Ruth starts out by insulting their translator with an unduly frank assessment of the being’s physical charms.The party gets the alien leader and his retinue stoned out of their minds on tobacco, then inadvertently hijacks the spacecraft containing said leader and retinue.Better yet, he manages to remember the masks before he can succumb to the gas that is silencing radios (and humanity) across the planet.Of all of Great Britain’s inhabitants, human and otherwise, only Jim, Elrick, Elrick’s beautiful daughter Ruth, and prickly librarian Boothwaite remain conscious. The aliens prove unexpectedly chatty and amiable for alien invaders.Not only have the aliens misread human psychology, not only is their meagre population stretched to its limits trying to carry out their scheme, but Boothwaite has succeeded in warning the Yanks. What the aliens, and the humans for that matter, could never have predicted is that letting Jim and his friends light their cigarettes in the command ship would expose the poor aliens to an incapacitating narcotic….~o Oo~The creative team behind this novel (and of the Winston ’s film department.
With their world almost at the point where oxygen would liquefy, the majority of the aliens felt they had no choice but to decamp for the much smaller, much warmer Earth.Winston editors Cecile Matschat and Carl Carmer were both respected authors in fields seemingly far removed from science fiction.I wonder what drew them to edit this series of books? Why am I interested in a series that may sound unremarkable, even for its time?Clues suggest that the aliens are using some sort of gas or dust cloud to subdue the regions that have gone silent.By sheer dumb luck, Jim has discovered a trove of Great-War-era gas masks tucked away in a laboratory cupboard.