ISBN: 0060817127

  • The Ekumen: Old music and the slave women/ Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Forever War: A separate war/ Joe Haldeman
  • The Ender series: Investment counselor/ Orson Scott Card
  • The Uplift universe: Temptation/ David Brin
  • Roma Eterna: Getting to know the dragon/ Robert Silverberg
  • The hyperion cantos: Orphans of the helix/ Dan Simmons
  • The Sleepless: Sleeping dogs/ Nancy Kress (using the “Beggars of Spain” novella as context)
  • Tales of the Heechee: The boy who would live forever/ Frederik Pohl
  • The Galactic Center series: A hunger for the infinite/ Gregory Benford
  • The ship who sang: The ship who returned/ Anne McCaffrey
  • The Way: The way of all ghosts/ Greg Bear

Found and borrowed this book because I wanted to re-read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. But turned out  the stories are “spinoffs” or extensions of the originals (the author’s introduction are excellent summaries of the original series). Which was great for me, as it was like giving more depth to the stories/ series I’d read before and making me interested to those I’ve not. And most of these “standalone” stories made me interested to look up their originals.

ASIDE: in The Forever War – William Mandella and Marygay Potter are draftees of a Earth-Tauran interstellar war. They finished their tour of duty, returns to earth, then decide to reenlist (very Vietnam, which is what the book was modeled after).

Haldeman explains in the introduction to this short story:

“The obvious thing missing from The Forever War is the story of what happened to Marygay in the part of the book where she is separated from William. I wrote “A Separate War” to fill in the lacuna, but it also serves as a sort of foreshadowing of the new novel (Forever Peace)”.

“A Separate War” is told from Marygay’s perspective. Starts with William and Marygay’s recuperation at the hospital planet (aptly named Heaven). There’s a definite familiarity to what’s been covered in The Forever War, like the modern military where same-rank fraternertising was a standing order, the battle-scenes. I don’t get tired of it (unlike some other stories). Whether it’s because of Haldeman’s writing style, his prose… I don’t know.

I found A Separate War provided more details about the medical technology, on “collapsar jumps”, the “ALSC training” (I loved the description of the simulated battle trainings, from stone-age to nuclear).

A Separate War also elaborates on how the Taurans and Earthers found truce, as told from how the war ended for Marygay’s unit. And how she decided on her plan to reunite with William across relativistic time.

Like The Forever War (I recently re-read the author’s preferred edition) the homo and hetero-sexuality issues are elaborated in this story.

And like The Forever War, this story is about human relationships, the question of humanity, and about the senselessness of war.