I'm looking for a way realistic creatures could travel between stars in a time span of a year or less.

Is this even possible? I want this to be as realistic as possible but this is a Sci-fi setting so some wiggle room is allowed.

The Setting takes place in a small composite galaxy where people catch rides on these creatures to travel between stars and planets.

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    $\begingroup$ Could "wiggle room" mean some sort of not-so-implausible, as-of-yet undiscovered physics? What is a composite galaxy, exactly? The average distance between stars is around 4 ly (in our regular galaxy). For a traveler on one of these creatures to experience only a year of transit, they'd have to be booking it at close to light speed. Barring some kind of super antimatter rocket or enormous laser-propulsion infrastructure at each star system (even that may not be enough here), you may need to introduce some element of magic--whoops, I mean new physics. $\endgroup$ – BMF Feb 27 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ A composite galaxy: astro.dur.ac.uk/AGNvsSF/Talks/Hampton.pdf $\endgroup$ – CausticNickel Feb 27 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ You seem to have linked to a blog-post/(partial) teaching aid with lots of pictures a few scales, some unexplained graphical data - but all of this stands without a supporting explanation. Any galaxy is a snapshot in time in it's evolution, tell us about the current state of your galaxy. If you insist that there might be stars less than light years (a few light weeks or days apart, for example) then that would substantially change the question. $\endgroup$ – Draft 85 Feb 28 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest you consider placing your story in globular clusters. They have some cons: they aren't a very healthy place for planets, partly because of the low stellar metalicity and partly because of the complex n-body interactions; however, stars in those are much closer together, somewhere in the park of 500-1000 times closer than stars near the solar system. $\endgroup$ – BMF Feb 28 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the current and highest upvoted answer appears to believe you want to make multi-lightyear journeys in about a year "global time," or basically at super-luminal speeds. Is this what you're looking for? Or are you trying to keep it "realistic" (your words) and Einsteinian relativistic? $\endgroup$ – BMF Feb 28 at 1:09

Not possible realistically

Not possible without handwavium. Nothing moves faster than light and the closest star to us is four and a half years at the speed of light.

You need hyperspace, FTL travel, wormholes or something equally weird and wonderful like travelling on a multiverse fungus network like the new Star Trek....

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, let's all look to the new Star Trek for our weird and wonderful ideas... Also, the OP could have meant "1 year of relative transit time," which only means traveling close to light speed. Maybe if the creatures were antimatter rockets and 99.999...% fuel. $\endgroup$ – BMF Feb 27 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ "the closest star to us is four and a half years" The OP states this is in a small galaxy. Maybe stars are closer there. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Mar 1 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ @chasly-supportsMonica OP didn't specifically state it is a small or compact galaxy. From the linked slideshow, a composite galaxy looks to be one "shocked" into stellar formation by an active galactic nuclei. It doesn't look to imply that stars are on average hugely nearer than typical. I've asked OP to define it in their own terms but the question hasn't been clarified. $\endgroup$ – BMF Mar 1 at 17:39

Intelligent life devolves

Start with an alien race:

  • They get really smart.
  • Builds wormhole tech (think "Stargate" but without the fixed ring) (Or "Portal" where the second portal opens to the place you're thinking about. Rick and Morty without the handheld gun).
    • Since they're smarter than us they're able to achieve it within the laws of physics as they truly are, not as we understand them. Our limited understanding of science states that such a thing is impossible.
  • Makes it really easy to use. Gestures, or telepathy, or even "Hey google, Open a wormhole to Proxima Centauri A".
    • Since they have travelled the entire galaxy, they set up tiny tech everywhere. Every planet has a little bit of their tech on it listening for their commands.
  • Something happens to make them dumber:
    • I suggest they do experiments with gene therapy or designer babies, after initial positive results for a few generations: it slowly backfires, taking away their intelligence. After a 1000 years, they're only as smart as a house cat.
  • They can still use their wormhole tech because it's really easy to use.
  • They migrate through the galaxy over the seasons to find the best food, mating grounds, etc.

At the end of this process, you have a race with mediocre intelligence that can innately travel instantly throughout the galaxy. You can domesticate them and use them for your own travel needs.


Make your universe a virtual reality in which everything which your characters perceive is really an illusion generated by brilliant programmers long ago. Then allow that the code responsible for the creatures has a bug in it which periodically (and randomly) recalculates their spatial position (and the positions of everyone riding on the creatures) to another location within the virtual universe.

  • $\begingroup$ I love this answer $\endgroup$ – CausticNickel Feb 28 at 6:14

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