Joe Haldeman

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For the CBS television producer involved in the David Letterman blackmail accusation, see Joe Halderman.
Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman Finncon2007.jpg
Haldeman at Finncon 2007
Born (1943-06-09) June 9, 1943 (age 73)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Pen name Robert Graham[1]
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1972–present
Genre Science fiction
Literary movement Military sci-fi
Notable works The Forever War
Relatives Jack C. Haldeman II, brother

Joe William Haldeman (born June 9, 1943) is an American science fiction author. He is best known for his 1974 novel The Forever War. That novel, and other of his works including The Hemingway Hoax (1991) and Forever Peace (1997), have won major science fiction awards including the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.[2] For his career writing science fiction and/or fantasy he is a SFWA Grand Master[2][3] and since 2012 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 experience serving in the Vietnam War, where he was wounded in combat, and by his adjustment to civilian life after returning home.


Haldeman was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His family traveled and he lived in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington DC, Bethesda (Maryland), and Anchorage (Alaska) as a child. In 1965, Haldeman married Mary Gay Potter, known as "Gay". He received a BS degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1967.[5]

He was immediately drafted into the United States Army, and served as a combat engineer in Vietnam. He was wounded in combat and received a Purple Heart.[6] His wartime experience was the inspiration for War Year, his first novel; also later books such as The Hemingway Hoax and Old Twentieth which deal extensively with the experience of combat soldiers in Vietnam and other wars.

In 1975, he received an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.[7]

Haldeman resides alternately in Gainesville, Florida and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1983, he has been an Adjunct Professor teaching writing[8][9] at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is also the fictional setting for his 2007 novel, The Accidental Time Machine. In addition to being an award-winning writer, Haldeman is a painter.[10]

In 2009 and 2010, he was hospitalized for pancreatitis.[11][12]

Haldeman is the brother of Jack C. Haldeman II (1941–2002), also a science-fiction author whose work included an original Star Trek novel (Perry's Planet, February 1980).


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 both mainstream and Young Adult.[13] 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]el was sold to ] for the Iowa Writers' Workshop. It won the year's "Best Novel" Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards.[2] He later turned it into a series. 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).

Haldeman wrote the first two SF stories that he (later) sold, in a college creative writing class in 1967. "Out of Phase" appeared 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."[13]

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.[14] 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".[15]

In a 2014 post on his official website's news page, Haldeman evoked the release of his (then) latest novel to date entitled Work Done for Hire and stated that he was «currently working on [a new work entitled] Phobos Means Fear» and that he had «a few other novels in different stages of incompletion».[16]

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. ... " [17]

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][18]

Hugo Award[edit]

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

  • Forever Peace (1998)[20]

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]

  • "Graves" (1993) – Short Fiction[23]

James Tiptree, Jr. Award[edit]

Selected works[edit]

Forever War series[edit]

Attar (the Merman) series[edit]

Worlds series[edit]

Forever Peace series[edit]

  • Forever Peace (1997) (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]

Star Trek: The Original Series novels[edit]


Short fiction collection[edit]

Anthologies edited[edit]


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". Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  3. ^ a b "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". 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"[dead link]. May/June 2012. EMP Museum ( Archived 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  5. ^ According to the author's note (page 278) in the SF-novel The Accidental Time Machine
  6. ^ Joe Haldeman
  7. ^ "Macmillan entry for author". Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  8. ^ "Faculty". Writing and Humanistic Studies. MIT. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  9. ^ Haldeman, Joe. "[homepage]". Joe Haldeman [website]. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  10. ^ "Joe Haldeman: Art for Art's Sake". Locus Online. October 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  11. ^ Hamit: LepreCon 38: A Con The Way They Used To Be.[full citation needed]
  12. ^ "Sci-fi legend Joe Haldeman in intensive care". September 24, 2009. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Autobiogaphical ramble by Joe Haldeman
  14. ^ "Robot Jox". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "News & Calendar". 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  17. ^ Joy Ward interviews Joe Haldeman, Galaxy's Edge magazine, January 2016
  18. ^ "Foxhole Pizza and Interstellar Quail: Cooking the Books with Joe and Gay Haldeman".[page needed]
  19. ^ a b c "1976 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  20. ^ a b c "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  21. ^ a b "1975 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  22. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  23. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 2011-02-04. [dead link]
  24. ^ "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  25. ^ "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  26. ^ "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 

External links[edit]