Joe Haldeman
Haldeman at Finncon 2007
Haldeman at Finncon 2007
BornJoe William Haldeman
(1943-06-09) June 9, 1943 (age 80)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Pen nameRobert Graham[1]
EducationUniversity of Maryland (BS)
GenreScience fiction
Literary movementMilitary sci-fi
Notable worksThe Forever War
SpouseMary Gay Potter (m. 1965)
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), which was inspired by his experiences as a combat soldier in the Vietnam War. 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 received 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]

From 1983 to 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. Serving as a combat engineer in the Vietnam War, he was wounded in combat and received a Purple Heart.[7] He struggled to adjust to civilian life after returning home. His wartime experience inspired his debut novel, War Year; his later novels such as The Hemingway Hoax and The Forever War, continued to explore the experience of soldiers in wartime and after returning 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 was an adjunct professor of writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[10][11] He set his 2007 novel, The Accidental Time Machine at MIT. 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 gotta get back to that damn novel again. I can always write a poem or something. ... "[18]

Major awards

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]

He received the Inkpot Award in 1991.[21]

Hugo Award

John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

Nebula Award

Locus Award

Rhysling Award

World Fantasy Award

James Tiptree, Jr. Award

Pegasus Award


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (February 2017)


Forever War series

Attar (the Merman) series

Star Trek novels

Worlds series

Forever Peace series

Marsbound trilogy

Short fiction collection

Anthologies edited



List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Rounder 2013 Haldeman, Joe (March 2013). "Rounder". Asimov's Science Fiction. 37 (3): 105.
Ecopoiesis (NIAC Symposium 2015) 2015 Haldeman, Joe (November 2015). "Ecopoiesis (NIAC Symposium 2015)". Analog Science Fiction and Fact. 135 (11): 59.

See also


  1. ^ a b Joe Haldeman at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Haldeman, Joe" Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" Archived March 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  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 July 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  5. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Joe Haldeman".
  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 October 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Whitacre, Andrew (September 16, 2014). "Slideshow: Joe Haldeman's retirement party". MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing. MIT. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  10. ^ "Faculty". Writing and Humanistic Studies. MIT. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  11. ^ Haldeman, Joe. "[homepage]". Joe Haldeman [website]. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "Joe Haldeman: Art for Art's Sake". Locus. October 2001. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  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 Archived December 31, 2017, at the Wayback Machine by Joe Haldeman
  16. ^ "Robot Jox". IMDB. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
  17. ^ Michael McGraw-Herdeg (October 17, 2008). "Prof. Haldeman's Novel 'Forever War' Picked Up By 20th Century Fox Film". The Tech. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
  18. ^ Joy Ward interviews Joe Haldeman Archived June 3, 2016, 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. ^ "Pegasus Awards - Ballad of Stan Long".
  21. ^ Inkpot Award
  22. ^ a b c "1976 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  23. ^ a b c d e f "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  24. ^ a b "1975 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  25. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  26. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on August 18, 2000. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  27. ^ "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  28. ^ "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  29. ^ "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved May 17, 2009.