This short story is probably from the 1950s or 60s. In it, a pair of astronauts are stranded on a planet where all the vegetation is red and there is nothing green to be seen. The only time they ever see the color green is when they fire their ray-gun style weapons, which produce a green glow. As the story progresses and their chances of rescue slowly diminish to zero, one of the pair grows increasingly unhinged, eventually murdering his partner.

marked as duplicate by DavidW, Community Apr 20 at 15:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Welcome to StackExchange, Daniel J! For some help making this question even better, this great guide has a bunch of tips. – Stormblessed Apr 20 at 14:28
  • The answer is indeed correct (story again for being a newbie and not knowing to hit the checkmark), but the question flagged by DavidW does indeed refer to the same story. – Daniel J Apr 20 at 15:09

This is "Something Green" by Fredric Brown (1951)1. It is about an astronaut named McGarry who crashes on a planet with only red vegetation and has a "little five-limbed creature" named Dorothy who he talks to about wanting to see green (emphasis mine):

He stopped ten paces short of the edge of the red jungle and aimed the sol-gun at the bushes behind which the lion crouched. He pulled the trigger and there was a bright green flash, brief but beautiful -- oh, so beautiful -- and the bushes weren't there any more, and neither was the lion.

McGary chuckled softly. “Did you see that, Dorothy? That was green, the one color you don't have on this bloody red planet of yours. The most beautiful color in the universe, Dorothy. Green! And I know where there's a world that's mostly green, and we're going to get there, you and I. Sure we are. It's the world I came from, and it's the most beautiful place there is, Dorothy. You'll love it.”

Another astronaut shows up and tells him Earth was destroyed, then McGarry shoots him:

“Earth is -- gone? I don't --”

“Not gone, McGarry. It's there. But it's black and barren, a charred ball. The war with the Arcturians, twenty years ago. They struck first, and got Earth. We got them, we won, we exterminated them, but Earth was gone before we started. I'm sorry, but you'll have to settle for somewhere else..."

McGarry's sol-gun came out of its holster. McGarry shot him, and Lieutenant Archer wasn't there anymore.

Found with "short story" "red planet" "green" on Google.

Quotes from this article

1 from Wikipedia

  • 1
    That's the one! Great work, apologies for the incorrect details in my original post. – Daniel J Apr 20 at 14:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.