A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys


In the vein of the great Ursula K. LeGuin, Ruthanna Emrys brings a new novel of first contact bursting with quiet, tenuous hope and an underlying warmth. From the opening of Judy Wallach-Stevens, pausing a first contact meeting with aliens for the necessary task of changing a baby diaper, Emrys turns many science fiction tropes such as first contact, climate change, and extraterrestrial colonization on their head.

A HALF-BUILT GARDEN tells the story of friendly aliens, arrived on earth in the year 2083 to convince the people of Earth to leave their ecologically-ravaged planet and join them in the stars. The Earth itself is divided between corporations, nation-states, and watershed networks that all vie for a chance to negotiate with the aliens – but it’s the latter group that have taken responsibility for the earth with democratic decision-making and aren’t ready to leave before healing the planet.

Ruthanna Emrys’s extraordinary vision of the future – optimistic yet encompassing all the complexity of humanity – has already earned the highest praise. Malka Older (author of Infomocracy) calls it “a vitally important exploration of the meaning of family and community,” and Seanan McGuire (author of the Wayward Children series) declares that it “deserves to be the first contact novel that defines a generation.”