Old School Reading: Joe Haldeman
This is a linked collection of short stories — the adventures of a government assassin in a smallish interplanetary empire. The links are interludes in which the assassin is interviewed and prepared for the next mission through hypnotic suggestion — Haldeman is known for war stories that have more to say about what lies beneath the war than the actions of war, and this is no exception. The training & hypnosis plus the actions the protagonist performs in service weigh heavily on his mind, even through the hypnosis (Brainwashing? You decide.) until… well, I’d hate to spoil it for anyone.
The copy I’m reading, you may have noticed by the grease-penciled price on the cover, is from a thrift store. It’s a book club edition from 1977 — maybe it’s still in print? If not, Amazon’s not bad for finding used out of print stuff. That’s how I got my edition of Spinrad’s The Iron Dream — but that’s another story.