Author Harry Turtledove
Cover artist Viktor Koen
Language English
Series Colonization
Genre(s) Alternate History, Science fiction
Publisher Del Rey
Publication date January 30, 2001
Preceded by Down to Earth
Followed by Homeward Bound

Aftershocks is an alternate history and science fiction novel by Harry Turtledove. It is the third and final novel of the Colonization series, as well as the seventh installment in the Worldwar timeline.


The 1965 nuclear war between Nazi Germany and the Race ended with a German surrender after Führer and Chancellor Ernst Kalternbrunner was killed and succeeded by Walter Dornberger. Now, Dornberger agrees to withdraw German troops from occupied France, and disband the German rocket and nuclear forces. The German withdrawal results in instability in the governments of its allies, such as the British Union of Fascists in the United Kingdom, as well as clashes between the Free French Forces and the new government of liberated France, and radioactive drift into the Soviet Union. However, Dornberger secretly begins stockpiling weapons and missile parts, allowing Germany the option to rearm itself in the future.

Cover of the British Edition

Meanwhile, the truth about the 1962 Attack on the Race's Colonization Fleet from Second Contact is finally revealed: it was an American attack, ordered by President Earl Warren. When it is revealed, Fleetlord Atvar gives Warren a choice: dismantle the American space program, or allow the Race to nuke Indianapolis for revenge. To the surprise of all, Warren allows the Race to destroy Indianapolis, and then commits suicide, with Vice President Harold Stassen taking over. It is eventually stated that the reason Warren allowed the city to be destroyed over the space program was that the Americans were working on a starship that would someday allow them to journey to the Race's homeworld and repay their visit to Earth.

Meanwhile, the Race itself undergoes substantial social unrest, due to the effects of ginger on their females. Drug addiction, the black market, and prostitution all arise from it, along with a reproductive system that is unregulated, much like that of humans. Inevitably, the Race is introduced to the concept of marriage.