I am looking for a short story about a group of space explorers aboard an FTL-capable ship. The very first jump takes them near a dying star, so they have to flee immediately. On their way back to earth, one scientist theorizes that the odds of them arriving at the exact time when that star would turn into a nova are so astronomically low that they must assume that it was their arrival that triggered the death of the star, which means they cannot go near Earth. They decide to drop out of hyperspace further away, and travel towards Earth at sub-light speeds, even if it takes months. On their way a scientist wonders whether it is only the arrival of an FTL drive that has such effects, or if the departure causes the same, and that is when they nova-like readings coming from the direction of our own solar system. At least this is what I remember. Any ideas?


1 Answer 1


This is Randall Garrett's "Time Fuze", first published in IF, March 1954.

The ultradrive had just one slight drawback: it set up a shock wave that made suns explode. Which made the problem of getting back home a delicate one indeed....

The question has been asked here before which is how I found the answer.

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    Balage, if this is the correct answer, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark on the left. Please do; it will show everyone the mystery was solved and reward both you and Moriarty with some reputation :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 17:10

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