I'm a bit more than mid-way through my first-ever reading of Haldeman's The Forever War. I'm also in the middle of Neal Stephenson's Anathem--the lethal two-books-at-once situation. But Haldeman's book is a fast-paced page-turner while Stephenson's is decidedly not, so they fit different reading needs and moods at different times.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Haldeman's book is widely regarded as a major classic of both the sf genre and the war novel genre, and I am reading it with special attention to the way combat is depicted and how the off-duty culture of soldiers is handled as compared to some other military sf stories that I was more familiar with. I'm also comparing it a lot with those things in the story I've been writing.
I used to mention more often on this blog my novel-in-progress, now code-named Neglected Project. It's set in the pre-history of a far-future milieu that my friend Pat and I co-devised a while ago (the universe of Really Neglected Project). Anyway, I got inspired and started banging it out last summer and it emerged as largely a military sf story--or at least with a lot of the trappings of such being used to convey the main idea. The manuscript now stands at a bit over 60,ooo words and it probably needs another 30-40K to be done. My progress has been very, very slow of late, and I realized that some of what's stalling it is that I haven't been sure how to dig into some of the scenes that still need to be finished or, in some cases, first-drafted. I've had what I felt were a lot of false starts with some the combat sequences that my plot demands occur in some detail and which need to have a real feeling of wild action.
But I've been looking back at some scenes in other sf war lit and reading this new-to-me book by Haldeman and glancing over some portions of Neglected Project...and starting to think that maybe I wasn't doing too badly to begin with and just need to revise and polish rather than start over. That's an encouraging way to feel, and it makes me feel like diving back into it. I may even come up with a real title someday.Related Articles :
Labels: personal writing