I am looking for the author and title of a sci-fi novel set in the near immediate future. It was written in the 1960's, I think.

As in The Blob, a crashing meteorite brings with it an extremely aggressive plant-like infection. The infection slowly spreads in an ever-expanding and indestructible circle, across an American farm. It slowly consumes and converts everything in its path to itself. Attempts to contain the infection are futile.

As the story progresses, a super-powerful acid is developed that slows the plant. This is not be an ideal solution, but it works. Then there are increasing indications the organism(s) is rapidly evolving, and may actually be becoming sentient, or already is. It thus now poses an immediate existential threat to all of Earth. Eventually, as I recall, the brains of dead scientific minds are revived in desperate hopes to find answers.


I commented earlier that User14111 seemed to have nailed it. I read most of the story, and it is indeed "Giants From Eternity." I remember particularly the "final answer" from Marie Curie as it stuck in my mind. I won't spoil the story. In my other comment, which seems to be gone, I mentioned these blue things. I recall the book that I had, which must be the one printed in 1959 and possibly changed, had these flying, likely crafted things, not only appearing on Earth, but also on Jupiter and Mars.

As for Frederik Pohl's comment as "preposterous" - this is rich coming from an established sci-fi writer as himself. As for weak women, given the time the story was written there are still strong females, although admittedly a shade subservient, in the story.

Another interesting take on the story is the lack of government involvement. Most stories written after WWII have the military and government agencies missile deep in such happenings as portrayed.

There are many other observations one could make, including, if the blight had trouble spreading down watercourses, why couldn't they use plain ol' water as a hindrance rather than super-acid.

And finally, this story could easily find a home in the horror genre than sci-fi.


1 Answer 1


Giants From Eternity, a 1959 novel by Manly Wade Wellman; originally published (perhaps in a shorter version) in Startling Stories, July 1939, available at the Internet Archive.

The following excerpt from a review by Frederik Pohl in If, September 1959 (also available at the Internet archive) is rather harsh (sorry about that) but it's a good summary of the plot:

Avalon has elected to bring back to life Manly Wade Wellman’s twenty-year-old magazine novel, Giants from Eternity. This story was preposterous in 1939; age has not helped it. It begins with a mysterious meteorite (or something) that falls on a farm and begins to eat everything in sight, turning what it eats scarlet and threatening to engorge the world. A couple of poisonously juvenile scientists investigate it. They are baffled and helpless, but they manage to extract a sort of resurrection-juice from it, which they use to bring back the greatest minds of all time to help them out. These are the "Giants from Eternity" and they include Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin and Madame Curie. One of the juveniles is entrapped by the red stuff and thus works to help it spread; the revived Giants take a few days to master everything that has happened in science since their deaths, then quickly invent everything necessary to wipe out the red menace and bring about a happy ending.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.