11

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.

  • 1
    When did you read it? – Möoz Jul 26 '17 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 '17 at 10:40
10

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.

  • 2
    Thank you so very much. Been wanting to find this for possibly 30 years. – Drain Jul 27 '17 at 2:48
  • Wow! Glad I could help after all these years. It'll be worth the wait, I promise. – Vanguard3000 Jul 27 '17 at 2:54
  • 1
    @Drain if this is the correct story please click the tick symbol to accept the answer. – John Rennie Jul 27 '17 at 8:40
  • Looks like I'm not going to get my street cred. – Vanguard3000 Aug 16 '17 at 18:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.