About Joe Haldeman

Born in Oklahoma 9 June 1943. Grew up in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, D. C., and Alaska. Currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with his wife Gay Haldeman. As of August 21, 2021, they will have been married fifty-five years.


B. S. in astronomy, University of Maryland, 1967. Graduate work there in math/computer science, 1969-70; no degree (dropped out to write). Went to the Iowa Writers Workshop for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, 1975.


Retired from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 after 31 years. Taught one semester of Rhetoric (“Bonehead English”) at the University of Iowa, as well as an advanced course and writing workshop in modern science fiction. Have also taught writing workshops at Michigan State (Clarion), Clarion West Seattle, SUNY Buffalo, Princeton, University of North Dakota, Kent State, and the University of North Florida. At UNF I taught a workshop in writing the novel. At MIT I taught a science fiction writing workshop and (in alternate years) Reading and Writing Longer Fiction and Reading and Writing Genre Fiction. (In college, tutored astronomy, mathematics, and English; coached the fencing team, and taught classical guitar at a music store.)


Drafted 1967, fought in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam as a combat engineer with the 4th Division (1/22nd Airmobile Bn.). Purple Heart and other standard medals.


All part-time, mostly teaching. Have also worked as statistician’s assistant (HEW), librarian, computer programmer, musician, laborer, occasional platform speaker and consultant. (In the spirit of Eric Sevareid’s definition: a consultant is any ordinary guy fifty miles away from home.) For one disastrous month I was Senior Editor of Astronomy magazine (best issue they ever put out). Have considered myself a full-time writer since 1970, except for that short editorial excursion. I try to write a little every day even while I was teaching at MIT.


My latest novel is WORK DONE FOR HIRE, 2014.

In addition, I wrote two adventure novels for Pocket Books, under the “house name” Robert Graham. Many of these books are still in print. Every volume has appeared or will appear as a paperback (Pocket, Ballantine, Bantam, Avon, Ace). Various of the titles have been published in as many as 19 foreign languages. The novel MINDBRIDGE reputedly sold to paperback for a record advance (since surpassed) for a science fiction novel.

I collaborated on an adventure novel, THERE IS NO DARKNESS, with my brother, Jack C. Haldeman II.

WORLDS, WORLDS APART, and WORLDS ENOUGH AND TIME comprise what I consider to be my best work, a trilogy that I worked on from 1975 to 1992. A few dozen of my short stories, novelettes, and novellas have appeared in various science fiction magazines, along with a few appearances in “mainstream” magazines like Playboy. My songs and poetry come out mostly in tiny little magazines, with one poem in Harper’s and two in Omni. Articles and editorials have appeared in various magazines and newspapers (an article on the space shuttle won the Analog Readers’ Poll for “best nonfiction” of the year). I’ll write just about anything but criticism. (Actually, I have written criticism, but always limiting myself to writers I can praise without reservation.)

Theatrical Adaptations

Movie options have been taken on various titles, and the movie rights to THE FOREVER WAR were bought in ’97, but it’s dormant right now. I adapted THE FOREVER WAR for live stage; it opened in Chicago, October ’83, done by the Organic Theater Company (and didn’t lose money, which is unusual for a first shot). I’ve written a few short movie and TV things for Disney, but none has been produced. A short story, “I of Newton,” appeared on the Twilight Zone show in 1985. I wrote the screenplay for a science fiction adventure film that was released on about 800 screens on 21 November 1990. Over my strong objections, they titled it ROBOT JOX (I wanted to call it THE MECHANICS, but they didn’t think that was sci-fi enough.)


THE FOREVER WAR won the Hugo, Nebula, and Ditmar Awards as Best Science Fiction Novel of 1975. “Tricentennial” won the Hugo Award for Best SF Short Story of 1976. In 1978, MINDBRIDGE won the Galaxy Award for “Science Fiction and Spirituality.” “Saul’s Death” won the Rhysling Award for best science fiction poem of the year, 1983. “The Hemingway Hoax” novella won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella of 1990. THE HEMINGWAY HOAX novel won the Italian “Futuro Remoto”Award as Best Novel of 1991. “Eighteen Years Old, October 11th” won the Rhysling Award for 1990. “Graves” won the World Fantasy Award and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story of 1993. “None So Blind” won the short story Hugo in 1995. FOREVER PEACE won the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Awards in 1998, the first such “triple crown” in 22 years. “January Fires” won the Rhysling Award for science fiction poetry. CAMOUFLAGE won the 2006 Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Award (for science fiction or fantasy about gender issues). I was named a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2010 and placed in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame soon after.


Member of Author’s Guild, Writer’s Guild, Science Fiction Writers of America, National Space Society (on Board of Advisors), Space Studies Institute. Served as SFWA Treasurer for 2-1/2 years; Chairman of their Grievance Committee for 18 months; President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1992-1994.


Most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Arctic, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and various Pacific Islands. Guest of honor at science fiction conventions in Melbourne, Australia; Ghent, Belgium; Glasgow and Edinborough, Scotland; Wellington, New Zealand; Timisoara, Romania; Alboraia, Spain; Semana Negra, Gijón, Spain; Freiburg, Germany, and Lisbon, Portugal. In 1982 visited the USSR as a guest of the Soviet Writers Union. In 1986 did a lecture tour of Yugoslavia for the US Information Agency. In 1990 was Guest of Honor at the annual World Science Fiction Convention in The Hague, Netherlands.


Travel, obviously. Omnivorous and indiscriminate reading. Cooking for daily relaxation. Casino gambling (won a poker tournament in Nassau, 1989). Amateur astronomy, drawing and painting, guitar playing; a lot of bicycling and a little fishing, canoeing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Emails to Joe can be sent to haldeman@mit.edu

*Last edited in the 1990’s.

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