Second Contact (Colonization, Book One) Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In high fashion, the master of alternative SF launches a sequel series to his acclaimed Worldwar tetralogy (Striking the Balance, etc.). It is 1963, and Earth is divided among five independent powers (the U.S., the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Britain, Japan) and the invading alien Lizards. Human adaptations of Lizard technology (including space flight) and the Lizard leaders' painful experience of fighting humans have led to an armed truce among all the parties. Now, however, the Lizard colony fleet, with 40 million sleep-frozen colonists, arrives to settle what they expect to be a completely subdued world. That the Tosevites (humans) are still holding out is only the first of several surprises to greet them. The nastiest is probably that ginger, merely addictive to Lizard males, brings Lizard females violently into heat?arousing an irresistible mating urge in the males. The Third Reich, meanwhile, under the leadership of Himmler, continues its odious ways; Jews maintain an uneasy peace with the Lizards, who saved them from the Holocaust; the Soviet Union (under Molotov) survives; and the U.S. is building a huge space station. Characters who have become old friends to readers of the earlier tetralogy abound, and new ones both human and Lizard appear by the double handful. Turtledove handles sexual themes with good taste and appropriate humor. With his fertile imagination running on overdrive, he develops an exciting, often surprising, story that will not only delight his fans but will probably send newcomers back to the Worldwar saga to fill in the backstory.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, one thing has marred my appreciation of the "Colonization" series: either Harry Turtledove thinks his readers have the short-term memory of an avocado, or he places a higher priority on wordcount than on good writing. How many times must we be told that Mordechai Anilewicz has pains in his leg muscles because he breathed Nazi poison gas twenty years ago? Every time he appears in the story, apparently. How frequently must we be reminded that Earth years are twice the length of the Race's years? Why, every time a member of the Race mentions years, or whenever a human mentions years to a member of the Race. How often must it be recounted that the Race prefers temperatures higher than those which humans find comfortable? Any time someone enters or exits a building inhabited by the Race! How many times must we be told that Sam Yeager's wife would disapprove of common-usage English? Every time her husband or son speaks or thinks in the vernacular, of course! If you come away from this book (and its sequels) without knowing the effect ginger has on females of the Race, then you clearly read only the first and last pages, because (as with many more things) it's described at great length more times than you'll be able to count.
Characters explain the same things over and over again, sometimes even to the same people. When nobody else is around, they'll sometimes think the explanations to themselves! Further padding out the wordcount is the all-too-common SF cliche that intelligent aliens seem unable to grasp the concept of contractions when speaking English.
I loved the tale, but the telling of it could have been vastly improved by an editor who'd had the fortitude to tell Harry Turtledove to trim the fat.
The writing is just...awful. What can one say? Repititious, long-winded, dull, predicatable, everyone's character is on the extreme. Hitler is a madman 24 hours/day, FDR is constantly thoughtful and "leading", Stalin is ruthless, secretive and cunning, etc... And what can one say about the RACE - an alien species with the ability to cross interstellar space but unable to defeat a backward Earth? They must be the dumbest aliens in existence. And if I hear one more time about how humans seem to catch on "quickly" I will scream.
Turtledove is stuck in a groove - one that needs uprooting. The problem is not alternate historical fiction - it is the fact that he has run out of ideas and is into repeat mode. As one reader says, "Nothing Happened." Don't waste your time with this dreadful "novel".
The Lizards, who invaded during an alternative WWII, have control of the Middle East, Poland, China and Austrlia. There is an uneasy peace as the US, USSR, 3rd Reich all have the Atomic Bomb. USSR is supplying Mao with the means of rebelling. Arabs are waging a Jihad. The 3 super powers are jockying for Power amoungst themselves as well as the Lizards. It is not a world versus Lizard united front. (Probably very realistic in that sense). The US has a secret Space Project. Lizards are being corrupted by Human ways. Human youth is imitating the Lizards by running around naked with body paint.
Into this powderkeg are some great characters and character development. There are not too many characters that one will not be overwhelmed but enough to put this "history" into a personal perspective.
Turtledove can really pull off a situation like this and I am always awaiting his next book.
Most recent customer reviews
Fans of the World War series will not be let down. Many of your favorite characters are back, some changed by the years, some not. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2002 by Michael Mathis
The story and people inside are great, marvelous. But Turtledove way of write it's so pitiful! Each time, in the book, come a caracther, he have to wirte down the same things as if... Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2001 by Antonio Fanelli
I've now read all three of the WorldWar books and the
first installment of the Colonization saga. Read more
This book is for those who read Turtledove's World War series, liked the idea of an Alien invasion during WWII, and wanted to know what happened next. Read morePublished on June 7 2001 by A. Burchfield
The biggest problem with this book is that NOTHING HAPPENS. 2 things happen repeatedly in this book:
1). Read more
The cover has pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini, some Nazi guy, and then Martin Luther King, Jr. The Ayatollah was an off-stage player, referred to a number of times. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2000 by Doug
I read this a month ago, so all the characters names but Straha have left my memory, so bear with me. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2000
Second Contact suffers far too much from being the first book in a series. Rather than come up with a linear plot structure, Turtledove picks up some of the old characters and plot... Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2000 by Amazon Customer