Read green thumb a novella by Tom Cardamone Online


from the author of Lambda Literary Award finalist Pumpkin TeethMutability blooms in the Florida Keys after the Red War. The genie boxes created King Pelicans with single human hands to rule the ruins of half-drowned Miami…and other, stranger persons. Slavers roam the deep waters offshore, taking captives to feed the voracious Kudzu Army and the human aqueduct bearing freshfrom the author of Lambda Literary Award finalist Pumpkin TeethMutability blooms in the Florida Keys after the Red War. The genie boxes created King Pelicans with single human hands to rule the ruins of half-drowned Miami…and other, stranger persons. Slavers roam the deep waters offshore, taking captives to feed the voracious Kudzu Army and the human aqueduct bearing fresh water from Lake Okeechobee. On the last stretch of the Overseas Highway still standing, an albino seeress prophesies: “You will reach for the sun while staying rooted to the ground. But I fear your shadow will be much too long.”Misunderstanding time, Leaf has lived for decades alone in a collapsing Victorian house on a desolate sandy key, feeding on sunlight and dew. When at last he meets a boy like—but so unlike!—himself, Leaf’s startling journey begins.A post-apocalyptic, psychoactive pastorale, Green Thumb will pollinate your mind and wind its way into your heart like kudzu....

Title : green thumb a novella
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17566451
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 142 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

green thumb a novella Reviews

  • Gerhard
    2019-05-21 11:05

    I think Tom Cardamone does himself a disservice by subtitling this 'a novella'. It is short at barely 150 pages, but has more incident and heart-stopping writing than many so-called blockbusters out there.I had heard of Cardamone before because of his work on The Lost Library, and discovered Green Thumb cited on the Lambda Award list for best gay SF/horror work.One of the fascinating things about this slim novel is how it uses the tropes of both SF and the gay coming-of-age novel to rather startling effect. (I think it is a strong sign of the maturity of the gay genre that a writer like Cardamone can move beyond its stereotypes to a kind of pan-sexuality or polymorphous perversity, and yet still be identified as gay writing.)However, it is thoroughly misleading to pigeonhole this as a 'gay' work, and I sincerely hope this does not limit Cardamone's audience. Then again, neither is it 'pure' SF. Basically, if you enjoy well-written and provocative speculative fiction, then this is for you.The best comparisons I can think of are JG Ballard, Ian McDonald (Desolation Road in particular), Neil Gaiman and even Mervyn Peake. But at the end of the day, Cardamone's is a unique voice -- and what a glorious voice that is.Given that this is a post-apocalyptic tale, it is surprisingly, er, sunny, and hopeful, and wildly sexy, with one of the most magical endings I have ever read.Exquisite writing, thrilling characters and a shimmering sensuousness make this a wonder to behold. Utterly beguiling.

  • Tex Reader
    2019-05-04 15:42

    4.0 of 5 stars – Two Thumbs Up on This Queer Speculative Fiction.Sorry, I just had to make that reference to giving this a thumbs up, but this was indeed a good example both of speculative fiction, and of what the q means in glbtq. In fact, I’d say that this was queer spec-fi in two ways – style and sexuality. I love sci-fi and have read quite a bit, and this was refreshingly different. It helped in this one to approach it with an open mindset, even for sci-fi, because this was fairly fantastical from the start, and I went with it. And when I did, I found that Tom Cardamone’s style was nicely descriptive, which made it easy to picture the dystopia, while also to capture the messages, principals, symbolism and reflections about today’s political and societal (i.e., human) issues. I liked that it tapped into a classic tradition of what I call “hi-sci-fi” or “soft science” fiction. It indeed had the science of “science” fiction, but instead of the techie/hard science popular today, it had more the soft sciences of political science, sociology and psychology as well as philosophy. In that regard I enjoyed what Cardamone did in his wonderfully creative world-building – it made me think about how we treat such issues as race, sexuality, gender, even genus and family (of both the biological and human kind). The story was told in third person, but mainly from the POV of the MC, Leaf, a mutant veggie human, innocent (yet at times wise) until he starts exploring the world beyond his home, and exploring his sexuality. I appreciated Cardamone’s approach to sexuality, the coming-of-age discoveries as well as the fluidity, eventually focusing more on the gay aspect for the MC. Then to end the MC’s experiences, the final chapter and then coda are just as fantastical and a natural “outgrowth” (again, another pun intended) of the storyline and style. Even so, at this point in the book, I couldn’t quite get my head around it to make it a completely comfortable conclusion for me.Overall, an enjoyable journey into queer speculative fiction, and good enough to try for those who don’t normally read this genre.

  • Alex
    2019-05-15 10:52

    I think this is a hard book to review as there were some really interesting aspects to the story; the main character: Leaf and the very end part of the book. But I think the lack of dialogue led to characters never really being developed; the method of story telling was similar to a fairytale in which you never really feel privy to the characters motivations or personalities so aren't very emotionally involved in the story.

  • Jerry L. Wheeler
    2019-05-03 12:04

    Green Thumb is about a plant-like boy named Leaf (…well, duh…) and his friends Scallop and Skate. Scallop is a scaly fisherman’s son and Skate is a manta ray with human eyes. The reason for these genetic aberrations? End times. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Florida Keys, the backdrop for the boys as they journey to Canal City (a ruined Miami) to find Scallop’s father, who has been taken into slavery by the ruling King of Pelicans (yes, birds). If all this strains credulity for even spec-fic buffs, let me assure you Cardamone’s skills are such that he not only makes it work, he makes it sing. Cardamone’s prose is absolutely lyrical, and his descriptions of Leaf’s surroundings—in both paradise and squalor—are powerful and rooting, establishing such a firm sense of place, you’d swear you could smell whatever environment he’s in. My only complaint is that Green Thumb is a novella instead of a full-blown novel. That’s not to say it feels truncated. The story arcs beautifully, and the ending is an entirely appropriate, satisfying, and moving coda. I can’t think of what he could have added that wouldn’t have been gilding the Leaf (sorry…), but—selfish reader that I am—I simply wanted to spend more time in his world. Full review at

  • Hilcia
    2019-05-10 09:01

    After the Red Wars are over and scientists used their genie boxes, what is left of earth's inhabitants have mutated in different and unexpected ways. In a sliver of sand in the middle of the ocean by what was once known as the Florida Keys, a boy of undetermined age lies on a sandy beach as his emerald color skin soaks the run rays that give him life. Nanny died long ago and Leaf's only companion is his friend Skate, a two-dimensional sting-ray-like boy who dwells in the sea. He is Leaf's only friend until Scallop arrives on the island and thereafter visits him daily.When Scallop's father is taken by slaver ships to forcibly join the Kudzu Army, Scallop is determined to save him and Leaf joins him on his adventure. Their journey will take them through overcrowded islands where Leaf will encounter what is left of humanity and the surviving culture for the first time. He'll meet Hardy, a strong, hard skinned green boy, the Albino White Flamingo, a seeress who will foretell his future, and along the way the boys will encounter hardship, betrayal, heartbreak, love and their ultimate destiny.Cardamone is slow to reveal details of his world while initially focusing on Leaf and the immediate world around him, taking the reader on a journey of discovery and adventure by slow increments as he reveals the wider world and the full scope of his world building.His characters balance each other out. Leaf is the main character and it is through his perspective that the story is narrated. There is a certain sense of detachment from the world about Leaf, yet he very much wants to be of the world and particularly yearns for Scallop. Leaf is both knowledgeable and naïve. His introspection gives his narrative voice an almost lulling quality that contrasts heavily with the progressively desperate and violent scenes in the story making those moments pop and linger.Scallop is very much a part of the world and brings life and energy to Leaf's life and to the story, but Scallop gives only a small part of himself and seeks the impossible. Skate, the constant in Leaf's life, represents the unreachable. And then there's Hardy, who entrenched and thriving in the world of dive boys, becomes a teacher of pleasures, guide, enforcer, and bodyguard for Leaf and Scallop as their adventure takes them closer to slaver ships, the Kudsu Army, the ruined shores of what was once Miami and the world ruled by Pelican Kings.This is speculative fiction, so the story takes some unexpected twists and turns from what initially seems like a boys' adventure into a progressively darker, complex world and into the weird. I particularly liked that Cardamone's characters are not set in stone and that they are not just mutants, but mutable. The queer themes in the story are part of the overall story arc with some dark, grand scenes, and also part of the lovely and intimate connection that Cardamone creates between his main characters. In his post-apocalyptic novella Green Thumb, Tom Cardamone explores the darker side of humanity, as well as the environment, through a delicate character filled with beauty and a dense world building with heavy narrative and introspection. Cardamone's imagination and talent for the unusual are in full display as he combines incredibly tender moments, raw desperation, and violence with a delicate touch that at times become breathtaking. With an excellent story, memorable characters, and an ending that lingered with me for a quite while, this creative novella is most definitely highly recommended.

  • Benito Corral
    2019-05-09 12:38

    What Tom Cardamone has achieved with Green Thumb is create a unique, post-apocalyptic world unlike anything that I've ever read before and populated it with a cast of characters that I was immediately taken with; by the end of the book, I was reading at hyper speed so I could find out what happened to Leaf and his companions!I could not help but become totally immersed in Green Thumb; Cardamone writes beautifully and his world building here is amazing. With every step that Leaf and his companion Scallop take, Cardamone exposes more of the drowned world they journey through, letting it unfold like a poisonous flower. And danger lurks around every corner! Slavers, pirates, dive boys; they all want a piece of the innocent Leaf and when his friends are unable to protect him, he has to grow up and in the process learns more about himself than even he knew lay within him.And let's talk about the boys! Leaf, Scallop and Hardy are characters I became quite engaged with. I thrilled to their adventures, despaired when they were in trouble and even became disappointed in them at times. These are young men that have had to grow up too soon in this harsh world, especially in the case of Leaf, but even in making the wrong decisions, they can own their fate and keep going. For better or worse, each one is changed and there is renewal and hope.I absolutely loved Tom Cardamone's Green Thumb. In it he creates a world that leaps off the page and that I long for him to explore further, as I believe there are many, many more tales to be told. The lush language and escalating pace kept me hooked til the end and again, I was so engaged with the characters that I needed to know what happened to them and was both satisfied and surprised by the ending.I heartily recommend Green Thumb to anyone who enjoys a well written story, alive with vivid imagery and told in a strong, clear voice. I applaud Tom Cardamone on what he's achieved with Green Thumb and also BrazenHead for giving this wonderful work of speculative fiction a home, so the rest of us might also be cast under its spell! Happy reading!

  • Andrew Peters
    2019-05-01 15:59

    I can't say I've read anything like Tom Cardomone's Green Thumb since I was a teenager and (surreptitiously) reading anything by William Burroughs that I could get my hands on. That might be an outdated reference. Green Thumb has been described as New Weird fiction, which I had to look up on Wikipedia: "a type of urban, secondary-world fiction that subverts the romanticized ideas about place found in traditional fantasy, largely by choosing realistic, complex real-world models as the jumping off point for creation of settings that may combine elements of both science fiction and fantasy."But among many enjoyable aspects of the story, there's a psychedelic quality, evoking at turns suspension and wonder, at others disgust at the grotesque imagery. Beautifully written, original and rightfully disturbing. I was glad I took the trip back to my misspent youth. :)

  • Dayna Ingram
    2019-05-19 16:00

    I had the esteemed honor of blurbing this tasty morsel of a book, so at the risk of repeating myself: holy frak, this books is delicious! Cardamone's sentences are rich and creamy and cling to your guts like magical succulent semen. Erm...that metaphor got away from me there at the end, but the point is: this is different. The world is baked up nicely, the characters are uniquely spiced, the plot is aromatically pleasing, and the words that feed it all into your brain are hearty and satisfying. If you want to read a story you have not read before, I guarantee you Green Thumb is it. I've returned for seconds myself, and am saving room for thirds.Also, the cover and layout/design of the book itself is thematically perfect and as gorgeous as the prose is scrumptious.

  • Robert
    2019-04-23 16:37

    A strange, magical tale of a post-apocalyptic world and the beautiful and not-so-beautiful mutants who inhabit it, among them our protagonist named Leaf, who is basically a synthesis of boy and plant, and the villainous, deadly-smart King Pelicans, with single human hands instead of webbed feet, who dominate and terrorize the populace. I’ve admired author Tom Cardamone, a true original, since my first encounter with his work a couple of years ago, and this is his wildest, weirdest, wackiest, prose-poetry-est trip yet.

  • Bill Wells
    2019-04-24 12:55

    I just finished this book and I have to say I loved it. It is JG Ballard but with a kinder outlook. I really loved the language. I have to say that if I had noticed the "queer speculative fiction" label I probably wouldn't have picked it up at the library, but I didn't and I am the richer for it.

  • Susan
    2019-05-23 14:55

    I was gripped by this book. A vividly portrayed world through the eyes of a complete innocent. I was more than prepared to stick with this story beyond novella length - the coda came too quickly, though was very well done.

  • Antonella
    2019-05-03 13:47


  • _kii_
    2019-04-26 13:05

    One of the most imaginative and original books I've read in the last years. All else would be spoiling the surprises, so just give it a try.

  • carla
    2019-05-16 14:37

    Friends please read this as I would love someone to discuss this with!