Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An interview with Joe Haldeman

Heads up kids--this is something you'll want to see. My interview with the great Joe Haldeman is now available in the current issue of Brutarian.


Haven't heard of Brutarian before? Well, you haven't been paying attention. They've become one of my most dependable markets, with the Dom, the publisher, buying pretty much every interview I offer him. Which is groovy, since Brutarian is a unique publication. And I don't use that term lightly. Take a gander at the cover to the current issue, no. 52 to be specific:


I want to know how Dom discovered my admiration for bodypainting? Combine it with a kind of hipster, late-60s, Charlton "Planet of the Apes" Heston aesthetic, and I figure most folks will end up buying the magazine for the cover art alone. But if you're not convinced, here's a small taste of the conversation I had with Mr. Haldeman, just to whet your appetite.
I’d like to talk just a little about another award you’ve recently been associated with: Your participation in the Oscar-nominated Operation Homecoming documentary. How did that come about?


It came about because the guy who’s in charge of the National Endowment for the Arts is a fan of my work, and he had to come up with a list of modern novelists who had written about war. He said I was one of the first he’d called.

It’s not something you do for money--it was an awful lot of work, actually. I feel for soldiers, I really think they’re getting a raw deal now, and anything I can do that makes their position more clear to the public is worth doing.


Do you ever get frustrated or exhausted by your constant association with the Vietnam War?


Well no, not really. I mean, I’m used to it. Often I’ll just try to deflect it. Of course, most of the things I’ve written don’t have anything to do with war. Of the things I’ve written about war, about half of them don’t have to do directly with Vietnam.


Do you ever feel restrained or unfairly pigeonholed because of being so defined as a writer by The Forever War?


Well, there’s no way I can get out of it now. I think a lot of people are defined by their early work. Every now and then I’ll get fan mail that says “Why don’t you write the Forever War again?” Gee, you know, I wish I was 26 again, too [Laughing]

There's a lot more good stuff where that came from. Plus (and you can think of this as a bonus) I've got a handful of book reviews in this issue as well: Blood & Thunder: The Life & Art of Robert E. Howard by one Mark Finn, Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock and Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff VanderMeer. If that doesn't move you to show Dom some love, you truly are a soulless automaton, and all hope is lost.

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