Author Ray Bradbury
Genre(s) Science fiction short story
Media type Print (Magazine)
Publication date 1948
"Mars is Heaven!" is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury originally published in 1948. "Mars is Heaven!" was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one the best science fiction short stories of all time. As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964. It also appears as the sixth chapter of The Martian Chronicles, entitled "The Third Expedition."
It is the year 2000, and the third spaceship from Earth is landing on Mars, following two expeditions from which no reports have been received. The crew are shocked to discover a Rockwellian small town, eerily similar to those they left on Earth. The strangely familiar people in the town believe it is 1926. Crew members soon discover old friends and deceased relatives in the town. Those who had been ordered to stay behind and guard the rocket abandon their posts in order to join the reunions and festivities.
Members of the crew split up to spend the night in the homes of their lost comrades and relatives. The ship's captain, John Black, remains skeptical, and realizes in the middle of the night that the entire situation may have been contrived by telepathic aliens to lower the Earthmen's guards. Before he can warn the others or reestablish a guard on the spaceship, he is proved right as he and the entire staff of the ship are killed.
Adaptations in Other Media
"Mars is Heaven!" was adapted as a radio drama on numerous occasions including as an episode of Escape (June 2, 1950), Dimension X (July 7, 1950 & January 7, 1951), Think (1953), X Minus One (May 8, 1955) and Future Tense (July, 1976). It was also adapted to the EC comic book Weird Science #18...