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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Hothouse

The Long Afternoon of Earth (A.K.A. Hothouse) (Signet SF, D2018) - Brian W. Aldiss

Millions of years into the future, the Earth is tidally locked with the sun and the sunny side is dominated by a banyan tree of mind-boggling size. Mile-wide plant spiders crawl from the Earth to the moon on vast webs. As for man, he is now a foot and a half high, green, and running scared all the time...

I got this from Netgalley.

I was pretty conflicted about this book. On one hand, I love the setting. Come on! A far-future earth dominated by colossal plants with giant spiders crawling from the earth to the moon and back! Telepathic mushrooms! Flying plants! Giant insects! What's not to like?

Well, there isn't much of a plot to speak of. The story starts with one band of humans, moves on to the kids they leave behind when they Go Up, and then follows two of them. I think some of this is due to the book being a patchwork of several of Aldiss' stories set on the Hothouse earth.

Still, it's not without its charms. There's a wackiness to it that I enjoyed. It reminded me of Philip Jose Farmer's Dark is the Sunquite a bit. Also, the setting reminded me a bit of Harry Harrison'sDeathworld 1.

I guess I should wrap this up somehow. I love the setting but I don't think the story ever came close to doing it justice. Two out of five stars.