Help me remember the name of a sci-fi novel I read about
September 26, 2016 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Years ago, I read about an interesting sci-fi novel about the sudden development of FTL technology that normal civilians could build and use to explore the universe. I can't remember its name. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I remember from the review I read that the FTL technology would work by first teleporting into orbit to get rid of the atmosphere around it and then teleport to whatever star system you wanted to check out. It was set in the modern world basically - maybe some near future tech? I don't remember anything else though.
posted by clockworkjoe to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Getaway Special and Anywhere but Here by Jerry Oltion? I don't have a good link of it to share.
posted by antiwiggle at 3:36 PM on September 26, 2016


Doesn't sound like this answers your question, but I read a story 40 some years ago in which FTL space travel was so trivially easy that even just barely technical people could do it once they stumbled on the technique. In this particular instance, vaguely dog-like aliens landed on earth in a ship without proper life support. Their culture had not yet adopted (or had only very recently adopted) the wheel, which the reader could infer by the fact that their medium scale unit of distance was the "drag", the distance one person could drag a certain weight before stopping to rest. When they came out of their ship, the human first responders were in a skirmish line half a drag away.
posted by Bruce H. at 3:42 PM on September 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Was is about a couple who did lots of off-roading in a truck and they basically dyi-ed their truck to be able to explore in space? Is that one of the Jerry Oltion books? I've been trying to remember the title of that for years, can't find a copy of it though, looks like the library doesn't have it. Rats.
posted by eggkeeper at 3:56 PM on September 26, 2016


Bruce H., was that Pandora's Legions, by Chris Anvil?
posted by hanov3r at 4:02 PM on September 26, 2016


Bruce H's story sounds like "The Road Not Taken" by Harry Turtledove.
posted by monotreme at 8:19 PM on September 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The Road Not Taken" is the story I'm remembering, but the aliens are described as teddy bears instead of dogs and the phrase "half a drag" does not occur. Probably I'm conflating two (or more) stories.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:32 PM on September 26, 2016


And yes, half a drag does occur in Pandora's Legions, as the effective range of the humans' rifles, initially dismissed as "theoretically impossible" by the aliens' ballistics experts, or should I say "experts."

One is reminded that in, theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they're not.
posted by Bruce H. at 10:13 PM on September 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


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