Homeward Bound by Harry Turtledove

Hodder and Stoughton, 2005, 597p.

This is really Colonisation:4. Many of the “characters” from the Colonisation series reappear here.

This is the book, though, where we finally get to see the Lizards’ original world, Home. A US starship, with the aid of cold sleep technology adapted from that of the Lizards’ has been sent there to try to negotiate a basis of equality with them.

There are some sly asides about the US Ambassador to Home, referred to solely as the Doctor, who can only be meant to be Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately he does not wake up from the cold sleep necessary for the transit so one of our previous Colonisation acquaintances is pitched into the ambassadorial role. Also a character named Nicole Nichols is surely a nod to the communications officer of the original Star Trek.

There was one typo I thought was brilliant. “Buildings gradually got farther and father apart.”

Homeward Bound is an effortless, light read. Turtledove’s narrative goes down smoothly, as it always does, but the characterisation is still weak and repetition of information and attitudes far too frequent. He leaves open the possibility of yet more sequels.

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