The alien spaceship landed in a cornfield. Its crew died rapidly, leaving only one survivor - a baby, conceived on an unknown world, carried in its mother's womb across space and delivered even as the mother died on a hostile Earth.
But the alien woman had given birth to more than a child. With her last act she had bequeathed to the Earth that hated her and her kind decades of turmoil and strife that would come close to tearing the whole planet apart.
Kate Wilhelm (1928-2018)
Working name of the US writer Katie Gertrude Meridith Wilhelm Knight, born in Ohio in 1928. She started publishing SF in 1956 with 'The Pint-Sized Genie' for Fantastic, and continued for some time with relatively straightforward genre stories; it was not until the late 1960s that she began to release the mature stories which have made her reputation as one of the 20th century's finest SF writers. She was married to noted author and critic Damon Knight and together they have had a profound influence beyond their writing, through the Milford Science Fiction Writers' Conference and its offshoot, in which she was directly involved, the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop. She won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and has won the Nebula Award three times. Kate Wilhelm died in 2018, aged 89.