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I got the book (in German) maybe around 1990 from a children's library, so it was probably a young adult novel. I believe to remember that the title of the book was the name of the protagonist, a youngish woman name 'Crissy', or 'Carrie' or similar (the latter virtually impossible to search for, due to the Stephen King novel), but this might have been a translated title. The book was probably part of a series.

I remember the following:

  • The (soldier) woman awakes from some malfunctioned cryosleep pod in a mountain bunker, and makes her way to the surface to find out that she has been sleeping way longer than planned, and that the Earth has been devastated and conquered by some alien force.

  • While leaving this mountain bunker, she triggers an alarm of an other fraction of humans who still live in another bunker. They send a search party after her.

  • During her voyage on the surface she encounters civilians which have fallen behind in technology and can barely make fire. She gives them a lighter.

  • The aliens have manipulated some humans to convert them to fighters/'handymen' for their purposes and those have significant control over their bodies. I think one of them was able to detect and neutralize some poison in his body (just like Paul Atreides after, you know, drinking the worm water). Part of the story is from the perspective of one of these fighters, and I think he kind of questioned the motives of the aliens.

I am already looking for it for a long time to reread it for the good old times sake. I googled (no luck), asked the library where I got the book (they only keep books and catalogs for 10 years) and even ChatGPT (they fantasized something, but no leads), so I am afraid it might have been some pulp fiction book.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you happen to recall the cover art? Was it a paperback or hard cover?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 20:37
  • Hi @DavidW, thanks! I can't say for sure, but I think all the books of the library were hard cover at that time. Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 20:43

1 Answer 1

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That would be Charity, best woman in the Space Force, first in a book series by German sci-fi author Wolfgang Hohlbein.

You remembering it correctly:

The (soldier) woman awakes from some malfunctioned cryosleep pod in a mountain bunker, and makes her way to the surface to find out that she has been sleeping way longer than planned, and that the Earth has been devastated and conquered by some alien force

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  • Two excellent finds in one afternoon. Keep it going!
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 17:06
  • 1
    Thank you @Valorum, but it's more remembering to see/read it than finding, which reminds me that I am old :)
    – p4ulie
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 17:51
  • Awww, @p4ulie, it really is the 1989 series 'Charity', awesome, thanks a lot! The book I referenced is the second installment of the series -- 'Dark is the future' (not sure if there was ever an english translation) -- which was published in 1990. Judging by the covers it is indeed some pulp fiction, but since I also read quite a lot of Honor Harrington I will probably feel right at home with Charity... :) Thanks again! Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 19:58

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