The Saliva Tree: And Other Strange Growths

Open Road Media
3
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Invisible aliens invade the bucolic English countryside in Brian W. Aldiss’s Nebula Award–winning science fiction novella, plus nine other stories of the fantastic and the odd

A meteor shower in the skies above the rolling English countryside late in the nineteenth century fires the imagination of a young man with a penchant for science—especially when one of the falling rocks breaks off from the rest and lands at the bottom of a pond near the Benford farm. While the young man’s curiosity has been seriously aroused, Farmer Benford and his clan couldn’t be less interested—not even when there’s a sudden, curious rash of animal births, they notice odd, lingering, pervasive smells, and the family dog dies inexplicably. Still, the young man is not willing to abandon his investigation into these strange occurrences, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that to keep looking could prove injurious—and perhaps even fatal—not only to himself but to every Benford in the vicinity.
 
Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss wrote his wonderfully strange and gripping novella “The Saliva Tree,” as a tribute to H. G. Wells, the immortal author of The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, and it was honored with a Nebula Award. Included alongside this classic tale of creeping alien terror are nine other sparkling gems of short fiction—from the grisly baby steps of a novice serial killer, to the travels of a history professor through alternate worlds, to the journey of a young widow who has both a murderer and a monster vying for her attention.
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About the author

Brian W. Aldiss was born in Norfolk, England, in 1925. Over a long and distinguished writing career, he published award‐winning science fiction (two Hugo Awards, a Nebula Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award); bestselling popular fiction, including the three‐volume Horatio Stubbs saga and the four‐volume the Squire Quartet; experimental fiction such as Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head; and many other iconic and pioneering works, including the Helliconia Trilogy. He edited many successful anthologies and published groundbreaking nonfiction, including a magisterial history of science fiction (Billion Year Spree, later revised and expanded as Trillion Year Spree). Among his many short stories, perhaps the most famous was “Super‐Toys Last All Summer Long,” which was adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick and produced and directed after Kubrick’s death by Steven Spielberg as A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Brian W. Aldiss passed away in 2017 at the age of 92. 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
May 19, 2015
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Pages
250
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ISBN
9781504010313
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Dystopian
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Collections & Anthologies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Colonists on Mars fight to prevent their own extinction in “a suspenseful genre-bending combination of straight SF and mystery” (Booklist, starred review).

Doomed by overpopulation, irreversible environmental degradation, and never-ending war, Earth has become a fetid swamp. For many, Mars represents humankind’s last hope. In six tightly clustered towers on the red planet’s surface, the colonists who have escaped their dying home world are attempting to make a new life unencumbered by the corrupting influences of politics, art, and religion. Unable ever to return, these pioneers have chosen an unalterable path that winds through a landscape as terrible as it is beautiful, often forcing them to compromise their beliefs—and sometimes their humanity—in order to survive.
 
But the gravest threat to the future is not the settlement’s total dependence on foodstuffs sent from a distant and increasingly uncaring Earth, or the events that occur in the aftermath of the miraculous discovery of native life on Mars—it is the fact that in the ten years since colonization began, every new human baby has been born dead, or so tragically deformed that death comes within hours.
 
The great Brian W. Aldiss has delivered a dark and provocative yet ultimately hopeful magnum opus rich in imagination and bold ideas. A novel of philosophy as much as science fiction, Finches of Mars is an exploration of intellectual history, evolution, technology, and the future by one of speculative fiction’s undisputed masters.
Four loosely linked realistic novels from “one of Britain’s most accomplished and versatile writers” (The Guardian).
 
A Hugo and Nebula Award–winning science fiction writer, British novelist Brian W. Aldiss also regularly “returned to earth with distinction,” penning realistic works, including the Squire Quartet (The New York Times). Comprised of “loosely interconnected novels following many characters through a twenty-first century landscape of insidious new technology and international political turmoil” (Booklist), here is the complete series from this “ambitious and gifted writer” (The Guardian).
 
Life in the West: Thomas C. Squire, creator of the hit documentary series Frankenstein Among the Arts, one-time secret agent, and founder of the Society for Popular Aesthetics, is attending an international media symposium in Sicily. It is here that he becomes involved with the lovely but calculating Selina Ajdina. Alongside the drama of the conference is the story of Squire’s private life—the tale of his infidelity, the horrifying circumstances surrounding his father’s death, and the threatened future of his ancestral home in England.
 
“[A] novel of ideas that is also eminently readable . . . a virtuoso performance.” —Publishers Weekly
 
Forgotten Life: Analyst Clement Winters is trying to write a biography of his recently deceased older brother, Joseph. Through the writings Joseph left behind—letters, diaries, notes, and confessions—Clement realizes how vastly his perception of his sibling differs from reality. As Clement tries to make sense of Joseph’s life, he uncovers dark corners of his family history and even his own existence.
 
“A realistic novel . . . imaginative richness . . . [a] many-layered venture into the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.” —The New York Times
 
Remembrance Day: When four people are killed by a terrorist bombing in a small British seaside hotel, an American academic examines the details of the victims’ lives and histories to find the relationship between them and their fate.
 
“Aldiss discovers fresh and arresting nuances in the dichotomy between blind chance and predestination in human affairs . . . original, disturbing, and memorable.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
Somewhere East of Life: Architectural historian Roy Burnell has been tasked with traveling the globe and listing architectural gems in danger of being destroyed. But when Burnell is in Budapest, ten years of his memory, including his sexual experiences, are stolen. In this near future, where thieves sell memories on the black market, Burnell tries to resume his life, while also searching for the “bullet” that will restore his memory.
 
“Intelligent, funny, and hopeful in spite of itself.” —Kirkus Reviews
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