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The Genocides by Thomas M. Disch

The Genocides (1965)

by Thomas M. Disch

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366329,640 (3.43)1 / 10



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This 1965 novelette has held up remarkably well to the test of time.
Earth has been ‘seeded' with mysterious spores from space. Everywhere, giant alien plants are growing, resistant to every herbicide that research labs and governments have been able to produce. Destroying ecodiversity and crowding out every native species, the plants seem to have no nutritional value to humans or animals. Without farmland, massive famine results. The cities, dependent on farms for food, are first to collapse.
The last pockets of civilization may be farm villages...
In one such Minnesota village, a farmer rules his family and the survivors from his village as a dictatorial patriarch... harsh, but with survival at heart. But he is old, and in ill-health, and times are hard and getting harder. As the characters vie with each other over power and relationships, we see that even desperation is not enough to overcome human pettiness and just plain stupidity.
There's definitely some Biblical allusions going on... although the patriarch is also a religious leader, we see his ‘flock' violate pretty much every one of the Ten Commandments, and commit pretty much every one of the Seven Deadly Sins. They believe they may be being punished by God – but the reality is that humanity itself may be simply beneath the notice of who- or what-ever has caused this destruction.

Very bleak – very, very bleak. But also quite witty and entertaining ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A unique and grim apocalyptic tale. While the premise of alien plants overtaking the world may seem a bit ridiculous, the author makes the idea palpable and sinister. I definitely plan to delve into some of his other works. ( )
  bsima | Feb 21, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas M. Dischprimary authorall editionscalculated
Groot, RuurdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoovelaar, FrankCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375705465, Paperback)

This spectacular novel established Thomas M. Disch as a major new force in science fiction. First published in 1965, it was immediately labeled a masterpiece reminiscent of the works of J.G. Ballard and H.G. Wells

In this harrowing novel, the world's cities have been reduced to cinder and ash and alien plants have overtaken the earth.  The plants, able to grow the size of maples in only a month and eventually reach six hundred feet, have commandeered the world's soil and are sucking even the Great Lakes dry. In northern Minnesota, Anderson, an aging farmer armed with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, desperately leads the reduced citizenry of a small town in a daily struggle for meager existence. Throw into this fray Jeremiah Orville, a marauding outsider bent on a bizarre and private revenge, and the fight to live becomes a daunting task.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:28 -0400)

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