I read this story in the late 60s/early 70s.

It’s about a lone astronaut who lands on a planet (I think) and sees plants, like in a garden but each plant is minutely different than the ones around it.

Then he stumbles upon a workshop/lab and some sort of written record that he deciphers, which tells him that human beings are a failed experiment due to be terminated by the owner of the lab, which I assumed to be God or some kind of supreme being.


1 Answer 1


"Hobbyist" (Eric Frank Russell, 1947) is a close match, except that the notes describe humanity as "moderately successful".

You can read the full story at the Internet Archive.

See also: Need to identitify a short story about an astronaut stranded alone on a planet that houses a strange museum

  • 1
    That story REALLY reminds me of Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent, I wonder if he had read it? Aug 6, 2018 at 14:26
  • 1
    @Whelkaholism, that crossed with Haldane's line about the creator having an inordinate fondness for beetles
    – Separatrix
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:39
  • Yes, it is "Hobbyist." Thank you for solving the mystery for me. Aug 7, 2018 at 18:55

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