The Windup Girl tied for the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel with China Miéville’s The City & the City. In the same year it also won the Nebula award along with the John W. Campbell award.
Cover art by Raphael Lacoste.
Michael M. Jones explains what makes this book distinct from previous works of military science fiction:
The Forever War is a masterpiece of military science fiction and social observation, applicable on numerous levels. While some aspects might be far-fetched, there’s no denying that it’s a powerful work. William Mandella is no career soldier like many of the military SF heroes out there; certainly not like Johnny Rico in Starship Trooper. He’s just an ordinary guy who gets drafted, and has the bad luck to actually survive the war.
Haldeman won Hugo, Locus, and Nebula awards for this book, and along with Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, it helped inspire generations of more realistic military SF authors.
Salon’s Michael Schmidt writes about the way Vonnegut changed the war novel by using aspects of science-fiction:
Doris Lessing calls him “moral in an old-fashioned way . . . he has made nonsense of the little categories, the unnatural divisions into ‘real’ literature and the rest, because he is comic and sad at once, because his painful seriousness is never solemn.” His acknowledgment and expression of the nuanced nature of experience makes him “unique among us; and these same qualities account for the way a few academics still try to patronize him.” As though what he does is easier than the resolved plotting of more derivatively artful novelists.
After a school tried to ban this novel, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library offered 150 free copies of the book to students in Rockville, Missouri.
Ray Walters at geek.com explains why this book was influential on not just literature, but also science:
The Martian Chronicles is a collection of loosely related fictional stories depicting humanities struggle to flee from the potential of nuclear war on Earth to try and find refuge on the Red Planet. Many of the ideas Bradbury put forth in the novels seemed fantastical at the time, but modern day efforts to explore Mars smack of the science fiction writer’s vision of what it would be like to visit there.
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