cover image Colonization: Aftershocks

Colonization: Aftershocks

Harry Turtledove. Del Rey Books, $26 (496pp) ISBN 978-0-345-43021-2

Hugo winner Turtledove lives up to his billing as the grand master of alternative history in the concluding volume of his trilogy (after 2000's Colonization: Down to Earth), set in the same universe as his Worldwar series, about a close encounter between the reptilian ""Race"" (or Lizards) and their human hosts/enemies/subjects (pick any or all) on ""Tosev 3"" (aka Earth) in the 1960s. Here he develops the previous volumes' theme of an emerging common culture, as revealed in the vivid saga of the Yeager family and the Lizard-raised Japanese-American woman, Kassquit, who gets a belated introduction to human sexuality. The author shows he can be just as deft with relationships as with action. Having already discovered politics, change, intrigue, treason and cold weather, the invading race is now learning about bribery and monogamy. The humans have cheerfully looted their conquerors' technology to the point where the United States is fitting small asteroids with large rocket engines to use as bombardment weapons. In Europe, the ongoing complexities of human society show up in the much-diminished German Reich, where Jewish leader Mordecai Anielwicz and Luftwaffe astronaut Johannes Drucker join forces to find their missing families and prevent Jewish desperadoes from wreaking havoc with a stolen A-bomb. This novel is altogether excellent of its type, even if the end will leave readers wondering hopefully about possible sequels. (Feb.)