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Alien Earth

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
A classic science fiction adventure from the backlist of Megan Lindholm, who also writes as Robin Hobb.
Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Grafton (first published 1992)
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Feb 23, 2017 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, z-to-a-hobb
”Those who have not lived here will return for what was left. Its essence will cry out in a voice that cannot be ignored. Riding in the balance between war and omnipotence rests all that they would know. But they must put aside the ways of adults and be again as children if the door is to open to them. They must speak not in the tongues of Men nor of Angels, for it will not avail them. Rebirth is within for all.”
Usually fantasy authors are lousy at writing sci-fi; but that’s not the case here.
Jan 26, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tim by: Rob
I'm familiar with her work written under the pseudonym Robin Hobb, but not the books she wrote as Megan Lindholm, before she adopted the new name. Since I didn't want really know where to start and she had written a few stand-alone novels, the choice was easily made especially since I didn't know Mrs. Lindholm had ventured into the realms of Science Fiction at some point. Reading a few reviews, of which mainly Rob's convinced me, I went for Alien Earth. Also purchased that day and still to be re ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Phoebe North
Shelves: sci-fizzle
People talk a lot about world building, and Megan Lindholm did an almost perfect job. Maybe even a perfect one. It seems seamless, original and thorough. In addition to that, the characters are all very distinct and well developed. The science and the systems of her fictional world are crafted just as expertly as the characters. Her alien character is the best alien character I have ever read. Even though the book has a serious tone, there's some excellent dry humor to be found in the text - esp ...more
Jeanne Johnston
Jun 12, 2014 Jeanne Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow. Having snarfed my way greedily through everything else, I finally turned in desperation to what I'd considered what may be a throwaway. I mean, Ki and Vandien, all of the Six Duchies, Rain Wilds, and the Liveships? They all share a rich, historical feel, stories from a time long past. How could a space story mesh with all that?

I don't think I was far into the first chapter before all of that fell away. Once again, this was a fantastically detailed world, yet the story is told in
Jessica Meats
This is a really interesting story set centuries after Earth is abandoned as a dying world. The surviving humans now live under the authority of an alien race and have to make sure they don't make an impact on the ecology of the planets they're grudgingly allowed to inhabit. John and Connie are mariners, travelling and trading on board a living ship, when they're given a controversial mission: go back to Earth and see if it's all as dead as they authorities claim.

Their mission is further complic
May 26, 2015 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this, and need to ponder some of its themes some more: what does it mean to be human, and what is our purpose, and how much risk is inherent in just living your everyday life (and how do you feel about that?). Basically, it is set after humans have evacuated a toxic and poisoned Earth - there is a mission back to investigate the status of Earth. I don't want to say too much more, because the plot unfolds very neatly, and I wouldn't want to ruin it. (But I can't help myself: the Be ...more
Ralph McEwen
Apr 18, 2011 Ralph McEwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ralph by: Cheryl
Interesting plot and a fully formed cast of characters. Several sayings come to mind; If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably is. Do on to others as you would have done on to you. When looking for a motive, alway follow the money. You may have to twist or expand on the sayings a little to make them fit but they do if you try.
Feb 05, 2010 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why doesn't Megan/Robin write more books like this?
Alien earth is one of the coolest SF books I have read in a while. It certainly has one of the coolest aliens ever. Evangeline is a Beastship. Beastships are capable of travelling through space and as such are used as spaceships by the Arthroplana. At first, Evangeline is more in the background, as we get to know the world. The Arthroplana see that humans are about to destroy their world and offer to bring them to a different planet where they must learn not to affect their environment. This par ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Spencer rated it liked it
I was actually going to get rid of this book - I'd picked it up years ago, intrigued by the image of a giant space-bound jellyfish on the cover, but I gave up on it fairly quickly and it languished on my shelf for years until I decided it was time to give it away. But, at the last moment some impulse moved me to give it another try, and I worked my way through it in fits and starts over a couple of weeks. It's OK in my opinion... nothing spectacular. There's a lot of bitterness in all the charac ...more
It's always interesting to read Robin Hobb's work as Megan Lindholm. Alien Earth is especially interesting because I haven't read any other sci-fi by her, and this is an interesting way about approaching the issue of how we treat the earth. I tend to think about her work as Megan Lindholm related to how it contributed to her growth as a writer and the good things about the Farseers trilogy (or the bad -- in my opinion -- things about the Liveships trilogy).

Compared to the Ki and Vandien quartet
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generations ago, an altruistic alien race, the Arthroplana, rescued
humanity from the ecological disaster of earth, and resettled them in
a new system, with dire warnings on the necessity of fitting in to the
local ecology. Since then, this desire to "leave no mark" has become
an obsession - possibly to the extreme detriment of the human race.
The result of generation of selective breeding has been a race of tiny
people who do not reach puberty until late middle age, who are in
danger of soon not being
Jan 16, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling piece of science fiction that follows the future of humans as they leave their desolate planet, "rescued" by an alien race, as one surviving human tries to return humans to their own home. A very good read, "Alien Earth" manages to create a powerful narrative about humans slowly losing their humanity at the hands of their alien saviors. Instead of using the idea of humans conquering another planet, or an alien race coming to Earth and fighting humans, Lindholm creates the epic story ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Rob rated it it was amazing
...I found Alien Earth to be a very good read. Lindholm expertly weaves the stories of these five very different characters into a magnificent science fiction tale. Although Alien Earth is quite different from other novels I have read in terms of setting and concepts, I guess the in depth characterization is unifies Lindholm's entire oeuvre. Unfortunately you'll be hard pressed to find a copy of this novel, and many of Lindholm's other titles but if you do happen to come across a copy I highly r ...more
Aug 03, 2015 Elana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As part of my program to go back to the SF of the 80s and 90s, I read this novel for the first time, even though it graced my bookshelves for longer than I care to remember. It's actually quite good as a literary work: well-written, strong characters, well-balanced plot. As a work of SF...not so much. It's aliens are simply not alien enough. An intelligent parasite is an interesting idea, even though it has been done before. But an intelligent parasite that reads Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes s ...more
Jan 02, 2010 Charity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book that Robin Hobb wrote under her real name, Megan Lindholm, and I believe the last book she wrote using that name, too. I felt when reading it that in this book, she presented the fully developed voice that she would bring to her excellent farseer and liveship series. While her other books as Megan Lindholm were also well written, they were not as broad in scope nor did they present the great characterizations and important themes that you see in Alien Earth and her later ...more
Sep 12, 2015 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really want to like this more than I did. It has some delicious worldbuilding and aliens that are genuinely alien, not just humans in rubber prostheses. The main plot rushes where it should explore, and then dawdles where it doesn't need to. The secondary plot (which while teased early on, really kicks in two thirds of the way through) is used to resolve the main plot when, at that point, both could have used some deeper exploration.

This reads like Lindholm was planning to start a series, wit
Alan Norrie
Aug 05, 2014 Alan Norrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Earth is dying. Authoritarian greenies take control of the human race with the acquiescence of curious insect like creatures who want to both save and study it. Fast forward a thousand years or so. Will the inhabitants of the big sentient space beast Evangeline succeed or the ecofascists destroy us, untentionally of course? This is a big simplification. A story with a beginning, a middle and an end with a believable premise and lots of good characters. An absorbing read, well worth the $5.00 I s ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the style of writing by this author - first discovered as Robin Hobb to me. This story is really different from the other stuff and I didn't really know what I was going to be reading. I trusted so much that I would enjoy that I didn't even read the blurb. Well developed characters as always. Even though 'Alien' life forms probably don't really interest me, I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. The power of a great author.
Jan 07, 2014 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by this author (writing as Megan Lindholm, at least, her work as Robin Hobb is a favourite of mine) but I absolutely loved it. The world building was everything I love and more about science fiction, and the characters came across as real people. My only complaint is with the ending. It felt like it was hurried along at the end, and I would definitely like a sequel to exist.
Feb 21, 2015 Preston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a great science fiction novel by megan lindholm. I find myself drawing similarities between alien earth and the forever war in that both stories depict a future where humanity has reached a point where it is nebulous what it means to live and be a human being. I enjoyed tug as he struggled to grasp the purpose of humanities and how that shaped his interactions with regular humans.
Apr 15, 2010 Km249 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Characters, a fantastic story! Space-Opera with a dystopian tinge. Or something like that. It was more Sci-Fi than Fantasy (as to be expected by Robin Hobb's alter ego), and I loved every second of it.

I know books are really good when they suck me in and won't let me go until I'm done with them. This book took me a day and a half to finish.

Good times!
May 13, 2013 Trivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I left this unfinished book on a plane 3 years ago. It took me a long while to remember the title and I finally found a copy. This is something different in the scifi genre to read and found it thought provoking and had difficulty putting it down. This is not a shoot'em up read, but a thought provoking space adventure.
Dec 18, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Interesting world and story let down by a somewhat abrupt ending. While the short term plot threads are resolved. long term stuff is left for what clearly was intended to be a series. Shame that doesn't seem to be happening.
Dec 10, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. I'm surprised this book isn't more widely acclaimed - and with climate change in the news, this book is relevant. The characters are believable and the aliens, with their total control over humans, and the worlds of Castor and Pollux are chilling.
Mar 18, 2011 Fafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books, sci-fi
It's the kind of scif-fi novel i like. There's not much going on, action speaking, but it's a fascinating story. Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm is one of my favorite writers and with this book i'm loving her more! I can only hope that she'll write another sci-fi novel in the future.
Nov 18, 2014 Zoophyte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With those two last books, I'd almost forgotten what it was like to read a good book. Really enjoyed this one.
Pamela Bray
Mar 07, 2012 Pamela Bray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much about this I loved - I had trouble putting it down the whole way thru. So many moral, spiritual, human and alien concepts to digest. I love her writing.
Eric rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2014
Ryan White
Ryan White rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2016
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The author also writes under the pseudonym Robin Hobb. Her real name is Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden.
More about Megan Lindholm...

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