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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Second Contact (Colonization, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Colonization Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --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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Product Details

  • Series: Colonization (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345430220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430229
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lee on April 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy explorations of alien races' cultures, so these books have been highly enjoyable in that respect.
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.
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By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ok, for starters, yes I am hooked. I read the Worldwar series voraciously, especially the 2nd and 3rd were actually exciting and hard to put down. I couldn't wait a year for the next. The last Worldwar though was a bit disappointing, and so was "How Few Remain" because they dragged and dragged and were generally listless. As if a trend, so did this. The story lines were slow, and really not till the end did they amount to anything , and even the Muslim revolt was little more than table setting to hook you into the next book. I sincerely hoped for better because I loved the WorldWar books so much and thought this to be a very intriguing situation - the colonization fleet lands, upsetting the status quo since the peace declaration. There are always interesting tidbits in every book, such as the way that the lizard females react to ginger, but as I saw the pages to yet to be read dwindle, I was happy rather than disappointed that it was almost done. Best I can say is, I hope the future volumes will pick the pace up, get more interesting sub-stories and have more action.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In general I would recommend beginning with the first in this series, called _Worldwar: In The Balance_. While this book does move the timeframe forward a generation, it is substantially a continuation of the _Worldwar_ series.
What Turtledove does really well here is to surprise the reader with some interesting events (which I won't spoil). The criticism that his Lizards's military technology is so coincidentally similar to 2000-era US military tech is a valid one, and I'd like to see Turtledove account for it at some point.
Not as strong as the earlier books in the series, but still quite good.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've become something of an alternative history addict in recent years, thanks in no small measure to Harry Turtledove. This series has been around a while and I'm just getting around to it but I'm already psyched.

Even though his approach to storytelling is sometimes maddeningly confusing (a fault rendered more significant thanks to crappy formatting on the Kindle app), and though there isn't even a pretense of drawing any story line to a real conclusion, the vignettes are so compelling and the characters so well drawn that it is easy to look past the shortcomings.

It feels to me like the author writes the whole series as one manuscript and then arbitrarily whacks it into books. No real rhyme or reason.

Still, I will certainly read the remaining books in this series and be every bit a as compelled to their inconclusions as ever.

Like I said: addict.
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It is 15 years after the end of an alternative WORLDWAR II, with the Axis and Allies having combined forces to help force a stalemate against an invading conquering fleet consisting of male reptilian aliens with advanced technology but limited resources; and with a 2nd wave of aliens arriving as part of a colonization fleet of 80-100 million males and females, who expected to find a subdued planet, but end up finding it is anything else but.

Most of the characters who lived thru the first set of 4 books return in sometimes surprisingly different roles.

This book takes on a more "cold war" flavor, with spying, insurgencies, drug-trading, and other underhanded tactics taking the place of the all-out war described in the previous books.

I noticed the three COLONIZATION SERIES books are slightly larger than the four WORLDWAR SERIES books - about 600 paperback pages vs. 580. However, the same format is followed, with 20 chapters, containing about 6 passages each... it is this consistant format that allows Mr. Turtledove to tirelessly crank out the text to fill these series. It is a true gift that allows him to do this, and still keep things different and interesting enough to keep our attention through this marathon series.
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