Statues that are actually aliens that move very slowly

tzzhc4

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  • Media: short story, I think it was an SRA Reading Laboratory or other box reader type.
  • Original year of publication: I read it as a child (early 80's) so would have been published in the 60-70's is my guess
  • Major themes: man's folly in thinking his experience is how other aliens live
  • Plot: an archeologist discovers a couple giant statues in the desert so he cuts off part of the rock to take it for study. The rock is very unusual. He is prevented from going back to research the statues for years but when he gets back the statues have moved. The one he cut the sample out of appears to be pointing at the spot where the sample was cut and the other statue appears to be reaching for an object, possibly a weapon from his belt.
  • Setting: mid century Earth?
  • Characters: I do not recall any names
  • The language you read or heard the story in: english
  • Details about the cover: statues and I think it was purple in color but might be remembering wrong
  • Target audience/age group: elementary/middle school
  • Ideas that you have already ruled out: I have tried Google searches with no luck
 

Ravensquawk

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A question on this forum matches some of the details.
Might as well start ruling out similar stories; Q&A on them might have leads that find the story you're looking for.

This one is similar in a few details but not the setting, so not a match for your story. In that story, "Island of Fear" by William Sambrot, the statues were once people who looked at the Medusa in Greek mythology.

There's another question on this forum with a found story about statues that were once people, but it starts out with "My hobby... is erotica", so it wouldn't be in a children's or younger readers' book.

And this still-unanswered story on another forum is similar, but doesn't quite seem like the one you're searching for either. Some of the comments suggest story leads, but the OP clearly says that this one is not "Island of Fear".

Maybe the leads and links to similar stories will find it. I'd like to read it.
 

tzzhc4

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A question on this forum matches some of the details.
Might as well start ruling out similar stories; Q&A on them might have leads that find the story you're looking for.

This one is similar in a few details but not the setting, so not a match for your story. In that story, "Island of Fear" by William Sambrot, the statues were once people who looked at the Medusa in Greek mythology.

There's another question on this forum with a found story about statues that were once people, but it starts out with "My hobby... is erotica", so it wouldn't be in a children's or younger readers' book.

And this still-unanswered story on another forum is similar, but doesn't quite seem like the one you're searching for either. Some of the comments suggest story leads, but the OP clearly says that this one is not "Island of Fear".

Maybe the leads and links to similar stories will find it. I'd like to read it.
Thanks but unfortunately those look to all be horror or mythology while the story I am looking for was very much sci-fi. The "statues" were giant (dozens or hundreds of feet tall) and had some large gun on its belt.
 

Ravensquawk

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Thanks but unfortunately those look to all be horror or mythology while the story I am looking for was very much sci-fi. The "statues" were giant (dozens or hundreds of feet tall) and had some large gun on its belt.
Okay, thank you. I'll watch for it too; I really would like to read it.

So ---- if you find it, let us know!
 

Ravensquawk

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You really need to know about this question on this forum.

Someone else is searching for the same thing, and it is very obvious from the very detailed description.

There are two answers with some links, and a slew of comments with more links.

It isn't found yet, but several others know about the same book and have searched for it too.
I say it isn't "found" even though an answer was "accepted", because the OP planned to use the links for a "research vector". I did the same, but the book isn't found yet.

There are lists of SRA Reading Mastery books like this one.

If you know what to look for like I didn't, Bookfinder shows results that also give you the ISBN, making it easy to find without title ambiguity. Like this level 5 book.

Internet Archive has some volumes online, like this Reading Mastery Level 6.

I searched writing "archive" and SRA "Reading Mastery" and found some of these. But I wasn't familiar with them so just searched the higher "levels' as they call them, to get past the primary readers. They have some good stories and poems. I did scan a few Archive books and didn't see any story like that. You can even use the "search inside" function on the site.

It's unmistakable that other people would love to read it.

I was unfamiliar with it and went on a steep learning curve, but it would be great for someone with a memory of the actual Levels and Volumes and titles to zoom in on it.
 

tzzhc4

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You really need to know about this question on this forum.

Someone else is searching for the same thing, and it is very obvious from the very detailed description.

There are two answers with some links, and a slew of comments with more links.

It isn't found yet, but several others know about the same book and have searched for it too.
I say it isn't "found" even though an answer was "accepted", because the OP planned to use the links for a "research vector". I did the same, but the book isn't found yet.

There are lists of SRA Reading Mastery books like this one.

If you know what to look for like I didn't, Bookfinder shows results that also give you the ISBN, making it easy to find without title ambiguity. Like this level 5 book.

Internet Archive has some volumes online, like this Reading Mastery Level 6.

I searched writing "archive" and SRA "Reading Mastery" and found some of these. But I wasn't familiar with them so just searched the higher "levels' as they call them, to get past the primary readers. They have some good stories and poems. I did scan a few Archive books and didn't see any story like that. You can even use the "search inside" function on the site.

It's unmistakable that other people would love to read it.

I was unfamiliar with it and went on a steep learning curve, but it would be great for someone with a memory of the actual Levels and Volumes and titles to zoom in on it.
That person is definitely looking for the same story. Unfortunately the links in reply are no longer active. The links you supplied to SRA mastery are too new. As the other person searching for the story stated they were cards and were much older than the mastery books. The story linked to in the Internet Archive is not the same one. I will keep looking to see if I can find an active link to some of the old SRA card sets.
 

Ravensquawk

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That person is definitely looking for the same story. Unfortunately the links in reply are no longer active. The links you supplied to SRA mastery are too new. As the other person searching for the story stated they were cards and were much older than the mastery books. The story linked to in the Internet Archive is not the same one. I will keep looking to see if I can find an active link to some of the old SRA card sets.
Oh man, I'm glad you're following attempted answers and got what leads there are.

Without knowing anything about SRA, I had to guess at "levels" to rule out primary readers, and search for what was archived online. I'm hoping someone who remembers more about SRA will have a better start at narrowing it down.

Plenty of other people would like to read it too. (Me too.) Even people who would buy an SRA set to find the story.

Thanks!
 

tzzhc4

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Oh man, I'm glad you're following attempted answers and got what leads there are.

Without knowing anything about SRA, I had to guess at "levels" to rule out primary readers, and search for what was archived online. I'm hoping someone who remembers more about SRA will have a better start at narrowing it down.

Plenty of other people would like to read it too. (Me too.) Even people who would buy an SRA set to find the story.

Thanks!
 

tzzhc4

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I found these and checked all the PDF versions but none were the story. I am not sure how to tell which level/grade they were. I want to say it was 4th grade when I read it but that is plus or minus a grade. The art is the same but these were a re-release in 1989 and I am way older than that. Any suggestions on where some old SRA might also be scanned?
 

yaros7av

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It is Desert Encounter by I. Rosokhvatsky.

Other names: "Aliens from another time", "Newcomers from the next hour", "Meeting in time", "Meeting in the desert".

First published in 1961 (ukrainian version).

FNpMc.png

Plot
In the middle of the Asian desert, not far from the remains of an ancient city, archaeologists have discovered two strange statues of a man and a woman. The mystery of the statues haunts researchers. According to one of the hypotheses, a spaceship once landed in the desert, and intelligent beings left these statues as a sign of their stay on Earth. The truth is somewhat different...

"Movement" part:
On a photo, the female statue is standing straight with her hands down, and now she changed position: legs slightly bent at the knees, hand extended to the leg where it was sampled. And man is standing half-turned to her, took a step forward, as if protecting the woman. Right hand is extended and clasps some subject.

Full story (russian)
 

Ravensquawk

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That matches everything in the question! The archeologist; his colleague cutting off a statue's toe to analyze it; the purple sand, the archeologist going to the front in the war and coming back after years; the woman bending toward pain in her toe and the man moving to protect her; and the archeologist reflecting on different speeds of Earth life forms, and wondering what would be the firing of the weapon the man held.

Maybe someone will find the SRA cards and we'll see how this story with illustrations was condensed to about two cards. (Tiny font on big cards?)

What a great find!
 

Snicklefritz

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It is Desert Encounter by I. Rosokhvatsky.

Other names: "Aliens from another time", "Newcomers from the next hour", "Meeting in time", "Meeting in the desert".

First published in 1961 (ukrainian version).

FNpMc.png

Plot


"Movement" part:


Full story (russian)
Well, you certainly jumped into Chrons with a big splash. Welcome, yaros:)
 

Ravensquawk

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I am still searching occasionally for the SRA Card version of this.
Because:
(1) That's what two questioners remember so well they went on a search
(2) It could still happen! I found an online SRA Card version of Damon Knight's "To Serve Man".
Can you believe it!
SRA Cards did find a way to shorten a story down to two pages.

The most excellent thing is that we finally got to find and read this story and see this great painting.
 

hitmouse

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I am still searching occasionally for the SRA Card version of this.
Because:
(1) That's what two questioners remember so well they went on a search
(2) It could still happen! I found an online SRA Card version of Damon Knight's "To Serve Man".
Can you believe it!
SRA Cards did find a way to shorten a story down to two pages.

The most excellent thing is that we finally got to find and read this story and see this great painting.
It would be interesting to see a list of SRA authors. Pretty sure I remember reading one by Robert Silverberg when I was little.
 

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