Recommended SF Novel "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman

This article introduces the SF novel "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman.

I also write about the influence this novel has on Japanese anime.

I summarized how this novel is interesting.

The Forever War

The Forever War

Space War and "Rip van Winkle effect"

When participating in the space war and returning to the earth, a considerable number of years have passed by "Rip van Winkle effect". My friends and my family are getting older ...

In this novel, the conflict concerning the space war and "Rip van Winkle effect" is depicted.

The Japanese anime "Gunbuster" is also a similar story.

Gunbuster (Japan version)

Toshio Okada, the main staff, said in the NHK TV program "BS Anime Yawa", "Gunbuster" refers to "The Forever War".

I think that "The Forever War" is the first work in the space war stories based on "Rip van Winkle effect".

"The Forever War" VS "Starship Troopers"

It is said that this work was written against "Starship Troopers" by Robert A. Heinlein.

Certainly, this novel has the opposite part to "Starship Troopers"

As mentioned above, "The Forever War" depicts the difficulty of "Rip van Winkle effect", but "Starship Troopers" does not describe it at all.

"The Forever War" is a story that "I do not know what is justice!", But "Starship Troopers" is a story where justice defeats evil.

"The Forever War" is a denial of war, "Starship Troopers" is a story that war is beautiful.

By the way, it is said that the anime "Gundam" refers to "Starship Troopers". So, "Gunbuster" referring to "The Forever War" is a work against Gundam in a sense.

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

"Stasis Field"

A weapon called "Stasis Field" will appear in this novel.

Weapons called "Stasis Field" will appear in this work.

In this field, time is almost stopped, so every attack is invalid.

Because "time is almost stopped" is concerned, this weapon also follows the theme "Rip van Winkle effect".

I think that this weapon has various usage for making the story interesting. A similar gadget will also appear in Japanese manga, anime, game, etc.

Among "The Forever War", "Stasis Field" is used well in strategy, so this novel is interesting.

Incidentally, "Stasis Field" has also appeared in "Known Space Series" by Larry Niven which is a work before "The Forever War". Probably this is the original.

It may have influenced "Nausicaa"

This novel has the following scene.

The hero must escape the space base! He worries about what to do with a cat he had. He wears a powered suit, puts a cat in the suit and escape! The hero worries as to whether the cat will die in the suit.

There is a scene that is somewhat similar to the anime movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind".

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Japan version)

Nausicaa puts Teto in her clothes. Nausicaa worries about whether Tet does not die. I think that this part is similar.

I believe Miyazaki Hayao is influenced by many SF novels. Perhaps Nausicaa may have been influenced by "The Forever War".

Works introduced in this article


The Forever War

The Forever War

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

Gunbuster (Japan version)

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Japan version)


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