Second Contact (Colonization, Book 1)

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9780345430229: Second Contact (Colonization, Book 1)

In the extraordinary Worldwar tetralogy, set against the backdrop of the World War II, Harry Turtledove, the "Hugo-winning master of alternate SF" (Publishers Weekly), wove an explosive saga of world powers locked in conflict against an enemy from the stars. Now he expands his magnificent epic into the volatile 1960s, when the space race is in its infancy and humanity must face its greatest challenge: alien colonization of planet Earth.

Yet even in the shadow of this inexorable foe, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany are unable to relinquish their hostilities and unite against a massive new wave of extraterrestrials. For all the countries of the world, this is the greatest threat of all. This time, the terrible price of defeat will be the conquest of our world, and perhaps the extinction of the human race itself.

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Review:

Harry Turtledove pays tribute to pulp science fiction, combining a favorite plot--invasion by technologically superior aliens--with an alternate history of WWII and its aftermath. His Worldwar Series began the story when a fleet of lizard-like aliens arrived to conquer Earth in May 1942. It ended in 1945 with a negotiated peace between the Race, the nuclear powers (the Reich, the USSR, and the USA), and the much-weakened Britain and Japan.

Colonization: Second Contact continues the saga, but you need not read the previous series to enjoy it. When the colonists arrive in 1962, they're unprepared for a half-conquered world. After several of their ships are destroyed by a nuclear missile of mysterious origin, they accuse the conquest forces of incompetence. Muslims in the conquered Middle East are staging an Intifada, the Chinese Communists continue guerrilla warfare against the invaders, and everyone's smuggling ginger, which is powerfully addictive among the Race and has unanticipated effects on the female colonists.

Turtledove's cast of characters includes sharply drawn alien soldiers and civilians as well as a mix of convincing historical and fictional humans from all over the world. He covers all the sixties issues: generational conflict, the drug culture, racial inequality, the threat of atomic apocalypse, and the frustration of soldiers in an unwinnable war. If you enjoy alternate history and old B movies, this book's for you. --Nona Vero

About the Author:

Harry Turtledove was born in Los Angeles in 1949. After flunking out of Caltech, he earned a Ph.D. in Byzantine history from UCLA. He has taught ancient and medieval history at UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State L.A., and has published a translation of a ninth-century Byzantine chronicle, as well as several scholarly articles. He is also a Hugo Award-winning and Nebula Award-nominated full-time writer of science fiction and fantasy. His alternate history works have included several short stories and the novels A World of Difference, The Guns of the South (a speculative novel of the Civil War), and the Worldwar tetralogy that began in 1994 with Worldwar: In the Balance.

He is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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