I'm looking for a short story collection about different uses/inventions of transporter doors. I think it was just a single author collection, that I read in the early 2000s.

In each story these Transporter Doors exist, I seem to remember them being described as blank grey sheets. You step through them and come out somewhere else. The forward to the book talked about early Rocket stories where the launch of a spaceship would be the end of the tale.

Plots of the individual stories:

Two men one of whom's home is inside an asteroid are discussing the use of Base12 in their society and if it is because they have 12 fingers, one says that "people" used to use base10. The implication is that a different species arrived through the doors and replaced humans.

A man puts the code for his home into a door and is instead transported to prison where he's accused of murdering his wife, which he strongly denies.

Two scientists and a pilot take a probe ship deep into Jupiter's atmosphere, the will return to base via a door that they need to construct while they are down there. The scientists dislike each other and don't work well together. When they finish the door, the hamsters seem woozy out the other side, but the scientists insist it is ready. The pilot says he will go first as he can't fix it if it's wrong. When he arrives on the far side he's mentally damaged and the scientists have to get along without him acting as a buffer while they try to save themselves.


1 Answer 1


This is probably Harry Harrison's One Step From Earth.

The stories range from the earliest tests to a point where the doors (called "Matter Transmitter" or MT for short) are just a given and humanity has spread out across the universe.

The stories are

  1. One Step From Earth
    An explorer, sent to Mars through one of the first MTs, prefers to stay there and face danger instead of returning to modern society when ordered to do so.
  2. Pressure
    A team descends to the "ground" of Jupiter in bathyscaphe, welded shut, only accessible through an MT. But the giant MT under the floor needs to be recalibrated before they can return.
  3. No War, or Battle's Sound
    A soldier reflects on the nature of war, while in one. One that sees the use of MTs both for delivering troops and delivering bombs.
  4. Wife to the Lord
    A man uses the only MT on a planet to turn himself into a god.
  5. Waiting Place
    A man is sentenced for a crime he thinks he didn't commit. An MT sends him automatically to a prison planet.
  6. The Life Preservers
    After decades of disuse, an abandoned MT is reactivated.
  7. From Fanaticism, or for Reward
    An assassin uses the MT to cover his tracks.
  8. Heavy Duty
    A planet colonised with generational starships gets connected to the MT network — but at a cost.
  9. A Tale of the Ending
    Future scientists talk about the nature of the doors and wonder about the origin of humanity.
  • 1
    Thanks, I looked for every variation on Transporter, Teleporter and Doorway, but forgot to try Portal.
    – Jontia
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 18:15

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