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Nine Last Days on Planet Earth

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  575 ratings  ·  116 reviews

When the seeds rained down from deep space, it may have been the first stage of an alien invasion--or something else entirely. How much time do we have left, and do we even understand what timescale to use? As a slow apocalypse blooms across the Earth, planets and plants, animals and microbes, all live and die and evolve at different scales. Is one human life long enough t

Kindle Edition, 42 pages
Published September 19th 2018 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It takes real talent to build up sufficient tension, expectation, and genuine interest, in a relatively short story, but that’s exactly what science fiction author Daryl Gregory has managed to do in Nine Last Days On Planet Earth.

When a massive meteor storm sends seeds plummeting to all corners of the earth, it causes fear in some, and awe in others. Out of fear, humankind try their best to destroy these invaders but it’s an impossible task, with some of them growing unseen, beneath the surface
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short story:  Nine Last Days on Planet Earth by Daryl Gregory, cover art by Keith Negley

Nine Last Days on Planet Earth gave me a lot to think about as we start the story in a day in the life of ten year old LT. Earth is experiencing a massive meteor storm, the earth being bombarded with countless hard shelled objects that crack on impact, releasing seeds, plant seeds. Over eight more days in the long life of LT, we see how this meteor storm changes everything on the planet and how the planet cha
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
⭐5 𝙎𝙪𝙙𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙎𝙚𝙮𝙢𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨! ⭐

This HUGO Award nominee is one of the most amazing short stories I've ever read.

It's only 42 pages but there is 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 about it to inspect, absorb and marvel at.

𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘓𝘛 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘭𝘥, 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘥𝘴 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳. 𝘚𝘰𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴.

Told in 9 chapters where each one is a 'for the last time' event in LT's life, the mystery of the alien plants begins to be revealed.

Available for free at
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Words were not required. Sometimes the only way you could tell someone you loved them was to show them something beautiful. Sometimes, he thought, you have to send it from very far away.

well, damn.

there's a lot here. and if i'm going to stick to my SHORT REVIEW FOR A SHORT STORY vow; the one that's meant to protect me from overthinking a handful of pages of writing - or at any rate, over-reviewing them - spending more time writing the review than it took me to read the story, well, i'm not even
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A very good SF novelette, free here on Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In 1975, when LT is ten years old, alien plant seeds in silver-and-black metal casings begin raining down on Earth like tiny meteorites, covering our planet’s lands and oceans. Humans attempt to gather up and destroy the “space seeds,” but it’s a hopeless task, and soon various types of odd plant infestations begin to take root and spread.
… the weblike filaments choking the trees in New Orleans, the flame-
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-shelf, sci-fi
Hugo nom '19

I was very impressed with this one. Especially since it read like a narrative taken out of Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. At first it kinda felt like a PKD right out of The World Jones Made, but I'm very glad it went off on its own track and theme.

Alien invasion done right! With SCIENCE. :) Between When We Were Starless and this one, I have a hard time deciding which I love most out of this year's crop of Hugo shorts. :)
“It’s all happening so incrementally,” he told her, “it’s hard to see.”

Wow! A Tor short just made me cry. I'm either sleep deprived, or super hormonal, or this was just a fantastic tale of life, and change, and how it all goes too damned fast.

He wanted to do it all over again. He wanted Doran’s shoulder next to him, and tiny Christina in his arms. He wanted Carlos on his shoulders at the National Zoo. All of it, all of it again.

You can read it here:
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Words were not required. Sometimes the only way you could tell someone you loved them was to show them something beautiful.

One day, meteorites shower the Earth for what is considered an unusually long time. As can be seen by people's findings, they were small black-and-silver shells containing whoknowswhat seeds. Soon after, governments start confiscating any and all alien seeds they can get their hands on and possession of one becomes illegal. Nonetheless, the seeds spread - some because th
Another one that has been added and deleted and re-added.
My thoughts? Who the eff knows. But you can find them at my blog.

The Hugo-nominated novelette:

My blog:
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strange one, that.

I finished this today, while I was sitting in a nice restaurant, with a clear view at the river, and a lot of green and some pretty cool old buildings surrounding me. And my first thoughts were, well, that was quite nice, 3 stars probably, but somehow I think I should have liked this a lot more.

And there is a lot to like.

The very subtle approach to the alien invasion theme was kinda cool. Science and all. I mean, they are sending plants. Ha! Well, seeds, actually. But whatever.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a good sci-fi short story. The concept and structure of the story itself worked pretty well in the short story format. We followed the story of LT via nine glimpses into different stages of his life. The first being the day a bunch of alien seeds showered from the sky in 1975 when he was just 10 years old. Over the rest of the story we get a glimpse into how the alien seeds are effecting life on earth and into the personal life of LT.

I felt like the story was good. Daryl Gregory had an
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
“When the seeds rained down from deep space, it may have been the first stage of an alien invasion—or something else entirely.“

I‘m Groot! Interesting. I liked it, fascinating take on evolution and alien invasion, great character development. I felt with LT and almost cried with him at the end. Not sure if I am a fan of that quasi open ending.

Can be found for free here:
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: karen
On the first night of the meteor storm, his mother came to wake him up, but LT was only pretending to sleep. He’d been lying in the dark waiting for the end of the world.

You have to see this, she said. He didn’t want to leave the bed but she was an intense woman who could beam energy into him with a look. She took his hand and led him between the stacks of moving boxes, then across the backyard and through the cattle gate to the field, where the view was unimpeded by trees. Meteors, dozens of me
Paul E. Morph
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paul by: Trish
The best SF short story I’ve read for a very long time. Beautiful, really.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great alien invasion and evolution story. The invasion side of the story is kind of creepy, with the earth being taken over by all sorts of plant life. And Gregory's characterization of protagonist LT is wonderful; so much so that I got teary at the close of the story. ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4ish stars.
"Nine Last Days on Planet Earth" by Daryl Gregory

Thoughts later. Such a deceptive story - didn't go where I expected and was surprisingly meaningful. I received this story as part of the 2019 Hugo Voters Packet.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Hugo 2019 reading (novelettes).
OH GOSH. Oh oh, gosh, I absolutely tore through this one. I often struggle through the Hugo-nominated shorts each year -- the side-effect of me being very picky with short fiction and finding them hard to get into sometimes -- but I devoured this novelette, in which a series of meteorites collide with the Earth in 1975 and seed it with inexplicable plantlife ("invasives") which start sprawling across the planet, kicking off new environmental studies and fascinations, and a slow process of fighti ...more
Nadine Jones
Day 11 in my 24 Days of Shorts

Bella was so old. How had that happened? How had he gotten so far from home? He wanted to do it all over again. He wanted Doran’s shoulder next to him, and tiny Christina in his arms. He wanted Carlos on his shoulders at the National Zoo. All of it, all of it again.

This was so much more than I expected! (And I almost didn’t read it today, I had another short story slated for Day 11, but it turned out to not be available on-line.)

I’ll be honest: I didn’t totally
Could have been three stars but lost one since I think the author got mixed up between Papua New Guinea (a country), New Guinea (an island) and Papua (a province of Indonesia).
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a SF novelette. It is already nominated for Nebula Award in 2019 and quite likely will be nominated for Hugo.

The story is about alien invasion, but not of ‘little green men’ but of plants. It starts in 1975, when meteors bring seeds to Earth and a young boy named LT is the witness. As story develops over next decades (if a reader pays attention for the dates, they can be surprised by an Easter Egg there), telling the life of LT and the changing world. The story has several quite interest
Edward Taylor
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After hearing Farrah ( rave about it, I needed to get this one into my hands and I have to say, she was not wrong.

This is a very short read and well worth your time. In the vein of The Color Out of Space and The Day of the Triffids, we find a young LT living in a world that has been slowly consumed by alien flora and how his life is forever shaped by what is going on around him.
Zoe's Human
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lt
What happens when an invasive species strikes the whole planet at the same time? This short story follows a child into adulthood and through to his final days as a slow alien invasion comes in a form we weren't expecting.

You can read this for free at
3.49 stars maybe?

You know that thing where scifi shows sometimes do a kind of the life that might have been montage? Where you see scenes spread out across all the years of a potential life the character might have had in some alternate timeline?

This is that. Only without the context or "real" life part.

Which is fine. I guess.

Since it's short.

I did like the main character, LT, I could relate to him, at least early on. And the SF aspect is interesting, and well done. Think Southern Reach, but le
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
Like a shorter version of The War Against the Chtorr, or however Gerrold spells it, this is a century spanning tale of how L.T., and his family, and humans, and earth are affected by a seemingly-random biological invasion from space. The "last nine days" have some interesting interpretations, but I highly suggest reading the story before seeing this (view spoiler) ...more
Matthew Galloway
I found this to be a lovely story about growing up and finding your identity, becoming who you’re meant to be. Of course, it’s set against the backdrop of what might be an alien invasion and certainly seems to at least be some kind of alien interference...

Now, while there are a lot of questions that could be answered, I found the tale’s scope and focus to be perfect. Sure, in other stories I’d love to find out where the seeds came from and what some of the plants did on earth, etc, but with this
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Hmmm, I guess it wasn't for me. Ok, it is good, but I wanted a more sci-fi the-world-is-dying tragedy! Anyways, it has the right touch of feeling and cool scifi. Check it out!

Ni siquiera recuerdo bien de que iba. Perl si recuerdo el final. Un final agridulce y bien escrito siempre me llega al corazón. El rating de las 3 estrellas lo reservo para cuando algo se que es bueno pero no para mi.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow-moving, sweet story told in quick images from many points in one life! Great for biologists.
“Neither, Nor.”
Nice concept about space invader vegetables, but Gregory got lost halfway through and, while he returns to the first story at the end, the denouement isn’t. Stopped caring for any of the characters when they devolved into hand puppets.
“He’s had six years of chances. Any time he wants to call, I’ll pick up.”
I understand why stories like this are nominated for SF/F awards; the Hugos have always been a popularity contest. Hopefully someday there’ll be awards for speculative fiction,
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Nine Last Days on Planet Earth" by Daryl Gregory 21 33 Mar 22, 2019 02:08PM  

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Award-winning author of Spoonbenders, We Are All Completely Fine, Afterparty, Pandemonium, and others. Some of his short fiction has been collected in Unpossible and Other Stories.

He's won the World Fantasy Award, as well as the Shirley Jackson, Crawford, Asimov Readers, and Geffen awards, and his work has been short-listed for many other awards, including the Nebula . His books have been translat

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“He could talk at length about the known invasive species, and why there were so many different ones: the weblike filaments choking the trees in New Orleans, the flame-colored poppies erupting on Mexico City rooftops, the green fins popping up in Florida beach sand like sharks coming ashore. Every shell that struck Earth, and some that hit the surface of the water, cracked and sent millions of seeds into the air or into the oceans.” 0 likes
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