The twentieth century was awash in war. World powers were pouring men and machines onto the killing fields of Europe. Then, in one dramatic stroke, a divided planet was changed forever. An alien race attacked Earth, and for every nation, every human being, new battle lines were drawn. .
With his epic novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove shares a stunning vision of what might have been–and what might still be–if one moment in history were changed. In the WorldWar and Colonization series, an ancient, highly advanced alien species found itself locked in a bitter struggle with a distant, rebellious planet–Earth. For those defending the Earth, this all-out war for survival supercharged human technology, made friends of foes, and turned allies into bitter enemies.
For the aliens known as the Race, the conflict has yielded dire consequences. Mankind has developed nuclear technology years ahead of schedule, forcing the invaders to accept an uneasy truce with nations that possess the technology to defend themselves. But it is the Americans, with their primitive inventiveness, who discover a way to launch themselves through distant space–and reach the Race’s home planet itself.
Now–in the twenty-first century–a few daring men and women embark upon a journey no human has made before. Warriors, diplomats, traitors, and exiles–the humans who arrive in the place called Home find themselves genuine strangers on a strange world, and at the center of a flash point with terrifying potential. For their arrival on the alien home world may drive the enemy to make the ultimate decision–to annihilate an entire planet, rather than allow the human contagion to spread. It may be that nothing can deter them from this course.
With its extraordinary cast of characters–human, nonhuman, and some in between–Homeward Bound is a fascinating contemplation of cultures, armies, and individuals in collision. From the novelist USA Today calls “the leading author of alternate history,” this is a novel of vision, adventure, and constant, astounding surprise.
Alternate-history maestro Turtledove's conclusion to his Worldwar and Colonization sagas, about how lizard-like aliens known as the Race invaded Earth during WWII and were fought to a stalemate by the major Allied and Axis combatants, lacks the vividly described battle scenes of its predecessors, but more than compensates by closely examining the Race's culture and society. While the Race have colonized much of Earth, they're amazed by the human ability to adapt to change. (The aliens' probe some 600 years earlier led them to expect they'd be facing armored knights.) When an American starship makes the trip to Home, the Race's planet of origin, the lizards fear the loss of their technological dominance and decide to annihilate Earth, their colony included until another Earth spaceship arrives, this one with the faster-than-light drive the Race never developed. The question of how much common ground exists between the lizards and humans wouldn't have been out of place in old issues of Astounding. The author dramatizes the old "nature versus nurture" argument through the moving stories of a human woman raised from birth by the lizards and of two aliens raised as humans. Fans will be pleased that room remains for a sequel.