What was the name/author of a Sci-Fi book where the Sun goes Nova and Earth and Venus must fly away? It was written like a memoir from a scientist from the future who accidentally was thrown into the past by a lab experiment.

I read the book in Russian translation a looong time ago but now can't seem to figure out what the original English version is and would love to re-read.

2 Answers 2


There is a very good reason you can't find the book's original English version - not only was it originally written in French, but it was also (quite sadly) NEVER translated into English :(

The book you are referring to is "Fleeing Earth" by French scientist and sci-fi author Francis Carsac (that's his pen name, his real name is François Bordes); French book name is "Terre en fuite", published in 1960.

Carsac's books were very popular in USSR (here's "Fleeing Earth"'s Russian Wikipedia entry), but for some reason that completely escapes me were never translated into English, at least according to Wikipedia.

A short synopsis: As you noted, the book is written as memoirs written by a scientist/leader from the FAR future, that happened after several ice ages and a long period of Earth being conquered by aliens. The scientist accidentrally sent his conciousness back in time duiring a failed experiment where it inhabited the body of the person who wrote the memoirs.

In the lifetime of that scientist, he discovered that Sun is about to go supernova in several years. Humans manage to construct great engines that are mounted on both Earth and Venus (which at that time is colonized by ~1bn humans); which are able to drive the two planets out of Solar system. The planets then travel to neighbouring stars, encountering a couple of civilizations, some alien and some descendants of early humanity's lost starships.

  • i was looking for this story when i heard of Wandering Earth movie, because it seems like original short story by Liu Cixin is at least influenced by this old classic. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wandering_Earth
    – c69
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 15:14

Although you've already accepted an answer, I found another story which matches what you describe - although it's all nine Solar System planets, not just Earth and Venus, that must fly away - so I'm posting it here in case it helps others searching for similar stories.

"Thundering Worlds" by Edmond Hamilton (which you can read in full online) is a short sci-fi story which describes representatives of the nine planets of the Solar System coming together to work out what to do when their Sun dies, and proposing to transport their whole planets across the galaxy:

"Our sun is dying. Our nine worlds' peoples are menaced by awful and increasing cold, and unless something is done soon their inhabitants will perish. We can not hope to revive our dying sun. Its doom is already close at hand. But out in space there lie other suns, other stars, many of them young and hot with life. If our nine worlds revolved around one of those hotter, younger suns, we could look forward to new ages of life for our race.

"It has been proposed, therefore, that we cause our nine worlds to leave our dying sun and voyage across space to one of those other suns! That our nine planets be torn loose from our sun and steered out into space like nine great ships in quest of a new sun among the countless suns of the universe! That we carry out a colossal migration of worlds through the vast interstellar spaces!

"This stupendous plan to voyage out from our sun into space on our nine worlds has a sound scientific basis. Our worlds can be propelled in space under their own power just as our space-ships are. Our ships, as you know, are moved through the void by atom-blasts that fire backward and thus by their reaction hurl the ship forward. It is possible to apply this principle on a vast scale to our planets, to fit our worlds with colossal atom-blasts which will fire backward with unthinkable power and push our worlds forward in space!

One of the memorable details of the story is also the political machinations between the planetary representatives:

Standing with Hurg of Venus at the window, I pointed up at a number of dark, long shapes sinking out of the gray sky. "There come our fellow Council-members," I said.

Hurg nodded. "Yes, Lonnat—that first ship looks like that of Tolarg of Pluto, and the next two are those of Murdat of Uranus and Zintnor of Mars."

"And the last one is that of Runnal of Earth," I added. "Well, the solar system's peoples will soon know how we of the Council decide on the plan, whether it's accepted or rejected."

"Most of them are praying it will be accepted," Hurg said. "If it were not for Wald of Jupiter and your enemy, Tolarg of Pluto, I would be sure it would be accepted, but as it is—"

  • 1
    I kicws Hamilton's gloriously pulpy "Thundering Worlds" but it's not a good match. Not only (1) it's nine planets {with their attendant moons) in search of a new sun, not just Earth and Venua, but also (2) they are fleeing a sun whih has gone cold, not about to go nova, and (3) it's a novelette not a book, and (4) not "written like a memoir from a scientist from the future who accidentally was thrown into the past by a lab experiment". Nd since (5) the OP has accepted another answer and (6) rhere are yet other stories about putting huge rockets on the Earth and moving it out of its orbit into
    – user14111
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 19:27
  • . . . interstellar space, e.g. Arthur J. Burks's "Earth. the Marauder", shouldn't this be a comment rather than an answer?
    – user14111
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 19:32
  • By the way "kicws" was typo for "love". That's from trying to touch-type on a cruddy laptop keyboard.
    – user14111
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 19:34
  • 2
    I don't understand why you've added an objectively wrong answer?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 13:06
  • 3
    @Edlothiad Like I say in the post: "I'm posting it here in case it helps others searching for similar stories." An important feature of story-ID questions is how useful they are to people who aren't the OP (something I've spent time gathering evidence for), and even if we already know this answer isn't what this OP was looking for, it's a valid answer because (almost) fits the description in the question. It's not unknown to add new answers like this, albeit rare to do it so much later.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 17:56

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