The Body Snatchers is a 1955 science fiction novel by Jack Finney, originally serialized in Colliers Magazine in 1954, which describes Earth being invaded by seeds which have drifted to Earth from space. Year 1955 ( MCMLV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar) Jack Finney ( October 2, 1911 – November 14, 1995) was an American author Collier's Weekly was an American Magazine founded by Peter Fenelon Collier and published from 1888 to 1957 The seeds take over human bodies and replace them with simulations grown from plantlike pods, perfect physical duplicates who kill and dispose of their human victims.
Although the 1956 film version is faithful to much of the story, the novel includes several episodes and scenes that have never been filmed. Finney also clarifies details of the duplicate's life cycle: they live only five years, and they cannot sexually reproduce; consequently, if unstopped, they will turn Earth into a dead planet and move on to the next world. Additionally, the escape from Bennell's office is much more elaborate. He fetches two skeletons from his work closet and places them as near the pods as possible, along with 20 ccs each of blood from himself and Driscoll and a clipping of her hair. They then watch as the skeletons turn to dust as they are duplicated; afterwards, the pod people decide to move them to jail and the couple dispatch them in the hallway.
Unlike the first three film adaptations, the novel contained the optimistic ending. Bennell and Driscoll barely escape Mill Valley, where they find the field that grows the pods and set fire to it. Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States located about north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. Just as they lose all hope, the pods suddenly uproot themselves and fly back into space. The aliens were unable to tolerate the resistance that Bennell displayed, so they give up on their invasion and continue on their parasitic quest for survival. Returning home, they find that the Bellicecs also managed to stay awake and avoid succumbing. With the danger to mankind over, Bennell and Driscoll settle down while Mill Valley gradually returns to normal, the remaining duplicates gradually dying off.
A short story by Philip K. Dick, "The Father-Thing," which appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1954, also used the idea of pods duplicating humans, and fire being the means of destroying the pods.