While this isn’t theoretically a theme, it does play an important role in some science fiction books, especially those with established planets, colonies, and spaceships. Characters need a way to get from planet A to planet B and transverse thousands, if not millions of miles, quickly. Hyperspace is the process whereby a ship takes a short cut from one point in space to another; faster than the speed of light, the journey makes the use of another dimension of space, or a parallel universe, (according to Wookieepedia).
Travelling through Hyperspace results in no apparent effects to those inside the ship, but the stars outside streak into a blur, indicating the passage of their travel, but it is not without problems.
“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?“―Han Solo, to Luke Skywalker (Star Wars IV)
Faster than Light travel
While the Corellian smuggler is able to plot co-ordinates directly to his chosen destination, other characters aren’t so fortunate. In the recent series of Battlestar Galactica, Faster than Light (FLT) jumps are made from system to system as they disappear from one point in space and simultaneously appear in another. In one episode, Solo’s warning becomes a reality when one of their Raptor ship jumps into a solid structure, despite their obvious precision with plotting a safe course ahead.
There is a whole Wikipedia on the subject of Hyperspace/FLT within science fiction, such is it’s popularity. It has a history dating as far back as 1634, when Johannes Kepler, a German astronomist tells a story of a journey to the moon with the aid of demons – years before science fiction was even a genre.
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