I read a book about students who were graduating from some kind of academy, where they trained to be the first people to visit a new planet, so they could scout it out or otherwise prepare it for colonisation. There is some kind of technology available on Earth, like a waygate, that colonists can pass through to reach the other planet.

The problem is, this class of graduates end up being lost on the other planet, instead of returning to Earth a few days or weeks after they arrive on the other planet and graduating. They are stuck there because there is some sort of malfunction with the waygate back on Earth, or perhaps interference from a supernova.

Eventually, after months or years, they have established a society within some caves on the planet, with their own form of crude government. Only then does a waygate open up from Earth again, and they are rescued.

Could anyone identify this story for me please?


2 Answers 2


This is one of Heinlein's juveniles: Tunnel in the Sky

There's a minor difference between the book and your description of it: the kids aren't at an academy specifically learning to be colonists. Instead, many of them want or hope to work on colony planets, and they're taking a survival course that's a prerequisite for anyone working on a colony planet. The final exam for the course is to survive being dumped into an unknown environment, but instead of it just being a few days, there's the problem you mentioned with the supernova...


Robert A. Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky which has surely been the subject of previous story-identification questions here.


1970s space cadet training novel for young adults

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