Science Fiction Short Story ID
September 26, 2014 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The gist of the story: Natives take potion which slows their movements and thoughts to match those of trees, who it turns out are sentient and out to get us.

I was telling my bride about a short story I read ages ago, and cannot recall title or author. I suspect it was in one of the Martin Greenberg anthologies "The Year's Best Science Fiction Short Stories: 19XX"...I also suspect the story is old.

Things I remember:

* Jungle-setting, maybe Africa or more likely South America
* Protagonists find natives in forest seemingly frozen in action poses, but if you watch them long enough, they can be seen to be slowly moving
* Turns out those people are drinking a solution which slows their thoughts and physical movements to match those of trees and other plants, who it turns out are sentient and lead active lives, so to speak
* Some sort of Evil Plot is afoot in the tree world which will lead to eradication of humanity or something
* Plot resolution involves dropping a vial of some sort of plant blight which from the tree's perspective races through the forest

Probably not a great story, but there were interesting ideas in it and I'd like to find it again. Any ideas?
posted by maxwelton to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mean the Gardner Dozois edited Year's Best SF anthologies? Greenberg has edited a bzillion anthologies, but they are almost all themed ones.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:07 PM on September 26, 2014

Best answer: Pretty sure it's a Edmond Hamilton story. "Plant Revolt" maybe?
posted by ShooBoo at 2:08 PM on September 26, 2014

Response by poster: Reading the plot synopsis of "Plant Revolt" it doesn't seem too likely, but thank you for the idea. The anthology series I'm thinking of had introductions by Asimov but the actual editor was Greenberg, I thought. Hm.
posted by maxwelton at 2:40 PM on September 26, 2014

Wikipedia tells us that Greenberg and Asimov worked on 127 anthologies together. Urk.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:40 PM on September 26, 2014

I read that, and remember being very impressed with it, but not quite sufficiently impressed to remember the title or author.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:22 PM on September 26, 2014

Best answer: ShooBoo was right about the author, which is impressive. Alien Earth, Edmond Hamilton, published 1949. Found it by looking through the titles on the wikipedia entries for the actual anthology series:

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories... in this case, volume 11, 1949 (started in '58 and worked backwards, so not too bad. Saw Hamilton's name there and thought "ShooBoo must have been onto something". Probably words to live by.

This link to Amazon opens to the story, but haven't tried to see how far Amazon will let you read.

Many thanks, ShooBoo!
posted by maxwelton at 5:37 PM on September 26, 2014

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