All Flesh is Grass

by Clifford D. Simak
Reviewed date: 2010 May 3
Rating: 2
256 pages
cover art

Earth is invaded by purple Flowers from another universe. The Flowers slip through a thin spot in the space-time fabric that separates their earth from ours, and end up in the dying small town of Millville.

The Flowers put a forcefield bubble around the entire town, sealing the inhabitants inside. Then they appoint Brad Carter to be their liaison to the governments of Earth. Their proposal is simple: if the people of Earth allow the Flowers access to Earth so they can grow and expand their living space, the Flowers will provide Earth with all their knowledge accumulated through billions of years.

To show their power, the Flowers indicate that they can and will detonate any significant concentration of fissionable material. In other words, to welcome the Flowers, the nations of Earth will have to disarm and destroy all nuclear weapons.

Brad is skeptical, as is the entire rest of the world. Is this a trick the Flowers are playing, to buy some time before they overrun the Earth and destroy all humans? The US government is poised to use a hydrogen bomb to destroy Millville and end the alien threat forever, but one of Brad's friends comes up with a solution. It seems the Flowers have never before been admired for their beauty. Earth will disarm and welcome the Flowers, but in return, the Flowers must grow in gardens, to be tended and cared for and their beauty appreciated by humans. Humanity will be safe, because the Flowers will be unwilling to destroy the only race which ever loved them.

The business of being flowers loved by another race, cared for by another race, would bind these aliens to us as closely as we would be bound to them by the banishment of war. A different kind of bond, but as strong a bond as that which bound man and dog together. And that bond was all we needed; one that would give us time to learn to work together.

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