A group land on a planet and their spaceship is wrecked in an explosion. The planet is rich in diamonds and poor in other minerals. To get home they invent an anti gravity drive and take the planet with them.

This was in a collection of short stories; this one, I think, was named 'The Mother of Invention'.

  • Since you have the title of the story, look it up on ISFDB. There are four stories with the title “Mother of Invention”, you're looking for the one by Tom Godwin, as a Google search finds this summary on the first page of results.
    – user56
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


The story you're describing is "Mother of Invention" by Tom Godwin.

Five fortune hunters are marooned on Aurora - a hitherto unknown earth type world full of diamonds - diamond boulders, diamond encrusted rocks, diamond saturated dust, ... They'll soon find how anti-life too much diamond can be.

Their spaceship is rendered useless by explosion triggered by diamond dust, & the world they're on is due for apocalypse some 7 months down the line - to be caught in a nova as an alien sun hits this carbon rich world & then the nova absorbs the local sun.

*After some preliminaries, we are presented with two choices: either they find a local source of uranium, or they must invent antigravity! Of course, our heroes are made to choose the latter. And they will not only invent the antigravity in given time, but take their fortune home

  • their antigravity machine is powerful enough to take whole of the world they're on home!*

Variety SF: Review - The Mother of Invention

The story has been anthologised several times but it's likely you read it in the (repeatedly reprinted) Spectrum 5 collection.

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