Many sci fi stories have the idea of teleportation or instant transmission. This question in Sci-Fi SE has covered the first use of teleportation using a machine (aka transporter).

But how about self incorporated teleportation or instant transmission, when a human or alien or deity is capable to teleport by themselves, without using a machine, by alien powers, mutant powers, magical means, spiritual means or any self incorporated way?

In comics I remember the case of Nightcrawler (1959) who was able to teleport. In anime, I know a lot of cases, Which was the first anime to feature instant transmission like Dragon Ball Z, Nanatsu no Taizai, Mob Psycho 100, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, No Game No Life, etc. but all these cases are older. For some reason I can't remember cases in sci-fi books and movies, but I'm sure there are many. Then,

Which was the first sci-fi story to feature self incorporated teleportation?

  • 4
    The word "teleport" is quite modern. There is plenty of ancient lit where demons disappear and appear somewhere else instantly. Pan could teleport in greek myths. Mephistopheles gave Faust the ability to teleport. Scrooge teleported in A Christmas Carol..
    – rld
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 15:33
  • That sounds like teleport to me. The question also says instant transmission which also means instantaneous movement
    – Pablo
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


In March 1912, the short story "Under the Moons of Mars" appeared in All-Story Magazine. The first of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom stories, this was the initial installment of the novel A Princess of Mars.

Chased by Indians into a cave in the Arizona wilderness, Virginia soldier turned gold prospector John Carter grows lethargic and is suddenly projected out of his body:

And then something gave, there was a momentary feeling of nausea, a sharp click as of the snapping of a steel wire, and I stood with my back against the wall of the cave facing my unknown foe.

And then the moonlight flooded the cave, and there before me lay my own body as it had been lying all these hours, with the eyes staring toward the open ledge and the hands resting limply upon the ground.

Carter's astral projection walks out of the cave, and, looking up in the sky, spots the planet Mars.

As I gazed at it on that far-gone night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, to lure me to it, to draw me as the lodestone attracts a particle of iron.

Carter simply wills himself to Mars:

My longing was beyond the power of opposition; I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms toward the god of my vocation and felt myself drawn with the suddenness of thought through the trackless immensity of space. There was an instant of extreme cold and utter darkness.


I opened my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape. I knew that I was on Mars; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness. I was not asleep, no need for pinching here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you that you are upon Earth.

You do not question the fact; neither did I.

Source: Project Gutenberg


The earliest I know of is "The World of Null A" by A.E. van Vogt. It was published in three parts in a magazine in 1945, and as a novel in 1948

Gilbert Gosseyn is the central character of the story. He has a mysterious past, and is himself not aware of the fact that he doesn't know where he came from.

He has many adventures while trying to discover his own past. Along the way he discovers that he can teleport to any place he has already been by "memorizing" the location. With a particular kind of "recall" he can teleport himself back to the memorized place.

  • @user14111 I suppose Hermes/Mercury would qualify -- his winged shoes/sandals/boots could carry him anywhere "in the wink of an eye."
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 13:10
  • 1
    @user14111 any story that would be accepted as topic in Sci Fi SE.
    – Pablo
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 13:22

Over the years 1937 and 1938, E. E. "Doc" Smith serialized Galactic Patrol, the first (published) book of the Lensman series. One character in the series, Mentor (and, by extension, his race of Arisians) demonstrated the ability to teleport, traveling at the speed of thought. I'm not certain it was ever made fully clear that Arisians traveled in body, but they could accomplish anything, anywhere, as if they were physically present, so I'm not sure it makes a difference.


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