60

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - 6 I think Hitchhikers may take the cake for most FTL drives for ship to ship transport. Also the fastest FTL drive in fiction (since the 'Improbability Drive' sends you everywhere in the universe simultaneously) Bistromathic drive Effectively, the ship takes advantage of the strange rules that only restaurants operate ...


58

There is faster than light travel in the Alien universe franchise. It is demonstrated by the relatively short time (3 weeks) it takes for the Marines to arrive at LV-426, Zeta 2 Reticuli system (second moon of Zeta 2 Reticuli IV). This star system is 33 light years from Earth, so their ability to reach it in such a short time indicates a well-developed FTL ...


49

Sword of the Stars - 5 The PC game Sword of the Stars has the most diverse collection of FTL technologies I have ever encountered. Of the 6 playable races, 5 have completely unique FTL capabilities. The human faction uses Subspace Nodes, a point to point system of subspace "highways" that go from star to star. The insect faction has to travel between ...


47

Technically the first race to discover warp drive would be the ancient race in The Chase in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is the species that moved out into the galaxy, explored it, and found it empty, so they seeded planets with DNA (which also explains why there are so many humanoid races in the galaxy). But if you're talking races that are ...


37

I don't think it was ever specifically mentioned in the series (the writers made a point of making all the technology appear mundane to the characters - much as how we view jet engines and mobile phones these days - so they never need to have a conversation which 'showcases' the FTL). However, watching the sequences where FTL is used makes it apparent that ...


33

Perry Rhodan-verse - 33 The long-running German pulp Sci-Fi series “Perry Rhodan” has created an impressive roster of FTL drive technologies over the decades. Disclaimer: The following list of drives (and their descriptions) are based on a quick survey of PerryPedia and is probably not very exhaustive. It’s been 20 years since I last read some PR dime ...


30

B5: No specific metric has ever been given to exact hyperspace distances in the Babylon 5 universe, and series creator Straczynski has stated on at least one occasion that distances are not linear BSG: I wasn't able to find anything canon yet, but this page stipulates that they use some form of wormhole - so it'd be disqualified together with Borg transwarp ...


28

Actually, randomly jumping to hyperspace is done in an emergency without any calculations. For example, in the Thrawn Trilogy, we find that Karrde's ship did that when running away - which is how they discovered the Katana Fleet by accident. The problems are: Massive objects tend to pull ships out of hyperspace (which is the principle on which ...


26

Red Dwarf - 18(ish) I'm going to put in a word for Red Dwarf with at least 18 distinct forms of FTL seen within the TV and book canons: Conventional Ramscoop Drives (the kind used by the Red Dwarf) are capable of passing lightspeed, albeit you need millions of years of constant acceleration to get there. This was seen in RD: Future Echoes The SS Mayflower ...


25

Orbital bodies can be predicted, you can theoretically map out where major celestial bodies should be. Orbital bodies also have gravity wells that do a fair job of cleaning up space debris that may be out there. Chances are if you jump to a planet you will not be hit by a asteroid.


24

Kefahuchi Tract - ∞ Behind all this bad behaviour was an insecurity magnificent in scope, metaphysical in nature. Space was big, and the boys from Earth were awed despite themselves by the things they found there: but worse, their science was a mess. Every race they met on their way through the Core had a star drive based on a different theory. All those ...


23

Powering out of and into orbits would require enormous amounts of conventional fuel. If you can just blip exactly to where you need to be, this could amount to incredible fuel savings. Not that I want my answer to sound like a bad television commercial. Space is tough. Space is expensive. You have to be miserly with mass and fuel.


21

In Larry Niven's Known Space stories, much of early Human Space was colonized with a combination of two different STL technologies. These were: Ramrobots (automated crewless Bussard Ramjets) Slowboats (large slow fusion powered ships that carry the colonists). The Ramrobots perform the initial scouting of potential colonies, and can be used to refuel the ...


21

From an outside view, this is simply a dated plot-device. In Star Trek the next generation, for instance, the ship computer could spend hours searching for and retrieving information. This allowed other things to happen in the episode before the data came in and revealed a plot-twist. In Star Wars, the slow computer is an excuse for building tension. "...


20

I'm a huge fan of SF from the golden age of SF, so this could be a fairly old book. It was a story about a "generation" starship or sublight starship. It's "Golden Age" all right (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1944, available at the Internet Archive) but it's not a book, it's a short story: "Far Centaurus" by A. E. van Vogt. It was a story about a "...


20

Uplift Universe - At least 8 David Brin's Uplift Universe probably has the most different forms of FTL in any single universe that I know of. I can't find a list with a quick search, but I do have the GURPS rpg books which I think list the different drive types. That said the available FTL travel types include at LEAST Subspace, Hyperspace, Wormholes, ...


18

The science behind Star Wars is only peripheral. So, those subjects are not very well defined and/or elaborated. After all, when peoples can move objects with the power of their mind, why bother about those scientific details? Anyway, a Hyperdrive is just what allows travel faster than light through something called Hyperspace. Excerpt from the Hyperspace ...


18

According to the "FTL" article on the BSG wiki provided by HorusKol it is speculated that the FTL "Jump" drives in Battlestar Galactica "fold" space, reducing the distance between any two points by creating a "corridor" through space that links them together (essentially forming a wormhole, or Einstein-Rosen Bridge). In this case the Raptor that jumped ...


18

Doctor Who - 20+ I'm guessing Doctor Who is a strong contender, though it would probably take a month or more to watch/read all Doctor Who sources for every type, and figure out which are the same and which are different and which are FTL and... etc. After a bit of research, I've found 21 candidates, of which I think at least 14 are distinctly different, ...


17

Pretty sure that's The Road Not Taken by Harry Turtledove.


17

Two examples from Alastair Reynolds: In the Revelation Space universe, there is no FTL, and in the far-future of the setting the Greenfly are implied to have spread over most of the galaxy and eventually the observable universe. In House of Suns humanity has settled the entire galaxy over the course of 6 million years of slower-than-light travel.


17

That sounds very much like a story "Persistence" by Joe Martino in the May 1969 Analog. Commander William Marshall is studying a captured Arcani (the aliens) ship. His bosses are convinced that they have an FTL communicator (not a drive -- both sides have that) and want his team to find it. He finds some useful new technology, but no FTL communicator. But ...


16

This is fully covered on Wookiepedia: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Time_travel While time travel was an exceedingly rare phenomenon, a few cases were partially documented. No record of deliberate, physical time travel is known—all known cases involved unusual hyperdrive malfunctions, the effects of the Force, or similar exotic events. 2.1 Confirmed ...


16

Short Answer A Sublight Engine or Sublight Drive is the engine used to propel a starship through space at speeds below the speed of light, hence the term. Slightly longer answer The name is, as you suggest in your question, used to differentiate between the engine(s) used for Faster than Light (FTL) travels and the ones used for, so to speak, standard ...


15

To address the "slowest interstellar travel speed", I propose the novel Footfall. In the novel, the aliens travel from the Alpha Centauri system, a little over 4 light years away from earth. It takes them 61 years to reach our solar system in a ship powered by a Bussard ramjet. To address the "furthest distance traveled without FTL being a possibility", ...


15

In Skylark of Space by E.E. “Doc” Smith, the speed of light is no limit at all. Einstein was simply wrong! The ships in the Skylark series use simple acceleration, and end up going very, very fast, hundreds of thousands of times the speed of light. Plus there's no relativistic time distortion. "About three hundred and fifty million miles," he stated. "...


15

This is the story "Far Centarus" by A.E. van Vogt as suggested by the comment. If you check out page 81 of the story in the January 1944 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, you'll find the term "adeledicnander electronic psychology" used for the technology which powers their FTL drive, which pretty much conclusively matches what you remember.


14

The ship Bistromath from the H2G2 series travels at several thousand times the Speed of R due to the Bistromathic drive. R is the fastest one can travel safely*. Assuming all other ships travel safely, then surely Bistromathic is the fastest ship. Q.E.D. Note: “R is a velocity of measure, defined as a reasonable speed of travel that is consistent with ...


13

I don't remember that scene in detail, so I'm not sure if there are specifics in the movie that would alter what I'm about to write (until I go back and watch it again), but here's my thought: it didn't matter that the Enterprise was in the ergosphere specifically. What was giving the ship trouble was simply that it was really close to a black hole. The ...


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