Does this story sound familiar?
A man on Earth discovers that his memories have been altered, his wife isn’t who she appeared to be, and he’s embroiled in a vast conspiracy involving Mars and aliens.
It’s the 1990 movie Total Recall, loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s 1966 short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.”
It’s also the 1961 short story “The Memory of Mars” by LDS science fiction author Raymond F. Jones. Jones is best remembered as the author of the novel This Island Earth, on which the eponymous movie was based. He was the first LDS author to get a Hugo Award nomination, back in 1967 for his short story “Rat Race.” His career as a writer spanned the early 1940s to the late 1970s. I don’t recall having read anything of his when I was young, so I thought it would be interesting to read something from an LDS science fiction author who wrote in BC (Before Card) times.
If the makers of Total Recall had chosen Jones’s story instead of Dick’s on which to loosely base their movie on “The Memory of Mars,” Arnold Schwarzenegger would have discovered that Sharon Stone was actually some sort of non-human being that had replaced his real wife. In trying to figure out what happened to his wife, he would have discovered that they had traveled to Mars together and he has no memory of the trip, so he would go to someone to recover his memories. And that would put him on the trail of the conspiracy that’s manipulating him and thousands of others.
I found the story, which is available in a free Kindle edition, to be a good read, with some plot twists I didn’t see coming. Overall, though, I must admit I prefer Dick’s story, which has a plot (quite different from the movie’s) that I still remember decades after reading it.
Is there anything particularly Mormon about “The Memory of Mars”? Nothing really stood out to me as such — but perhaps my memory of such details has been wiped, so maybe you should check the story out for yourself.