'One of the genre's very few genuinely comic, genuinely incisive writers.' - The Encyclopedia of Science.
Giant, technologically superior aliens have conquered Earth, but humankind survives - even flourishes in a way. Men and women live, like mice, in burrows in the massive walls of the huge homes of the aliens and scurry about under their feet, stealing from them.
A complex social and religious order has evolved, with women preserving knowledge and working as healers and men serving as warriors and thieves.
For the aliens, men and women are just a nuisance, nothing more than vermin. Which, ironically, may just be humankind's strength and point the way forward.
William Tenn (1920-2010) was the pseudonym of Philip Klass. Although he was born in London, he spent most of his life in America, teaching writing and SF at Pennsylvania State College from 1966. He began writing after serving in the Second World War and published his first story, 'Alexander the Bait' in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946. Stories like 'Down Among the Dead Men', 'The Liberation of Earth' and 'The Custodian' quickly established him as a fine, funny and thoughtful satirist. In 1999 William Tenn was selected the Science Fiction Writers of America's Author Emeritus.