I read this story in the US in the early- or mid-80s. It was probably written in the mid-late 70s, I'd guess.

Earth's colonies have not been in contact with Earth for a very long time. One of them sends a spaceship back to Earth. It finds Earth covered with a biological 'soup' of bacteria and viruses. Decades or centuries of biological warfare caused this. The descendants of humanity look like large amoebas. (I remember picturing them as looking like the parasites from the Star Trek (TOS) episode, "Operation: Annihilate!"). They communicated by telepathy, I think, were the descendants of Americans, and had names like "Washington" and "Jefferson".

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This is, of course, "I Put My Blue Genes On" by Orson Scott Card

The story takes place far in the future. Earth has become an uninhabitable wasteland of biological warfare. After fleeing Earth decades earlier, a contingent of humans returns to find a small band of beings, now not quite human, still fighting an enemy which has long since been annihilated. The title refers to the planet's surface, which has become a swirling mass of blue goo, a result of the biological agents acting and reacting one with another.

The characters in the bunker were named after presidents; Richard Nixon (Dixon), George Washington (Steiner) and Andrew Jackson (Wallichmksky)

  • Nice find. I must have read it in Analog magazine.
    – LAK
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 19:24

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