I read this about 1990 but it seemed written a couple of decades earlier with use of sixties/seventies slang.

It seemed like a fix up novel with episodic chapters like you would see in a magazine series.

The premise is Earth has been colonised by aliens who behave somewhat like the old British Empire did in India and Africa. The story sets off in very early years of the colonisation and covers a further few decades.

One of these aliens is a ‘Captain Dan’ and he appears in two or three chapters throughout the book. He likes to hunt and he hires earth natives to help him and be his bearers.

One story is they creep up at dawn and watch a farmhouse until the prize bull is let out of the barn so the Captain promptly shoots it. The bull head will be mounted in his house on his home world.

He can't comprehend how earth people can live in proximity to such large fierce creatures. The guide explains about farming and symbiotic relationships with some animals. The Captain misunderstands this and thinks humans are animals. The next day he shoots the farmer's nine year old son!

The alien planet is also in our solar system but opposing orbit so has never been seen, the aliens only found our world by mistake.

In one of the episodes an alien patrol is invited to a village fete. They enter a large tent and realise it’s an ambush, a very large negotiating table is set up with a team of Earth people, this is how battles are fought in the book. I ‘think’ they argue for three days until reinforcements (more debaters) arrive.

They tip the earth natives with such things as L.P. records and bottles of beer as these are (can't remember why) in short supply.

One of the aliens colonial aims is to do away with wasteful towns and cities and to get humanity into “properly designed living camps”

I can’t remember much else, I want to say Earth finally gains independence and gets Home Rule.

Edit, addendum to this.... I have a faint memory (but this could be from a totally different book!) of the new Earth flag being run up the spaceport flagpole at the independence ceremony and they realise it's upside down. The earth president immediately states it will stay that way so descending spaceships can view it for the first time the right way up .


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Colonists from Space by B.A. Young

When the green men from the flying saucers land in the Cotswold valleys, they set about their task of civilising the natives with all the pride and integrity the natives themselves once displayed in the virgin lands of Africa. As the Empire is forged on Earth, the chroniclers on the home planet record the adventures of the colonial pioneers with the same fertile imagination that is another context bred Sanders of the River and Tarzan of the Apes.

B. A. Young presents a series of accounts, some from the colonial point of view and some from the native, which tells the story of the exploration and conquest of England by the invaders from outer space. Part science fiction and part satire, this story sometimes has a curiously familiar ring. Light-hearted though it is, is has something to say about the qualities of the imperial spirit.

The reviewer on amazon mentions Cadet/Captain Dan:

Concomitantly zipping through the system are the Skrahl, and aboard that Space Corps vessel is Cadet Dan, who serendipitously discovers Planet 7156 C/s/3 (aka Earth). Though only a cadet, the honor of first footfall and spearheading the first foray is given to the cherubic, green-skinned, humanoid boy.

and debate/battle:

Yet, when the landing party arrives and eventually makes contact, the Skrahl take the defensive and prepare their battlefield, their grounds of war with the humans--the initial verbal debate. The conscientious Skrahl adhere to their debate protocols and the conventions of debate warfare, but Cadet Dan eyes the opportunity to play the very game the humans do: be brash, abrupt, loud, ignorant, immature, feisty, and irrational.

  • Thank you. I've awarded the 100 points and am off now to hunt for a copy.
    – Danny Mc G
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 21:59

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