29+ quotes from The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Quotes from The Forever War

Joe Haldeman ·  278 pages

Rating: (110K votes)


“The 1143-year-long war hand begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate.

Once they could talk, the first question was 'Why did you start this thing?' and the answer was 'Me?”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Doctors don’t seem to realize that most of us are perfectly content not having to visualize ourselves as animated bags of skin filled with obscene glop.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Science fiction as a genre has the benefit of being able to act as parable, to set up a story at a remove so you can make a real-world point without people throwing up a wall in front of it.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“So here we were, fifty men and fifty women, with IQs over 150 and bodies of unusual health and strength, slogging elitely through the mud and slush of central Missouri, reflecting on the usefulness of our skill in building bridges on worlds where the only fluid is an occasional standing pool of liquid helium.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Heaven was a lovely, unspoiled Earth-like world; what Earth might have been like if men had treated her with compassion instead of lust.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“But love, he said, love was a fragile blossom; love was a delicate crystal; love was an unstable reaction with a half-life of about eight months. Bullshit, I said, and accused him of wearing cultural blinders; thirty centuries of prewar society taught that love was one thing that could last to the grave and even beyond and if he had been born instead of hatched he would know that without being told!”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“One cannot make command decisions simply by assessing the tactical situation and going ahead with whatever course of action will do the most harm to the enemy with a minimum of death and damage to your own men and materiel. Modern warfare has become very complex, especially during the last century. Wars are won not by a simple series of battles won, but by a complex interrelationship among military victory, economic pressures, logistic maneuvering, access to the enemy’s information, political postures—dozens, literally dozens of factors.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“I tried to get through to my brother, Mike, on the Moon, but the phone company wouldn’t let me place the call until I had signed a contract and posted a $25,000 bond.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“I was too old-fashioned male-chauv to allow that; we discussed for a minute and I wound up with the couch”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Most of us didn’t feel too enthusiastic about making a collapsar jump, either. We’d been assured that we wouldn’t even feel it happen, just free fall all the way. I wasn’t convinced. As a physics student, I’d had the usual courses in general relativity and theories of gravitation. We only had a little direct data at that time — Stargate was discovered when I was in grade school — but the mathematical model seemed clear enough. The collapsar Stargate was a perfect sphere about three kilometers in radius. It was suspended forever in a state of gravitational collapse that should have meant its surface was dropping toward its center at nearly the speed of light. Relativity propped it up, at least gave it the illusion of being there … the way all reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted. At any rate, there would be a theoretical point in space-time when one end of our ship was just above the surface of the collapsar, and the other end was a kilometer away (in our frame of reference). In any sane universe, this would set up tidal stresses and tear the ship apart, and we would be just another million kilograms of degenerate matter on the theoretical surface, rushing headlong to nowhere for the rest of eternity or dropping to the center in the next trillionth of a second. You pays your money and you takes your frame of reference. But they were right. We blasted away from Stargate 1, made a few course corrections and then just dropped, for about an hour.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“heterosexuality is considered an emotional dysfunction. Relatively easy to cure.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“In the few moments I lay awake after finally lying down, the thought came to me that the next time I closed my eyes could well be the last. And partly because of the drug hangover, mostly because of the past day’s horrors, I found that I really didn’t give a shit.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“About a month later, we left for our final training exercise, maneuvers on the planet Charon. Though nearing perihelion, it was still more than twice as far from the sun as Pluto. The troopship was a converted “cattlewagon” made to carry two hundred colonists and assorted bushes and beasts. Don’t think it was roomy, though, just because there were half that many of us. Most of the excess space was taken up with extra reaction mass and ordnance. The whole trip took three weeks, accelerating at two gees halfway, decelerating the other half. Our top speed, as we roared by the orbit of Pluto, was around one-twentieth of the speed of light—not quite enough for relativity to rear its complicated head. Three weeks of carrying around twice as much weight as normal…it’s no picnic. We did some cautious exercises three times a day and remained horizontal as much as possible. Still, we got several broken bones and serious dislocations. The men had to wear special supporters to keep from littering the floor with loose organs. It was almost impossible to sleep; nightmares of choking and being crushed, rolling over periodically to prevent blood pooling and bedsores. One girl got so fatigued that she almost slept through the experience of having a rib push out into the open air. I’d been in space several times before, so when we finally stopped decelerating and went into free fall, it was nothing but relief. But some people had never been out, except for our training on the moon, and succumbed to the sudden vertigo and disorientation. The rest of us cleaned up after them, floating through the quarters with”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Don't worry about that, Man, just make out my ticket.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled;
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your glory bed,
Or to victory.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“My back pay came to $892,746,012. Not in the form of bales of currency, fortunately; on Heaven they used an electronic credit exchange, so I carried my fortune around in a little machine with a digital readout. To buy something you punched in the vendor’s credit number and the amount of purchase; the sum was automatically shuffled from your account to his. The machine was the size of a slender wallet and coded to your thumbprint.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“War is the province of danger and therefore courage above all things is the first quality of a warrior, von Clausewitz maintained.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“I called to the waiter, ‘bring me one of those Antares things.’ Sitting here in a bar with an asexual cyborg who is probably the only other normal person on the whole goddamned planet.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“It was the cat, who had the usual talent for hiding from people who like cats and cleaving unto those who have sinus trouble or just don’t like sneaky little animals.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Relativity propped it up, at least gave it the illusion of being there…the way all reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“... then unleashed Stargate's 18 sex-starved men on our women, compliant and promiscuous by military custom and law...”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“We're headed for Aleph-7. Panty raid." New slang term for the type of operation whose main object was to gather Tauran artifacts, and prisoners if possible. I tried to find out where the term came from, but the one explanation I got was really idiotic.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“And it was making me a little queasy. Doctors don’t seem to realize that most of us are perfectly content not having to visualize ourselves as animated bags of skin filled with obscene glop.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“here we were, fifty men and fifty women, with IQs over 150 and bodies of unusual health and strength, slogging elitely through the mud and slush of central Missouri, reflecting on the usefulness of our skill in building bridges on worlds where the only fluid is an occasional standing pool of liquid helium.”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“Modern warfare has become very complex, especially during the last century. Wars are won not by a simple series of battles won, but by a complex interrelationship among military victory, economic pressures, logistic maneuvering, access to the enemy’s information, political”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


“You couldn’t blame it all on the military, though. The evidence they presented for the Taurans’ having been responsible for the earlier casualties was laughably thin. The few people who pointed this out were ignored. The fact was, Earth’s economy needed a war, and this one was ideal. It gave a nice hole to throw buckets of money into, but would unify humanity rather than dividing it. The”
― Joe Haldeman, quote from The Forever War


About the author

Joe Haldeman
Born place: in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, The United States
Born date June 9, 1943
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