The Endless Frontier, Ace, 1979; The Road to SF 3, Mentor, 1979; Thieve's World, edited by Robert Asprin, Ace, 1979; The Future at War, Ace, 1980; Dark Forces, edited by Kirby McCauley, Viking, 1980; and Dogs of War, edited by David Drake, Warner, 2002.
Contributor of numerous short stories and articles to Analog, Galaxy, Isaac Asimov's SF Adventures, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Omni, Playboy, and other publications.
Haldeman's novels have been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, Japanese, Hebrew, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Greek, Czech, Bulgarian, and Korean.
ADAPTATIONS: Movie rights to The Forever War have been purchased by the Sci-Fi Channel, and it is set to run as a miniseries in 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: In his award-winning science fiction novel The Forever War, Joe Haldeman combines his experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War, in which he was severely wounded, with a realistic, scientifically accurate presentation. The novel tells of a war that stretches across intergalactic distances and long periods of time, the soldiers involved traveling to remote battlefields via black holes. Because the soldiers travel at faster-than-light speeds, they age far slower than the civilians for whom they fight. This difference in relative age—the soldiers a few years older, their society centuries older—results in an alienation between the soldiers and the people they defend.
"Haldeman exercises his literary license," James Scott Hicks wrote in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, "to comment on, and ultimately to expunge from his memory, America's last ground war [Vietnam]." Hicks pointed out that Haldeman's first novel, War Year, based on his army diaries, deals with the Vietnam fighting directly. "But the demon of Vietnam," Hicks continued, "was not exorcised from Haldeman's soul by writing [War Year], and frontline combat became the subject of … The Forever War." Haldeman, Hicks believed, is particularly adept at presenting his "theme of quiet resentment felt by those waging war." Because of his scientific training in physics and astronomy, Haldeman is particularly careful to present The Forever War as realistically and accurately as possible. "The technology involved in this interplanetary campaign," Martin Levin of the New York Times Book Review noted in his review of The Forever War, "is so sophisticated that the book might well have been accompanied by an operator's manual. But then, all the futuristic mayhem is plugged into human situations that help keep the extraterrestrial activity on a warm and even witty plane."
Among newer novelists in the field, Haldeman, Richard Geis of Science Fiction Review believed, "is one of the best realistic science fiction writers going; maybe the best." Hicks found that "Haldeman confronts his readers with painful questions, but he asks them with no small literary skill and with careful attention to scientific credibility." "It's comforting to know," wrote Algis Budrys of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, "that the cadre of impressive talent among younger writers is not diminishing, and to think that people like Haldeman will be around for a long time to set high standards."
Haldeman's "Worlds" trilogy, published over a span of a dozen years, follows the exploits of Marianne O'Hara, who is, summarized Michael Pavese in Best Sellers, "an intelligent, promiscuous (in space promiscuity is encouraged) New New York citizen." Born in space, she travels from her orbiting, manmade world to Earth, to engage in postgraduate studies at N.Y.U. in the first book, Worlds: A Novel of the Near Future. It details her adventures and misadventures on Twenty-second-century Earth, a far poorer, more decadent, chaotic, and dangerous extension of contemporary society. It is a society rapidly nearing a total break-down—which, by the denouement, it indeed has, with Marianne's space ship veritably riding the shockwave of nuclear devastation home to New New York. Worlds Apart details Marianne's career as an ambitious politician of the orbital worlds, who, thinking her former lover, Jeff Hawkings, is dead (he isn't) from the nuclear holocaust, takes a pair of husbands. In addition, the book not only tracks Jeff's career, now peddling medications to devolved Earth tribes, it includes, noted Charles Platt in the Washington Post, "a grab-bag of extraneous notions in between: a Mansonworshipping death cult, a starship with an anti-matter drive, a formalized menage-a-trois, a hijacked space shuttle, an expedition into regressed Florida, a new science of behavioral conditioning, and more." In the final book, Worlds Enough and Time, Marianne, her two husbands and her cybernetic "twin sister," along with 10,000 other would-be colonists, venture forth in the starship Newhome to seek their destinies on an Earth-like planet in the Epsilon Eridani system. A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, "Haldeman shows his strengths here: the workings of Newhome are believably complex, the novel's scientific background is neither strained nor especially complicated, and the reader's attention is focused on O'Hara's character, her inner life and her interpersonal relationships."
In addition to the obvious recurring theme of war—both real and imagined—in many of Haldeman's books, essayist Duncan Lunan noted another theme in the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers. Referring back to The Forever War, where the enemy aliens are controlled by a hive-mind, Lunan said, "Mind-bridge was another examination of human contact with a hive-mind, while All My Sins Remembered was a damning indictment not merely of big government but also of the standard SF attitude toward individuality. SF used to be full of people who find out that they're really someone else (usually someone more powerful), and part of the problem in identifying with central characters is often they lack individuality." Explained Lunan, "McGavin in All My Sins Remembered is a government agent, repeatedly given new identities through psychological conditioning and plastic surgery." Lunan added, "He is an individual moved and controlled by an organisation which commands his loyalty but is beyond his control." The theme of individuals preyed upon and controlled by ultra-powerful agencies or corporate entities is also central to Haldeman's "Worlds" trilogy, as with the CIA and KGB in Tool of the Trade, and by the wealthy in Buying Time. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote, "Evoking painful nostalgia, … Haldeman uses bold language, powerful images and a graphic style to tell his emotional tale, in which concentrated, diary-like entries intensify the drama and despair."
Sue Martin, writing in the Los Angeles Times, termed The Hemingway Hoax "a bright, short science fiction novel, … [this] quirky effort offers a unique solution to one of the enduring literary mysteries of our time: Just what DID happen to Ernest Hemingway's missing manuscripts, lost in 1922 at the Gare de Lyon in Paris?" She continued, "For Hemingway fans, Haldeman's answer is a hoot, and as different a theory as you can find." Marc Leepson, in a Book World review, described Haldeman's fictionalized but largely autobiographical 1968 as "a well-crafted, biting novel set in Vietnam."
Forever Peace is a follow-up novel to the problems raised in Haldeman's acclaimed Forever War. In 2043, an American-led alliance has been battling with the third-world Ngumi confederation, primarily, on the alliance's part, with "soldierboys"—killing machines controlled by brain-linked "mechanics," among them, the protagonist, physicist Julian Class. Meanwhile, the Jupiter Project, the most ambitious scientific experiment of all time, circles Jupiter, and Julian's lover, Amelia, discovers it may endanger not only our solar system, but the universe, in a new "Big Bang." Among other complications, their attempt to stop the disaster runs afoul of an influential Christian cult, the Hammer of God, dedicated to bringing on the Endtime. A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, "As always, Haldeman, a Vietnam vet, writes with intelligence and power about the horrors of war, and about humanity's seeming inability to overcome its violent tendencies."
While Forever Peace quenched the thirst of many of Haldeman's devoted readers, fans still clamored for a sequel to The Forever War, which the author provided in Forever Free. According to Jackie Cassada of Library Journal, Haldeman "continues his exploration of the essential nature of humanity in a deceptively simple story that questions the foundations of human belief." Haldeman describes life after the war, focusing on William and Margay Mandella, two retired soldiers banished to the frozen planet of Middle Finger by the highly evolved species of humans who took over when the war ended. Cassada recommended the book, crediting Haldeman with "clear, concise storytelling" and an "understanding of human behavior." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Forever Free "a well-written and worthy sequel to one of SF's enduring classics."
Following Forever Free, Haldeman wrote The Coming, a first-contact type story about a professor named Aurora Bell, who gets a message from an alien population announcing their upcoming visit to Earth. Bell attempts to warn officials by telling them about the message she's received, but no once cares to listen. Library Journal's Cassada noted, Haldeman "demonstrates an uncanny ability to tell a large-scale story with a minimum of words" and commented that the book "provides food for thought as well as fast-paced action." The protagonist of Haldeman's next book, Guardian, is another courageous woman. The story follows Rosa Coleman, a woman from the late nineteenth century who leaves her abusive husband. Rosa believes she has an important destiny and a mystical raven verifies her belief. Cassada remarked that Haldeman "delivers an elegant parable of many worlds and multiple possibilities while telling the tale of a courageous woman whose life spans most of a century." Roland Green of Booklist noted, "Many may prefer the historical traits of the novel to its SF aspect. They also may admit that Haldeman couldn't write a bad book to win a bet."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 38, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 61, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 7: Twentieth-Century American Science Fiction Writers, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1981.
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.
Gordon, Joan, Joe Haldeman, Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1980.
St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, 1975-1991, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.
Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day, 2nd edition, Scribner (New York, NY), 1999.
Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991.
Algol, summer-fall, 1977; summer-fall, 1978.
Analog, March, 1978; September, 1978; July, 1979; November, 1982, pp. 164-165; September, 1983, p. 164; March, 1984, p. 168; February, 1986, p. 182; December, 1986, p. 182; January, 1990, pp. 308-309.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May, 2000, Tom Easton, review of Forever Free, p. 132.
Best Sellers, June 15, 1972; December, 1976; February, 1978.
Bloomsbury Review, January-February, 1996, pp. 3, 20.
Booklist, June 1, 1975; June 1995; September 15, 1997; November 1, 2000, Ray Olson, review of The Coming, p. 492; January 1, 2002, review of Forever Free, p. 832; November 1, 2002, Roland Green, review of Guardian, p. 480.
Book World, July 2, 1995, p. C95; February 4, 2001, review of The Coming, p. 10.
Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1976; September 2, 1991, p. 10.
Chicago Tribune Book World, June 14, 1981.
Commonweal, October 27, 1972.
Destinies, November-December, 1978.
Foundation, May, 1978.
Futures, June, 1975.
Galaxy, December, 1976; March, 1978.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 1999, review of Forever Free, p. 1690.
Library Journal, September 15, 1972; October 15, 1997, p. 97; December, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of Forever Free, p. 192; December, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of The Coming, p. 196; December, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of Guardian, p. 185.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 30, 1983, p. 4; July 8, 1990, p. 9.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May, 1975; October, 1975; April, 1977; September, 1979; August, 1981, pp. 55-56; March, 1984, pp. 43-45; October, 2000, Charles De Lint, review of Forever Free, p. 41.
New Republic, November 26, 1977.
New Scientist, April 10, 1999, review of The Forever War, p. 48.
New York Times Book Review, May 21, 1972; March 23, 1975; February 27, 1977; January 15, 1984, p. 29; February 10, 1985, p. 40; June 7, 1987, p. 18; July 2, 1989, p. 15; June 14, 1992, p. 24.
Observer (London, England), May 8, 1977.
Publishers Weekly, March 13, 1987, p. 70; December 7, 1990, p. 78; April 6, 1992, p. 54; April 17, 1995, p. 38; April 22, 1996, p. 64; August 25, 1997, p. 49; November 15, 1999, review of Forever Free, p. 59; November 20, 2000, review of The Coming, p. 51; December 2, 2002, review of Guardian, p. 39.
Science Fiction Review, August, 1976; February, 1977; February, 1978.
Science Fiction Studies, Volume 21, 1994, pp. 238-240.
Starlog, Volume 17, 1978.
Thrust, summer, 1979.
Times Literary Supplement, July 8, 1977.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2001, review of The Coming, p. 52.
Washington Post Book World, April 26, 1981; May 13, 1990, p. 8; May 31, 1992, p. 6; July 2, 1995, p. 4.
Mostly Fiction, http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (March 17, 2003), Cindy Lynn Speer, review of Guardian.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, http://www.sfandf.com/ (February 19, 2004), description of Dogs of War.
Steve and Marta's Web site (part of "The Ring of Vintage TV" Web ring), http://www.steveandmarta.com/ (February 19, 2004), The Twilight Zone: "I of Newton."*