Looking for a book I remember reading from 80s or 90s.

Was about a soldier who would up being put into some type of suspended animation.
At some point he gets woken up just for wars then goes back into storage. Some of his friends end up dying.

At some point, they reappear alive but have no memory of what happened after the last time they went into suspended animation sleep. In the end the soldier breaks into the memory storage facility and destroys his memory record so they can’t keep bringing him back.

  • Can you remember who the soldiers were fighting (other humans, or aliens?). What level of weapons technology was being used? If there anything else that you can recall, please add it to the post :)
    – Alith
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 21:44
  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 21:49
  • 1
    I thought this was Forever War but that doesn't seem to contain the scenes I remember where the soldiers are stored digitally in a briefcase-sized storage device. Now I want to know what this was too. :)
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 22:12
  • Makes me think of John Scalzi's Old Man's War series.
    – Spencer
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 22:51
  • @DavidW Same here. I remember a friend of mine describing a story a lot like this to me, back in the 80s. A few years later I read Forever War, expecting it to be the same story, but it wasn't. I think I remember him mentioning grenades that were tiny, but very destructive.
    – LAK
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


Possibly The Eternity Brigade by Stephen Goldin.

Hundreds of human bodies have been placed in coffins in a military warehouse. But they are not dead, merely frozen in a cryogenic process meant to preserve an army of men to be restored to life if ever they are needed. The Earth they arise to inhabit is a world completely different from any they have known or imagined. Their only task is to fight and kill in the wars that plague the planet. They are not treated as men, but as fighting machines to be endlessly duplicated and used up. By having had their genetic patterns programmed into a computer, they are doomed to live over and over again, as part of an army that will not die and cannot escape. Yet one man is determined to break the pattern and free himself, truly believing that there must be a way out...of eternity.

The soldier is Jerry Hawker.

The book didn't make that much impact on me and I don't remember that much about it, but it broadly matches your description. The soldiers are continuously resurrected to fight again, and the book does end with Hawker destroying the computer that holds all their templates. The story ends:

There was something hard and smooth in his left hand. The grenade. He still held the grenade. He could not turn his head to see it, but he had handled so many grenades that his fingers knew its surface intimately. Set it, he ordered his hand, and the fingers moved slowly to obey. First he turned one small dial, then another. A timer fuse. Fifteen seconds. With the last gram of strength in his body, he pushed the grenade away from him along the floor, toward the computer, knowing there were millions of things that could still go wrong. Maybe he hadn't set the grenade right. Maybe there was a third record of him somewhere. Maybe…

Jerry Hawker did not live to see the explosion, nor to realize that it produced more than satisfactory results. But that, in and of itself, was a victory.

At long last, and forever, Hawker knew peace.

  • I don't recognize the cover, but the name and description fit the book I recall. Do you remember if there was an episode where they end up fighting copies of themselves? An explanation of how the soldiers stopped discussing previous battles because it was uncomfortable for the soldiers who hadn't survived them?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 9:53
  • @DavidW I can have a search through the book, but I remember too little of it to answer immediately. I don't think it's a very good book and my memory has obviously garbage collected it. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 11:20
  • That might be the book I mentioned in my comment, whose plot was described to me by a friend in about 1981 or 1982. I do remember them talking about the grenades the characters used...
    – LAK
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 14:36
  • @LAK grenades are mentioned in the book but I don;t think there is any mention of unusually small and powerful grenades. They are just regular grenades. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.