Another "What was this science fiction story called" thread

This one has been bothering me for a while now, and I hope I’ve remembered enough about the story and it isn’t so obscure that no one can identify it:

I remember reading a science fiction short story, probably in an anthology, sometime between about 1985 and 1990 about a spaceship on some extended mission.

The main things I remember is that at some point, the spaceship somehow travels outside of the universe (or possibly just the galaxy) and in doing so the ship and everything on board somehow becomes gigantic, at least temporarily, for some reason that I either don’t remember or wasn’t explained in the story. I remember a paragraph describing how the crew had to put cold compresses or bandages on burns they received while gigantic due to collisions with the tiny galaxies (or possibly just stars) that somehow passed through the hull of the ship and burnt them, presumably causing numerous small blisters. The story kind of reminds me of Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero, which I read many years later.

I hope someone remembers this one!

It reminds me somewhat of Rudy Rucker’s Spacetime Donuts from 1981. 2/3rds of it was serialised in UnEarth sf magazine, iirc, but it’s definitely a novel, not a short story. In it they become infinitely big and ‘go round the scale’ as it were and reappear as infinitely small, but growing larger.

I believe something similar happens in Bob Shaws Ship of Strangers though with none of the blistering or burns.

I’ve been trying to ID a similar story for years, novella length I think. They don’t get bigger but time compression allows them to last till the end of the universe. (And I know that mine isn’t Tau Zero, either.)

That sounds like a Larry Niven story. I don’t have my books handy but I think it was either “Bordered in Black” or “One Face”. The spaceship ended up far in the future, when the earth was dying.

Don’t know about the OP.

“One Face” - “Bordered in Black” is about an early FTL mission - but there’s no time travel.

This sounds a bit like a Van Vogt plot; I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

If the one you’re looking for isn’t Niven’s “One Face” (see description, here Inconstant Moon - Wikipedia - “During a routine hyperspace jump, an accident involving a small meteoroid striking into the machinery causes the ship to be trapped in a stasis until billions of years have passed”), then it might be Sheffield’s “Between the Strokes of Night” Between the Strokes of Night - Wikipedia

That Scheffield might be it. The only problem is that none of the other elements sound familiar.:confused:

I have read a fair amount of Scheffield though and maybe that novel was expanded from a shorter version.

This is possible; I’ve read a lot of van Vogt stories. I haven’t had a chance to check the other leads yet, but appreciate them and will investigate soon.

In Harry Harrison’s “Bill the Galactic Hero” they used the Bloater drive- the ship grew huge and diffuse, and when the ship encompassed it’s destination, they shrank it again, centered there. When engaged, the crew sees their planet drift through the bulkhead. Probably not the story you are looking for, but the same idea.

I have pretty much every Sheffield available from Baen in ebook form, and just ran through Between the Strokes of Night and granted I skimmed the chapters pretty quickly but I am pretty sure this isn’t it.

Though it does sound sort of like a Sheffield piece. I can start reading through them after I finish with my current book if you like.

There’s a Ben Bova short story called Stars, Won’t You Hide Me? where an Earth pilot flies away (being chased by opponents) and through time compression makes it to the end of the universe. It’s pretty short though.

Time compression will do that :):

Sheffield had another story about going to the end of time called “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Tomorrow and Tomorrow (novel) - Wikipedia; it was expanded from a novella called “At The Eschaton”

The OP’s story sounds vaguely like “Flaw” by John D MacDonald. Some of the details are off, though. Here’s a summary of the story, if it helps.