I read a book/short story in the 1980s about a lonely alien inhabiting a planet that communicates telepathically with people in a spaceship passing nearby. I think it was a yellow-jacket VGSF (Victor Gollancz Science Fiction) book.

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    Is it the alien or the planet that communicates telepathically?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 14:58
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    This is awfully vague. Are there no other plot points you can remember? Any names of characters in the story? Or names of spaceships? What happened as a result of the communication? You say book/short story but the plot sounds very thin for a book. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 15:50
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    Does the alien or the planet do the communicating? Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 16:14
  • Apologies for being so vague: the alien does the communicating. I can't recall any names but I think the alien tries to stop them leaving the planet's orbit because it is desperate for some mental "companionship".
    – Brett
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Sounds like Time is the simplest thing by Clifford Simak. Not quite the same (no traditional space travel is involved), but ticks the lonely alien, making ESP contact with "passerbys".

Short story, good read.

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