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I'm looking for the title of a Sci-Fi story (probably pre-1990) where a group is sent off into deep space and I believe unbeknownst to them it's a one-way journey.

In the course of the journey they all become very intelligent, they make psychoactive drugs from the plants on board, I recall that they discovered it's a one-way journey to test the affects of space travel, and they redesign/refit their engines and return to Earth.

Lame recall, sorry, that's all I got. Any help appreciated.

marked as duplicate by Paul D. Waite, user8719, The Fallen, James Sheridan, Meat Trademark Mar 15 '14 at 12:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Maybe. But they don't seem an exact match, and unless they are confirmed to be, we generally don't close story-IDs as duplicates for a few similarities – The Fallen Mar 9 '14 at 19:01
  • They seem identical. If the OP confirms that it's not the same, I will remove my close vote (as well as being most surprised) – Valorum Mar 9 '14 at 19:14
  • @PaulD.Waite - I don't see any such confirmation at that link... – The Fallen Mar 10 '14 at 1:26
  • @SSumner: Aqwerty added an answer to that question confirming that The Gold at the Starbow’s End was the story in question. Looks like it’s been removed, quite correctly, due to not being an answer. – Paul D. Waite Mar 10 '14 at 9:15

I believe you're thinking of a 1982 novel by Frederik Pohl called Starburst, which was expanded from the short story "The Gold at the Starbow's End".

To quote from the blurb on the Amazon link:

The crew of the Constitution--scientists cum astronauts--had been carefully screened for extremely high intelligence and superb physical qualities. They were to be the first explorers sent to another stellar system. There they would explore the planet Alpha-Aleph and then return. They were the toast of the world press--true heroes, for they were to go where no man had gone before.

Or so they thought.

Dr. Dieter von Knefhausen knew otherwise--for there was no planet, no place to go...and no place from which to return. Knefhuasen had planned it that way. Of course, Knefhausen realized his plan wasn't exactly ethical. But then, he knew the ends often justify the means.

And Knefhausen's plan worked better then even he had ever hoped!


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