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Friday, June 9, 2017

Grounded in stories about oneself

“I think any writer keeps going back to some basic theme. Sometimes it's autobiographical. I guess it usually is” – Joe Haldeman

Born in Oklahoma City on this date in 1943, Haldeman is one of America’s leading writers of Science Fiction, best known for his novels The Forever War, The Hemingway Hoax and Forever Peace.  In 2009 he was selected for the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award, followed in 2010 by the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.  He was inducted into The Science Fiction Hall of Fame in June 2012.

Also known for writing by hand – literally, he writes with a pen and notepad – he said there's something special about writing by hand, writing with a fountain pen.  “And there's something special about writing into a book, to take a blank book and turn it into an actual book.

“I like the physical action of writing down by hand, and I don't just use it for writing my fiction.”

Many of Haldeman's works, including his debut novel War Year and The Forever War (his second book) were inspired by his experiences in the Vietnam War, where he was wounded, and by adjusting to civilian life after returning home.                    

“I think I would have been a writer, anyhow, in the sense of having written a story every now and then, or continued writing poetry,” Haldeman said.   “But it was the war experience and the two novels I wrote about Vietnam that really got me started as a professional writer.”

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