Rather than being the fearsome enemy, they are now hardly stranger than foreigners and have a strong effect on fashion. However, world leaders such as Premier Molotov, Fuhrer Himmler, President Warren and Fleetlord Atvar are concerned that their tentative truce is about to explode into open warfare once again when the colonization fleet passes within the orbit of Mars. The arrival of the colonization fleet gives Turtledove a chance to demonstrate how much the members of the conquest fleet have changed after twenty years of interfacing with Humans. The conquest fleet has adapted, however little, to the idea of rapid change. The colonization fleet still resists this type of change, seeing it as unnatural. Even when shown the evidence and after discussing the Humans with surviving members of the conquest fleet, the colonists do not fully believe the stories they have heard of the invasion as described in the four Worldwar novels.
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Rather than being the fearsome enemy, they are now hardly stranger than foreigners and have a strong effect on fashion. However, world leaders such as Premier Molotov, Fuhrer Himmler, President Warren and Fleetlord Atvar are concerned that their tentative truce is about to explode into open warfare once again when the colonization fleet passes within the orbit of Mars.
The arrival of the colonization fleet gives Turtledove a chance to demonstrate how much the members of the conquest fleet have changed after twenty years of interfacing with Humans. The conquest fleet has adapted, however little, to the idea of rapid change.
The colonization fleet still resists this type of change, seeing it as unnatural. Even when shown the evidence and after discussing the Humans with surviving members of the conquest fleet, the colonists do not fully believe the stories they have heard of the invasion as described in the four Worldwar novels. As might be expected from a novel billed as the first book of the "Colonization" series, Second Contact does not stand on its own.
Being the first book of a series, the ending leaves many plots up in the air, to be continued in the two remaining books in the series. However, set in the same universe as the "Worldwar" series, Turtledove assumes a certain familiarity with the events which took place in the s, documented in his previous tetralogy.
A reader who has not read the "Worldwar" series should pick up Worldwar: In the Balance before even considering the "Colonization" series. Some have risen in the world and some have fallen. A few characters have died in the eighteen years since Worldwar: Striking the Balance ended. To this mix, Turtledove has added more characters, most of whom live in Lizard occupied territory. Having ignored the lands held by the Race throughout the Worldwar series, Turtledove now introduces characters from Australia and Iraq to show what life under alien domination is like.
It turns out, that in many cases living under the Lizards is not as bad as it could have been. Certainly the few Jews remaining in Germany have it worse. Even being suspected of having a single grandparent who is Jewish is enough to send someone to their death. Overall, Second Contact has a darker feel to it than the earlier books, even incorporating the underground world of ginger-runners.
The Lizards have modified many fields on Earth in the years between the ceasefire and the colonization fleet. Most obvious, aside from the military hardware, is the establishment of the Russie College of Medicine in Jerusalem, where humans from throughout the Race-occupied lands and some of the free countries can gain a medical education. The Race has influenced other areas of knowledge as well. Turtledove uses French lecturer Monique Dutourd to point out that the Race has changed the way historians view the past.
One of the most volitile areas of our world is also explosive in a world with Lizards. In Iraq, the Lizards face a vanishing opponent in Khomeini, who consistantly riles the Muslims against their alien overlords. Turtledove uses these uprising in an interesting way to present the Muslims as humans, and therefore understandable, while the Lizards constantly underestimate the Muslim zeal and beliefs, much as Americans currently misunderstand Muslims.
Colonization: Second Contact includes numerous references to Home, both by the new colonists and by the existing occupiers. Even humans, from the German pilot Johannes Drucker to the Race-raised Kassquit, think about appearing before the Emperor.
While I was initially concerned when I heard that Turtledove would be returning to the "Worldwar" arena, he has used his return as an opportunity to give more insight into the non-militaristic aspects of the Race, the way humans deal with the subjugation of half the planet, and many other issues which were raised, but not addressed, in the earlier books. Colonization: Second Contact gives every indication that this three book series will prove to be a more interesting series than the earlier work.
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It is the first novel of the Colonization series, and the fifth of the overall Worldwar timeline. Plot The novel takes place over a period from through , two decades following the end of the Race Invasion of Tosev 3 covered in previous volumes. Cover of the British Edition At the start of the novel, the Colonization Fleet of the Race enters the Solar System, bringing with them eighty to one hundred million colonists for settling on Earth. As the fleet enters Earth orbit, an unknown human power unleashes a nuclear attack that kills millions. As Germany, the USSR, and the United States each have large-scale space capability, any of the three nations may have been responsible for the attack.
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A Different Flesh : A related set of short stories spanning the 17th to 20th centuries set in a universe where the ancestors of the Native Americans never crossed into the New World , only Homo erectus , who become known as "sims" to the colonists of English descent. Noninterference : A human interstellar survey team violates a directive to avoid interference with alien civilizations, with disastrous long-term consequences. Re-published in the collection 3xT. A World of Difference : In this alternative history story, the fourth planet of our solar system is larger, and named Minerva instead of Mars. The Viking space probe of the s sends back one picture—that of an alien creature swinging a stick—before losing contact.
Plot[ edit ] The novel is set in , twenty-one years following the end of the alternate World War II and nineteen years after the Race Invasion of Tosev 3. Smaller countries remain independent, such as the Republic of Ireland and Imperial Japan , which still controls portions of its World War II-era empire. The Race also occupies Poland , with the territory acting as a buffer state , keeps Germany and the Soviet Union from having a mutual land border and an easy way to restart the war between them. At the start of the novel, the colonization fleet of the Race enters the Solar System , bringing with them eighty to one hundred million colonists for settling on Earth. As the fleet enters Earth orbit, a human satellite unleashes a nuclear attack that kills millions.
The Race quickly conquers the less developed human societies of Latin America , Africa , and South and Southeast Asia , having some success at exploiting conflicts among human factions to procure allies among peoples who had been exploited through racial and imperial policies of the great powers. However, the Race also finds that, though it may be able to gain military superiority in a given area with relative ease, completely pacifying that area is a much more difficult prospect. Very quickly, a group known as the Big Five emerges, constituted of the five human nations which are able to fight the Race to a standstill using conventional military means: the United States , the Soviet Union , the Greater German Reich , the United Kingdom , and the Empire of Japan. This, coupled with the increasing impracticability of subduing human nations through conventional means, leads the Race to conclude that it would be better off negotiating a ceasefire with the humans to avoid the ecological ruin of the planet. The Conquest Fleet holds those territories it has subdued in anticipation of the arrival of the Colonization Fleet in and looks for opportunities to extend its influence into human nations to which it grants diplomatic recognition. The advanced state of humans leaves many colonists out of work, since their jobs can be handled by primitive humans, so they are unhappily rerolled into soldiers, which were not anticipated to be needed after initial landing and conquest of the planet.