From publisher blurb:
Ever since H.G. Wells published War of the Worlds in 1898, the stories about invaders from other worlds have become a staple of the science fiction genre. Numerous real-world panics have been created by people who were terrified by the idea of aliens coming to our planet with evil intent. Certainly there are also many stories about aliens who are peaceful, tolerant, and wise; these being come to Earth with benign intentions, and often it is the humans who are the villains. Still, it is easy to understand why the prospect of encountering another species is so frightening. What if they are not benevolent? What if their society is not the epitome of advanced culture and enlightened values? In otherwords, what if they are just like us: flawed, violent, and willing to take what they want by force?
Human history is riddled with examples of contact between formerly isolated cultures. Rarely are these events a meeting of equals, and rarely have the less technologically advanced cultures escaped assimilation, enslavement, or genocide. If one is aware of the Roman conquest of Europe and the European conquest of the Americas, then how can one ignore the possibility that our first contact with another world will be with an alienconquistador? Can we be sure that our other worlds visitors will not be greedy, violent subjugators in the model of Columbus and Cortez?