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The Quiet Invasion    by Sarah Zettel order for
Quiet Invasion
by Sarah Zettel
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Humans have set up a research station on Venus, although it is an uninhabitable world of killing heat, high pressure and poisonous winds. Helen Failia has built the station into something more significant; a permanent home for ten thousand people who live, work and raise families in the gigantic sphere that rides in Venus' thick carbon dioxide atmosphere. However, research funds are drying up and the survival of the station is threatened.

While Helen and her aides search desperately for a way to carry on, an exploring robot on the surface finds a circular shaft leading to an underground chamber. The publicity regarding the possibility of aliens on Venus solves one set of problems for Helen Failia; there will now be no shortage of funds. However, she is prepared to resist, at any cost, the proposed takeover of the station by U.N. agencies.

Meanwhile, on an equally deadly planet very far away, an alien race is struggling to survive as their living cities fail one by one. Their explorations of many possible future homes for their race has found only one suitable, Venus. The conflicting policies of the leaders of the aliens mirror the conflicts on Venus and Earth, but eventually the decision is taken to make Venus their future home.

Both aliens and humans have high ideals and good intentions. Neither are free of arrogance and fanaticism, which almost results in war between the races. This is difficult to accept; the aliens can live on the surface of Venus, yet they think and act very much like the humans in the story. Apart from this, and rather too villainous villains, both alien and human, The Quiet Invasion is well worked out and entertaining.

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