Alien species called the Fithp
The book depicts the reaching of members of an foreigner species called the Fithp that have traveled to our solar system from Alpha Centauri in a big ballistic capsule driven by a Bussard atherodyde. The foreigners are captive on taking over the Earth.
Physically, the Fithp resemble man-sized, four-footed elephants with multiple short pantss. They possess more advanced engineering than worlds, but have developed none of it themselves. In the distant yesteryear on their planet, another species was dominant, with the Fithp bing as animate beings, possibly even as pets. This predecessor species severely damaged the environment, rendering themselves and many other species extinct, but left behind their cognition inscribed on big rock regular hexahedron ( calledThuktunthp, plural ofThuktunin the Fithp linguistic communication ) , from which the Fithp have gained their engineering. The survey of Thuktun is the lone scientific discipline the Fithp possess. The Fithp are armed with a engineering that is superior instead than inexplicable: optical maser cannon, projectile rifles, controlled meteorite work stoppages to pelt surface marks, lightcraft surface-to-orbit shuttles the size of war vessels, etc.
The geopolitics of the universe in this novel are those of the Cold War, although the scene of the narrative is in the mid-1990s. This affects the secret plan, since in the universe ofFootfall, the U.S.S.R. is still a major universe world power, and has a greater presence in infinite than the United States. At the clip of the novel ‘s authorship, this was an extrapolation of modern-day analysis.
The Fithp are herd animals, and battle wars otherwise from worlds. Throughout their history, when two herds met, they would contend until it was apparent which 1 was dominant over the other ; so contending ceased and the also-rans were incorporated into the winning herd. The Fithp expect their contact with worlds to continue along these lines, and are confused by human efforts at peaceable contact. Upon reaching, they instantly attack the Russian infinite station, where Russian and Americans wait to recognize them, without warning. Then they proceed to destruct military sites and of import substructure on Earth. A US Congressman and Russian astronauts are captured from the ruins of the infinite station.
The novel ‘s human characters fall into two major groups, those on Earth and those who are taken aboard the Fithp starship as prisoners. Civilians are used to demo the effects of the war on twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours life in the United States, while military and authorities forces convey a more strategic overview of events. Science fiction authors are employed as proficient advisors on foreign engineering and behaviour ; these characters are based on existent authors, including Niven ( “ Nat Reynolds ” ) , Pournelle ( “ Wade Curtis ” ) , and Robert Anson Heinlein ( “ Bob Anson ” ) .
Confronting possible extinction due to the long-run effects of biological arms, a group of high-level Fithp were selected by bet to get away to the stars. TheChtaptiskFithp( ‘Traveling Herd ‘ ) are divided between ‘Sleepers ‘ and ‘Spaceborn ‘ , as the ship is both a coevals ship and a sleeper ship. The original leaders of the herd are low-level to their posterities the spaceborn, who are good prepared to get down a infinite based civilisation, but are still dedicated to the generations-old ideal of conquering.
After their initial assault, the Fithp land land forces in the centre of the North American continent, chiefly in and around Kansas. They defeat attempts by a National Guard withdrawal ( and, slightly subsequently, three American armored divisions ) to free them by the utilizing orbital optical masers and bombardments of kinetic energy arms, but a combined Russian and American atomic onslaught wipes out their beachhead. The Fithp, who are familiar with atomic arms but prefer to utilize cleaner 1s, are shocked by what they consider the atrocity of worlds ‘ willingness to “foul their ain garden“ with radiation. Human supporters, nevertheless, are exulting with triumph.
It is during this initial invasion that more prisoners are taken. These besides comprise a assorted bag of civilians including an aged twosome from the US Bible Belt every bit good as a immature adult female who was a high operation mental patient at Menninger ‘s. They are put to work by the Fithp on board their mothership, who expect them to incorporate themselves into the herd. The worlds decide to collaborate until a opportunity for some serious sabotage nowadayss itself.