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The Memory of Mars

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Published: 1961
Language: English
Wordcount: 14,154 / 47 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,821
Added to site: 2008.07.20 21559

"As soon as I'm well we'll go to Mars for a vacation again," Alice would say. But now she was dead, and the surgeons said she was not even human. In his misery, Hastings knew two things: he loved his wife; but they had never been off Earth!

Show Excerpt

r as she jumped up and down in rage and pointed a finger at him. "You get out of here, Melvin Hastings! You're not a nice boy at all!"

Face red, he had hastily retreated as the teacher assured Alice and the rest of the girls that he had made a simple mistake. But how angry Alice had been! It was a week before she would speak to him.

He smiled and sank back deeply into the pillow. He remembered how proud he had been when old Doc Collins, who came out to do the honors every Fall, had told him there wasn't a thing wrong with him and that if he continued to drink his milk regularly he'd grow up to be a football player. He could still hear Doc's words whistling through his teeth and feel the coldness of the stethoscope on his chest.

Suddenly, he sat upright in bed in the darkness.


They had tapped and inspected and listened to Alice that day, and all the other examination days.

If Doc Collins had been unable to find a heartbeat in her he'd have fainted--and spr

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.8 from 6 reviews: *****
JoJo Biggins

An entertaining story with an ending I couldn\'t predict even though I was highly suspicious of what was going on.


Excellent short story, a science fiction mystery. Does it end happily or not? I had to think about it for a while.

Sardo Weems

Good writing, nice suspense, good twist at the end.


Yes, it bears quiet a resemblance to PKD's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and "Imposter"

Im Cheungjun

Great read. The suspenseful story with the theme of false memory reminds me of some of the great short stories of Philip K. Dick.


Excellent SF mystery. A man's wife is taken to the hospital for emergency surgery following a car accident. In the operating room, the doctor makes an unusual discovery. This prompts the husband to investigate his wife's past, including a vacation to Mars they supposedly took together. The trouble is, he doesn't remember the trip at all. Great ending.



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Author of the Day

Nicole Harkin
Nicole Harkin grew up in Montana and Georgia with parents who were steeped in the airline industry. To Harkin, family life was an interesting mix of secrets, drama and humor. She ended up writing a memoir which won an award and keeps readers at the edge of their seats. Illness, cancer, teen pregnancy: it’s all in there! As our Author of the Day, Harkin talks more about her childhood, her hobbies and what drove her to write this memoir.
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