It's an old story (maybe from the fifties?) about a man stranded on Mars, and about to die. He finds the remains of an ancient Martian civilization, now extinct. But the machines are still working, and provide him with food. But the problem is that the food is made for Martians, so he can't eat it. The story ends with the machines somehow turning him into a Martian, so that he can eat the food and survive.


1 Answer 1


Almost certainly Van Vogt's "Enchanted Village"

At the end, Jenner (the hero) thinks the village has done all it can for him, and crawls into it to die and give his remains back to it in compensation for its efforts. He wakes to find that it has solved the problem by changing him rather than itself.

"If I can just get to a dais," he told himself, "the heat alone will kill me; and in absorbing my body, the village will get back some of its lost water," - - - He woke to the sound of a violin. It was a sad-sweet music that told of the rise and fall of a race long dead. Jenner listened for a while and then with abrupt excitement realised the truth. This was a substitute for the whistling - the village had adjusted its music to him. - - - He had a feeling of wonderful physical well-being. - - - I've won." thought Jenner. "The village has found a way." - - Ecstatically Jenner wriggled his four-foot tail and lifted his long snout - - Then he waddled out to bask in the sun and listen to the timeless music.

  • I was writing from memory. I've now fished to story out and changed the quote to make it clearly from the story.
    – Mike Stone
    Aug 23, 2019 at 14:31

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