Looking for a fiction book I read in the 1990s about plants that were genetically modified and somehow it got out and destroyed the crops. This was before we learned of GMO of today!

  • Do you have any more details that you can remember?
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 21:59
  • This trope fits a hell of a lot of books, dating back to the 1950s and 60s. Maybe this; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oryx_and_Crake or this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Windup_Girl?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 22:48
  • Can you remember anything about the actual novel? Characters, heroes, villains, occurrences, any phrases used, notable references, similarities to other books?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 22:49
  • 5
    Anyone else thinking of Triffids?
    – Trish Ling
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 22:49
  • @Dianne Urreta: Any details, no matter how trivial, may help narrow this down. A lot of SF books could fit this question.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


Is it either John Christopher/Samuel Youd's 'The Death Of Grass'

A new virus strain has infected rice crops in East Asia causing massive famine; the virus is also revealed to be found in the UK but because of its selectivity does not affect the country's agriculture. After the introduction of a new pesticide, developed in preference to breeding resistant crops, a new, mutated virus appears and infects the staple crops of West Asia and Europe such as wheat and barley—all of the grasses (thus the novel's title). It threatens a famine engulfing the whole of the Old World, while Australasia and the Americas attempt to impose rigorous quarantine to keep the virus out.

...or Clifford D. Simak's 'All Flesh Is Grass'?

A mysterious invisible barrier suddenly encloses a small, out-of-the-way American town. It's been put there by a galactic intelligence intent on imposing harmony and cooperation on the different peoples of the universe. But to the inhabitants, the barrier evokes stark terror.

Sounds more like the former to me, but you never know... and if it's neither, I'll be interested to see what it is!

Your Answer

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

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