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I read a short story or book once that used a lens to focus gravitational waves from a distant object to overcome the local gravity. For example, if the ship was on earth, one could focus the lens on the Sun or Jupiter and be drawn towards it and away from Earth.

Anyone remember that story?

It could have been from Asimov - I had a collection of his short stories and it may have been in there.

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    I don't know who it was but it was not Asimov. I know all of Asimov's published works very intimately.
    – Hack-R
    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:19
  • Asimov did mention anti-gravity in his later works (the two last volumes of Fundation and prelude to Fundation). But I do not recal any lens use in this books
    – Edelk
    Dec 13, 2016 at 12:18
  • Closest I can come is Sturgeon's Relative Stasis propulsion, in A world well lost. There was also something in one of the Early Age stories, and... perhaps it ended up in Isaac Asimov's Greatest SF Stories?
    – LSerni
    Dec 13, 2016 at 14:21
  • Elements of James Blish's 'Welcome to Mars' may match - specifically being able to amplify the gravitational effect of the destination to pull the spacecraft while also cancelling out the effect of the gravity of the planet being left Nov 9, 2018 at 23:49

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I'm hesitant to give this as an answer, because I don't have any good references and my own memory is pretty hazy, but it could be The Moonlanders, by W. C. Chalk. There's no lens in that story, but there is a method of traveling between Earth and the moon using the gravity of specific planetary alignments.

In the story, the heroes discover a place in South America, near the famous Nazca lines, where the gravity of Earth and the moon cancel each other out at certain times, and they take advantage of this to travel to the moon. There they meet someone - a humanoid alien, possibly? - who wears a bright white suit and inflates a balloon on his back to allow him to 'fly'. It's concluded that these beings were the source of 'angel' stories.

A sequel told the story of a military expedition using the same effect to travel to, and attempt to conquer, Mars.

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  • I'll need to read that to see if it jogs my memory. Thanks. Dec 14, 2016 at 18:48
  • Good luck - I couldn't find a copy online to verify, nor even a hard copy available for sale.
    – Werrf
    Dec 14, 2016 at 19:03

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