David Frese, The Kansas City Star, interviews our friend Joe Haldeman, author of “The Forever War” and a couple of dozen other fine novels:
Q: Whatever happened to the “Forever War” movie?
A: Well, it’s still flitting around. Every now and then you see something. The money has been invested at this very preliminary level, which is to say I’ve made plenty of money off of it by people buying the rights.
But that doesn’t make a movie happen. We have seven scripts, I understand, but that doesn’t mean much. I can write a script in two months — and I’m slow. I have a pile of scripts in my office here, but nobody’s beating down the door to get to them.
The interviewer notes that “The Forever War” was published in 1974 and begins during an interstellar war in 1997. He asks what aspects of the future haven’t met expectations.
A: It seems we should be well on our way to colonizing Mars by now. Which is what we thought back in the ’70s. What went wrong? Well, the world went wrong. I have to face the fact that space travel is not the most important thing on everybody’s agenda, and most people hardly ever think about it. That’s just reality.
Q: What has exceeded your expectations of the future?
A: I never thought there’d be a black president. I didn’t see that coming in my lifetime. So there’s one good thing that happened. There’s a demonstration that America isn’t a totally racist, backward country.
In fact, I think we’re all pretty good people, and it’s nice when we do something as a group that demonstrates that to people outside the United States.
The internet and mobile computing have exceeded expectations. You can access virtually all the information in the world from an inexpensive pocket sized device. Few if any of the science fiction writers whose work I devoured as a teen in the 70s (who included Joe) predicted that would happen in my lifetime.
Joe’s next book is “Phobos Means Fear,” which is an outstanding title for a science fiction/horror story.