I'd like to ask you to help me identify a sci-fi/fantasy book that I read probably sometime in the 90s though I don't know when it was written. Here are the plot points that I remember:

  • the story starts with a human on contemporary Earth being turned to stone (or probably something much more exotic) by some sort of experiment gone wrong,
  • he is turned back to his original form millions of years later by a lightning or some similar phenomenon,
  • the local population considers him a god or a prophet since his "stone form" was a center of a cult before he was awaken,
  • the population is not human but consists of creatures evolved from various contemporary animals,
  • one of the most important locations is a huge tree which is so ridiculously big that it contains multiple settlements.
  • 1
    Possible dupe of an earlier question about an intelligent forest scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/45413/…
    – Valorum
    Feb 2, 2014 at 14:29
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    The first few sentences seem to be spot on, but the rest sounds unfamiliar (though I don't remember much about the actual plot). In particular, I'm pretty sure that this was about a single huge tree and not a forest. Also, I don't remember the tree being hostile in any way, but it is possible that it was inhabited by some hostile creatures.
    – Bobby
    Feb 2, 2014 at 14:37
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    It was the reference to being frozen in time, revived by lightning and general tree-theme
    – Valorum
    Feb 2, 2014 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


That's The Stone God Awakens by Philip Jose Farmer. The first review on the Amazon link I've given includes all of the elements that you mention.

Stone God Front Cover The Stone God back cover

  • Thanks for posting the book cover - what a great plot hook!
    – RobertF
    Feb 2, 2014 at 17:18
  • Thank you for the answer. Out of curiosity, did you happen to know the book and recognized it or did you do a search based on the description? In the latter case would you mind explaining how you went about it? I tried googling various combinations of keywords with no luck.
    – Bobby
    Feb 3, 2014 at 14:48
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    I know the book. It's probably been 30 years since I read it, and I wouldn't necessarily have remembered it from the plot summary, but I remembered the title, which was enough of a clue.
    – Mike Scott
    Feb 3, 2014 at 17:03

This plot is similar to the short story Extempore by Damon Knight. It also has a time traveller turned to stone (he stopped in time) who is worshipped as a god by, in this case, future/alternate universe humans

  • 1
    Are there any other details that suggest similarity?
    – Edlothiad
    Sep 11, 2017 at 16:14

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