Can any one tell me the name of a sci-fi novel in which characters in a spaceship hunt for a 'mythical' long forgotten Earth.

  • They use 'rutters,' an ancient book which contains images of symbolic forms/animals that indicate how to traverse a path through the gateways. The symbolic images/charts are coded stars/planets to be followed upon this journey.
  • Earth is a long forgotten planet, almost a forgotten myth.
  • The 'Rutter' is ancient and valuable.
  • At the end of the journey Earth is hidden. It is found following further examination of the symbolism in the book/chart.
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    Welcome Jeremy. Sounds intriguing and slightly familiar. Check out our story ID checklist and see if it reminds you of any more details (when it was written - or when you read it, any cover-art, character details etc..) Aug 2 at 12:24
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    Do you perhaps remember which year it was exactly when you read this? Was it a standalone novel or part of a series?
    – fez
    Aug 2 at 12:34
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    What is a rutter? This? Aug 2 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


That sounds a great deal like Melissa Scott's excellent "5/12 of Heaven" (published in 1985). It's is a pretty good match for the details including the books used for navigation -- though I don't remember them being called "Rutters". I don't have a copy handy, but this review/description does a pretty good job of covering it.

Edited by @Danny Mc G I have a copy and they are actually called 'starbooks' and are ancient tomes full of 'roads' showing space navigation routes

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