Upsetting The Balance (worldwar, Book Three) by Harry TurtledoveUpsetting The Balance (worldwar, Book Three) by Harry Turtledove

Upsetting The Balance (worldwar, Book Three)

byHarry Turtledove

Mass Market Paperback | October 30, 1996

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about

Communist China, Japan, Nazi Germany, the United States: they began World War II as mortal enemies. But suddenly their only hope for survival--never mind victory--was to unite to stop a mighty foe--one whose frightening technology appeared invincible.

Far worse beings than the Nazis were loose. From Warsaw to Moscow to China's enemy-occupied Forbidden City, the nations of the world had been forced into an uneasy alliance since humanity began its struggle against overwhelming odds. In Britain and Germany, where the banshee wail of hostile jets screamed across the land, caches of once-forbidden weapons were unearthed, and unthinkable tactics were employed against the enemy. Brilliantly innovative military strategists confronted challenges unprecedented in the history of warfare.

Even as lack of fuel forced people back to horse and carriage, physicists worked feverishly to create the first atomic bombs--with horrifying results. City after city joined the radioactive pyre as the planet erupted in fiery ruins. Yet the crisis continued--on land, sea, and in the air--as humanity writhed in global combat. The tactics of daredevil guerrillas everywhere became increasingly ingenious against a superior foe whose desperate retaliation would grow ever more fearsome.

No one had ever put the United States, or the world, in such deadly danger. But if the carnage and annihilation ever stopped, would there be any pieces to pick up?
Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, and How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Hot War books: Bombs Away, Fallout, and Armistice; the War That Came Early novels: Hitler’s War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d’Etat...
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Title:Upsetting The Balance (worldwar, Book Three)Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 6.93 × 4.2 × 1.4 inPublished:October 30, 1996Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345402405

ISBN - 13:9780345402400

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from A decent followup I did not like this book as much as the first two but I still liked it. And you need to read it if you plan on finishing the series, which I did. Overall, not a bad book.
Date published: 2016-12-26

Read from the Book

1     The fleetlord Atvar had convened a great many meetings of his shiplords since the Race’s conquest fleet came to Tosev 3. Quite a few of those meetings had been imperfectly happy; the Tosevites were far more numerous and far more technically advanced than the Race had imagined when the conquest fleet set out from Home. But Atvar had never imagined calling a meeting like this.   He used one eye turret to watch his leading officers as they gathered in the great hall of his bannership, the 127th Emperor Hetto. The other eye turret swiveled down to review the images and documents he would be presenting to those officers.   Kirel, shiplord of the 127th Emperor Hetto and a staunch ally, stood beside him on the podium. To him, Atvar murmured, “Giving a good odor to what happened in the SSSR won’t be easy.”   One of Kirel’s eye turrets swung toward a hologram of the tall cloud rising from the nuclear explosion that had halted—worse, had vaporized—the Race’s drive on Moskva. “Exalted Fleetlord, the odor is anything but good,” he said. “We knew the Big Uglies were engaged in nuclear research, yes, but we did not expect any of their little empires and not-empires—especially the SSSR—to develop and deploy a bomb so soon.”   “Especially the SSSR,” Atvar agreed heavily. The Soyuz Sovietskikh Sotsialesticheskikh Respublik sent a frisson of horror through any right-thinking male of the Race. A short span of years before, its people had not only overthrown their emperor but killed him and all his family. Such a crime was literally unimaginable back on Home, where emperors had ruled the Race for a hundred thousand years. Among the Big Uglies, though, impericide seemed stunningly common.   The gas-tight doors to the great hall hissed closed. That meant all the shiplords were here. Atvar knew it, but was still less than eager to begin the meeting. At last, Kirel had to prompt him: “Exalted Fleetlord—”   “Yes, yes,” Atvar said with a hissing sigh. He turned on the podium microphones, spoke to the males waiting impatiently in their seats: “Assembled shiplords, you are already aware, I am certain, of the reason for which I have summoned you here today.”   He touched a button. Two images sprang into being behind him, the first of a brilliant point of light northeast of the Soviet city of Kaluga captured by an observation satellite, then that ground-level shot of the cloud created by the SSSR’s atomic bomb.   The shiplords, no doubt, had already seen the images tens of times. All the same, hisses of dismay and fury rose from every throat. The tailstumps of several males quivered so hard with rage that they could not stay in their seats, but had to stand until their tempers eased.   “Assembled shiplords, we have taken a heavy blow,” Atvar said. “Not only did this explosion take with it many brave males and a large quantity of irreplaceable landcruisers and other combat equipment, it also moved our war against the Big Uglies into a new phase, one whose outcomes are not easily foreseen.”   To the Race, few words could have been more ominous. Careful planning, leaving nothing to chance, was not only inherent in the temperament of most males but inculcated in all from hatchlinghood. The Race had sent a probe to Tosev 3 sixteen hundred years before (only half so many of this planet’s slow revolution around its star), decided it was worth having, and methodically begun to prepare. But for those preparations, little in the Race’s three-world empire had changed in that time.   The Big Uglies, meanwhile, had gone from riding animals and swinging swords to riding jet aircraft, launching short-range missiles, using radio . . . and now to atomic weapons. The Race’s savants would be millennia investigating and explaining how a species could move forward so fast. Neither the Race itself nor its subjects, the Hallessi and the Rabotevs, had ever shown such a pattern. To them, change came in slow, tiny, meticulously considered steps.   Atvar, unfortunately, did not have millennia to investigate the way the Big Uglies worked. Circumstances forced him to act on their time scale, and with too large a measure of their do-it-now, worry-later philosophy. He said, “In this entire sorry episode, I take comfort in but one thing.”   “Permission to speak, Exalted Fleetlord?” a male called from near the front of the hall: Straha, shiplord of the 206th Emperor Yower, next senior in the fleet after Kirel—and no ally of Atvar’s. To Atvar’s way of thinking, he was so rash and impetuous, he might as well have been a Big Ugly himself.   But at a meeting of this sort, all views needed hearing. “Speak,” Atvar said resignedly.   “Exalted Fleetlord—” Straha used the proper deferential title, but sounded anything but properly deferential. “Exalted Fleetlord, how can any part of this fiasco cause you comfort?”   Some of the shiplords muttered in alarm at the harsh language Straha used; males of the Race, even those of highest rank, were expected to show—and to feel—respect for their superiors at all times. But a disquieting number of officers—and not just those of his faction—seemed to agree with Straha.   Atvar said, “Here is the comfort, Shiplord.” He used Straha’s title, high but not supreme in the conquest fleet, to remind him of his place, then went on, “Analysis shows the plutonium the SSSR used in its weapon to have come from stocks stolen from us in a raid during Tosev 3’s past autumn. The Big Uglies may be able to make a bomb if they get nuclear material, but we have no evidence they can manufacture it on their own.”   “Cold comfort to the thousands of males dead because you didn’t think the Tosevites could do even so much,” Straha jeered.   “Shiplord, you forget yourself,” Kirel said from beside Atvar; sometimes a near-equal could call attention to a breach of decorum a superior might feel he had to ignore.   “By the Emperor, Shiplord, I do not,” Straha shouted back. At the mention of his sovereign, he cast down both eye turrets so he looked at the floor for a moment. So did every other male in the chamber, Atvar included. The murmurs among the shiplords grew; as Kirel had said, Straha’s conduct was most out of place in a staid officers’ meeting.   But Straha himself was anything but staid. “Who, Exalted Fleetlord, led the raid in which we lost this nuclear material?” he demanded.   Atvar’s gut knotted. Now he knew the direction from which Straha would attack, but knowing brought no comfort. He tried to head off the shiplord: “That is not relevant to the matter before us now.”   Many males, probably even most, would have yielded to his authority. Straha, though, refused to be headed off. “It most certainly is relevant, Exalted Fleetlord,” he howled. “Wasn’t the chief Big Ugly male the one named Skorzeny?”   With its hisses, the name might almost have belonged to a male of the Race. That, however, was not why it drew a sharp reaction from the assembled shiplords. The male called Skorzeny had given the Race grief ever since the conquest fleet landed on Tosev 3. And—   Straha continued as Atvar had known he would: “Exalted Fleetlord, along with promising us the capture of Moskva at our previous meeting, did you not also promise us the imminent destruction of Skorzeny? Have we achieved either of these goals?”   His sarcasm made the murmurs in the great hall rise to a din. Males shouted angrily at one another. Through the uproar, Atvar answered steadily, “Shiplord, you know we have not. I assure you, I find that at least as unfortunate as you do.”   The sardonic reply did nothing to calm the shiplords. It certainly did not calm Straha, who said, “Instead of Moskva captured, we have a major force ruined. Instead of Skorzeny dead, we have the city of Split lost, Croatia more firmly in the Deutsch camp than ever, and Skorzeny boasting of what he did over every frequency on which the Deutsche broadcast. Assembled shiplords, I submit to you that these plans were not adequately developed.”   He couldn’t have been much more provocative if he’d suggested that Atvar was in the Big Uglies’ pay. Accusing a male of the Race of bad planning was as harsh a condemnation as you could make. Atvar had trouble replying, too, for the plan on which he’d relied in Split had come from the mind of an operative named Drefsab, who, despite being perhaps the best intelligence officer the Race possessed, was—or rather, had been—addicted to the Tosevite herb ginger, which could easily have clouded his judgment.   The fleetlord did say, “Experience on Tosev 3 has been that plans cannot always be as immutable as we conceived them to be back on Home. Any male who does not see this is a fool.”   “Your pardon, Exalted Fleetlord, but you are the one who has failed to adapt to the conditions pertaining to this world,” Straha said. “I have come to this conclusion reluctantly, I assure you; subordination to properly constituted authority has served the Race well for tens of thousands of years. But the SSSR’s atomic explosion and our ignominious failure at Split, each in its own way, have shown beyond any possible doubt that our conduct of the campaign to conquer Tosev 3 has been dreadfully mishandled.”  

From Our Editors

Russia, Communist China, Japan, Nazi Germany, the United States: they began World War II as mortal enemies. But suddenly their only hope for survival - never mind victory - was to unite to stop a mighty foe - one whose frightening technology appeared invincible. Far worse beings than the Nazis were loose. From Warsaw to Moscow to China's enemy-occupied Forbidden City, the nations of the world had been forced into an uneasy alliance since humanity began its struggle against overwhelming odds. In Britain and Germany, where the banshee wail of hostile jets screamed across the land, caches of once-forbidden weapons were unearthed, and unthinkable tactics were employed against the enemy. Brilliantly innovative military strategists confronted challenges unprecedented in the history of warfare.