All Flesh is Grass (novel)

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All Flesh is Grass
First edition
AuthorClifford D. Simak
Cover artistEmanuel Schongut
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages260 [1]

All Flesh is Grass is a science fiction novel by American author Clifford D. Simak, published in 1965. The book follows a small town in Wisconsin that is closed off from the outside world by a mysterious barrier, placed by extraterrestrial beings.


The book is set in the town of Millville, Wisconsin, in the midwestern United States. Simak was born in Millville, which formed the setting for many of his stories.[2]

The book begins with the town being suddenly enclosed by a mysterious barrier. The barrier has been placed by an extraterrestrial intelligence that wants to impose harmony and cooperation on all the species in the universe, but the town's inhabitants react to it fearfully. The extraterrestrials take the form of a patch of purple flowers.[3]

The book follows the experiences of Brad Carter, a man whose business is about to go bankrupt. Brad has to deal with the local lawman, who becomes a bully, and also the presence in town of his childhood sweetheart. Eventually Brad meets the extraterrestrial beings, and agrees to speak for them on Earth.


All Flesh is Grass was first published by Doubleday in 1965. It has since been published in at least 21 more editions.[4]

Awards and reception[edit]

The novel was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966.[5] A review of the book in Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review stated that "Simak's great forte is the creation of sympathetic non-humans who patiently attempt communication with distrustful mankind." The review also stated that Simak's work accurately reflected the concerns of 1960s.[6]

Reviewers of Stephen King's book Under the Dome have pointed out the previous use of the plot device of a mysterious barrier in All Flesh is Grass.[7]


  1. ^ "Bibliography: All Flesh is Grass". Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
  2. ^ Wisconsin Library Bulletin, Volume 79. 1984. p. 89.
  3. ^ "All Flesh is Grass". Analog Science Fiction & Fact. 77 (4). 1984.
  4. ^ "All Flesh is Grass". Goodreads.
  5. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 1966 Nebula Awards". Locus. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
  6. ^ Weinkauf (2009). Barron, Neil; Reginald, Robert (eds.). Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review. Wildside Press LLC. ISBN 9780893706241. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  7. ^ "How Well Does Stephen King's Under the Dome Translate to Television?".