The Genocides, was published in 1965. It is set on a bleak Earth where humans are being exterminated by aliens using the Earth to grow plants:
[. . .] the exploitation of available resources by these fast-growing plants causes the soil to become barren for any other crop or tree. In addition, these plants are unsuitable for feeding any animal (except, perhaps, the rabbits which appear to be very numerous in the book), causing an ecological catastrophe. The effects on humans are very drastic: Human society breaks down, with people no longer able to live in cities.And there's no happy ending. The story concludes:
The action of the novel is centered on a small group of people who still harvest some corn and have a single pregnant cow. The leader of this group is a religious fanatic who kills every other stranger in the name of the survival of the group. Their already-difficult life fighting against plants and protecting the small crop changes suddenly when an outsider begins living with the group, bringing news of strange forest fires. The fires are started by alien machines (presumably from the same civilization that sent the seeds of the plants) and finally destroy the group's refuge, forcing them to escape into a cave.
Nature is prodigal. Of a hundred seedlings only one or two would survive; of a hundred species, only one or two.Some of Disch's other novels include Camp Concentration (1968), 334 (1972), On Winds of Song (1979), The M.D.: A Horror Story (1991), and The Brave Little Toaster (1980).
Not, however, man.
Interviews with Thomas Disch:
- Thomas Disch on the Bat Segundo Show, recorded on June 25.
- Joseph Francavilla in Science Fiction Studies (March 1983): Disching it Out: An Interview with Thomas Disch
- David Horwich interviews Thomas Disch for Strange Horizons (2001)
Tags:Thomas M. Disch, The Genocides