What I remember of this short story is that the astronauts/scientists landed on an unknown planet and discovered that it catered to their every whim.

If they were hungry, it provided food. If they were thirsty, it provided drink and even female company. The planet itself was referred to as a female but I'm sure about this part.

So all the astronauts are happy and comfortable except one who realises that something is wrong and leaves. When he gets to the atmosphere he sees dinosaurs and volcanic explosions on the surface but realises that these are only for him but his friends are fine.

Sorry, it's not very clear but this is all I remember.

1 Answer 1


"Here There Be Tygers", a short story by Ray Bradbury, which was also my (unaccepted) answer to the old questions A Loving Mother Earth and Short story about a paradise planet that grants every desire. First published in the anthology New Tales of Space and Time (Raymond J. Healy, ed.), which can be borrowed (for free but registration required) from the Internet Archive. It was reprinted with some revisions in Amazing Stories, April–May 1953, which is freely available (no registration needed) at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in one of these compilations.

Wikipedia summary:

It deals with a rocket expedition sent to a planet to see whether or not its natural resources can be harvested for the human race. They discover a paradise which seems to provide for them whatever they desire even as they think of it. They ultimately decide to leave the planet and report that it is hostile and of no benefit to humans.

The planet provides food:

They found a small stream which poured into a boiling water pool. Fish, swimming in the cold creek above, fell glittering into the hot spring and floated, minutes later, cooked, to the surface.

And drink:

Forester shrugged and drank.

"Wine!" he said.

"It can't be!"

"It is! Smell it, taste it! A rare white wine!"

"French domestic." Driscoll sipped his.

"Poison," said Chatterton.

And women:

He turned his eyes in upon a vision. There was a group of hills from which flowed a clear river, and in the shallows of that river, sending up spray, there faces shimmering, were the women. And it came to Forester to know about them and their life. They were nomads, roaming the face of this world as was their desire. There were no highways or cities, there were only hills and plains and winds to carry them like white feathers where they wished. As Forester shaped the questions, some invisible answerer whispered the answers. There were no men. These women, alone, produced their race. The men had vanished fifty thousand years ago. And where were these women now? A mile down from the green forest, a mile over on the wine stream by the six white stones, and a third mile to the large river. There, in the shallows, were the women who would make fine wives, and raise beautiful children.

The planet is referred to as a woman:

"A versatile world," said Koestler drily. "A woman who'll do anything to please her guests, as long as we're kind to her. Chatterton wasn't kind."

Chatterton is the one who is not charmed the planet. He is apparently devoured by a tiger:

The men pointed into the forest. "Thought you'd want to see this, Captain. It's damned eerie." one of the men indicated a pathway. "Look here, sir."

The marks of great claws stood on the path, fresh and clear.

"And over here."

A few drops of blood.

A heavy smell of some feline animal hung in the air.


"I don't think we'll ever find him, Captain."

Faintly, faintly, moving away, now gone in the breathing silence of twilight, came the roar of a tiger.

The men all leave the planet except Chatterton (presumed dead) and Driscoll who stayed behind. The planet turns ugly on the departing astronauts:

The rocket rose into the sky. Looking back, Forester say every valley and every tiny lake.

"We should have stayed," said Koestler.

"Yes, I know."

"It's not too late to turn back."

"I'm afraid it is." Forester made an adjustment on the port telescope. "Look now."

Koestler looked.

The face of the world was changed. Tigers, dinosaurs, mammoths appeared. Volcanoes erupted, cyclones and hurricanes tore over the hills in a welter and fury of weather.

Yes, she was a woman all right," said Forester. "Waiting for visitors for millions of years, preparing herself, making herself beautiful. She put on her best face for us. When Chatterton treated her badly, she warned him a few times, and then, when he tried to ruin her beauty, she eliminated him. She wanted to be loved, like every woman, for herself, not for her wealth. So now, after she had offered us everything, we turn our backs. She's the woman scorned. She let us go, yes, but we can never come back. She'll be waiting for us with those . . ." He nodded to the tigers and the cyclones and the boiling seas.

  • 1
    Thank you! That's the one! Now I remember that title is also used in the end of the story. Thanks a lot!
    – Haris
    Commented Jun 24 at 8:57
  • FYI: The version you linked in the Internet Archive is very different from the one you quoted. Commented Jun 25 at 7:56
  • @AlexbGoode Interesting. I copied the quotes from the original publication in New Tales of Space and Time which is where I read the story. I was going to link to the Internet Archive copy of that book which can only be borrowed and requires (free) registration, but then decided to link instead to the magazine reprint which is freely available.
    – user14111
    Commented Jun 25 at 9:03
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    Planet is now on galactic tinder! So many many years I read this one in Histoires de mondes étranges Commented Jun 25 at 12:43
  • This story reads like one big "women am I right?" Commented Jun 26 at 8:24

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