People have been telling me to read this book for decades, so I finally did. It didn't disappoint, even with that much build-up. About halfway through I thought to wonder if this was going to be the sort of book with a really depressing ending, and if it would have won so many accolades if it were. Mostly, though, it was just very realistic about what the military is like, what war is like, and its ultimate meaning or lack thereof. I see the applicability to the Vietnam war, which its author fought in, and also to the current war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a very good book, very well-written, and keeps you involved and caring about what happens all the way through. I loved it the whole way, and then the ending was perfect. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction. It's got everything anyone could ask for: action, different cultures, weird aliens, interesting technology, romance, and great characters. I can't wait to read more of his work.