I'm trying to identify a short story I read within the last two years about aliens who invade Earth while the Cold War is occurring.

They are baffled by the strange white stuff that falls from the sky and freezes them, the moving winds in the tropics that destroy their bases and other aspects of climate.

The aliens focus their attack on the United States, but all Earth unites to fight them off, being ultimately unsuccessful.

The aliens build their base on an uninhabited island to sign a treaty with Earth, where it is agreed that Martians will inhabit the Earth for the six months each year where it's not snow season or hurricane season.

It is revealed at the very end that the uninhabited island the aliens have built their base on is


The story is told primarily from the alien war general's point of view, and may have been a Baen story.

(Even though I read it in the last two years, I got the impression that it was a lot older - publish date probably sometime in the last millenium).

1 Answer 1


I think this is from Christopher Anvil - "The Gentle Earth". It was published in 1957, is available through Baen Books, and I found it in the anthology "The world turned upside down" - it can be read at the link.

The aliens come to take over the planet. They are baffled by snow, ice, and many of the terms for weather (coming from a much warmer planet without pronounced seasons); they arrived spring-into-summer, and since that's the temperature they were expecting, never looked further. They also happily label anything they don't know about as "mythology" - leaving them no time to cope when they turn out kinda real. Earth unites under the threat, manages to fight using all kinds of unexpected advantages, and in the end gets a treaty. The location of the treaty is, as mentioned in the question, the site of a volcano - though the story doesn't quite end there, leaving the aliens pondering another myth

income taxes

The aliens aren't martians, I'm pretty sure, and the volcano is second to last in the story... But it really sounds to me like this might be the story you're looking for.

  • Yes. This is it. Thank you.
    – user32390
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 23:07
  • @MathiasFoster - Glad I could help!
    – Megha
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 23:11

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