I am looking for a story that I read about 25-30 years ago. It was about a planet covered with a jungle forest with very tall trees (hundreds of meters height) and there was some sort of science station on a platform placed on cut off tree tops.

I don't think it was Alan Dean Fosters Midworld because I don't recall the Avatar-like story parts like the home tree and locals forming a lifetime bond with animals that Midworld has.

Does anyone know other stories that match?

  • 1
    This is very brief can you remember anything else you could edit in? What happens in the story?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 11:50
  • Was it a novel or a short story?
    – user14111
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 12:11
  • 3
    Adding in things that are in the story versus things that are not would help with id. Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 14:18
  • It was only 21 years ago, but possibly the Hork Bajir Chronicles from the Animorphs series; the very tall trees fit, and I think the Yeerks use cut off trees to make their pool base (though possibly that is from #34 The Prophecy).
    – Showsni
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 23:25
  • It's a long shot, but perhaps the story is "The Thing in the Attic" by James Blish, published in 1954 and later collected in the book "The Seedling Stars" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seedling_Stars In the story, the humanoid inhabitants of a forest planet live on the treetops, and descent to the ground is reserved as punishment for criminals and heretics.
    – danidiaz
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


The science station set on a platform of tree trunks actually sounds very much like Foster's Midworld to me; it's the only forest-planet setting I can think of with a station situated like that. Specifically in the novel Midworld (1976):

The forest had been burned back to leave a clear zone around the armored, domed station which sat in the largest open space-for that matter, the only open space-in the hylaea, a silver-gray bubble rising from an ocean of green, like the exhalation of a colossal diver swimming far below.

The circular, domed structure rested on the sheared-off trunks of three Pillar trees, whose neatly trimmed branches formed a system of braces and struts as strong as any artificial supports the builders could have provided. Eventually the cut-off giant trees would die and topple over, but by then the station would no longer be necessary, having been supplanted according to the master plan by much larger, more permanent structures built elsewhere.

Other "jungle worlds" I've researched fail mostly on not having a base set on the tree tops:

  • Beanstalk, for instance, (Niven's Known Space universe) doesn't have a science station.
  • there don't appear to be any tree-top stations (science or otherwise) in Blish's The Seedling Stars.
  • Simmons' God's Grove (appearing in the first 2 Hyperion Cantos novels before it is burned) is inhabited, but the Templars do not permit cutting trees. (Plus it's a temperate forest, not jungle.)
  • Foster revisits Midworld in Mid-Flinx but the station is a ruin referred to mostly as a "metallic anomaly" and its construction is not described.
  • Foster also has Fluva in Drowning World but the base and installations there are suspended mostly from artificial pylons (but also trees) and not constructed on the tops of trees.
  • Heinlein's Space Cadet has a jungle Venus, but there are no human bases yet.
  • Pournelle's Tanith is inhabited on the surface, with port and plantations on cleared land.
  • Drake's Venus is inhabited almost entirely underwater.
  • I assume you mean Midworld by Alan Dean Foster?
    – Moriarty
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 0:34
  • 1
    thanks for all the feedback. Since I read this so long ago I could not remember more than I wrote in my initial question. The summaries I read about Midworld did not match my recollection so I thought it might have been a different novel that I read back then. But I was mistaken. In the mean time I read Midworld (again) and it was indeed the book I read 25-30 ago.
    – myt
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 18:59
  • 1
    @myt Since you've identified this answer as correct, please mark it as such by clicking the gray checkmark. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 1:27

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