Sci-fi legend Joe Haldeman in intensive care

Joe Haldeman, credit: Mikko Aarnio, Creative Commons
Joe Haldeman, credit: Mikko Aarnio

Award-winning science fiction author Joe Haldeman was hospitalised this week for a twisted bowel and has severe pancreatitis, his wife has revealed.

Posting on the forums, Gay Haldeman first revealed the bad news several days ago on 22 September, saying the author had had “pretty extensive surgery” in Cincinnati in the US after having bad abdominal pains. Haldeman was in the intensive care unit (ICU), his wife revealed, “doing well, but not yet out of the woods”.

Yesterday, on 23 September, Gay Haldeman posted her husband was still in the ICU unit and “critically stable”. Further details:

“The surgeon just told me that Joe’s blood count was coming down and the pancreatic enzymes were better than yesterday. Lab stuff looks better. He’s still running a fever of about 102 that doesn’t want to come down. He’ll probably be on the respirator for a few more days to rest and recover. His bowel has begun working, one of the serious hurdles for this kind of surgery. He’s getting IV nutrition and they’re keeping him sedated (yay).”

Further details are available on the forum thread created for discussing Haldeman’s health. Some fellow authors, such as Vonda N. Macintyre, have posted wishing Haldeman and his wife the best.

Haldeman is 66 years old and is best known for his 1976 novel The Forever War, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, although he has published many more books since, including Forever Peace, which although not a direct sequel, has some similarities to The Forever War, and also won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards. His most recent book is 2008’s Marsbound.

This sort of event is never pleasant in anybody’s life, and I wishes to pass on my best wishes to Haldeman and his family. I hope they realise how many lives Haldeman’s work has affected and how many fans are wishing him well.


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