In the year 2043, the Ngumi War rages. Limited nuclear strikes have been used on Atlanta and two enemy cities, but the war goes on, fought by “soldierboys”—indestructible war machines run by remote control by soldiers hundreds of miles away. Julian Class is one of these soldiers, and for him, war is indeed hell. The psychological strain of being jacked-in to his soldierboy —and the genocidal results—are becoming too much to bear. For Julian, it might be worth dying just to stop living. Now he and his lover, Dr. Amelia Harding, have made a terrifying scientific discovery that could literally put the universe back to square one. For Julian, however, the discovery isn’t terrifying. It’s tempting.
Julian Class is a full-time professor and part-time combat veteran who spends a third of each month virtually wired to a robotic “soldierboy.” The soldierboys, along with flyboys and other advanced constructs, allow the U.S. to wage a remotely controlled war against constant uprisings in the Third World. The conflicts are largely driven by the so-called First World countries’ access to nanoforges—devices that can almost instantly manufacture any product imaginable, given the proper raw materials—and the Third World countries’ lack of access to these devices. But even as Julian learns that the consensual reality shared by soldierboy operators can lead to universal peace, the nanoforges create a way for humanity to utterly destroy itself, and it will be a race against time to see which will happen first. Although Forever Peace bears a title similar to Joe Haldeman’s classic novel The Forever War, he says it’s not a sequel.