In the late 80s, early 90s a fantasy book came out that I only read the first part of before I lost it. The premise was intriguing and I have always wanted to return and discover what happened.

From what I remember, a guy buys a house and finds a portal to another world in one of the adjoining buildings. When he first goes through the portal he lands on a beach and discovers a shipwreck with gold coins. He gathers some up, sells them on Earth and prepares himself to explore this new world.

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    What kind of guy? What was his name? How did the portal work? Was the "other world" historical or alien in some way? Why did he sell the coins? Was he alone? Did he meet any other characters? Was this book aimed at adults or children?
    – Valorum
    Mar 24, 2016 at 20:52

3 Answers 3


Marion Zimmer Bradley is one possibility "The House between Worlds" It's one of her earlier works; lots of the ideas for Darkover are present in not quite final form. Don't remember much except the portal bit.

Clifford Simak has a novelette about aliens who create such a door, "The Big Front Yard" The protaganist, a general handiman, who makes a living buying and selling this and that finds that his house has some kind of pest that drives his dog crazy. He gets up one morning and finds that his front door opens out onto another world. Different time of day, different plants. And then the fun begins.

  • The Simak one is the one with the Yankee Trader isn't it?
    – Broklynite
    Mar 25, 2016 at 7:13
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    If you have two separate answers (as you seem to), it's generally best to split then into two separate answers. Also, it's customary to provide a plot summary that shows that the item matches and some sort of link to a site or cover art if that's available for further reference. ^_^ But welcome and thanks for the answer!
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 25, 2016 at 10:13

Stairway To Forever by Robert Adams.

Stairway To Forever

Life has not been easy for "Fitz" Fitzgilbert. He has survived the battlefield, personal tragedy, and economic hardship; now all he wants is peace. He moves into an isolated, ramshackle house built—oddly—on an earthen mound. Then he uncovers a hidden stone passageway beneath the house—and falls through an invisible doorway into another world! Except for the bizarre beasts that crawl its shoreline, the "sand world" seems deserted. Yet Fitz is not alone. First he is visited by an old friend, who reveals that Fitz has a mission in this strange new world. Then he is supplied with traveling companions: a Norman knight, transported from the 11th century via unexplainable magic; and a 1950s jazz musician trapped in a most unusual new body. Together they will surmount incredible dangers—and reap incredible rewards!

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    Welcome to SciFi.SE! Could you explain why you believe this is the book the OP is looking for? How does this match their description? (Sadly OP hasn't been online since he asked the question, so it's unlikely we'll ever know whether this is correct.)
    – F1Krazy
    May 2, 2018 at 14:13
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    Oh, well, from what I remember: the protagonist goes through a "portal" to another world and finds gold coins that he sells back on Earth. I don't remember any details past that point. I was looking for this same book when I stumble across this site and read OP's question. I remember the author was famous for something else he wrote that was considered trashy scifi (Horseclans, as it turned out). I looked up all the authors I could remember, eg John Norman (Gor). Eventually I came across Robert Adams, then Googled his name plus gold coins and here it was! May 2, 2018 at 18:15

The first thing that leaped to my mind was Philip Jose Farmer's "World of Tiers" series. The first book, The Maker of Universes, does involve someone finding a portal to another world. However, since the portal is accessed by blowing on a horn, and I don't believe the protagonist had the ability to go back to our world immediately, this is probably not the book in question.

The other world had a green sky - if that doesn't match, then this isn't it.

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