This short story or novella published in Analog in the early 1960s was remarkable for the wealth of technical ideas in one storyline. The heroes first developed a space-warp battery capable of storing huge amounts of energy in a small lightweight package. Next they became able to create matter directly from energy, then to direct the process by thought alone, then to power it from the network of nearby stars. All the while they were barely escaping from fleets of enemies. In a dramatic finale they visited the planetary system of their greatest enemy and thought-created a huge hemispheric cup fixed in the path of their homeworld. The planet runs into the obstacle and is destroyed, while all the stars in the immediate area dim briefly from the power drain.

  • E E Doc Smith came up with the idea of a "sunbeam" that concentrates the power of the Sun into a single beam as a weapon in Children of the Lens, but nothing else in that book matches. Subspace Survivors doesn't match at all. Nov 21, 2018 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


That is Invaders from the Infinite by John W. Campbell Himself. All of the events and inventions you mention -- including the giant cup of "artificial matter" -- are in the story.

The book was published in 1961, but it was originally in Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1932! (I've never compared the two versions, but I'd be shocked if the 1961 version wasn't a rewrite of the 1932 version, as it's decidedly better-written than was common in Amazing in the early 30s. A quick check doesn't find any online discussion of this.)

This is the third novel in the "Arcot, Wade, and Morey" series which began with The Black Star Passes and followed by The Island of Space. They're really good examples of the best of 30's super-science SF.

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