As a teenager I read a story about a great tree that sat upon the eroding cliff of an alien world. A party of human explorers arrived upon this world, and one of their number, a man of intellect, but physically weak, is endowed with special powers by the tree shortly before it dies. At the moment the conscience of the man and the tree combine, the tree urgently told the man, "Alien, I die soon." I've never forgotten that line, and would like to read this story again. What is the story's name and by which author ? Thank you.


1 Answer 1


The story is "Hybrid" from "Galactic Odyssey" by Keith Laumer.

The book is actually available from Baen's Free Library if you want to re-read it, though I would urge you to buy it to support Baen.

Deeper still, a secondary system of roots clutched the massive face of the bedrock; sensitive tendrils monitored the minute trembling in the planetary crust, the rhythmic tidal pressures, the seasonal weight of ice, the footfalls of the wild creatures that hunted in the mile-wide shadow of the giant Yanda tree.


"Alien, I die soon," the Yanda gasped. "But I will teach you. There is, however, a condition. . . ."

  • 2
    I read this story over 30 years ago, and it still impresses me. I could never find it to share with my now grown children. YAY! PS, I do want to buy it, tell me how!
    – user16868
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 4:44
  • 2
    @evie at Baen Books - $4.00 as of now Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 11:00
  • 1
    Keith Laumer's "Hybrid" is in several collections including a Laumer omnibus called Odyssey, not to be confused with his novel Galactic Odyssey which is another part of that omnibus.
    – user14111
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 8:14
  • 1
    This question has now been duplicated, pending OP's acceptance. Could you please correct "Galactic Odyssey" to Odyssey (the actual title of the Laumer omnibus containing the novel Galactic Odyssey and the short story "Hybrid" among others), and remove the obsolete link to Baen's Free Library? Thanks.
    – user14111
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 9:40

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