Hotspur's Reviews > The Watch Below

The Watch Below by James White
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bookshelves: science-fiction
Recommended to Hotspur by: a podcast
Recommended for: quirky SF fans, people who like first contact situations.

An exceptionally odd premise for a novel-- a cargo ship is torpedoed in World War II, and goes down to the bottom with a small nucleus of survivors, male and female. They are not killed; instead they survive, and manage to live the rest of their lives out on the bottom of the sea floor, existing on the food supplies stored in the hold and water reclaimed from condensation. They even have children and grandchildren. This story is superimposed over the tale of the migration of a species of aquatic aliens who have created an armada to escape the destruction of their home planet. Something goes wrong with their grand scheme and they land on earth-- to live in our oceans. Communications between the semi-aqueous aliens and humans seems quite problematic; until they discover the small group of tanker survivors on the sea floor. So far, White is far more skillful in depicting aliens than humans, but the writing is still quite good for all of that.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 18, 2008 – Shelved
September 18, 2008 – Shelved as: science-fiction
September 18, 2008 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Neb (new) - added it

Neb I'm going to look for this one. I like the premise, even if it stretches the bounds of possibility. If the author can get me past the extreme unlikelihood of the cargo ship retaining its structural integrity and watertightness(!) for longer than a couple of hours, I should be fine. I like "what if" kinds of stories if the plot and characters are interesting enough for me to suspend disbelief.

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