Happy birthday Joe Haldeman!

Joe Haldeman at Finncon 2007
Joe Haldeman at Finncon 2007

Joe William Haldeman (photo ©Mikko Aarnio) was born on June 9, 1943 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

During his childhood, Joe Haldeman has spent periods in various cities in the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico because his family traveled a lot. In 1965 he married Mary Gay Potter and in 1967 he graduated in astronomy at the University of Maryland. In the same year he was drafted into the Army and sent to fight in Vietnam, where he was wounded in battle.

The experience of war marked Joe Haldeman and his first novel, “War Year”, published in 1972, is based on it. In 1974, he published what is still considered his masterpiece, “The Forever War”, which reworks his war experience in a science fiction key. This novel won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. This novel was created while Joe Haldeman was writing the thesis that in 1975 earned him a master degree in creative writing at the University of Iowa.

In 1975, Joe Haldeman published two espionage novels with some elements that have a bit of science fiction under the pen name Robert Graham: “Attar’s Revenge” and “War of Nerves”.

“The Forever War” contained a condemnation of the war, in the stories that were united in 1977 to form “All My Sins Remembered” there’s a more general condemnation of the use of violence. In this case, the protagonist is not a common soldier but a secret agent who is still exploited for purposes that get less and less clear.

In subsequent years, Joe Haldeman wrote some novels connected to the Star Trek saga but also kept on publishing original short stories and novels. His 1977 short story “Tricentennial” won the Hugo Award. His 1990 novella “The Hemingway Hoax” won the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Starting from the early ’80s, Joe Haldeman has published the Worlds trilogy composed of: “Worlds” (1981), “Worlds Apart” (1983) and “Worlds Enough and Time” (1992).

For many years Joe Haldeman has resisted the temptation to write a sequel to “The Forever War” despite many requests. In 1998, however, he published a novel that reworks those issues, “The Forever Peace”, which won the Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial awards. A real sequel to “The Forever War” came in 1999 with “Forever Free”.

In recent years, Joe Haldeman has published other novels as “Camouflage” (2004), winner of the Nebula Award, “Old Twentieth” (2005) and “The Accidental Time Machine” (2007). He also published the Mars trilogy, composed of “Marsbound” (2008), “Starbound” (2010) and “Earthbound” (2011).

Maybe Joe Haldeman gave his best mostly during the early years of his career, still he deserved the Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America honor, received in 2009, and the introduction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.

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