I'm trying to identify a book I read back in 2007. It was a collection of short science fiction/alien stories. From my memory, here is one story that I remember:

A group of astronauts landed on a planet that seemed the same as Earth. The travelers were confused, thinking they somehow landed on Earth again, except it was slightly different; one of the travelers' grandmothers was alive, even though she had already passed. While sleeping, one of the travelers thought to himself: "What if we landed on a different planet... and these aliens mimicked our Earth because they could read our minds... which means they could read my mind right now?" He was right.

What was the name of this book?

  • Don't know which book you read it in but the story is "Mars Is Heaven!" as Mary said in her answer, and you can read it in the Internet Archive: archive.org/details/…
    – user14111
    Dec 8, 2023 at 1:48
  • Can you remember anything about any of the other stories in the book? Did the stories seem to be set on the same world, or written by the same author? Was it hardback or paperback?
    – user14111
    Dec 8, 2023 at 4:06
  • The same story appeared in other anthologies as "The Third Expedition", if it helps.
    – moopet
    Dec 8, 2023 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


In Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, in the story "Mars Is Heaven!" Earth astronauts find an idyllic small town on Mars, populated by people they knew, some of whom had died.

The captain realizes near the end that it could be a front by Martian telepaths, which is true, but can do nothing before they are massacred.

You will need to give more identification about the book before we can be sure that it is, indeed, The Martian Chronicles.

  • 2
    The story sure sounds like "Mars Is Heaven!". It has been reprinted many times, sometime under different titles. The OP could have read it in The Martian Chronicles or in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame or some other anthology.
    – user14111
    Dec 8, 2023 at 1:43

This story is certainly "Mars is Heaven" by Ray Bradbury

It is 1986 and the third exploratory spaceship from Earth is landing on Mars. The crew is 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 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

The story has been collected many times, most famously as one of The Martian Chronicles

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