I once read a short story collection, possibly in the 1980s. It was a mass market paperback if I recall correctly. The story that stood out for me was an interstellar exploratory party landing on a "golden planet" (could be wrong). The planet is populated by completely harmless flora and fauna.

They find a structure that they decipher to be a museum of a superior race(?). I believe this story was also the cover illustration. I want to say that they find a habitat for humankind in the structure, but I don't remember. Sorry. I almost thought the title of the story was "Au". Sorry.

What is the title of this book?


2 Answers 2


The bit about the habitat for humans reminds me of John Varley's "In the Hall of the Martian Kings" which was published in the anthology "The Persistence of Vision". In the UK this anthology was published under the same title as this story, and is featured on the cover.

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Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper describes an archaeological expedition to Mars that explores, among other things, an ancient museum, and ultimately begins to decipher the Martian language by using the periodic table of the elements as a Rosetta stone.

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