Saturday, November 29, 2008

Colonization: Down to Earth

Colonization: Down to Earth
© 2000 Harry Turtledove
618 pages

I continued reading Turtledove's Colonization series this week. "Down to Earth" is the second book in said series, which is about Earth in the 1960s. The Lizards have held the southern hemisphere and China for nearly twenty years, and the newly-arrived colonization fleet is making Earth more Home-like to them. Growing political political strife between the human nation-states and the Lizards -- and between the human nation-states themselves -- was the theme of the last book, and that continues in this. The Lizard version of the internet makes its appearance in this book. I always find that depictions of internet activity -- particularly from the late 1990s -- are always a little awkward. I don't know why.

The characters occupying this book are for the most part veterans of the Worldwar books, although there are a number of newcomers. One of the more interesting newcomers is Kassquit, a human female who has been raised by Lizards as a Lizard. Another element introduced is that of animals from Home -- grazing animals and pets -- being introduced into Earth's ecosystem. It strikes me as odd that the Lizards didn't anticipate what would happen when they did so -- since they boast so often that they are a methodical race that plans things through.

The aforementioned political strife is mostly between Nazi Germany and the Race. While the United States and the Soviet Union both realize that humanity is not yet ready to fight the lizards, the Nazis -- being who they are -- constantly provoke the Race, leading to a war at the end of the book that has the predictable conclusion. I really enjoyed the book, but will be taking a brief break from the series next week.

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