Some Speculative Fiction
writers like to keep close to home, limiting their characters' travel to within their home galaxy
. For one reason or another, no one is allowed outside the galactic borders.
Other works of fiction, however, think bigger. Much, much bigger, to the point of being on a universal scale. These works of fiction do not limit their characters to travel within their own galaxy, allowing at least some people to travel freely from galaxy to galaxy, or at least do it without too much difficulty to make it worthwhile.
Contrast to The Milky Way Is the Only Way
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- The Silver Surfer could scoot around the galaxies with little effort.
- Each individual Green Lantern is in charge of policing 1/3600 of the universe. By modern estimates, that would include tens of millions of galaxies.
- In the Sector General books, a stricken ship from a newly discovered race (called, oddly, the Ians) is dicovered to be from another galaxy.
- The original book of This Island Earth had the friendly aliens decide to pull their forces back "out of this galaxy".
- In the Robert A. Heinlein novel Have Space Suit – Will Travel, the Three Galaxies government covers three galaxies: the Lesser and Greater Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. They have ships that can travel instantaneously between galaxies.
- E. E. “Doc” Smith's Lensman series includes travel between the Milky Way and another galaxy using an inertialess drive (the Bergenholm). In this instance, intergalactic travel actually allows slightly higher speeds than normal- there's less matter in intergalactic space, so less friction. It doesn't even limit itself to one universe. An accident in a hyperspatial tube sends some of the characters to another universe with a different set of physical laws. Which they promptly weaponize.
- The empire of humanity in Dune is supposed to span the entire universe. Space-folding Heighliners can go anywhere, taking the same amount of time to reappear orbiting a planet in a neighboring star system as they do to reappear orbiting a planet in a different galactic supercluster.
- The Kiint in the Night's Dawn trilogy reveal themselves to be of extragalactic origin (or at least to have an extragalactic presence, depending on if they were telling the whole truth). And eventually, humanity moves outside of the galaxy too.
- In Roger Zelazny's interstellar Science Fantasy, Creatures of Light and Darkness, Osiris' House of Life and Anubis' House of Death are located at "opposite ends of the universe". The Gods, of course, can travel anywhere in the universe they want. It's also suggested that the teleportation power of the mysterious Prince Who Was A Thousand may even allow him to travel to other universes. Finally, The Steel General's horse Bronze can, in defiance of all laws of physics, travel twice as far with each step as with the previous. It's suggested that with enough run-up, he could circumnavigate the universe in a single stride.
- Power Rangers deals with multiple galaxies, referring to (inter)galactic tyrants as having conquered hundreds of the things. Speed is more or less never mentioned, as ships move at a Speed of Plot even more variable than usual, and magical teleportation is really handy in avoiding those annoying "laws of physics" things.
- Power Rangers in Space has the Rangers searching for The Obi-Wan, Zordon, whom the Legion of Doom made off with in the premiere. We get at least one instance of Andros saying something to the effect of "well, the scan's done and he's not in that galaxy; let's move on." It's said as casually as if they'd glanced into a room in a house and seen no sign of someone; "nobody in there, let's check the kitchen." The vastness of intergalactic space really is nothing to the Rangers.
- A Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode, however, proves that Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale (or Kids' Show Writers Just Don't Care About Scale, anyway.) The Rangers are traveling at light speed to the Farthest Galaxy. Now, the distance to the farthest known is over thirteen billion light years. But wait, the place they named the Farthest Galaxy might actually not be that far, you say? Well, the nearest galaxy, good ol' Andromeda, would be a 2.5 million year trip at light speed. Worse, "light years" are mentioned. You'd think even if they didn't know the math, they'd know that light speed plus light years equals a team of octogenarians with attitudes.
- As you might expect from a show called Andromeda, this isn't the case for Captain Dylan Hunt and his ragtag band of adventurers. They regularly travel between three galaxies, the Milky Way, Andromeda and Triangulum, and they only reason they don't go further is because those other galaxies haven't been colonized or contacted yet. It has been stated in the background material that the more well-traveled a slipstream route is, the easier it is to transverse.
- Oddly enough, the Kelvans from Star Trek actually did bother to do the three hundred year journey from Andromeda to the Milky Way. They were quite prepared to spend another three hundred getting home once we were conquered, then ANOTHER three hundred coming back with a proper invasion force. All I can say is, if Kelvans can predict the extinction of their home that far in advance and can act to avoid it, they are people to be reckoned with. Oh, and remember that they don't use suspended animation, they lived and died and had children in deep space to replace themselves. With respect to the barrier, their leader says the barrier is the reason they lost their own ship and needed to steal the Enterprise.
- Since the TARDIS can go anywhere in time and space, it should come as no surprise that, outside of a disproportionate fondness for Earth and humanity in general, distance poses no obstacle to the Doctor. In The Doctor's Wife Eleven and companions even go "outside" the universe (complete with a little bit of Lampshade Hanging on the terminology).
- Not just the TARDIS, either - the various incarnations of the 'Great and Bountiful Human Empire' cover multiple galaxies each.
- The Stargate Verse had extragalactic travel via Stargate established as possible fairly early on (it just needs eight chevrons and a lot of power), and Stargate Atlantis takes place almost entirely in a separate galaxy (the Pegasus Dwarf Irregular Galaxy, to be precise), with travel to and from Earth taking only a couple of weeks at worst. By the end of the series four separate galaxies (Milky Way, Pegasus, Ida, and the unnamed Ori home galaxy) were accessible. Stargate Universe, as the name implies, goes even further, with the Destiny traveling the universe dozens of galaxies away from the Milky Way.
- Warhammer 40K: Due to the way Warp travel works (a Navigator has to sense the massive psychic flare that is the God Emperor and use it as a reference point to navigate Warp currents, otherwise the ship is basically flying blind at super-FTL speeds), all Imperial travel is limited to a (relatively) small radius around the Earth. The tyranids are the only extra-galactic faction, sometimes implied to be running from something even worse than them.
- The Tau's FTL technology is much slower than Warp travel (but a lot safer), which is why they haven't made much progress despite their Game Breaker tech.
- The Eldar use a different alternate dimension called the Webway, large sections of which were blocked off to prevent the Necrons from taking over.
- Depending on the edition, the Necrons either have the single fastest and most reliable FTL of every faction, or are limited to Dolmen Gates. But since they're all waking up from statis to discover living beings are infesting their galaxy again, they're not in a hurry to go see the rest of the universe.
- In the Homeworld games, while it is impossible to travel to another galaxy in-game, the three Progenitor hyperspace cores are said to be powerful enough to be able to cross extragalactic distances. Also, the Naggarok was an experimental ship built by a race in another galaxy, which they tested by traveling to the Homeworld galaxy. Unfortunately, they picked up something while in hyperspace. Some sources suggest that, after the Naggarok destruction, its core was salvaged by the Vaygr, making it the Third Core that allowed them to move against the Hiigarans.
- Halo 3. The Ark is located outside the Milky Way. The Flood are extragalactic in origin as well.
- Starcraft is limited to a small part of the Milky Way called the Koprulu sector light-years away from Earth. Despite troops having been sent from Earth in the first expansion pack, nothing more has been made of this.
- The Ceph from Crysis are from the Triangulum Galaxy. Apparently, the very first Ceph arrived on Earth about 65 million years ago and went into hibernation. In the third game, the Alpha Ceph manages to create a wormhole linking directly to its homeworld in Triangulum, and Prophet has to rush to close this wormhole before a colony ship from the Ceph homeworld destroys humanity.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Petey has no particular problems with waging an intergalactic war against some dark-matter entities from Andromeda, thanks to Teraport technology - that is, true Teleportation, instant movement regardless of distance.
- Futurama travels all over, up to and including the edge of the universe.