Omnilingual (from the collection Federation)
H. Beam Piper
That 1981 is very misleading: Omnilingual dates from much earlier. For some reason, Federation doesn’t give the details of prior publication. IMS Baen was running Ace’s SF line at that point and insufficient notation of prior publication used to drive me up the wall when Baen Books started out. I think it came out in 1957 in ASF.
Synopsis: Near the end of the twentieth century (Carr gives the year as 54 AE, AE = 1945), a post-Atomic War Earth is unified under the Federation. Advanced and wealthy, the Federation is funding interplanetary exploration. Omnilingual takes place on Mars where a fair-sized group of archaeologists are exploring the ruins left by a very recently extinct race of intelligent Martians. Mars is a dying planet, past the point of non-technological occupation by humanoid species, with the richest life found in the ancient seabeds, where depth and scaleheight give the animals enough air to breath.
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