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Hothouse Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1984


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--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; 1st American paperback edition (December 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586049908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671559304
  • ASIN: 0671559303
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Aldiss is a distinguished science fiction writer and was made Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2000. In the sixties he originated the three science-fiction anthologies which combined to form THE PENGUIN SCIENCE FICTION OMNIBUS (1973). Aldiss was awarded an OBE in 2005 for his services to literature. He lives in Oxford. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Morin on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The novel Hothouse first came to my attention in the picture book/review "Alien Landscapes" by Robert Holdstock and Malcolm Edwards. The art and description contained therein inspired me to read Hothouse, as well as a few other classic sci-fi novels (e.g. Rendezvous with Rama by A.C. Clarke and Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement, both of which I highly recommend). I was not disappointed.
Hothouse is difficult to squarely categorize as sci-fi, as Aldiss does not project human achievement and technological evolution into a plausible future. Instead, he does so with biological evolution, moving mankind into the passive role of bystander. Plants have come to dominate the natural world, assuming the characteristics and ecological functions of the animal kingdom. But it is far from a utopian garden. The main characters are assailed with hostility every step of the way.
The book is an odyssey of sorts, with the main character, Gren, tossed violently about this very green world on a voyage of discovery, both internal and external. Aldiss seems to like this theme. The various plant forms which Gren encounters along the way will stir the imagination with their bizarre nature, although I disagree with another reviewer's comment that their introduction appears to be the only purpose for the book.
Aldiss leaves quite a bit unexplained in the book, which I suppose is my only criticism. But even then, it lends the text a sense of mystery which, when approached with the right perspective, is charming.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on February 7, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all the "New Wave" SF writers that emerged in the sixties and seventies, Brian Aldiss is probably the least flashiest and most consistent. His books have this sort of quiet confidence, as if he already knows they're unique and doesn't need to go about proclaiming it. Most of the time the trick is in the presentation. In this novel we have an Earth millions of years in the future, a planet that has stopped rotating and is thus half light and half dark, a planet where most of the animals have died out and plants have taken over, evolving into all sorts of weird lifeforms, all of which you have to read to believe. Humans are still around but most traces of civilization are gone, they live fairly nomadic and primitive existences. The biggest problem with this book is that the setup is just about all you get, while there is a plot of sorts, it's for the most part episodic and at best ramshackle, lurching from situation to situation. But it's Aldiss' vision of the future Earth, orbiting a sun soon to go nova, and a planet covered in all kinds of fantastic forms of life, that sustains the book. Every time you turn the page something new and bizarre greets you and I'm just amazed the man was able to think of all these things. Granted most of the plot is devoted to showing off these things but when then they're this consistently entertaining I'm not going to argue too much. Honestly there probably is some kind of allegorical aspect to the plot that I'm just missing because I'm too dense but hey, whatever. Fans of pure science probably won't be too thrilled because Aldiss' extrapolations of the far future seem to have little to do with actual science, but as I always say, don't let science get in the way of a good story. This is an absolutely fascinating story that ranks with his better works and while it's not his absolute masterpiece, it certainly deserves to be read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here is a fine example of the most adept application of a most adept imagination. In this novel Aldiss not only challenges many ecological issues, but blends them into a wonderful story of evolution, both of life as a whole, and of society. This is a must for any sci-fi/fantasy fan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on January 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a story about the end of the world and the many races of man. It is a story about the Sun nearing its final moments and the plants taking over the world. It is a story about the final days of the planet Earth.
The story revolves around Gren and the last of his kind, small people who live in the trees. They live in the middle, not too close to the ground and not to high up, near the tips. It is an adventure story, a story of exploration, as we follow Gren and his tribe as they try to survive.
This is not hard science fiction and, in fact, I would not call this normal science fiction. Maybe science fantasy? Or just plain fantasy? The Moon is linked to the Earth by giant webs and one side of the planet is locked towards the Sun, so I guess it is fantasy. I enjoyed the book but I just want to warn you, this is a weird novel about the end of life as we know it and don't know it.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fred AQ on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
...I don't really know, that's why i rated it with 3, i'm not sure i liked it, but i'm not sure I disliked it. Different? yes, very different, very creative and original. The book starts ou very well, but half way thru it started to feel heavy and the more I read the more i wanted drop it but at the same, finish it. I guess it was too much in the same plate so i felt like at the end didnt make any sense or didnt come to a resolution, it was just sort of like a period of time on pages, i still wanteed to read some ending. It started out with one character that you get to know and then he died and another character is now starring. It was like Aldiss started writing and just adding more and more ideas without a trace of facts in the same story. But yes, even so, you want to read, it was a weird experience reading this book, i can't relly recomend it, but it's there. If you like this kind of books, go ahead read it, but dont expect too much.
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