Alien War Games


142 pages
ISBN 0-590-71224-1





Reviewed by Andrew Dewar

Andrew Dewar was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, and on the staff of the North York Public Library.


Godfrey has tried to write a book about racial differences or, more precisely, about racial prejudice. But the result, Alien War Games, is confused and inconclusive.

Darsa is a promising young warhunter in the almost-human race of Diljug on a colonial planet; Gravis is the subGovernor’s son, dedicated to discrediting the Diljug and reducing their status to something less than human level. The differences between the two races? The Diljug are peace-loving primitives, and the humans are... well, human.

Gravis’s dislike of the Diljug is instant and irrational, and he goads both them and his fellow humans into increasingly open conflict, until in the end something like a nuclear holocaust takes place.

What is dissatisfying about the book is that it raises a lot of questions about racial differences, but it never answers them. The fighting escalates and, although the Diljug begin the book hoping to get along, they end it hoping to get rid of the humans. And that is no solution.

Godfrey describes the planet and the Diljug nicely, and his writing is good; Darsa is an interesting character with a finely drawn psychology, and Gravis, while single-minded, is still quite believable. But the attitude that each has toward the other’s race is one of unresolved hatred and unwillingness to compromise, and that alone makes it an unwise choice for children; it almost makes racial hatred seem the proper thing.



Godfrey, Martyn, “Alien War Games,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,