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Doc Radford the Exec Wallis and First Officer Dickson together with two badly injured and hysterical nurses all of them stuck in the pitch dark bleak cold of a hull several fathoms under waterUnkind chance instead of killing them had left them with oxygen tanks and stores of foodSomehow they had to find a way to stay sane long enough to make a new home in this strange environment


10 thoughts on “The Watch Below

  1. says:

    Pretty much your standard multi generation starship first contact with aliens novel except the author decides to turn the starship into a WW II cargo boat sinks it at the bottom of the ocean and has the aliens come visit it instead I mean why not? If anything it kind of improved the formula


  2. says:

    Both wise and clever I don't want to spoil anything for you even something you learn pretty early on but let's just say it succeeds at being a lot of different things a survival story a first contact story two variations on generation ship stories and it even feeds my interest in stories about post apocalyptic rebuildingIt's dated and flawed but still a fascinating read imo Really gets into theories of sociology and explorations of what it means to be a personI am now re reading Station Eleven and am intrigued by the resemblancesThe mm pb edition I read is not listed here these old pulps don't always get the respect they deserve and if only I had realized it needed to be entered I would have but too late now but why hasn't another reader librarian done so? I mean ppl should have read it


  3. says:

    I first read this book shortly after it was published in 1966 and it captured my imagination then so I decided to read it again 50 years later I've kept all the books I read as a teenager almost all of them science fiction and fantasy The Watch Below is science fiction and definitely of that era But it's still a good story imaginative with good characters although it seemed a little rushed at the end The premise is pretty creative a group of people trapped in a sunken ship from WWII who survive several generations and whose descendants are finally rescued by aliens who themselves were trapped in interstellar ships for generations


  4. says:

    Clever and interesting right to the last Very good


  5. says:

    A strange book indeed It reuires a significant suspension of disbelief to go along with the premise of generations of humans surviving in a sunken ship; it wouldn't work as described But since I'm to accept the interstellar fleet of alien fugitives why not?The juxtaposition of the two groups as their trajectories come together is a good one and the subcultures that arise among the survivors are fascinating This is a neat little book that goes deeper into sociology and epistemology than most first contact novels Not as dated as it could be


  6. says:

    Full review James White famous for his Sector General series spins a disturbing tale of two isolated and decaying societies — one alien one human Without doubt the work demands a certain suspension of disbelief The isolated human society half


  7. says:

    Survivors of a World War II torpedoing build a civilization in their sunken freighter Generations later their descendants encounter a water breathing alien species in search of a new home


  8. says:

    This is a great read you bond with the characters even through the generations You would hope humans could behave like this in this situation An odd and uniue book


  9. says:

    Remember that a 2 star Goodreads rating means It was OKAt the heart of this book is a uite implausible premise that group of humans could survive in the hold of sunken ship not merely for days weeks or years but for six or seven generations A reader certainly has to suspend disbelief But as this premise unlikely as it is is critical to the story the reader must simply go with the flowStill another element troubled me about the story from its early pages A familiar trope about much science fiction that involves alien contact is that the aliens that are portrayed aren't alien enough That struck me about the aliens in The Watch Below from the moment they were introduced They are auatic beings rather than air breathers but emotionally psychologically and sociologically they might as well be humansAs it happens however this ends up being the point of the book so it self immunizes itself from that criticism So if you're willing to surrender to all the author's premises the story kinda worksBut even allowing that the ending is just too pat A major military machine set in motion like this one is when a final confrontation takes place is unlikely to be halted as easily as this one is That's asking for too much disbelief to be suspended


  10. says:

    An exceptionally odd premise for a novel a cargo ship is torpedoed in World War II and goes down to the bottom with a small nucleus of survivors male and female They are not killed; instead they survive and manage to live the rest of their lives out on the bottom of the sea floor existing on the food supplies stored in the hold and water reclaimed from condensation They even have children and grandchildren This story is superimposed over the tale of the migration of a species of auatic aliens who have created an armada to escape the destruction of their home planet Something goes wrong with their grand scheme and they land on earth to live in our oceans Communications between the semi aueous aliens and humans seems uite problematic; until they discover the small group of tanker survivors on the sea floor So far White is far skillful in depicting aliens than humans but the writing is still uite good for all of that