Man wakens to find himself transformed into living metal


New Member
Jun 30, 2014
I'm trying to remember the author and title of a science fiction story I read decades ago (mid-70's to early-80's). I want to say it's a golden age short story (maybe a novel) but I may be wrong on that point.

The story follows a man who, waking up from a long bout of unconsciousness, finds that he has been transformed into a being of living metallic components. The streets outside his apartment are deserted and look like they have been that way for a very long time. He finds corpses, some of people who seem to have changed completely to solid metal and some who did not complete the change and died half metal, half flesh. He surmises that he was exposed to the changing factor (radiation?) at just the perfect level. His shielding apartment walls plus an open window(?) letting exactly the right amount of radiation in for the proper amount of time. He begins to explore his surroundings. I seem to remember it being a very large, cosmopolitan city.

...and that's were my memory begins to fade.

I think that he finds others like himself and also some people who were shielded enough to still be fully human, but that might be me stirring a different story into the mix.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have so, so many books, a great number still in boxes, that I could be years finding it again without assistance.

(If anyone is wondering what triggered this search. Several weeks ago, I was discussing a recent meteor shower with a co-worker and the radio began to play Iron Man by Black Sabbath. Ever since, I haven't been able to get the story out of my head. Funny how the mind works.)
Oh, dear! I read the book; it was from the 'Bookmobile' that stopped at our school now and then and sold paperbacks to the students... and the book is probably in my library. There are alien flying creatures that collect metal-converted humans, brings them to the aliens, who turn them into the metallic robots. It's a metallic-man vs. aliens battle story, and the humans end up winning.
--Paul E Musselman
I had never considered Scholastic Book Club. I did buy and read more than my fair share of book club books during elementary and into middle school. My school book club period was mostly before I got into science fiction but that is a definitely a possibility. I don't remember any aliens though and I didn't think the memories where quite that old. Do you have any idea of the title or author? My mother co-opted most of my "children's" books for the younger siblings and if this pans out I probably won't have it in my library. I'll have to track it down instead of just dig it out.
Whoop! It's been identified.
Invaders from Rigel aka The Onslaught from Rigel by Fletcher Pratt.
A version is available as a Project Gutenberg etext.
Now to get this on my Kindle and out of my nagging brain pan.
Invaders form Rigel by Fletcher Pratt I read that years ago. It's a pretty old book. The addition I read was put out by Airmont Books.:)

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