In 1942 Hitler led the world's most savage military machine. Stalin ruled Russia, while America was just beginning to show its strength in World War II. Then, in Harry Turtledove's brilliantly imagined Worldwar saga, an alien invasion changed everything: alliances, technology, commerce, and--most of all--the nature of life and death. Nuclear destruction engulfed some of Earth's great cities, and the invaders claimed half the planet before an uneasy peace could be achieved. Colonization takes us into the tumultuous 1960s, as the reptilian Race ponders its uneasy future on the planet it calls Tosev 3. The United States has prospered since the war, and has sent a manned spaceship deep into space. On the other side of the globe, the German Reich remains bloodied but unbowed, brandishing a frightening new weapon and always poised for war. China strains under alien occupation, and from Poland to Jerusalem, Jews must choose between aiding the Race or the Reich. Now, the invaders have been joined by their colonization fleet--millions of newcomers who seek to incorporate our world into their far-flung empire.
The alien invasion that transformed the nature of the Second World War into a fight between humans and "Lizards" resulted in a state of uneasy d?tente. Twenty years later, Lizards lay claim to parts of the earth despite a growing state of resistance to their presence. Continuing the story begun in Colonization: Second Contact (LJ 1/99), Turtledove expands on his imaginary history of the 20th century. He demonstrates his talent for crafting drama on a global scale by concentrating on the individual stories that make up the big picture. A good choice for sf collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/99.] Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 02, 2001
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Excerpt from Down to Earth (Colonization, Book Two) by Harry Turtledove
Atvar, the fleetlord of the Race's conquest fleet, and Reffet, the
fleetlord of the colonization fleet, were having a disagreement. They
had agreed on very little since Reffet brought the colonization fleet to
Tosev 3. Atvar was convinced Reffet still had no real understanding of
the way things worked on this miserable planet. He didn't know what
Reffet was convinced of--probably that things on Tosev 3 were in fact
the way the Race had fondly imagined them to be before sending out the
conquest fleet. "I do not know what you wish me to do, Reffet," he said.
They were equals; neither of them was Exalted Fleetlord to the other.
They could be, and often were, equally impolite to each other. "No
matter what you may believe, I cannot work miracles." He swiveled his
eye turrets this way and that to show exasperation.
Reffet swiveled his eye turrets, too, and hissed for good measure. "I do
not see that it is so difficult. The ship the Big Uglies have launched
is under very low acceleration. You have plenty of time to send a
reconnaissance probe after it and keep it under close, secret
"And you brought starships across the light-years between Home and
here!" Atvar exclaimed. "You must have had good officers and good
computers, for you surely were not up to the job unaided." He paced
across his office, which had been a suite in Shepheard's Hotel before
the Race occupied Cairo. It gave him plenty of room to pace; Tosevites
were larger than males and females of the Race, and, naturally, built in
proportion to their own size.
"Leave off your insults," Reffet replied with another hiss, an angry
one. His tailstump switched back and forth, back and forth. "I repeat, I
do not see that what I have asked is so very difficult. As I said, that
ship, that Clewis and Lark, is under acceleration of no more than a
hundredth of the force of gravity."
"Lewis and Clark." Atvar took no small relish in correcting his
colleague and rival over even minute details that shouldn't have
mattered to anyone save a Big Ugly. "That it is under tiny acceleration
does not matter. That it is under continuous acceleration does. If we
are to observe it closely and continually, our reconnaissance must be
under acceleration, too. And how, I ask, do you propose to keep that
secret? A spacecraft with a working engine is by the nature of things
anything but secret."
"By the Emperor!" Reffet burst out. He lowered his eyes to the floor
when naming his sovereign. So did Atvar, on hearing the title. From
training since hatchlinghood, any member of the Race would have done the
same. Still furious, Reffet went on, "These accursed Tosevites have no
business flying in space." He used an emphatic cough to underline his
words. "They have no business having instruments that let them detect
what we do when we fly in space, either."
Atvar let his mouth fall open in amusement. "Come here, Reffet," he
said, walking over to the window. "Come here--it is safe enough. I
intend no tricks, and the riots seem to have quieted down again, so no
Big Ugly is likely to be aiming a sniper's rifle in this direction at
the moment. I want to show you something."
Suspicion manifest in every line of his forward-sloping body, Reffet
came. "What is it?" The suspicion filled his voice, too.
"There." Atvar pointed west across the great river that flowed past
Cairo. "Do you see those three stone pyramids, there in the sand?"
Reffet deigned to turn one eye turret in that direction. "I see them.
What of it? They look massive, but weathered and primitive."