War of the Worlds Invasion logo Read my book Waging The War of the Worlds.

Sideslip by Ted White & Dave Van Arnam (1968)

Sideslip by Ted White and Dave Van Arnam.

There have been quite a few science fiction stories that deal with the idea of an alien dictatorship of the earth, (benevolent, malevolent and all shades between) most notably Arthur C Clarkes' Childhood's End. His classic much copied motif of giant alien spacecraft subduing the world by the simple expedient of their overwhelming size is present and correct in Sideslip, a curious novel in which a hard boiled detective is translated from our Earth to a parallel dimension where aliens have assumed control of the Earth.

The aliens are not Martians, but come from much further afield, so there is only one sparse reason for the inclusion of this novel here, and a frustrating one at that, for it is a clever idea that goes nowhere. Ron Archer is a private eye based in New York, but a sudden barely registered feeling of dislocation takes him in a single uninterrupted step to a New York radically different to the one he is used to. People are dressed in a bizarre mix of fashions and colours, architecture has changed and the polluting fumes are gone, as has the usual choking traffic, replaced by vehicles that hum by on some inexplicable motive power.

Much to his amazement, Archer discovers that he is in a parallel dimension with some very weird differences, not least that an aged Adolf Hitler is alive and well and living in New York where he has set himself up as a firebrand politician. The reason for Hitler's continued existence becomes readily apparent, for Archer learns that in 1938, on the very night of the Orson Welles radio broadcast, real aliens descended on the Earth and with overwhelming power at their disposal, imposed a world wide dictatorship. On the surface, it pretends to be benevolent, but in truth the aliens are imperialists with their own sinister agenda. Archer and the reader are thrust into a bewildering world of competing interests and various resistance organisations, none of whom are particularly without sin or their own ulterior motives. The mix of hard boiled detective story and science fiction never adds up to a very appetising whole and Archer's way with the ladies extends to the aliens in a very tired "teach me this Earth thing called love" sort of way. A definite curiosity, but not one I can heartily recommend.


Support this website

If you found this website interesting and useful, please consider supporting it by making a purchase from Amazon. You don't have to do it now, but if you bookmark this page, then shop with Amazon below, I'll receive a small commission on each sale.

See also


A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. A former American soldier is transported to Mars and finds himself caught up in war and adventure.

home - books - comics - film - home - links - mars - music - news - radio - shop - timeline
about - advertise - contact - privacy