In the early '80s, I read a story about a Terran man on another planet, where the natives develop skin lesions and eventually die, but are happy, as they become part of the planet they live on. I remember that the protagonist is not developing the lesions, because he hates the planet. Once he starts loving the planet, he starts having the lesions as well. In this story, the planet is "alive".

I have read about "Whatever became of the McGowans" and "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed". They do not match my memory. Thank you.

  • I doubt this is the story but throwing it here just in case. "Speaker for the Dead" - Orson Scott Card - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_for_the_Dead For this to match your description probably would require quite a lot of memory combinations going on :) – Enigma Maitreya Apr 18 '17 at 14:19
  • Also similar to Powers that Be by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, although the main character is female. – littlefeltfangs Apr 18 '17 at 15:32

I think you may be slightly mis-remembering "A Song for Lya" by the obscure science fiction author George R R Martin.

The mis-remembering comes in with the "skin lesions" which, in the story, are blobs of fungus/jelly that grow and slowly consume the person (who, in the end, gets joined with the group-mind/communal blob creature). Also, it's not the whole planet that's alive/linked, just the gigantic blob creature and all the natives and humans with the parasites on them.

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    I think you are right. In fact (except for the fact that he is obscure: he wrote the books Game of Throne is based on and won a Hugo award), I wanted to correct the word lesions for patches, and I kept thinking the planet was singing somehow. But bear in mind I read this when I was 11 or 12 and it was in French. Thank you for answering. – Guillaume Slama Apr 19 '17 at 20:37
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    Yeah, I was attempting a joke. He's much better known now as a fantasy writer than he was in his science fiction days. – Organic Marble Apr 19 '17 at 20:38

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