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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Review: Hothouse (aka The Long Afternoon of Earth)

HothouseHothouse by Brian W. Aldiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brian Aldiss never disappoints. This novel, which first came out in the U.S. with the title THE LONG AFTERNOON OF EARTH, won the Hugo Award in 1962. Rich in style and evocative in its imagery, it follows a band of some of the last survivors of humanity in the far future. The Earth has stopped rotating and the sunlit side is now a thick jungle dominated by a continent-spanning banyan tree.

Plant life has almost entirely taken over, with many strange and improbably plants species imitating forms previously known as animals and insects. Most plants are extremely deadly, and Aldiss kills off characters with reckless abandon.

Aldiss was criticized at the time for the lack of scientific believability in this novel. Indeed, it's almost science fantasy. Suspend your disbelief, however, and it's an absorbing read.

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  1. I like hearing about books like this, Sean. Plants imitating insects could be scary. I read the Family Tree, by Sheri S. Stepper. It could have been described as science fantasy as well.

    Authors seem to get criticized as a normal course of events. At the very least, it's attention for the book.

  2. The book sounds fun, and I love SF. I'd never heard of it, so thanks for posting this! :-)


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