These short stories all involve the use of some kind of instant or near-instant travel via teleporters, transporters, wormholes or the like.
“Bright Moment” by Daniel Marcus
Arun floats on an ammonia ocean on his powersled for a little relaxation. His e-field protects him from the elements and allows him to live in this foreign environment. A monstrous wave is approaching and he prepares to ride it. He notices something below the surface—a large squid-like creature. He loses control and awakens back on Athena Station. They’re going to terraform the moon he just came from. A wormhole allows travel between the sites.
This is the first story in the preview of Bright Moment and Others. (22% into preview)
“Travel By Wire!” by Arthur C. Clarke
The narrator recounts the troubles that were overcome during the development of the radio-transporter. They started with a block of wood, with acceptable results. An advancement using delta-ray scanners resulted in ultra-microscopic transmissions. They progressed to a guinea pig. It transported successfully, but it died. Progress continued steadily.
This is the first story in the preview of The Collected Stories. (7% into preview)
“All the Myriad Ways” by Larry Niven
Detective Trimble ponders multiple time-lines—the universe branching off every time a decision is made. There’s an epidemic of suicides and crimes. It’s quitting time, but he doesn’t leave right away. There’s activity in the office, as another man—prominent and wealthy—has jumped off a building.
This story can be read in the preview of Madness from the Inconstant Moon. (20% into preview)
“In the Beginning” by Harry Harrison
There’s a knock on the train’s compartment door, which Adam Ward ignores. It persists; he says to go away. The porter needs to do up the bed. Adam shuffles to the door, intending to dismiss the worker. When he opens it, a spray can is discharged into his face.
A lot of this story can be read in the preview of One Step from Earth. (24% into preview) This short story collection chronicles the invention and uses of the Matter Transmitter—the MT. It allows people to step through a screen and instantly be somewhere else.
“Think Like a Dinosaur” by James Patrick Kelly
Kamala is on the Tuulen station, which is run by the Hanen, a cold-blooded dinosaur race. Tuulen station is home to a teleportation device, a migrator, that can send people to other planets. A perfect copy arrives at the destination, and the equation is “balanced” by killing the original person. A complication arises during Kamala’s migration.
The beginning of this novelette can be read in the preview of A Fistful of Dinosaurs.
“The Jaunt” by Stephen King
A family is waiting at the Port Authority Terminal for a jaunt—a teleportation—to Mars. Jaunting is common, but this is the family’s first trip. Mark’s company has transferred him to the Mars branch for two years. While they wait he and his wife, Marilys, explain jaunting to their kids. It’s vital to be under anesthetic during the jaunt.
“The Fly” by George Langelaan
Hélène calls her brother-in-law one night and confesses to the murder of her husband. The police are called and they investigate. Hélène cooperates fully except for one thing—she won’t say why she did it. The dead man had recently invented a device that could teleport matter through space.
“It’s Such a Beautiful Day” by Isaac Asimov
The Hanshaw’s day is upset when their Door breaks down. Richard can’t use it to get to school. He wants to stay home, but his mother tells him to go use a neighbor’s Door. This involves him walking out the front door, which he hardly knows how to use. Mrs. Hanshaw calls a repairman immediately. This trouble with the Door leads to Richard developing a neurosis.
“The Meteor Girl” by Jack Williamson
The narrator and Charlie talk about space-time, and about Charlie’s girlfriend, Virginia, who has just broken up with him. She wanted him to leave their airplane business and go into Wall Street with her father. While they’re discussing it, there’s a scream as an object hurtles to the earth above them and crashes nearby. They call their crew to investigate.
Read “The Meteor Girl”