Hothouse MOBI Ê Hardcover

10 thoughts on “Hothouse

  1. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    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 timeI 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 earthStill 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 Sun uite a bit Also the setting reminded me a bit of Harry Harrison's Deathworld 1I 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

  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    A FAR FUTURE Earth where PLANTS are at the TOP of the FOOD CHAIN HUMANS are MEALS and GIANT SPIDER LIKE PLANTS travel on webs between the MOON and EARTHthat is not just COOLthat's BLACK DYNAMITE COOL  45 to 50 stars This book is all about WORLD BUILDING and Brian Aldiss has created a TRIPtastically SUPERB vision of a “far future” Earth unlike anything I have ever read In the distant future evolution has decided to BOOT the “Animal Kingdon” suare in the nether regions   and plants have developed into the dominant “Kingdom” on Earth Side note I wanted to just say “species” rather then Kingdom but then I was sure some science “troll nerd” with an overactive sense of self would take issue with my review for using improper jargon forcing me to call him an Asshat and posting his picture all over goodreads  and who needs thatAnyway in this far future the world is basically one giant “rain forest” of densely packed plant life that has evolved some serious don't mess with me offensive and defensive capabilities From the ability to move with razor sharp teeth to spitting poison to just being able to gobble you the hell up These new rambo plants are also fairly intelligent and adept at problem solving and setting traps In other words they have become all kinds of big ungly nastiness and have developed a hankering for human ka bobsor ka Ricks ka Dans or ka Marys for that matter These new plants are mobile agile lethal and hostile and they are here to chew bubble gum and kick ass and they are all out of bubble gum  Sorry I couldn’t pass up a chance at a Rowdy Roddy Piper reference How often does that present itself? Anyway how the Earth got this way is discussed in some detail and I thought it was very interesting Please note that this is not “hard SF” and the explanations for how the world developed into the Garden of Hell are not plausible but that is not the point This is plain old fashion “dying earth” style science fiction and you just need to strap in and go along for the ride The plot itself is mostly an excuse to travel the planet and observe and comment on the strange new world the Earth has become The main character Gren is part of a human tribe that decides to seek a better safer place to live far from their current home While plants have grown bigger stronger smarter and aggressive humans are now only one fifth of their original size and live on the edge of extinction   Along the journey Gren and his group and the reader are shown a whole host of very interesting creatures and plants and that is really where this book hits it out of the park I was fascinated by the world from the very beginning and pretty much stayed that way through to the end The characters are not particularly well developed and you never really “identify” with them which may cause some people to be less engaged with the story However for me it was all about the amazingly imagined environment Aldiss created and that is the reason to read this book  HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDWinner Hugo Award 1962 NOTE it was actually the five short stories that make up this novel that were awarded the Hugo Award for best short fiction

  3. Apatt Apatt says:

    I seldom reread books because there are too many interesting unread books in the world to catch up with but some books just haunt me demanding to be reread because I have forgotten too many details I was walking around in a lush garden and I was reminded of this book and felt the need to reread it This book is set on a far future Earth near the end of its existence the sun is imminently going nova human society and civilization have crumbled long ago Plants and vegetable reign supreme and human beings have devolved into primitive little green people the size of monkeys Only five great families survived among the rampant green life; the tigerflies the treebees the plantants and the termights were social insects mighty and invincible And the fifth family was man lowly and easily killed not organized as the insects were but not extinct the last animal species in all the all conuering vegetable world As you can see things look pretty grim for mankind This book gives us a fascinating look at devolution in action beside the little green people who are our direct descendants there are subspecies of man who are presumably descended from crossbreeding of unknown originThe most interesting example being the tummy belly men who have a symbiosis relationship with a tree that feeds and control them through a tail which functions like an umbilical cord When this is cut the tummy belly men become clumsy floundering and almost mindless; with a speech pattern which is particularly hilarious much funnier than Yoda's Aldiss' plant dominated Earth is full of ambulatory mostly carnivorous plants John Wyndham's Triffids would have some very stiff competition here The best thing about this book is the vivid world building that you can really submerge in This is the most fascinating post apocalyptic future Earth I have ever seen depicted in science fiction I almost want to be there except I don't fancy my chances in that environment certainly I would like to see it portrayed in a decent movie The aggressive environment reminds me of the action packed Deathworld 1 by Harry Harrison long time collaborator of Brian Aldiss the aforementioned The Day of the Triffids and strangely enough my favorite computer game Plants vs Zombies The naivety of the human protagonists reminds me of William Golding's Lord of the Flies at times The characters are not deep but they are believable the weird plants tend to have oddly whimsical names in spite of their deadliness and the whole thing is written in very nice literate English proseI am not sure about the profundity that some other reviewers mentioned in their reviews of this book if there is a subtext it is not obvious to me but for sheer escapism you can not beat this one A very firm 5 stars rating from me Update Sadly Brian Aldiss just passed away Aug 21 2017 we just lost another sci fi legend

  4. Michael Fierce Michael Fierce says:

    After reaching the halfway mark I threw this book down you can read later why only to pick it up again because 1 I think it unfair when someone ratesreviews a book they haven't finished as I have never felt that was a fair way to judge a book potentially destroying an author's chance to reach an audience perhaps even ruining their career and 2 This was a HUGO AWARD WINNING BOOK and I strongly believed there must have been a good reason whyBut I didn't follow my own rules of doing things and thus originally rated it a 2 and reviewed it in full I wanted so badly to like it believing it had several things going for itHere are the 5 reasons why I felt it would be an awesome read1 It's set in the future in which the Earth's elliptical rotation around the sun has come to a complete standstill with the moon's orbit around the Earth MIA as well One half of the Earth is forever caught in the full blast of 247 sunlight while the other side is evidently in complete darkness The results? After man and all life on Earth faced a post apocalyptic radiation scenario the sun side of our planet re invented itself into a lush tropical cryptobotanical I think I made that word up forest world where all plant life and vegetation evolved into sentience of lesser and greater degrees 2 The plants and vegetation evolved so greatly that many lifeforms mirrored and imitated animals from our time period not only in behavioral patterns and functionality but in many cases even in their physical description 3 Man has devolved into almost fairy like versions of ourselves originally without wings very light on their feet with climbing skills that would put most orangutans spider monkeys and lemurs to shame They're only about 1 12 feet tall and not an ounce of fat on them To top it off they're green 4a Because of the harsh environment these proto humans live in the middle of the upper lower reaches of their web like forest world much in the way the Wookiees do in Star Wars on their jungleforest world home planet Kashyyyk ;4b Due to this they live predictably short life spans maturing rapidly in order to survive matehave sex usually by the time they are 10 yrs old and die or should I say DROP OFF INTO THE GREEN at an alarming rate 5 And once againthis may be the most important reason why this should be a killer to readIt's a HUGO AWARD WINNING NOVEL Further Harlan Ellison whose short story collection Deathbird Stories I like a lot just LOVED ITHere are the 5 reasons why I initially struggled greatly with it1 From the beginning pages the world though interesting isn't as understandably descriptive as I needed it to be 2 The characters I liked most from the outset either died off or were MIA for all or most of the remainder of the book like the too few insects such as the bee creature on the book cover seen here 3 The plot was uhhhthere was no plot Or at least there didn't seem to be for over half of the book on that later; just a bunch of fairy sized proto humans running around trying to survive 4 Some characters had really annoying YA ish well bad YA ish names that grated on my nerves to NO END like Poyly and Veggy which made me constantly axe myself Veggie as in veg·e·ta·ble ? or like as if you put a V in front of egg throwing a Y on the end of it? Arrrghhh 5 It would have kids mating in the middle of a strange scenario and at other times the younger and less mature of the group would show off their genitals to the elder kids to display their manhood and abilty to mate thus clearly proving this isn't a kid's book only for this adult book to decline into hella weak sauce children's book dialogue the likes of which I couldn't force myself to digest any longer right after I was just patting myself on the back for having gotten past the halfway mark And then I read this Great herder we see you since you come We Tummy tree chaps are seeing your size So know you will soon love to kill us when you go up from playing the sandwich game along with your lady in the leaves We clever chaps are no fools and not fools are clever to make glad for you All the Tummy men have no feeding and pray you give us feeding because we have no mummy Tummy feeding Gren gestured impatiently We've no food either he said We are humans like you We too must fend for ourselves Alas we did not dare to have any hopes you would share your food with us for your food is sacred and you wish to see us starve You are very clever to hide from us the jumpvil food we know you always carry We are glad great herder that you make us starve if our dying makes you have a laugh and a gay song and another sandwich game Because we are humble we do not need food to die with YEP I wanted to chuck this mutherfunker as hard as I could across the room Or better yet after composing myself let it DROP OFF INTO THE GREEN ORGANICS WASTE MANAGEMENT TRASH BIN outsideto let this book serve a better purpose than waste any of my time LUCKILY I didn't I picked it up again and although I never came to like the 'tummy belly' men or most of the names of the creatures and characters; the carry catchy kind the Traversers the Arablers etc I was shocked at how engaged I became in the story even liking the plot that somehow subtly snuck right up into the story with an ease and grace I feel was either genius or wonderfully accidentalIt even went so far as to have this great scientific philosophy wrap up detailed in only a few pages as to why all life on our future Earth had evolved so and where it was uickly heading One theory really made sense to me and made me think Brian was either a mad scientist turned author or had an LSD trip one evening that sent his thoughts off to the moon like a rocket and somehow either remembered it or wrote part of it down incorporating it into this sci fi fantasy story So I'm giving it a final rating of 4 stars for the fact it got better and better as I got into it culminating in a very enjoyable read I couldn't put down and call it material reasons if you will for all the beautiful imagery I got in my head while reading it along with the gorgeous paintings and artwork associated with this novel Don't get me wrong It had several things I could've done without especially the 'tummy belly' men some horrible names as I said earlier and the writing sometimes had me wondering if it was translated from a different language into English because it often felt disjointed and I would've really liked to have had focus on certain creatures other than a few that were in the story too much but it was very entertaining and makes me crave a seuel or something similar Here are a few books said to be of the same sub genre

  5. Michael Michael says:

    I was surprised how much I liked this riot of imagination of post humans clinging to survival in a world where plants have taken over Millions of years from now when the sun has gotten hotter and the earth’s rotation is locked to keep one side always in its rays the kingdom of plants has outcompeted animals for all the niches evolving carnivorous and motile forms of seeming infinite variety Humans have adapted to short brutish lives as small green creatures amid the jungle canopy The dangers are many but with tribal knowledge and teamwork and enough focus on breeding some form of human life persists when nearly all other vertebrates and even most insects have become extinct The action is nearly non stop with one set of characters falling by the wayside as we follow one couple go from one frying pan to the fire in places beyond the forest they know These include alternate ecologies near the sea the twilight zones between perpetual light and dark and even a journey to the moon My knowledge of biology often stretched my ability to suspend disbelief but I was able to keep riding on metaphorical or allegorical truths about things in human nature we take for granted The value of cultural knowledge is left somewhat ambiguous On one hand the need for constant wariness against so many predators and parasites keeps these future humans so tuned into the present there is little room for dwelling on higher or long term purposes to life Through the somewhat silly device of a telepathic fungus that can glean genetic memories of humans of the past one character gains some perspective He seems doomed to die uick because of his tendency to try new ways of solving problems of survival but such new strategies were for him the only to keep ahead of the game The book succeeds for me on its lasting psychological feelings about teeming life forms and its atmospherics of horror and wonder over the precariousness of the life of an individual and our species After recent reads of science books on the current human caused threats to biological diversity of the planet it was fascinating for me to experience a scenario where excessive diversity among plants puts us almost out of the picture I appreciate the publisher taking a chance on the re release of this classic from 1961 It was provided to me as an e book through the Netgalley program

  6. Henry Avila Henry Avila says:

    In the far distant future with the dying Sun above all the Earth has been overrun by vegetation old Sol stays in the same position in the sky shining on half the world The other part is a frozen wasteland in perpetual darknessIt's a plant world for sure an atmosphere thick by heat as much as the vines that flow down to the hidden ground if there is oneThe few tiny humans left have returned to the trees there is just one a Banyan in reality and become green the humans I mean A Hothouse the name of the novel originally in fact Terra has become this These people are primitive living high above and not even being able to see the below No technology no knowledge of their past history ignoramuses trying to survive against man eating plants Lily yo is the leader of a small band of humans always alert against the plants who are animal almost extinct here than vegetable The tribe has pieces of carved wood which they carry around and call their weirdly souls When one of them dies which happens often the humans climb the tree to the top level and leave the souls there hopefully soon to be taken to heaven The biggest organism in the planet are called Traversers mile long flying vegetation spider like plants Lily yo and some of her band are transported by the Traversers all the way to the nearby Moon Gren a boy maybe man rebel and others are left behind to form a new group On Luna where life is much easier and safer oxygen in abundance made by the plant life there which had arrived in earlier trips Abundance of delicious fruit a great amount of fresh water an alluring paradise compared to the old Earth ruled by Flymen humans who have grown wings a sight to behold Back on Earth Gren is expelled from the new group he is a human that cannot follow rules Now with just a female companion along to survive the perils of this strange land he'll need help but where can he get it? Weird but very entertaining tale of what might be in the future I hope notImaginative science fiction book with enough plausibility to keep it always from being sillyA tale which never fails to entertain

  7. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    There is a trick to beginning reviews and it's a pity that I've never learnt itMy early impression reading this 1960 science fiction novel set on Earth in a far future when our plant's rotation has stalled and weird dynamic forms of vegetable life are dominant leaving the rest tiny humans wasps termites and a few others to battle on as best they can was to feel the similarities with J G Ballard's The Drowned World Both imagine a future world that in some ways is similar to the prehistoric past the Jungian? notion of an inherited species memory is important in both and the importance of the time that both authors spent in the Far East Ballard as a boy Aldiss if I remember correctly as part of his military service is not something that you have to lift stones to seeBoth and I suspect that is a particularly sharp feature in British writing when there is not just the taking into account of the reality of living with the possibility of destruction through atomic war but also an adaptation to the loss of Empire have a sense of human societies and civilisations as transitory Here I make plain my view that science fiction and fantasy writing is never about the fantastic nor the fictional possibilities of science but about contemporary concerns In Aldiss this is a theme that is there also in Earthworks and most richly expressed in The Helliconia Trilogy Aldiss here though doesn't have the same fixation that early Ballard does on the dramatic and sudden transition from one state to another Aldiss's interest in the temporary and contingent nature of our human lives I feel is philosophical and certainly abstract than Ballards which is as visceral as you would expect given his experiences as related in a slightly fictionalised form in Empire of the Sun But I may well be misleading myself on the basis of Aldiss beginning and ending The Helliconia Trilogy with uotations from Lucretius which no doubt predisposed me to assume an eually philosophical turn to Aldiss' mindYet we could cut apart the cake in another couple of ways Looking back we also have the example of H G Wells view spoiler and it pleased me to note that the Bromley Labour Club is still named after him or at least it was when I saw it in passing a few years ago I imagine that in time Wells' views on eugenics if not on the sanctity or not of marriage might need to a re evaluation of the value of having his name popped up on the front of the building like a patron saint hide spoiler

  8. Bradley Bradley says:

    I'm really impressed with this 1962 classic I was fully prepared to assume it would be outdated and skimpy on the characters but what I actually got was a thought provoking tale that was so heavy on the worldbuilding that the worldbuilding was like three or four characters in its own rightI mean you know its some serious science fiction if we're transported a billion years in the future where men and women are a fifth our current size where the earth and the moon are locked to constantly face the sun and the world had devolved and mixed and blurred lines between animals and vegetables The prose was than strong enough to prevent such a monstrosity of a novel from collapsing filled with tantalizing images of truly odd creatures and situations I can barely guess at I only had a few issues with some of the characters Some of the species of man were really dumb and that was kind of the point but I just couldn't believe that they'd have no sense of self preservation That point irked me But other than that I understood why the main characters didn't get much of a chance to grow or change It was an outright adventure novel exploring new lands trying to survive while being driven by the mortal enemy of mankind his brainMy god that aspect of this novel was pretty damn cool Mankind entered into a contract with a parasite that gave us our intelligence in the deep past A fungus that when combined with another living creature makes it smarter With time it moved from being a crown of spongy fungus that looked like a brain to inhabit the slowly enlarged cavity of our modern heads until all man thought this was the natural order When the sun aged and became deadly to the fungus mankind fell into the state of beasts again To have a hardy and evolved fungus drop upon you in the middle of the jungle to give you heightened intelligence you'd think that would be a good thing right?Intelligence is overrated What a mess it caused for GrenThe world was fantastic spanning from spiderwebs that spanned between the earth and the moon twilight zones where wolfmen roam trees that shoot fire and fishmen that rise up from the waters to preach about civilization and the coming nova of our sun Too coolThere's one thing These stories were written in 1961 before they were put together as one novel the next year As I was reading it I kept thinking to myself that this novel was the inspiration for Dune The Morel could access our genetic memories into the deep past The ecological concerns were breathtaking and very well thought out and developed whether or not they're inaccurate There were so many links and ties between the two novels that I had to put it down and do a little research I kept assuming that this was a homage to Dune for heaven's sake Nope It came out 4 years before Dune and does an awesome job at outperforming Dune in these waysIs that high praise? Yes Do I see why one of the short stories that made up this novel won the Hugo in '62? Yes Can I imagine that during the 5 year time that Frank Herbert was writing Dune he got inspired while reading the magazines these stories were published? YesWhat a fantastic coincidence

  9. Manny Manny says:

    Hallucinatory 60s novel possibly written on drugs which depicts a far future Earth in which humans have evolved into tiny creatures who live in a giant forest that covers the globe Oh and there are spider webs that stretch up to the moon a sort of biological space elevator Read the book to find out what the deal is with the fungi None of it makes sense but the images are striking

  10. Althea Ann Althea Ann says:

    It's not just pulp fiction it's vegetable pulp fictionLong aeons in Earth's future an Age of Plants has risen Dangerous carnivorous plants are everywhere some species are even mobile hunters The remaining humans are a dwarfed shrunken species With greatly reduced intelligence and a simple tribal lifestyle they struggle to stay alive long enough to maintain their populationIt's an interesting premise sadly the execution is uite frankly terrible The writing is clunky The plot practically non existent The characters are at times uite literally interchangeable with no depth or even an attempt at giving them individual personalities Basically there's a group of these future humans and they wander around encountering one monster or other hazard after another and gradually getting picked off The main raison d'etre of the book is to imaginatively describe these alien organisms one after another They're created from a purely fantastic perspective not an actual 'scientific speculation' attempt Nothing about the world described makes any logical sense That's fine except nothing about the book is strong enough to carry it as a fantasy eitherIt's also uite offensively sexist Not in the way of many golden age SF books with nubile alien slave girls and sexy sorceresses I love those No it's of an insidious and constant flow of every time an incident is portrayed the female characters are less intelligent less assertive timid unable to come up with their own ideas shown as interchangeable as lovers Hey they're good at 'giving comfort' though Even though the future society we are told is matriarchal it's the male characters that have to take charge in every situation and are the main 'do ers' throughout It is very clear that Aldiss never even considered that a woman might bother to read his book The content here was originally published in five installments in The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction in 1961 Unbelievably they were collectively awarded a Hugo for 'Best Short Fiction' An abridged version was previously published as 'The Long Afternoon of Earth'

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Hothouse [Read] ➪ Hothouse By Brian W. Aldiss – The Sun is Going NovaAnd in the boughs of the huge banyan tree that covers one face of the Earth millions of years hence the last remnant of humanity battle for survival with huge carnivorous plants a The Sun is Going NovaAnd in the boughs of the huge banyan tree that covers one face of the Earth millions of years hence the last remnant of humanity battle for survival with huge carnivorous plants and grotesue insect lifeThat steaming infernal forest and its fantastic denizens are powerfully visualised It is a work of genuine creative imagination Kingsley Amis The ObserverA real work of art Daily Telegraph.

  • Hardcover
  • 253 pages
  • Hothouse
  • Brian W. Aldiss
  • English
  • 09 May 2016