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Our Favorite Non-Humanoid Aliens

Our Favorite Non-Humanoid Aliens

the three body problem by cixin liuA while back, we put together a kickin’ list of aliens who might not be able to ‘kick’ in the traditional ‘human’ sense of the word, because they are not humanoids. Now, with the new Netflix series of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem captivating audiences across the galaxy, we thought it’d be a great time to bring this important piece of literary listicle writing back to the forefront. Because it’s an important piece of science fiction but also because of the Trisolarans, a notably unhuman species of extraterrestrial entities.

Check that list out below!


by Emily Hughes

The idea that any aliens the human race might encounter will look even vaguely humanoid is so tired. While the proliferation of humanoid aliens in science fiction is understandable – it can be hard to conceive of creatures so foreign we might not even recognize them as sentient. But it does happen! Here are five more of our favorite non-humanoid aliens in sci-fi.

The Ghorf (Knight by Timothy Zahn)

Image Placeholder of - 80When Nicole first wakes up on board the ship Fyrantha, she’s understandably a little unsettled by the appearance of Kahkitah, a bipedal shark-like alien who seems to be made of melted down glass marbles. But these chondrichthian creatures aren’t nearly as fierce as they look – mostly they serve as counsel and muscle on the densely-populated, living spacecraft.

Rainbow Bamboo (Semiosis by Sue Burke)

Place holder  of - 76Semiosis is a first-contact novel about plants, and at its heart is the relationship between the human settlers on the planet Pax, and a species of plant known as rainbow bamboo, which has a collective consciousness that takes the name Stevland (long story). Stevland’s voice, once it and the settlers have figured out how to communicate, is fascinating – it has awareness of all parts of its root network at once, and can manipulate its chemical reactions to grow faster, slower, in new places, or to communicate danger or opportunity to its human friends and other plants alike.

Sandworms (The Dune series by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson)

Image Place holder  of - 57How could we not include Sandworms, honestly? They’re iconic in the science fiction world, and for good reason. These leviathans, indigenous to the planet Arrakis, are instrumental to the production of the highly valued spice melange, though they’re intermittently dangerous to the people who harvest said spice. And though the sandworms can be managed and (occasionally) ridden, they can never truly be tamed.

The Gelet (The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders)

Placeholder of  -52On the planet January, human settlers are limited to two habitable cities – but outside those cities, in the planet’s dark, cold hemisphere, live a species reviled and feared by humans: the furry, tentacled Gelet.

The Gelet are a species of individuals who share a telepathic group mind and a collective memory. They’re sentient, empathetic, and ambitious, aiming for a goal as lofty as saving their dying planet. And when Sophie, the protagonist, befriends them, they introduce her to a future filled with one thing she never anticipated: hope.

Aunt Beast (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle)

Poster Placeholder of - 92As Meg Murry recovers from her confrontation with IT, she’s nursed back to health by the four-armed, eyeless, furry creature she comes to think of as Aunt Beast. Aunt Beast is a gift, a being who writer Jaime Green calls “the embodiment of grace.” She loves Meg while creating space for Meg’s pain and anger – and we all need that sometimes.

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Pandemic vs. pandemic: I Thought I Was Writing Fiction

Poster Placeholder of - 44What is it like to have a pandemic book come out…in the middle of a pandemic? Sue Burke, author of Immunity Index, talks about her latest novel, living through a pandemic, and more in the below guest post. Check it out here!


By Sue Burke

At the end of February in 2020, I bought a little extra food and a little extra toilet paper. Not a lot. I was trying to be reasonable, even though I was terrified.

I had just begun final edits to my novel Immunity Index. I’d started it two years earlier, and the plot included… a coronavirus epidemic. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. If science fiction often examines the present disguised as the future, we knew one thing for certain in 2018: sooner or later, an epidemic, even a pandemic, was coming.

I’d been through epidemics before. When I was about six years old, my parents took me to a mass public health clinic to eat a soggy sugar cube in a tiny paper cup: a polio vaccine. A year later, like most of my classmates, I got chicken pox and was miserable, with pox in my hair, on the soles of my feet, and everywhere in between.

Two years after that, my mother took my brother, sister, and I to the local health department to get blood drawn because something called measles was coming. Soon it arrived, burning through my school. A boy a grade ahead of me died. At one point the fever made me hallucinate. Never throw up when you’re hallucinating. When we were well, although I was still emotionally traumatized, my mother took us to have blood drawn again “so they can see what changed in your blood and figure out how to keep other kids from getting sick.” I was proud to help.

In the 1980s, as a journalist, I covered AIDS, which had begun to appear among gay men. I learned a lot about viruses—and about who matters politically. I wrote obituaries and reported on funerals, sometimes weeping as I typed. I first heard of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In 2018, with a novel in mind, I began researching epidemics. It was depressing. Ed Yong’s article in the July-August 2018 issue of The Atlantic hurt the worst. “The Next Plague Is Coming: Is America Ready?” Short answer: no. We had invested vastly less than we should, he wrote, and yet a repeat of something like the 1918 Spanish Flu would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. (Covid-19 has actually cost $16 trillion, according to a pair of Harvard economists. Ed Yong turned out to be an optimist for once.)

Still, public health authorities had been trying to imagine how to prepare. A 2006 Health and Human Services report recommended stockpiling surgical masks. A 2014 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report discussed social distancing. Every document, especially those with recommendations based on the 1918 flu epidemic, called one thing essential: tell the truth so the public will know what to do. “Success relies upon open, honest, transparent, and clear communications,” said the US Health and Human Services Pandemic Influenza Plan, 2017 Update.

In 2018, I didn’t have to imagine government leaders failing to tell the truth.

These plans, however, all expected an influenza outbreak. I chose a coronavirus, usually the cause of the common cold, because it can be deadly, as we had recently seen with SARS and MERS. Even the common cold can kill.

So I wrote a novel, then rewrote it several times, tying together four separate plot strands, shortening the timeline, and heightening the tension. And I killed a lot of people, as I tend to do in my fiction. But fictional deaths are one thing.

On March 11, 2020, I got a hair cut in anticipation of some upcoming events, just in case. By the end of the day, those events were being called off. A few days later, toilet paper disappeared from local stores. On March 15, I began self-isolation. I was 65 years old, and the news terrified me.

Regardless, I had to work on that novel. I also keep a personal journal. I wrote in March, 2020, that I was a feeling depressed. The nation would not be ready. I noted with horror that in Madrid, Spain, where I used to live, the ice rink had become a morgue. During the following month, I wrote that I felt glum, irritable, fidgety, weird, nervous, and even hopeless.

On short neighborhood walks, I saw closed businesses, the plants in the windows slowly dying. A nursing home down the street needed PPE, so I donated a box of nitrile gloves I happened to have. I turned in the manuscript and had more time to feel pointlessly angry.

Finally, on May 6, I wrote: “I realized today why at times it felt upsetting to be writing this book while Covid-19 was raging: the book portrays a better situation than our reality, and it has a happier ending than what we might face. This is a grim book, but maybe not a dystopia by comparison.”

My fiction was better than my reality. That gave me nightmares—especially knowing that it didn’t have to be this bad.

I am not writing this to ask for sympathy. Save it for others. I’m fine. I hope you are, too. My loved ones and I got through this relatively unscathed. No one died. Our finances survived. For too many people, this pandemic has meant disaster after disaster. I live next to a food pantry, and the line continued to grow all last summer. Things kept getting worse—far worse than initial expectations.

So I gave what I could to help others, distracted myself with some fine books (thank you, Tamsyn Muir), protested with great social distancing for Black lives, and attended some online events and science fiction conventions that tried hard to be enjoyable. I muddled through. If leggings count, I always wore pants. Now, I am vaccinated and waiting for my husband to be fully vaccinated so we can resume a normal-ish life. I want to hug people again, and they tell me on Zoom that they’re ready and waiting.

This hard year left us all hurting. Far, far too many people are dead, needlessly.

In the end, I learned that things viewed in the convex mirror of imagination may be closer than they look. We’re always writing about the present, sometimes too much about the present. And we’re writing about the past, too.

My book is set partially in my home town, Milwaukee. In 1918, the leadership of the Wisconsin and Milwaukee boards of health quickly spotted the threat of the coming influenza. They closed schools, theaters, and other public gathering places. Milwaukee’s Socialist mayor, Daniel M. Hoan, made public health a city priority. Flyers were passed out in poor, crowded, and immigrant neighborhoods in a variety of languages. Boy Scouts put up posters and placards. An emergency hospital was set up in the City Auditorium, staffed by student nurses and instructors from the Wisconsin Anti-Tuberculosis Association. Young women wealthy enough to have access to automobiles volunteered to drive them as ambulances.

As a result, Milwaukee, despite its especially dense population and high proportion of immigrants, lost 2 to 3 residents per 1000; the national average was 4.39.

We didn’t need to suffer as much as we have in this pandemic. But you already knew that.

Sue Burke is the author of the award-winning novel, SemiosisImmunity Index is out from Tor Books now. 

Order Immunity Index Now:

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$2.99 eBook Sale: April 2021

Spring is in the air and you know what that means…NEW BOOKS ON SALE!!! Check out what ebooks you can snag for only $2.99 throughout the entire month of April here!

Place holder  of - 60Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

We all know the tale of Prospero’s quest for revenge, but what of Miranda? Or Caliban, the so-called savage Prospero chained to his will? In this incredible retelling of the fantastical tale, Jacqueline Carey shows readers the other side of the coin—the dutiful and tenderhearted Miranda, who loves her father but is terribly lonely. And Caliban, the strange and feral boy Prospero has bewitched to serve him. The two find solace and companionship in each other as Prospero weaves his magic and dreams of revenge.

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Poster Placeholder of - 66Semiosis by Sue Burke

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits…Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

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Image Place holder  of - 1Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide. Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: she was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

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$2.99 Ebook Sale: Semiosis by Sue Burke

Image Placeholder of - 89The ebook edition of Semiosis by Sue Burke is on sale now for only $2.99! Get your copy today before the sequel, Interference, goes on sale on October 22.

About SemiosisHuman survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits…

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

Order Your Copy

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This sale ends October 1st.

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New Releases: 3/12

Happy New Releases Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Image Placeholder of - 89It has been four months since the mysterious stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since he crossed paths with Delilah Bard. Now, while his own city is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of a cross-empire magical competition, a once-lost London is returning to life. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must die.

The Tesla Legacy by K. K. Pérez

Place holder  of - 44An action-packed, young adult coming-of-age adventure, K. K. Perez’s The Tesla Legacy follows a precocious young scientist named Lucy Phelps whose fateful encounter in the Tesla Suite of the New Yorker Hotel unlocks her dormant electrical powers. As Lucy struggles to understand her new abilities through scientific experimentation, she is thrust into a centuries old battle between rival alchemical societies.

One side wants her help and the other wants her dead, but both believe she is the next step in human evolution. Unfortunately, carriers of the genetic mutation—including Nikola Tesla—have a greatly reduced life expectancy. Even if Lucy can outrun her enemies, she can’t outrun herself.

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Semiosis by Sue Burke

Image Place holder  of - 79Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits…

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

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7 Tor Books Characters You’ll Want To Be For Halloween This Year

Halloween is coming quickly and what better way to celebrate than to dress up as some of your favorite bookish characters?

There are so many great characters to choose from—like Alys from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan or Baru Cormorant from The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. Take a look at some of the great cosplays and Halloween costumes people are already doing and start planning!

Halloween will be here sooner than you know it.

Go-To Characters

Moiraine “Alys” Damodred from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

 

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If you’re looking for an easy costume, you can become the fiercest Aes Sedai. All you need is a blue dress and cloak and a brown belt. Additional accessories will definitely enhance the ensemble, but if you want to keep things simple those are the essentials.

Vin from The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

If black is your color, dressing up as everyone’s favorite Mistborn is the perfect costume for you. You’ll need black pants, a black top, and a shredded-style black cloak. If you want accessories, try a black belt, fake daggers, and a coin pouch.

Delilah “Lila” Bard from the Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab

This cosplay of Lila is serious goals, but don’t be intimidated. You too can be Lila. All you need is red pants, a black frock coat, black boots, a mask, and some fake daggers.

Kell from the Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab

Kell’s ensemble is the inverse to Lila’s. You’ll want a red frock-style jacket, which unfortunately won’t be as peculiar as the one in the novel, a white shirt, and black pants. If you can figure out how to make one of your eyes black (black color contacts?!) that’d be amazing too.

New Characters

The Plants from Semiosis by Sue Burke

While the cosplayer above isn’t trying to be the sentient plants that star in Sue Burke’s new sci-fi novel, the all green ensemble total works for these characters. However, if green isn’t your color you can dress up as Stevland, the rainbow bamboo.

Victor Vale from the Villains series by V.E. Schwab

Your favorite villains returned in Vengeful and what better way to celebrate than to dress up as the extraordinary Victor Vale? Getting Victor’s look is pretty easy since he’s described as wearing all black clothing, but if you want to take the costume a step further you can do like the cosplayer above and add a white wig and (fake?) blood to your costume.

Baru Cormorant from The Masquerade series by Seth Dickinson

The most important thing you’ll need to be Baru is a white mask and thankfully that’s easy to get from any costume store. Once you have that, you’ll want to wear dark clothing to complete the look.

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On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in June

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in June! See who is coming to a city near you this month.

Demetra Brodsky, Dive Smack

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Saturday, June 23rd
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

Sue Burke, Semiosis

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Saturday, June 16th
Milwaukee Public Library
Milwaukee, WI
2:00 PM

W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Way Home

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Saturday, June 9th
Barnes & Noble
Honolulu, HI
1:00 PM

Jacqueline Carey, Starless

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Tuesday, June 12th
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 13th
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM

Thursday, June 14th
The Printed Garden
Sandy, UT
7:00 PM

Saturday, June 30th
Kazoo Books
Kalamazoo, MI
2:00 PM

Spencer Ellsworth, Starfire: Memory’s Blade

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Saturday, June 16th
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
5:30 PM
Also with Joseph Brassey.

Candice Fox, Crimson Lake

Friday, June 8th
Huntington Beach Library
Huntington Beach, CA
12:00 PM

Matt Goldman, Broken Ice

Tuesday, June 12th
Once Upon A Crime
Minneapolis, MN
7:00 PM

Sunday, June 24th
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM

Tuesday, June 26th
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
7:30 PM
Also with Paddy Hirsch.

Wednesday, June 27th
Book Soup
West Hollywood, CA
7:00 PM

Thursday, June 28th
Bookshop West Portal
San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM

Tessa Gratton, The Queens of Innis Lear

Friday, June 15th
Blue Valley Library
Overland Park, KS
5:30 PM
Also with Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Cordova, and Justina Ireland.

Paddy Hirsch, The Devil’s Half Mile

Tuesday, June 6th
Solid State Books
Washington, D.C.
7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 6th
Mysterious Bookshop
New York, NY
6:30 PM

Thursday, June 7th
The Harvard Coop
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 13th
Southshore Center
Excelsior, MN
7:00 PM
Literature Lovers’ Night Out – also with Liam Callahan, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Sarah Healy, hosted by Excelsior Bay Books.

Thursday, June 14th
The Grand Banquet Center
Stillwater, MN
7:00 PM
Literature Lovers’ Night Out – also with Liam Callahan, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Sarah Healy, hosted by Valley Bookseller.

Thursday, June 21st
Copperfield’s Books
Heraldsburg, CA
6:00 PM

Tuesday, June 26th
Book Carnival
Orange, CA

Friday, June 29th
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Saturday, June 30th
Skylight Books
Los Angeles, CA
5:00 PM

Michael Moreci, The Throwaway

Wednesday, June 20th
The Book Cellar
Chicago, IL
7:00 PM
Also with Greg Hickey, Paula Carter, and Kirk Landers.

C. L. Polk, Witchmark

Tuesday, June 26th
Magers & Quinn
Minneapolis, MN
7:00 PM

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#FearlessWomen at Left Bank Books

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Left Bank Books and Archon present an SF STL and Tor #FearlessWomen event on Thursday, May 10th at 7 PM, with authors Tessa Gratton, Sue Burke, and K. Arsenault Rivera, who will sign and discuss their new books The Queens of Innis Lear, Semiosis, and The Tiger’s DaughterFind more information about the event here.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton’s debut epic adult fantasy, a story of deposed kings and betrayed queens for fans of Red Rising and Queen of the Tearling. The Queens of Innis Lear brings to life a world that hums with ancient magic, and characters as ruthless as the tides.

Sue Burke’s Semiosis is a sweeping SF epic of first contact that spans generations of humans struggling to survive on an alien world. Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches . . . and waits.

K. Arsenault Rivera’s lush new epic historical fantasy series evokes the ambition and widespread appeal of Patrick Rothfuss and the vivid storytelling of Naomi Novik. The Tiger’s Daughter is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

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New Releases: 2/6/18

Happy New Release Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

Child of a Mad God by R. A. Salvatore

Image Placeholder of - 24 When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home.

The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe’s coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven’s power, and Aoleyn’s talent has made her a beacon in the night.

Semiosis by Sue Burke

Placeholder of  -77 Human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits…

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

NEW IN PAPERBACK:

Tut: My Epic Battle to Save the World by P.J. Hoover

Place holder  of - 45 Meet Tut! He used to rule Egypt. Now he’s stuck in middle school.

Having defeated his evil uncle and the Cult of Set, who tried to send him to the afterlife, the perpetually fourteen-year-old King Tut is looking forward to a relaxing summer vacation. But then Tut discovers that his brother Gilgamesh has been captured by the Egyptian god Apep, Lord of Chaos. Gil helped to vanquish Apep thousands of years ago, and now Apep is back for vengeance.

It’s up to Tut and his friends, Tia and Henry, to find Gil and stop Apep before he succeeds in his scheme to swallow the sun and plunge the world into darkness forever….

 

NEW IN MANGA:

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (Light Novel) Vol. 1 Story by Ryo Shirakome; Art by Takaya-ki

Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis Written by Yoshikazu Takeuchi

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Do Your Neglected Houseplants Want Revenge?

Place holder  of - 33 By Sue Burke

Do your houseplants hate you? Want you dead? No, they don’t, no matter how much you neglect them. In fact, they’re praying to their green gods for your longevity. They’ll struggle on as best they can, offering you beauty and silent non-judgmental companionship in exchange—they hope—for more or less regular watering and a spot near sunlight.

Plants need you, no matter how inconstant you are. A lot of the vegetable kingdom depends on animals, in fact, and plants haven’t always chosen well.

Consider this story of apples and oranges—osage oranges, to be exact.

First, the apple: colorful and tasty. Many animals love sugary treats. Apple trees make sweet fruit for us to munch on so we’ll throw away the core, and the seeds can germinate in a new place. (They don’t trust us much, though. They’ve made their seeds too bitter to consume so we’ll do our job right.)

How has this strategy worked out?

Apples originated in central Asia, and ancient peoples brought them east and west. When apples reached North America, they found a champion named John Chapman, “Johnny Appleseed,” who brought orchards to the United States frontier. In the 20th century, with more human help, the trees conquered large portions of Washington State. Now, 63 million tons of apples are grown every year worldwide, much of them in northern China.

From the apples’ point of view, it doesn’t get better than this. They grow worldwide and get lots of tender loving care. Human beings have served them very well.

In contrast, there’s the osage orange tree. It also produces fruit: green, softball-sized, and lumpy, full of seeds and distasteful latex sap. No one eats it. The tree originated in North America and once grew widely, but by the time European settlers arrived, its territory had shrunk to the Red River basin in eastern Texas. How did it fail?

The fruit had appealed to the Pleistocene giant ground sloth, a member of North America’s long-lost megafauna. The sloth scarfed them down, not chewing much, and the seeds traveled safely through its digestive system, emerging in new territory. Then, 11,000 years ago, human beings came to North America and couldn’t resist the allure of a couple of tons of meat per slow-moving beast. Giant ground sloths disappeared, and six of the seven species of osage orange also went extinct.

Why haven’t the remaining trees adapted their fruit to contemporary tastes? Because trees live for a long time, and 11,000 years ago for them is like the High Middle Ages for us. Lucky for them, humans find their wood useful and rows of the trees effective windbreaks, so they currently grow across the United States and the world.

Still, useful wood isn’t much to offer the animal kingdom. Plants usually bribe us with food, the way that prairie grass entices grazers like bison to clear its domain of weeds. The bison nibble away weeds at the same time they munch on tasty grass leaves, which grass plants can easily replace. There used to be a lot more bison in North America, though. This strategy is starting to look shaky.

Flowering plants give bees nectar in exchange for hauling pollen from flower to flower, but bees seem to be having a rough time these days, too. If they go, both wild and domestic plants are in deep trouble.

Plants find animal partnerships tempting. We’ll work hard for a fairly low price. But we’re unreliable and short-lived as individuals—and too often as species.

Back to your houseplants. Many of them likely originated in tropical rainforests. Your living room resembles a jungle: warm, reasonably humid, and moderately lit. Growing in confinement there isn’t such a bad life.

You, on the other hand, are fragile, distractible, hyperactive, and a bit murderous of your own kind as well as other species. Have your houseplants fallen into good hands? Can apples rely on us, and for how long? Are osage oranges one more extinction away from their own disappearance?

Your houseplants suffer from existential angst. Food is love, and so is fleeting beauty. They give their all for you. Go water them, offer reassurance, and consider what you owe to plants. You—and other species—need to be there for them now and in the future. Make them happy. Survive.

Order Your Copy

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Follow Sue Burke online on Twitter, her website, and her blog.

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