Short story w/ somewhat humorous ending.

Cliffystones

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Jul 8, 2009
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My favorites are RAH, Firefly and Jericho.
This is one I remember from the 70s that was in a collection of short SF stories.

Mankind has perished long ago, and Earth is in the grip of an ice age. Aliens are studying the planet from orbit and pick up a weak pulsing radio signal from deep below the ice.

They excavate to find the source of the signal, along with other artifacts from mankind. One artifact is a metallic, disk-shaped container. The author goes on to describe from the Alien's perspective, the contents of the container (movie film) and their scientists figuring out how to view it.

So as not to spoil the story, I'll just say that the Aliens are amazed at what they see, but the "funny" surprise for the reader comes at the very end of the story.
 

High Eight

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Dec 20, 2006
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This is one I remember from the 70s that was in a collection of short SF stories.

Mankind has perished long ago, and Earth is in the grip of an ice age. Aliens are studying the planet from orbit and pick up a weak pulsing radio signal from deep below the ice.

They excavate to find the source of the signal, along with other artifacts from mankind. One artifact is a metallic, disk-shaped container. The author goes on to describe from the Alien's perspective, the contents of the container (movie film) and their scientists figuring out how to view it.

So as not to spoil the story, I'll just say that the Aliens are amazed at what they see, but the "funny" surprise for the reader comes at the very end of the story.

History Lesson
by Arthur C Clarke (Spoiler in the link)

Arthur C. Clarke History Lesson: A Modern Allegory of the Cave
 

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