Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christopher Anvil's "The Gentle Earth" (novella, alien invasion, free): Alien attackers are bothered by terran weather

Quote from short story titled The Gentle Earth by Christopher AnvilNo big idea here, but an enjoyable story.

It's not always logical - e.g., star faring aliens surprised at things about earth that you won't expect them to be surprised at. But a lot of action & many funny situations.

Story summary.

Technologically advanced aliens have been watching earth for a while. And are alarmed at the rate of human progress. Sooner or later, humans are going to raid their world. Why not nip the trouble in the bud, & don't allow the bad situation to arise?

While there are dissensions - punishment without actual crime - the threat is too big, & decision to militarily attack earth is taken. Much of the story is of actual attack, & eventual peace treaty that is supposed to save both aliens & humans (& which I found wishful).

Tlasht Bade is the very competent leader of invasion force, & was actually against the invasion. Sission Runckel, second rate chief of his staff, is a hawk & was on the side of attack.

Much of the story is set in the US; some in Caribbean & a few bits near end in Indonesia. Attackers have quickly occupied much of the middle US - cutting off east & west coast. They'll also occupy lot of places on east coast during the story. They'll set up factories, material transfer gates, ... Many humorous situations as they encounter specific features of earth's weather & of local culture.

What makes them retreat is winter! They're cold blooded, & tend to hibernate when temperature drops below a certain level. It's during their winter retreat to Indonesia that the silly peace treaty will be signed.

Collected in.

  1. David Drake, Jim Baen, & Eric Flint (Ed)'s "The World Turned Upside Down".

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding Science Fiction, November 1957.
Rating: A
Download full text.