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I am trying to remember the title of a novel with the following plot points:

  1. A spacecraft is sent via supposedly instantaneous travel to a distant system, but they return 1,000 or 2,000 years later (this is the backstory, it's outlined at the beginning). They thought they were getting a hyperdrive; they really just got a sort-of-relativistic one.

  2. The planet they travel to is inhabited by a race of furry beings who are "primitive" but have a philosophical outlook that allowed the humans to improve their pseudo-hyperdrive

  3. When the explorers return there's some political intrigue involving the people of Earth

  4. I recall a line from the book where the explorers are talking with a dude who is their orientation officer of sorts, and he says that "well, yes, we've discovered everything" about physics, or something like

  5. I think the author was one of the bigger names but I can't recall

This mayn't be much to go on. But I can describe the cover: it had one of the furry beings on it, looking like a werewolf or something, in the corridor of a spacecraft.

Any ideas?

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Poul Anderson No World Of Their Own. The furry alien fits

The Holatan made no answer. His huge sleek-furred body was motionless in the acceleration couch they had jury rigged for him

As does the situation

“There was an adequate theory” said Langley. According to it the ship warped through hyperspace.” - - “There’s no such animal - - according to an external observer, the trip is still made only at the speed of light - -“

And Anderson was certainly a Big Name. One of my old favourites and I still miss him seventeen years since he passed on.

  • YES! Thanks very much. I just looked it up and that's the one. – Jesse Apr 5 '18 at 10:37
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    Also I discovered that it got published under the title "The Long Way Home" which is how I encountered it years back: tor.com/2012/10/05/… – Jesse Apr 5 '18 at 10:42

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