Send out some good vibes to Joe and Gay Haldeman, y’all. Joe just had sudden, “extensive” surgery and is in ICU. He’s a great writer and a thoughtful individual. Gay’s note sounds pretty collected, and she has a lot of support, but good thoughts are never wasted in this situation.
I have not read Haldeman in a few years, but three of his books were an important part of my SF upbringing: his award-winning The Forever War, There is No Darkness (with his older brother Jack, who died in 2002), and his Vietnam memoir War Year (which I am honored to have a signed first of in my rather small collection). Haldeman’s stuff was a mighty corrective to my earlier overdosing on Heinlein. I found Forever War and Darkness to be significant counterpoints to Starship Troopers and Space Cadet, two other formative books for my teenage years. Haldeman got deeper into his characters and the moral ramifications of people’s actions than Heinlein, and didn’t push the Big Ideas quite so hard. I felt that there was a little less agenda and a bit more space for me to engage the narrative as a reader and not be led around as forcefully.
I hope he recovers from this surgery. Do keep him in your thoughts.