I'm trying to ID a story I read in the local library the early 70's when first getting into SF. I'm pretty sure it was a short story in a collection, but can't rule out it being part of a longer novel.

It was about a man in a room/lab, hooked into some sort of remote viewer, through which he could use telekinesis or similar to take part in a war with aliens in a distant solar system. I think the machine augmented his powers in some way, as he was able to bring ever-more ferocious attacks to bear, to the point where he completely melted the surface of the alien home planet, turning it to swirling molten rock. Getting carried away, he was about to destroy all the stars he could see from the viewpoint of the alien planet to make sure there was no chance of any aliens surviving, when he realized that one of those stars might be Earth's sun, and stopped himself just in time.

I can't give any more details, that's all I remember.

  • 1
    In Skylark Three, the hero Seaton uses rays of the 4th order (or was it 5th?) to destroy the Fenachrome in a very similar manner to what you describe. But there is no mention of possibly hitting earth, so its probably not what your looking for. On a side note, the story is part of a series that represents the first known space opera. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:19
  • Yes, I read quite a few of EE's stories later in the 70s. I've just finished reading [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylark_DuQuesne] Skylark DuQuesne, after someone on another forum pointed out the description at the end of it, of the Chloran race getting exterminated with some 6th order stellar collisions and stars going nova. That concept was similar to the one used in the story I remember, but everything else was quite different.
    – Astrodan
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 22:39
  • Huh, that's interesting. I'm still reading Skylark Valeron, I haven't got to Skylark DuQuense yet. Its funny how often the hero ends up exterminating people, lol. Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 3:03
  • I hope that's not a plot spoiler then, but once you've read a few of his stories you get the general idea, so no real surprises to look forward to.
    – Astrodan
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 21:17
  • @MarkRogers Harry Harrison's Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers parodies this, with the 'heroes' wiping out most of an alien race that turn out to be very friendly.
    – Jon B
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


This story is "The Long Remembered Thunder" by Keith Laumer. It is currently available in the anthology Earthblood & Other Stories.

  • I'll check out that anthology as well; I'm getting Nine by Laumer because it's where I read The Long Remembered Thunder in 70/71, but that's the only story the two collections share. Happy days, D
    – Astrodan
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 21:52

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