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Worldwar: In the Balance (New English library) Paperback – 3 Nov 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; paperback / softback edition (3 Nov. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340618396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340618394
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.4 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

Product Description


With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world . . . This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less (Publishers Weekly on HOW FEW REMAIN))

Turtledove plays heady games with actual history, scattering object lessons and bitter ironies along the way. Strong, complex characters against a sweeping alt-historical background. (Kirkus Reviews on RETURN ENGAGEMENTS)

Good fun. It has an authentic speculative quality, energy and dash. (Time Out on A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE)

Engrossing ... definitely the work of one of alternate history's authentic modern masters . . . totally fascinating. (Booklist on THE GREAT WAR series)

Book Description

What would happen if the Earth had been invaded by aliens at the height of World War II? This is the first volume of the Worldwar saga, which continues with the Colonization trilogy and ends with Homeward Bound.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Szymon Piasecki on 20 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good entertainment. Surely creative ideas and exciting reading at times.

Somewhat annoying at times though if you are from Poland as I am. One may wonder what caused author to turn Poles into the most evil of the nations worldwide - for centuries busy hunting Jews (ever wondered why so many escaped to Poland from different parts of Europe over the centuries?) and collaborating with whatever aggressor appears on the scene (while Home Army - the AK was the largest underground force in Europe after the Soviet one).

But that's personal view, I treat above as part of "alternate" history and treat otherwise nice book as entertainment and not political statement or propaganda. Still, I woould expect more justice from a historian, even in an alternate history book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
The beginning is a very important thing... let it be known then that this is year 1942 and the known world is in the middle of a terrible war. German tanks are rolling towards Stalingrad and Alexandria, Japanese carriers are just preparing to meet their fate at Midway... and suddenly, from the outer space arrives a mighty space fleet, carrying the invading forces of the Race, a reptilian civilisation willing to include Earth (or Tossev 3, as they call it) in their empire.

A War of Worlds will then start, with the Earthlings building the most unlikely Great Coalition, including USA, USSR, United Kingdom, Third Reich and Japan, to face the invaders. Some nations join however the invaders (who want to dominate, not exterminate), the main of them being the Chinese and the French (the author being American, some French-bashing is a natural thing for him).

Although the writing of Harry Turtledove is not exactly the best thing on the market, the story itself is so original and perversely twisted, that I found this book irresistible. I do not want to reveal too much, but from the beginning the invaders run into some trouble and find themselves behind schedule - and the description of fights between Soviet T-34s and alien tanks (landcruisers) or the duel between the giant GUSTAV rail gun and one of the landing spaceships are really great moments of SF.

You will certainly appreciate this book the most, if you know a little WWII history - some of the twists of the history made me laugh out loud, especially those including the top German commando leader, Otto Skorzenny. I recommend this book with whole my heart. It is a very original and clever thing.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By on 9 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm sure everyone is aware that this is an alternative history novel about an alien invasion force turning up in the middle of the 2nd World War, and yes it is incredible patronising to everyone outside the US (especially us Brits!), and yes the Yanks do save us all (eventually, sort of) but you can forgive that because of the sheer entertainment factor! It's worth reading to experience the considered view of how a different physiology and culture would affect technological development alone. It also feels like reading a history book from a parrellel universe. The scale and breadth of it is stunning. Wonderful stuff. I read it in a few days then RAN to the book shop to get the rest of them. Now I've just fallen over myself to order the next three. I do know poeple who didn't like it, but if you don't, then perhaps sci-fi's not the genre for you...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Printul Noptilor on 19 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a novel of alternative history. During the beginning stage of World War II, space aliens invade Earth. Warring nations quickly realize that aliens are a worse threat than ideological adversaries among humans, so the English, Germans, Russians etc. become (admittedly sometimes not-so-friendly) allies. Obviously, the aliens are technologically much more advanced, but humans are not exactly resourceless either.
This is absolutely the most believable alternative history that I have ever read. The characters are amazing and the author has done his homework extremely well. He makes different nations, different mentalities, different historical circumstances so masterfully vivid in front of our eyes that a few minor Russian language mistakes really don't matter.
Now, another reviewer wrote that Mr. Turtledove has made the aliens incredibly stupid. I disagree. They are clearly less intelligent than humans in some aspects but not so much as to seem implausible. Besides, if a novel is to be exciting, thrilling, gripping, there has to be balance, right? If you are to successfully resist a much stronger enemy, you have to be more clever than him, don't you?
Sure enough, I can imagine that some other author would have made the aliens technologically advanced AND intelligent (as well as making the Russians, Germans and Japanese stupid beyond comprehension, as English-speaking authors usually do), and then sent in a bunch of Schwarzeneggers. Those would have shot down a thousand times their number without breaking a sweat, and destroyed the alien spaceships with their hand grenades through sheer luck. You know, the kind of stuff we've all seen in dozens of Hollywood movies. Well, maybe some people like things happening that way. Not me. I say that Mr.
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