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The Long Afternoon of Earth

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,011 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The Sun Is Going Nova...

And 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 grotesque insect life...

That steaming infernal forest and its fantastic denizens are powerfully visualised. It is a work of genuine creative imagination - Kingsley Ami
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1962 by Roc
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Stephen
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 EARTH...that is not just COOL....that's BLACK DYNAMITE COOL!!
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4.5 to 5.0 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” square in the nether-regions…
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…and plants
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♍ichael Ƒierce
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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 rates/reviews 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 why!

But, I didn't follow my own rules of doing th
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Henry Avila
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 Earth. The other part is a frozen wasteland ,in perpetual darkness...It's a plant world for sure.The few humans left, have returned to the trees,(there is just one,a Banyan, in reality), and turned green, the humans I mean.A "Hothouse" (the name of the novel originally), in fact Terra has become.These people are primitive.Living high a ...more
Apatt
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 ...more
Manny
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.
Adam
If you put aside the shoddy science and employ your suspension of disbelief to the fullest, than this is a blast of a story. A distant future where humans are hunted by evolved plants and giant insects in a world that resembles a giant rainforest. I had so much fun reading about the setting that I didn't even care that the plot was flimsy. This is a fun tour through a very imaginative landscape.
Ivana
I remember enjoying reading this novel way back in high school. Recently when it was given to me as a present, I had a chance to reread it- and I really liked it again.

Hothouse is set in far, far future. The sun has grown enormous as it approaches its end, and the life on Earth (that has stopped rotating around the sun btw)is mostly plant life engaged in a crazy frenzy of eating and being eaten, speedy growth and decay, something like a tropical forest on steroids. Human beings are small and me
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Ben
Written in 1962, Brian Aldiss' Hothouse is similar to works like Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" series and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. In most novels of this dying earth genre, the world is gasping under the weight of civilization; a million years of customs and artifacts, countless empires risen and fallen, cities piled upon cities. In Hothouse, it's nature, not culture which dominates the last days of Man.

Far in the future, under a swollen red sun, the Earth and Moon have long since dragged
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Rhys
One of the best novels I have read this year. In fact I think it is the best novel I read in 2010. Brian Aldiss' second SF novel, less intricate in terms of plot than many of his other books, but packed full of highly original ideas and very strange situations. The main character, Gren, embarks on a journey in a far-future version of Earth where the sun has grown vast in the sky and carnivorous plants have come to dominate the food-chain. Imagine The Day of the Triffids on a truly global scale w ...more
Jamie Rose
I found this really hard to rate. It is extremely odd and not so much a story with characters as much as a fantastical travelogue. Some of the more comic scenes reminded me of Candide (recently read, fresh in the memory!) in the 'buffoons in an allegory' stakes, but Hothouse is also in turn violent and nightmarish, hallucinatory in the extreme (an accidental astral journey through the cosmos via a psychic building anyone?), hugely inventive and quite often really gross. Science fiction is I gues ...more
Valentina
I read this book, for a first time,a long time ago.
I remember that there wasn't any sense in plot,but whole story was so halucigenic that I couldn't put the damn thing away!
There was cyberplants,and crazy mutant insects,and elevator to moon...
I felt like bad acid trip...
Stephen Curran
As the dying sun blasts out immense levels of radiation, plant life has taken undeniable supremacy of the earth. The land is dominated by a single banyan tree that grows as high as the skyline, while the coast is populated with giant, battling seaweed. Above it all, a spider-like breed of traversers sling webs back and forth to the immobile moon: 'vegetable astronaughts huge and insensible'.

Yup.

Reading Hothouse is like experiencing one of those all-too-occasional vivid dreams that are so richly
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Zach
It's probably been close to a decade since I've read this book and the image of the earth and the moon shrouded together by gigantic spiderwebs still sticks with me.
Martinxo
Classic SF. Is this where Devo got the idea for de-evolution?
Ubik
Aug 14, 2012 Ubik rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Not Aldiss' strongest for sure. The pacing was definitely not what I come to expect from him; at some points frenetic, and other times sluggish. I also expect more of a vibrancy in his choice of words. Aldiss usually has a way of making his words dance across the page for me. But everything was pretty plain here. I have a penchant for the "plants taking over the world" subgenre so all the lifeforms talked about in the novel were fascinating to me. It definitely kept me interested from page to pa ...more
Fungus Gnat
“Hothouse” was the name collectively applied to a series of stories by Brian Aldiss appearing in 1961. When in the following year the stories were melded together into a novel, the name was retained in Britain but in the United States it was sold under the name “The Long Afternoon of Earth.” In 2009, it was reissued by IDW Publishing of San Diego as a trade paperback under the original title.

The story takes place in the far future, when the sun has grown brighter and plant growth has increased
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Giant plants and bugs, spiderwebs that stretch between the earth and moon, and morels that outsmart humans. Hilarious. (I don't think it is supposed to be!)
Robbie
The overwhelming characteristic of this book is one of absolute strangeness - strangeness to the point of implausibility. The fact that many (almost certainly most) of the ideas of this book could never, given infinite eternities, become reality does not detract from the enjoyability of this book. Its interest indeed lies in the utterly freakish plant-dominated world depicted by the author. This future earth is the site of a perpetual and violent war between all sorts of supremely deadly, mobile ...more
Gerald Kinro
The sun is dying and the earth never spins. Thus half of the earth never sees daylight. The other half experiences only late afternoon. Animal life has been reduced to a few species, humans being one of them. These humans lead a tribal existence to survive. One human race has been reduced to “vegetables”. While they fish, they always return to the trees to which they attach themselves with their tails for security. Unthinking, unmotivated, they prefer their catatonic existence to one of freedom. ...more
Leo Walsh
Hothouse by Brian Aldiss is an odd book. An unnamed disaster has destroyed human civilization, leaving in its place pygmy humans who live like animals in a dangerous, very violent jungle populated almost exclusively by vegetable matter. And the jungle has taken over at least half of the world because the earth now, like the moon, has one side continually facing the sun, which gets hot.

This is not, however, our ancestor's jungle. Instead of peaceful, these jungle plants have teeth. Literally. I
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Simon

Set many millions of years in the future, on a hot Earth that has stopped spinning, with humans relegated to a modest ecological niche in a gigantic forest consisting of just one endless banyan tree, this manages, just, to remain on the right side of that often thin line in sci-fi between the awesome and the ridiculous. Anybody with kids under eight (other than ‘telly-avoiding nobbers’ ©Terry Clague) won’t be able to read this without thinking about Tree Fu Tom or the Teletubbies at various poin
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Paul Darcy
No, it’s not one of those X-Rated erotica books or a guide to growing greenhouse vegetables, but it does share two similarities: sex and vegetables. But then if one looked hard enough just about every book out there has those two elements in it mentioned somewhere.

But this book Hothouse but Brian Aldiss is quite different. So different in fact that I haven’t read anything quite like it in all my years of reading (thirty plus) and I am glad I finally got around to it. My shelves are bursting with
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Oni
This is an ambitious work by Brian Aldiss, trying to depict the life of the future Earth, nearing the last stage of our Sun's evolution before it shut down.

The time is millions of years from now, the sun has evolve into a red giant, the Earth has stopped rotating, creating a perpetual day and perpetual night in the region of the Earth. Human has ceased to be the dominant species, many animal species have gone extinct, the dominant life forms are plants. The last remnants of human species live ab
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Rafal Jasinski
Jakże odmienna, od najbardziej rozpropagowanego w literaturze science-fiction, wizja świata po apokalipsie. Inna, aczkolwiek nie mniej przygnębiająca, bliska temu, czym uraczył nas w swoim "Wehikule czasu" Wells. Świat zdominowany przez florę, której przedstawiciele na przestrzeni wieków nauczyli się kopiować najbardziej przydatne cechy świata zwierzęcego, a przy tym umniejszenie roli człowieka, zrównanie go z niczym nie znaczącym pyłkiem na wietrze - te idee, w połączeniu z nieco baśniową narra ...more
Paul 'Pezski' Perry
One of the books that first introduced me to SF, Aldiss' tale of a distant future Earth where humanity - a much changed, reduced species - lives a precarious life in the high branches of the continent-spanning banyan tree, until a member of one of the tiny tribes in which they live is infested with morel, an intelligent parasitic fungus. Gren and his tribe find their way to a new home, battling dangers, mostly of a mobile, predatory vegetable nature, which has become the dominant form under the ...more
Michael D
I've read a few books in this vein, humanity scurrying for survival in a hostile ecological world, but this outstrips all in its inventive scope and sheer speculative weirdness. The species described within are truly brilliant creations and the main characters develop well throughout their many ordeals.Indeed, the fact that one of the main characters is a slimy blob of megalomaniac snot tells you that this is not exactly your run-of-the-mill SF.

If are looking to read something that will take y
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Eloy Eduardo
I read it long, long time ago, but the impact is still fresh. I should read it again. Amazing.
Larry
I enjoyed this when I read it years ago, and now I have a new Penguin edition I'll have to revisit it sometime!
Hmmm its funny but re-reading it I didn't remember anything-it was like I was reading it anew!
Well having finished it I can honestly say its more fantasy than SF! And the odd thing is when reading it I found I didnt remember any of it! My memories of the book went as far as kids running on a beach and finding a morel!
I found the Tummy-belly men very annoying-an early publisher recommend
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Carrie Robinson
Fantastical, Phantasmagorical and Far-Out


Millions of years into the future and plants have evolved while humans and the few animal species left have devolved. "It was no longer a place for mind. It was a place for growth, for vegetables. It was like a hothouse." Plants are carniverous, they have tongues, mouths, stomachs, locomotion. Dripperlip, Whistlethistle, Killerwillow, Fuzzypuzzle, Wiltmilt, Trappersnapper, Thinpin--these are some of the great names Aldiss gives them. It's a vegetation-ru
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Denis
A unique far future story of devolution. If distinctions need be made, this is structured more as fantasy than scifi: A long journey through the woods.

It is filled with wild characters and imaginative creatures, most of them sentient and sometimes carnivorous vegetation. Human beings by this time have devolved into little rodents-like creatures.

My favourite and perhaps most complex character is fungus.

A very engaging adventure tale that can be enjoyed on many levels.
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Pseudonyms: Jael Cracken, Peter Pica, John Runciman, C.C. Shackleton, Arch Mendicant, & "Doc" Peristyle.

Brian Wilson Aldiss is one of the most important voices in science fiction writing today. He wrote his first novel while working as a bookseller in Oxford. Shortly afterwards he wrote his first work of science fiction and soon gained international recognition. Adored for his innovative liter
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“The misfortune of a young man who returns to his native land after years away is that he finds his native land foreign; whereas the lands he left behind remain for ever like a mirage in his mind.
However, misfortune can itself sow seeds of creativity.

---- Afterword to "Hothouse" Brian Aldiss”
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“This shall be home, where danger was my cradle, and all we have learned will guard us!” 2 likes
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