Over at the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about having just read Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, which he now considers one of his top ten novels of all time. In singing the praises of Haldeman's classic war novel, Coates also advances an idea that the best works in any genre are ones that transcend that genre, or at least do more than simply fulfill the requirements of the genre:
Haldeman is writing science fiction, in the same way that E.L. Doctorow writes historical fiction. That is, that the foundation of science and the past are there, but only as the foundation. I think this is really true of any genre, or subgenre, by the way. In 1994, Nas was doing something beyond what I had recognized MCing to be. Same for the Bomb Squad. My point is that this isn't a shot at sci-fi; transcending is ultimately the point. And there's just so much in this book-questions of war, the ghosts of Vietnam, questions of sexuality, etc.
There's also a lively debate in the comments over Haldeman's well-intentioned but flawed approach to homosexuality. Worth checking out. [The Atlantic]