Sometime in the 1960s I read a short story about the effects of teleportation on society. Looking for title and author.

Every home had a teleportation booth which could send someone to another booth anywhere on earth.Typical American family scenario, but father worked on the other side of the globe, son went to beach in Rio for the day etc. Highways became obsolete and were turned into giant parkways.

Anyone recall this short story? Thanks

  • 9
    Teleportation booths are featured in quite a few short stories by Larry Niven. Any further details on the short story?
    – dirkt
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 19:33
  • 1
    one of the above mentioned stories, Flash Crowd is probably where Niven first covers the details of problems society has with teleportation technology
    – infixed
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 21:55
  • I did think of Larry Niven, but the story had a very light and optimistic tone, maybe from the 50s.
    – DavidJazz
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 22:39
  • 1
    The set-up of Tunnel in the Sky is like this, but it's not a short story. Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 1:45
  • John Brunner's The Infinitive of Go is another teleportation based novel, though it doesn't match other mentioned features.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


My first thought is "It's Such A Beautiful Day" a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. First published in 1954 in an anthology of original stories edited by Frederik Pohl, and later reprinted in the 1969 collection Nightfall and Other Stories. The main character must walk to school one day when the family's teleportation door fails and discovers he prefers the outdoors unlike the majority of people around him.

Plot summary (from Wikipedia) Set in the year 2117, the story presents District A-3, a newly built suburb of San Francisco, and the world's first community to be built entirely using Doors, a method of travel via teleportation.

When the Door that transfers him from home to school fails, Richard "Dickie" Hanshaw takes a dislike to the method and starts to wander outside in the unfamiliar open, exposed to the elements. When he catches a cold, Mrs. Hanshaw is horrified and takes him to see Dr. Sloane, a psychiatrist, afraid that her son's wanderings are signs of a mental abnormality.

Despite his own misgivings, Dr. Sloane invites Dickie to go for a walk with him in the open, and Sloane learns to understand and appreciate the boy's dislike of moving around by matter transference and his newly acquired interest in the open air. Dr. Sloane advises Mrs. Hanshaw not to disapprove of Dickie's odd hobby so heavily, to treat it as if it is no big deal. This will remove its tantalizing aura of forbiddenness, and soon Dickie will lose interest in it and turn his attention to more "normal" interests.

At the conclusion of his consultation with Dickie and Mrs. Hanshaw, Dr. Sloane succumbs to Dickie's viewpoint and says, "You know, it's such a beautiful day that I think I'll walk."

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