I have a vague memory of a partially read book from more than 25 years ago and I am trying to find it again. I can recall very few details.

The book is set during a human war against an invasive alien ecosystem (purple and pink life forms as I recall). The ecosystem was very hostile to humans.

I vaguely recall that there were tree like creatures that would release flying insect like attackers and the like.

  • 2
    Deathworld ? Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 8:41
  • 3
    I haven't read it, but "invasive alien ecology" makes me think of Gerrold's A Matter for Men.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 10:22
  • 2
    @DavidW I had written the same answer, then read your comment. You have the right of it - "purple and pink lifeforms" is a dead giveaway for the Chtorr ecosystem. Please post that as an answer.
    – LSerni
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 10:36
  • Sounds similar to the movie "Evolution" FWIW.
    – Derek
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 2:57
  • @Derek When I first heard of that movie, I wondered if it was based on the novels. Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


Almost certainly David Gerrolds War Against the Chtorr series.

Set in a devastated early 21st century United States with logical expected advances in current technology such as a fledgling moon base, this series of science-fiction novels describe the invasion of Earth by an alien ecology. The story is unusual in that the tactics used by the aliens eschew the usual direct attack in favor of terraforming the ecosystem.

  • Interesting concept. It's like...humans are not even worth going to war with. You just develop the area much like humans do with natural habitat when building towns and cities.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 0:15
  • basically humans are ants... You don't exterminate ants when building a house. But you also don't care if an are killed.
    – Questor
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 16:00

Sounds more like "Redliners" (1996) by David Drake. An army unit and some colonists trek across a planet with an ecology that had been engineered to be deadly.

Thorns as long as a man's hand lay flat in recesses along the trunk, almost invisible against the speckled bark. Blohm switched on his powerknife. He advanced the point cautiously and cut off a thorn at the base. As the spike dropped away, a hydrostatic mechanism in the wood snapped viciously, rotating the base. Body heat would have released every spike within range to rip like tiger claws if the scouts had brushed the trunk as they passed.

  • Deathworlds are very common in fiction. You'll want to explain why this particular deathworld fits the description in the question.
    – Mark
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 22:57
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    There's a passage towards the end of the chapter "The Axe", page 155/156 in my edition, that mentions trees with insect nests on top, near to toppling on the colonists. That would make a more matching quote.
    – HAEM
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 10:34

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