Winter in Eden

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West of Eden
First edition (publ. Grafton, UK)
AuthorHarry Harrison
CountryUnited States
SeriesEden trilogy
GenreScience fiction, Alternate history
PublisherBantam Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Preceded byWest of Eden 
Followed byReturn to Eden 

Winter in Eden is a 1986 science fiction novel by American author Harry Harrison, the second in the Eden series.

It tells an alternate history of planet Earth in which the extinction of the dinosaurs never occurred. The story began in West of Eden, which depicts a war between a group of Cro-Magnon-level humans that evolved from New World monkeys and a reptilian race called the Yilanè, who are descended from the prehistoric mosasaur and have become the dominant lifeform on the planet. The central characters from the first book return: Vaintè, an ambitious Yilanè, and Kerrick, a "ustuzou" (the Yilanè word for mammal) who was captured by the Yilanè as a boy, raised as a Yilanè, and eventually escapes to rejoin his own people and burn the Yilanè colony city.

The trilogy continues with Return to Eden.


In Winter in Eden, Kerrick and Herilak (fellow chieftain) searches the burned Alpèsak and discovers two Yilanè males. Herilak and Armun (wife of Kerrick) go north, while Kerrick stays in the city to learn more about the Yilanè. The reptiloids use their mastery of biology to drive them off and reconquer the city. Meanwhile, Enge, her fellows and an old, grumpy scientist establishes a city in South America. Vaintè allies Lanefenuu, leader of another city. Together they attempt to eradicate humans. After several unsuccessful attempts, they corner Herilak and the tribes in a valley. Kerrick and Armun tries to find each other and finally they end up at the Paramutan (northern whale hunter humanoid). They return and find a safe haven at a small lake with their own child, some humans and the two Yilanè males. Later, Kerrick and Armun travel to the Paramutan again, and with their help Kerrick manages to blackmail Lanefenuu to withdraw Vaintè and make peace. Vaintè initially obeys, but later defies efforts to make peace with the humans, so Lanefenuu banishes her.


Dave Langford reviewed Winter in Eden for White Dwarf #99, and stated that " These are tricks and turns of mere short-story weight, while the epic potential lies elsewhere: with the long-term inevitability of either human/dinosaur coexistence or one species' extinction, with the advancing glaciers that can't be conveniently bluffed or set fire to."[1]


  1. ^ Langford, Dave (March 1988). "Critical Mass". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (99): 11.

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