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Old 04-08-2011, 04:52 AM   #1
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books with living/sentient/AI ships

Hi folks...

So yeah, basically feel like reading books that include some sort of living/sentient/AI ships as main or major characters. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Have read the likes of Brainships (McCaffrey), Liveship Traders (Hobb), Dahak (Weber) etc.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:06 AM   #2
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If sf comedy might be your thing and you're willing to haunt the used bookstores, Nick Pollotta writing as "Jack Hopkins" did a very funny 3-book series about a futuristic network news team, published by Ace in the 90s. Details at the ISFDB.

The pilot of the ship (who had an equal role and screentime to the rest of the regular cast) they used to get around the solar system was a disembodied Brain-in-a-Jar, and in that setting, Brains ran ships, space stations, etc. The series starts with Satellite Night News, though I read them out of order and they worked pretty well standalone.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:40 AM   #3
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The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton has sentient star ships and space stations.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #4
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Iain M Banks' series of novels set in the Culture features a large number of characters who are sentient starships.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series has one.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Frank Herbert's novel DESTINATION: VOID is worth a look.

Bests,

Tony Rabig
The Other Iron River, and Other Stories, at Amazon Kindle Store
The Other Iron River, and Other Stories, at Smashwords
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:54 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions guys?

Any others?
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #8
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Fifth Imperium you have mentioned. Have you tried the Safehold series by David Weber. Not quite a sentient spaceship, but a living AI trying to guide the second rise of man.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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Fool's War by Sarah Zettel has an emergent AI in a mechanical ship. If you stretch the point, The Two Faces of Tomorrow by James P. Hogan has one in a mechanical space station. The Helix and the Sword by John C. McLoughlin has biological space ships and stations (not sapient, IIRC), though not as major characters. The latter volumes in Thomas A. Easton's "Organic Future" series have biological starships.

Bill Starr has a "damaged human bonded to starship" character in The Way to Dawnworld and The Treasure of Wonderwhat. They're far from significant plot points, but there are living sea-faring ships in The Crucible of Time by John Brunner and Harry Harrison's "Eden" trilogy. (Crucible wins points for being one of the rare novels without humans/humanoids.) There's a sapient biological sky-city in The Quiet Invasion by Sarah Zettel.

Moya on the Farscape TV series was sapient. While not a major player in the two Farscape novels I've read, there are several other novels and anthologies. The AI leading the generation ship in Kevin O'Donnell Jr.'s Mayflies is sapient and a significant character. John Varley's Titan series has sapient biological space stations.

Last edited by Jadon; 04-09-2011 at 09:26 PM. Reason: more examples
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:22 AM   #10
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There's the classic short story, "Mr. Spaceship" by Philip K. Dick

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32522
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:47 AM   #11
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David Weber's "Path of the Fury" had a AI controlling the main characters starship
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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There is the classic book for me :
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
A must read for any scifi fan :P
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #13
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Not major in either case, but in both the Mechanical Sky and Genesis duologies, Donald Moffitt has bioengineered trees as relativistic starships.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadon View Post
Not major in either case, but in both the Mechanical Sky and Genesis duologies, Donald Moffitt has bioengineered trees as relativistic starships.
interesting, thanks.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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Heinlein had several:
  • Methuselah's Children (memory fuzzy but pretty sure as Dora is part of the Lazarus Long/Howard Family short stories as well as the novels)
  • Time Enough for Love
  • The Number of the Beast (perhpas far from his best work but readable)
  • add to this many short stories about the Howard Family and Lazarus Long where these ships come in and out of the plots.
Also with not a ship but a sentient computer system was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

The Hal Spacejock books by Simon Haynes who is a member here, there are four, also have an AI ship, and sentient robots as well.

I think there might be a couple more but I don't recall at the moment.

Last edited by grumpy3b; 04-11-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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