I remember reading a short story some decades ago. I probably read it in the 80s, but it was almost certainly from earlier days, likely the 60s. The main thing I remember is that there was a spaceship powered by cheese (not sure if it was faster than light or not), and a crew consisting of a couple of goofball guys. I can't remember their names, unfortunately. There was a galaxy-wide war too, but that seemed to be something they happened upon, rather than being directly involved in it from the beginning.

It was intended to be humorous and I'd like to read it again, if anyone knows it. Thanks.

  • 2
    I would also like to re-read Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, now that I've been reminded of its existence and wonderfulness. +1 – Todd Wilcox Oct 6 '15 at 19:05
  • 3
    I'm flattered... – CHEESE Jan 26 '17 at 1:35

Are you referring to Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers? This is not a short story, but rather a 1973 novel by Harry Harrison. Other than the fact that it is a novel, Star Smashers fits what you're looking for, from the cheese-powered ship, to the war, to the humorous tone.

enter image description here

The novel revolves around two college science students who develop a faster-than-light drive powered by cheese ("Cheddite"). They eventually end up in the middle of an intergalactic war.

From GoodReads:

The wild, galaxy-hopping adventures of brash young scientists Jerry Courtenay and Chuck van Chider are at the core of this classic space opera. When the two college students develop a faster-than-light space drive in their homemade workshed, they decide to sneak it aboard their football team's airplane as a prank. The boyish plan backfires, however, and the boys find themselves, along with their crush Sally and the seemingly loveable school caretaker, Old John, hurtling through the solar system towards Titan — an icy moon of Saturn inhabited by hideous ice creatures. Titan and the 20th century are only square one as the foursome becomes embroiled in a vast, intergalactic, century-jumping battle.

From the novel's Wikipedia entry:

It is a parody of the space opera genre and in particular, the Lensman and Skylark series of E. E. "Doc" Smith. It also includes an homage to Larry Niven's Ringworld.

It is about two college students, Chuck van Chider and his friend Jerry Courtenay, who accidentally invent a device that can transport them through space, powered by a substance called "Cheddite", which is created by irradiating Cheddar cheese.

Note: In case you are curious, I found this book by searching for specific cheeses. ("Spaceship" combined with "cheese" wasn't pulling up anything that fit your description. However, "cheddar" did.)

  • 24
    As thorough, well written, and well researched an answer as this is, I hope it's wrong just so that the world can have more than one story about cheese powered FTL travel. – Jason Patterson Oct 6 '15 at 0:18
  • 1
    YES, this is it. Thanks a bunch! – Raymond S. Oct 6 '15 at 4:02
  • 1
    Whenever there's cheese being used to do something remarkable, it's always cheddar. That's not fair! Why aren't there any stories about other cheeses being pivotal to the plot? I want an Old Amsterdam story! – Mr Lister Oct 6 '15 at 10:01
  • 2
    This sounds like some classic HH madness, and I must own it immediately. – Whelkaholism Oct 6 '15 at 10:08
  • 1
    I used to love reading EE Doc Smith novels, and this book totally skewered them. I remember thinking "OMG PWNED!" except whatever people thought for that in the mid eighties. – Max Williams Oct 6 '15 at 10:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.