What is the title and the author (Asimov or one of that pantheon) of the classic short ('one idea') tale in which a spaceship crew arrives at what appears to be their home town on Earth. The fatal realisation of one of them ends the story: "he never made it to the door".

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    Bonus question: Does anyone remember an illustration where you see the rocketship and two astronauts (one of them a woman) in NASA-style spacesuits with the helmet removed apparently delighted by the sight of everytown USA in the mids of red Mars sands. There is also a sign in the foreground sayin "Bradbury Ave." I think. Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 19:17
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    Found it. It's "Martian Chronicle" by Douglas Chaffee (acrylics, 18 x 27 in) ... "produced for the programme book of the 1986 SF Worldcon at Atlanta" Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 23:31
  • @DavidTonhofer This picture?
    – Henry
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 16:33
  • @Henry Yesss~~~ Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


This is "Mars is Heaven" by Ray Bradbury from "The Martian Chronicles". The story proceeds just as the OP recalls. When the captain John Black realizes the truth he:

...ran across the room. He screamed. He screamed twice.

He never reached the door.

It's available to read at the Internet Archive.


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