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Read a story once about earth being abandoned for long periods of time. Upon the return of man to earth all life forms, flora and fauna, have evolved into intricate electronic forms of themselves.

Would like to find that story and it's name.

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    When did you read it?
    – Möoz
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:48
  • Do you have any other details, like what country you read this in, maybe what the cover looked like, whether it was in a book or a magazine?
    – user22478
    Jul 26, 2017 at 10:40

1 Answer 1

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Sounds like Poul Anderson's short story "Epilogue".

Read a story once about earth being abandoned for long periods of time.

This story describes a last visit to Earth by star-faring humans who originally left Earth for the stars...

Upon the return of man to earth all life forms, flora and fauna, have evolved into intricate electronic forms of themselves.

Somehow, after all organic Earthly life died, the result of what was almost surely the last, ultimate human war, it evolved again -- from self-replicating, autonomous machines...

(Both quotes from Review: Poul Anderson's "Epilogue" - Spoilers abound!)

The story involves humans returning to earth after millions of years' travel at relativistic speeds in a generation ship. They return to earth for one last farewell (by the point, the sun had bloated into a red giant, boiling the oceans and rendering the earth uninhabitable).

When they land, they find that there is an entire ecosystem of robotic life, including trees, grass, and birds. The humans speculate that autonomous mining machinery had "evolved" over the millennia to become a robotic analogue of a food chain, including: -"Plants" - gathering minerals from the earth and solar power from the sun. -"Herbivores" - getting energy and raw materials from the "plants." -"Carnivores" - preying on the "herbivores."

They soon discover that this mechanical evolution did not stop there...

I read this story in Going for Infinity, a superb collection of Anderson's short stories. I recommend it.

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    Thank you so very much. Been wanting to find this for possibly 30 years.
    – Drain
    Jul 27, 2017 at 2:48
  • Wow! Glad I could help after all these years. It'll be worth the wait, I promise. Jul 27, 2017 at 2:54
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    @Drain if this is the correct story please click the tick symbol to accept the answer. Jul 27, 2017 at 8:40
  • Looks like I'm not going to get my street cred. Aug 16, 2017 at 18:54

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