Joe Haldeman

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Joe Haldeman
Haldeman at Finncon 2007
Haldeman at Finncon 2007
Born (1943-06-09) June 9, 1943 (age 78)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Pen nameRobert Graham[1]
GenreScience fiction
Literary movementMilitary sci-fi
Notable worksThe Forever War
RelativesJack C. Haldeman II, brother

Joe William Haldeman (born June 9, 1943) is an American science fiction author. He is best known for his novel The Forever War (1974). That novel and other works, including The Hemingway Hoax (1991) and Forever Peace (1997), have won science fiction awards, including the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.[2] He was awarded the SFWA Grand Master for career achievements.[2][3] In 2012 he was inducted as a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.[4] Many of Haldeman's works, including his debut novel War Year and his second novel The Forever War, were inspired by his experiences in the Vietnam War. Wounded in combat, he struggled to adjust to civilian life after returning home. From 1983–2014, he was a professor teaching writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Gay Haldeman at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki in 2017

Haldeman was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[5] His family traveled and he lived in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Bethesda (Maryland) and Anchorage (Alaska) as a child. He had to repeatedly start classes as a new kid in local schools.

In 1965, Haldeman married Mary Gay Potter, known as Gay Haldeman. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1967.[6]

He was immediately drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a combat engineer in the Vietnam War. He was wounded in combat and received a Purple Heart.[7] His wartime experience inspired his first novel War Year. In his later books such as The Hemingway Hoax and Old Twentieth, he continued to explore through fiction the experience of combat soldiers in Vietnam and other wars, during the wars and after return home. In 1975, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.[8]

Haldeman has resided alternately in Gainesville, Florida and Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1983 until his retirement in 2014,[9] he has been an adjunct professor of writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[10][11] MIT serves as the setting for his 2007 novel, The Accidental Time Machine. Haldeman is also a painter.[12]

In 2009 and 2010, Haldeman was hospitalized for pancreatitis.[13][14]


Haldeman's first book was a 122-page novel, War Year, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in May 1972. The novel was sold with the help of fellow writer Ben Bova. It was based on his letters home from Vietnam and was marketed as mainstream and Young Adult.[15] His most famous novel is his second, The Forever War (St. Martin's Press, 1974), which was inspired by his Vietnam experiences and originated as his MFA thesis for the Iowa Writers' Workshop. It won the year's "Best Novel" Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards.[2] He later wrote sequels.

In 1975, two Attar novels were published as Pocket Books paperback originals under the pen name Robert Graham.[1] Haldeman also wrote two of the earliest original novels based on the 1960s Star Trek television series universe, Planet of Judgment (August 1977) and World Without End (February 1979).

In a college creative writing class in 1967, Haldeman wrote the first two SF stories which he (later) sold. "Out of Phase" was published in the September 1969 Galaxy magazine, and "the other worked its way down to a penny-a-word market, Amazing Stories and netted me all of $15 – but then years later it was adapted for The Twilight Zone, for fifty times as much. Not bad for a story banged out overnight to meet a class deadline."[15]

Haldeman has written at least one produced Hollywood movie script. The film, a low-budget science fiction film called Robot Jox, was released in 1990.[16] He was not entirely happy with the product, saying "to me it's as if I'd had a child who started out well and then sustained brain damage".[17]

In a 2016 interview, Haldeman said, "Jack of all trades, master of none I think. It's a way to go. Not all writers go that way, but many of them do. On a day-to-day basis I wake up in the morning and I can do anything I feel like doing. I don't say, uh oh, I've get back to that damn novel again. I can always write a poem or something. ... "[18]

Major awards[edit]

The Science Fiction Writers of America officers and past presidents selected Haldeman as the 27th SFWA Grand Master in 2009, and he received the corresponding Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement as a writer during Nebula Awards weekend in 2010.[2][3] The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in June 2012.[4]

He has also won numerous annual awards for particular works.[2]

He is a lifetime member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and past-president.[citation needed][19]

His filk song "The Ballad of Stan Long (a sexist epic)" received a Pegasus Award in 2005.[20]

Hugo Award[edit]

John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel[edit]

  • Forever Peace (1998)[22]

Nebula Award[edit]

Locus Award[edit]

Rhysling Award[edit]

  • "Saul's Death" (1984) – long poem
  • "Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh" (1991) – short poem
  • "January Fires" (2001) – long poem

World Fantasy Award[edit]

James Tiptree, Jr. Award[edit]

Pegasus Award[edit]

  • "The Ballad of Stan Long (a sexist epic)" (2005) – Best Space Opera Song



  • War Year (1972) – nongenre Vietnam War novel, hardcover and paperback endings differ
  • Mindbridge (1976) – Hugo nominee, placed second in annual Locus Poll[2]
  • All My Sins Remembered (1977)
  • There is No Darkness (1983) – cowritten with Jack C. Haldeman II
  • Tool of the Trade (1987)
  • Buying Time (1989) – published in the UK as The Long Habit of Living
  • The Hemingway Hoax (1990)
  • 1968 (1994) (novel) – Vietnam War novel
  • The Coming (2000) – Locus SF nominee, 2001[26]
  • Guardian (2002)
  • Camouflage (2004) – Nebula Award winner, 2005[27]
  • Old Twentieth (2005)
  • The Accidental Time Machine (2007) – Nebula Award nominee, 2007;[28] placed fifth in annual Locus Poll[2]
  • Work Done For Hire (2014)

Forever War series[edit]

  • The Forever War (1974) (Nebula Award winner, 1975;[23] Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1976[21])
  • "A Separate War" (1999, short story; appeared first in 1999 in the anthology Far Horizons; collected in 2006 in War Stories and A Separate War and Other Stories) (The story of Marygay Potter after she parts with William Mandella in The Forever War)
  • Forever Free (1999) (a direct sequel to the first novel)

Attar (the Merman) series[edit]

  • Attar's Revenge (1975) (published under the pseudonym Robert Graham)
  • War of Nerves (1975) (published under the pseudonym Robert Graham)

Star Trek novels[edit]

Worlds series[edit]

Forever Peace series[edit]

  • Forever Peace (1997) (Nebula Award winner, 1998;[22] John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel winner, 1998;[22] Hugo Awards winner, 1998[22]) (while thematically linked to Haldeman's The Forever War series, Forever Peace is not set in the same universe)
  • "Forever Bound" (2010, short story; appears in the anthology Warriors) (a prequel to Forever Peace, it tells the story of Julian Class being drafted and trained as a soldierboy while falling in love with Carolyn)

Marsbound trilogy[edit]

Short fiction collection[edit]

  • Infinite Dreams (1978)
  • Dealing in Futures (1985)
  • Vietnam and Other Alien Worlds (1993)
  • None So Blind (1996)
  • A Separate War and Other Stories (2006)
  • The Best of Joe Haldeman (2013)

Anthologies edited[edit]


  • The Forever War drawn by Mark van Oppen (better known as Marvano) (original edition La Guerre éternelle (1988–1989))
  • Forever Free drawn Marvano (original edition Libre à jamais (2002))
  • Dallas Barr drawn by Marvano based on Buying Time (1996–2005)


  • Haldeman, Joe (Mar 2013). "Rounder". Asimov's Science Fiction. Vol. 37 no. 3. p. 105.
  • Saul's Death and Other Poems (1997)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Joe Haldeman at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-04. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Haldeman, Joe" Archived 2007-08-22 at the Wayback Machine. Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  3. ^ a b "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" Archived 2013-03-08 at the Wayback Machine. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  4. ^ a b "Science Fiction Hall of Fame: EMP Museum Announces the 2012 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductees". May/June 2012. EMP Museum ( Archived 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  5. ^
  6. ^ According to the author's note (page 278) in the SF-novel The Accidental Time Machine
  7. ^ Joe Haldeman
  8. ^ "Macmillan entry for author". Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  9. ^ Whitacre, Andrew (2014-09-16). "Slideshow: Joe Haldeman's retirement party". MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing. MIT. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  10. ^ "Faculty". Writing and Humanistic Studies. MIT. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  11. ^ Haldeman, Joe. "[homepage]". Joe Haldeman [website]. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  12. ^ "Joe Haldeman: Art for Art's Sake". Locus. October 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  13. ^ Hamit: LepreCon 38: A Con The Way They Used To Be.[full citation needed]
  14. ^ "Sci-fi legend Joe Haldeman in intensive care". September 24, 2009. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009.
  15. ^ a b Autobiographical ramble by Joe Haldeman
  16. ^ "Robot Jox". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  17. ^ Michael McGraw-Herdeg (October 17, 2008). "Prof. Haldeman's Novel 'Forever War' Picked Up By 20th Century Fox Film". The Tech. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  18. ^ Joy Ward interviews Joe Haldeman Archived 2016-06-03 at the Wayback Machine, Galaxy's Edge magazine, January 2016
  19. ^ "Foxhole Pizza and Interstellar Quail: Cooking the Books with Joe and Gay Haldeman".[page needed]
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c "1976 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  23. ^ a b "1975 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  24. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  25. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on 2000-08-18. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
  26. ^ "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  27. ^ "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  28. ^ "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17.

External links[edit]