Living Ships of Spelljammer

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Man-O-War Transparency by Silverblade the Enchanter. Used by permission.

The living ship is nothing new in science fiction.  Also known as bioships, we’ve been exposed to many of them in recent years.  From appearances in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes, to Babylon 5, to Farscape, LEXX, Dr. Who, Robotech, and Stargate, as well as a plethora of science fiction games and literature (shades of Starcraft, anyone?) we’ve seen quite a few, and they vary from cybernetic organisms, to animals, to plants, to insects. The first known appearance of a living ship in modern sci-fi literature was in a short story called “Specialist” by Robert Sheckley, which was published in 1953 in Galaxy Magazine.  In this story, different species in different parts of the Universe were supposed to function as different parts of a ship, and humans were intended to function as faster-than-light drives “Pushers.”…

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