Selected by Brian Evenson as winner of the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Prize In a future short on fossil fuels and flora, the military compels its soldiers to carry houseplants wherever they go. To allow a plant to die is treason. Hershel Boyd is by all accounts a poor soldier, a frail, overeducated believer in the fading freedoms of a dying country. The narrator, a fellow recruit, makes it his mission to protect Hershel against all dangers. From the hazings of basic training to a botched invasion of the rainforests of South America, the two men must fight for a future where hope, not savagery, still springs eternal in the human breast.