Nanotechnology. Universal Welfare State. Humanization. The End of the World. In Forever Peace—winner of the 1998 Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell awards—Joe Haldeman once again explores the subject of war. As part of the draft, Julian, who in civilian job life is a physicist, is required to spend ten days a month jacked to a remote controlled soldierboy. The jack implanted in his skull not only allows him to operate the robot, but also connects him to the other members of his military unit. For those ten days he is intimately connected to all their physical and emotional feelings, their memories, and even their knowledge.
In a raid gone wrong, Julian accidentally kills a boy with his soldierboy, causing Julian’s emotional health to deteriorate. About this same time, his girlfriend discovers that the particle accelerator project that she has been involved with might trigger a new Big Bang, ending the world as we know it. In addition, one of Julian’s other friends, decides that he can use the brain jacks to bring peace to earth.
The book is relatively fast moving and has plenty of action. Some of the social issues are thought-provoking. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Maybe, it is just more of a guy’s book.