I don't have much details, read the story a long time ago, but the gist is - in a deep space expedition, astronauts became homesick to such degree - they were able to transport back to earth through sheer force of will, instantaneously. They missed Earth so much, they wished to be back home with such a force - their wish became reality.

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    Any idea how old the story might be? Is it a short story or a full book/novel?
    – Trish Ling
    Nov 17, 2014 at 20:16
  • Sounds a little like one of the short stories from the Martian chronicles by Ray Bradbury minus the deep space. Of course they did not really travel home... When they landed on Mars they thought they were home. Certainly a different story.
    – amalgamate
    Nov 17, 2014 at 20:34
  • It wasn't a full blown novel, I don't recall exact length, but definitely not long. Yes it has a recollection of a short story. I read it back in the 90s, but I have a feeling it had a "classic" feel to it even back then a feel of 60s sci-fi Nov 17, 2014 at 20:59
  • I'm reminded of Cordwainer Smith's "Drunkboat", But it was a single astronaut, and he returned for love (for Elizabeth!). It was "an ancient rocket with the old, old writing, mysterious letters printed all over the machine," "--I and O and M for 'Instrumentality of Mankind' written on it good and sharp." Nov 17, 2014 at 21:39
  • Did the astronauts return with or without their spaceship?
    – user14111
    Nov 17, 2014 at 23:38

2 Answers 2


After some deep digging I found it. It's a short story by Russian sci-fi writer Victor Kolupaev called For love of Earth. I've seen only one English translation – in a short story collection Hermit's swing.

It begins with

A dazzling blue light flared on the 3-D television wall for an instant, flickered, and, spreading out slowly, filled the room. Espas settled down a bit more comfortably in a deep, leather armchair and stretched his legs. He always enjoyed watching the latest news. Holographic images transported him to the four corners of the Earth, to the depths of oceans and into endless Space. He felt himself a participant in events that he could never really be a part of.

And ends with

All has seen Earth again, all except Verona….

“Verona,” said Roid, “tomorrow we’re sending you down for a week. You will see Earth.”

But the following day they missed the region where wave guides former. Verona did not see Earth, but she took it very well. Her cremates hardly knew what to say to her. Then Roid went over to her and kissed her.

“This kiss is from your mother,” he said.

For this he had flown to the Apennines.

Prometheus sped on towards Blue Star.


James Tiptree Jr's The Man Who Walked Home (etext here) sounds like a close match.

  • While we have an accept answer, why did you think yours was a good answer?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:47
  • @SeanDuggan: Perhaps because it was posted four days before the accepted one? Nov 26, 2014 at 20:54
  • {nods} Nevertheless, it never hurts to have a quick summary of how it matches. That way, people looking for a similar story may find the right one in this one.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 27, 2014 at 0:32

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