The caption on my audio-book copy of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman states that it is...
*The author's preferred edition of the seminal SF classic for all times*
What are the other editions of this novel and how do they differ?
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This is described in the intro to the ebook (and presumably dead-tree) version of the novel which you can read online here
I shall quote selectively;
This is the definitive version of The Forever War. There are two other versions, and my publisher has been kind enough to allow me to clarify things here.
The one you're holding in your hand is the book as it was originally written. But it has a pretty tortuous history
But Ben [Bova] rejected the middle section, a novella called "You Can Never Go Back." He liked it as a piece of writing, he said, but thought that it was too downbeat for Analog's audience. So I wrote him a more positive story and put "You Can Never Go Back" into the drawer; eventually Ted White published it in Amazing magazine, as a coda to The Forever War
At this late date, I'm not sure why I didn't reinstate the original middle when the book was accepted. Perhaps I didn't trust my own taste, or just didn't want to make life more complicated. But that first book version is essentially the Analog version with "more adult language and situations", as they say in Hollywood.
The paperback of that version stayed in print for about~ sixteen years. Then in 1991 I had the opportunity to reinstate my original version, which now appears in Britain for the first time. The dates in the book are now kind of funny; most people realize we didn't get into an interstellar war in 1996. I originally set it in that year so it was barely possible that the officers and NCOs could be veterans of Vietnam, so we decided to leave it that way, in spite of the obvious anachronisms. Think of it as a parallel universe.