If the laws of physics don't allow FasterThanLightTravel, it's going to take a long time to colonize the stars. If you can't get close enough to lightspeed to take advantage of TimeDilation, don't have the medical technology for functional {{immortality}}, and you don't want to resort to [[SleeperStarship suspended animation/hibernation]] (or, in more recent SF, BrainUploading), you're not going to see the destination yourself -- it may be your grandchildren, or ''their'' grandchildren, or '''their...''' You get the idea.

This doesn't ''have'' to wind up as a CityInABottle, but frequently does (and did in what is perhaps the first story to [[strike:use]] popularize this trope, Creator/RobertAHeinlein's "Universe"). Several examples of Generation Ships are listed on that page. This is simply the most common failure mode, as it's rare to have a generation ship story in which things don't go horribly wrong, whether technologically, socially, or both.

Generation Ships are great settings for sociological comment: the author has [[ClosedCircle a nice sealed pressure vessel]] to play out their theories or critique existing cultures.

A Generation Ship is almost always a StarshipLuxurious -- it's got to sustain the equivalent of an entire ecosystem, whether it does so with rivets-and-bolts machinery or with an actual terrarium-style recreation of a full-fledged habitat, not to mention accomodate hundreds or thousands of people for their entire lifespans without them going mad from boredom and claustrophobia.

Sometimes, a Generation Ship doesn't ''have'' a decided destination -- it's an interstellar trade ship, connecting isolated colonies or installing the [[PortalNetwork Hyperspace Gateways]] that will allow FTL expansion and exploitation, in which case the populace are usually SpacePeople. Occasionally, the generation ship will arrive to discover that [[LightspeedLeapfrog someone developed an FTL drive while they were en route]] and the world they were going to colonize already has a few million people on it.

The possibility of this in RealLife brings a little FridgeLogic as to why, if a race can built a large craft capable of sustaining itself indefinitely, they would bother having it leave the solar system at all? There's plenty of room for it to sit in an orbit there for trade and to be near help for emergencies. [[TropesAreTools Still, being out far from help on an adventure makes for a good story.]]

If it's a ColonyShip, expect the residents to be less-than-keen to leave the ship and start a new colony when they arrive at their destination. Will often be a MileLongShip, if not an outright PlanetSpaceship.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] fandom Shipping [[MayDecemberRomance older and younger characters]].


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/TwoThousandOneNights'' had its series concluded with Tachyonian's journey as this trope for possibly eternal voyage.
* ''Anime/{{Megazone 23}}'': the first two installments take place on a colony ship that's returning to Earth after centuries away. [[spoiler: The inhabitants think they're living in [=1980s=] Tokyo, the "best time to live" chosen by the computer that runs the ship and wind up at war with a second generation ship of people who retained or developed a higher level of technology.]]
* The official backstory for ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' says that [[spoiler:there are no space colonies because they were all converted into GenerationShips and left the Earth Sphere.]]
** We get to see the beginnings of this process in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Gundam SEED]]''. The [[WaveMotionGun Genesis System]] used at the end of the series was originally created as a laser propulsion/nuclear pulse hybrid engine meant to be attached to colonies to facilitate their exodus from the solar system & thus escape the conflict between Naturals & Coordinators, before Patrick Zara decided to repurpose it as a doomsday weapon & tried to use it to end the war in [[NukeEm a more direct manner]]. In the ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'' manga the heroes actually help a neutral colony afix one to use for its intended purpose.
* Uniquely, ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' has several examples of ''faster-than-light'' generational ships (they can cross the galaxy in a couple of years, but they end up being generational because they have ''no idea where they're going''; the galaxy's a big place to map), with humanity deliberately spreading itself out to avoid species-ending disasters like the one that happened at the end of the original ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', with examples including City 7 of ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'' and the eponymous ''Anime/MacrossFrontier''.
* The eponymous Sidonia from ''Manga/KnightsOfSidonia'', one of several massive ships constructed to flee Earth after humanity lost the first war against the Gauna. Contact with her sister ships was lost long ago and they're presumed destroyed by the time the series opens.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' story had the FF come across an [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/kestoranracenegzone.htm alien race]] who had been traveling so long that they had adapted to their ship's artificial environment and could not survive on a planet. When Reed reveals this to their captain, he [[GoMadFromTheRevelation doesn't take it well]] because the religion he follows find the idea that they are not as their god created them but have evolved abhorrent. He commits suicide when his first mate reveal that the "500" awakened crews to be kept as caretakers were in fact survivors of 20,000 cryogenic sleepers. Incidentally all the aliens look the same. It's a bit of a surprise to find the first mate is female, the captain's wife, and that her ancestors knew all along but kept it a secret. Ultimately the next leader decides to keep the truth from her people [[IDidWhatIHadToDo for the greater good]].
* The [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/levianst.htm Levians]] were another comics race who lived on a generation ship and encountered Earth superheroes who requested their aid to combat [[OctopoidAliens Sporr]] for abducting many of its people with its CombatTentacles. [[spoiler: Much to the [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone dismay]] of Thor, Warriors Three, and Levians who slew Sporr; it was discovered to be GoodAllAlong as its "abduction" were in fact nursing the weak and old in garden environment.]]
* In the first appearance of ComicBook/{{Brainiac}} when he had shrunken down Earth cities it is claimed it will take a century to return to his planet, meaning the descendants of the stolen people will inhabit his planet.
* One EC Comics stories revolves around a generation ship's crew. There is no mutiny, no critical systems failure. They reach their destination, and it's entirely livable. [[spoiler: After exploring a bit (and encountering weather for the first time) they decide that planets stink.]]
* DC's ComicBook/Earth2 ended with HomeworldEvacuation on Generation ships after [[spoiler: Darkseid sucessfully took over the earth]] but their trip only lasted for a short time after ComicBook/{{Convergence}} with discovery of new Earth-like planet but [[spoiler: most of the ships crashlanded on Earth with Terry Sloan--who specifically engineered the flaw of the Generation ships--which left him as defacto ruler over the survivors.]]
* An older example from DC was 1996 "Legends of the Dead Earth" annuals, which these stories retold the stories of DC heroes from people who have [[FutureImperfect forgotten many details]] from [[EarthThatWas now-uninhabitable Earth]] that they left from these ships in their scatter across the universe for new homeworld. Examples include Franchise/{{Batman}} as partner of Catwoman and differing accounts of whether Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} was a villain or a hero; ranging from retelling of the stories to Legacy Character living up to their name.
** One of the stories took place on the ships was focused on Tris Plover, who was assigned as an agricultural worker and sentenced to be [[HumanResources a fertilizer]] at age 30 until she joined with Batman as Robin after the discovery that the ship has went off course. [[spoiler: Although she managed to use new navigation data to get the ship on right track, [[BittersweetEnding The new course will take at least more than three centuries to reach the journey and Tris had to turn herself in to the authority due to knowing that she will not be there to see it.]]]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Axiom from ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' is one of these, sustaining human life in space after the Earth has become uninhabitable. Subverted in that it wasn't ''meant'' to be. The humans were supposed to be aboard for just a few years, while the Wall-E units cleaned up the earth. The Buy-n-Large president, however, deemed the Earth permanently doomed and ordered the Autopilot to keep them in space forever. He turned out to be wrong, but it's 700 years before the first plant life reappears on the planet. By that time the inhabitants have been heavily effected by generations of sedentary lifestyles, although they recover quickly once their routines are broken.
* After Earth is destroyed in ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'', most of the surviving humans turn their ships into this. Fortunately, this only lasts 15 years until [[spoiler:Planet Bob (AKA New Earth) is created]].
* ''Film/BattleForTerra'' has the last survivors of a massive interplanetary war fleeing the solar system in a generation ship (the Ark) to the Terrians star, at least a hundred year's travel away. The ship has been experiencing [[UsedFuture more and more frequent fatal malfunctions]], forcing humanity to take [[HostileTerraforming drastic measures to survive]], becoming InvadingRefugees.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' alumnus ''Film/SpaceMutiny'' tries to use this trope, but it doesn't really make much sense since there are {{space pirate}}s and rapid space travel. Presumably the ''Southern Sun'' launched before proper FTL was invented, but that just begs the question of why the mutineers are so bad for wanting to leave, or why they needed to hijack the whole ship to do so instead of hitching a ride on a shuttle.
* In a baffling non-space example, the train in ''Film/{{Snowpiercer}}'' becomes one of these, with children born on board. It houses the last survivors of a brutal, global Ice Age, and is powered by a PerpetualMotionMachine.
* In ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'', the Elysium becomes this after one of the crewmembers [[spoiler:kills the other awake crewmembers, awakens most of the HumanPopsicle colonists and tries to play God with them. The colonists turn into ravenous monsters by a retrovirus designed to adapt them to a new environment and live aboard for nearly a millennium]].

* ''Endless Universe'', by Creator/MarionZimmerBradley, is an example of "Generation Ship Planting FTL Gates".
* ''Paradises Lost'', by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin, focuses on the generations who grow up on the ship.
** Likewise, Stephen Taylor's opera based on ''Paradises Lost''.
* The novel ''TheStarSeekers'' by Milton Lesser depicts a coming-of-age quest on board a generation ship which has turned into four separate societies in the centuries since it left "Urth".
* In Creator/NormanSpinrad's ''Riding The Torch'', the remains of the human race in its entirety had to leave Earth after a nuclear cataclysm, flying Bussard ramjet ships ("torchships") in search of a habitable planet. Slowly they use the resources gained from the void by Bussard engines to develop an entire civilization under the guise of an ever expanding fleet of torchships.
* The short story "Shipwright" by DonaldKingsbury is about a generation ship whose captain uses a time-stretching field to live for "centuries" while generations toil and die on the ship itself; the society comes to worship him eventually.
* Bernard Werber's "Le papillon des étoiles" (in English, ''Star Butterfly'') focuses on a generation ship that, over time, forgets its original purpose and origin. The generations eventually rediscover violence and weapons, civilization devolves into a middle age-esque tyranny until, by the time the ship reaches its destination, only 5 people are alive on the ship, and only 2 manage to leave it safely.
* The title vessel in ''Literature/RendezvousWithRama'' superficially appears to be ''failed'' example of these in the original novel as there are no apparent inhabitants in the vessel. The characters speculate that all of its inhabitants died off during the vessel's hundred-thousand year journey through space, leaving some pre-programmed robot systems in operation, although the robots are biological in nature and are created ''denovo'' whenever needed and recycled when not needed so there is no reason to believe the 'inhabitants' are not also made-on-demand. The sequels reveal that they [[spoiler: aren't intended to be generation ships (as they can accelerate to relativistic speeds) for travel but are merely prowling the cosmos to find the perfect life forms.]]
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** ''Literature/OrphansOfTheSky'' has the massive generation ship ''Vanguard'' whose inhabitants have forgotten their origins and fallen into barbarism, yet [[RagnarokProofing the ship still functions after centuries of neglect]] (albeit with an assist from CargoCult maintenance procedures). Guess they don't make them like they will have used to.
*** An excerpt indicates the ship was specifically designed in a way that minimized the amount of automation and moving parts, thus reducing wear and tear and extending the functional lifespan of the ship.
** The ''New Frontiers'' in ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren'' was a Generation Ship which was later upgraded with a FTL Drive. It was in fact a sister ship of the ''Vanguard''.
** In ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'', a sequel to ''Methuselah's Children'', there is a throw away paragraph indicating the ship from ''Orphans'' had been found, lifeless due to eventual social decay but the descendants of that story's protagonist were found alive on a nearby planet when the ship's course was backtracked.
** In ''Literature/TimeForTheStars'' the ''Lewis and Clark'' is out long enough for some of the crew to marry and have children, despite relativistic time dilation causing only a couple years to pass on board.
* ''The Galactic Whirlpool'' is set in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' ExpandedUniverse, where the Enterprise discovers a generation ship launched just before the Last World War, whose inhabitants have-- surprise surprise --forgotten their origins and descended into barbarism.
** A short story in the ''Starfleet Corps of Engineers'' series features a generation ship whose passengers didn't forget their origins and descend into barbarism but were deliberately put in MedievalStasis by the race that launched the ship, as apparently this was supposed to make them more likely to survive on a newly colonised world. This was a bit of a problem, because something had gone quite badly wrong with the guidance system[[note]]the inhabitants of a star system it had passed through freaking out and throwing a bunch of nukes at it might have had something to do with this[[/note]] and it was now in very real danger of performing a ColonyDrop on a populated planet in the Klingon Empire. [[spoiler: Thankfully, it turned out that some personnel who actually knew how to operate and maintain the ship had been put aboard in [[HumanPopsicle cryosleep]], and once the joint Starfleet/Klingon Defence Force mission woke them up the situation was resolved.]]
** The TNG-era novel ''The Last Stand'' deals with two sets of these (one of which is in the backstory). However, neither descends into barbarism. The ''Enterprise'' arrives to a planet after detecting a warp test. The planet is inhabited by the Lethanta, whose ancient records indicate that their ancestors have escaped from a world far away, devastated by OrbitalBombardment, and arrived on asteroids converted into sublight evacuation ships. The ''Enterprise'' then detects an armada of sublight ships in the system. As it turns out, the ships belong to the Krann, the race responsible for devastating the Lethanta homeworld. Their own homeworld (in the same system) was hit by a plague, which they assumed was designed by the Lethanta as punishment for the Krann throwing off the Lethanta yoke earlier (Crusher later proves that the plague was natural), which is why the Krann fleet bombarded the Lethanta homeworld with cobalt bombs. Realizing that some Lethanta have escaped, the equally homeless Krann have sworn to follow them to the ends of the universe and finish them. Since they didn't know where the Lethanta went, they spent centuries going from star to star, searching for their enemy and building up their fleet for a final confrontation. [[spoiler:The end reveals that both races are on the verge of developing warp travel. Apparently, this would make the Krann an instant superpower thanks to their large fleet, despite the fact that their tech is nowhere near what Starfleet has]].
** While the Krann did not degrade into barbarism, most ''have'' forgotten their origins and the purpose of the journey. The average Krann worker doesn't know who the Lethanta are, that they once lived on a planet, or that they're at war. The Krann military leaders, though, know everything.
** At the end, after the war is stopped, and the two races agree to live in peace, one of the Krann leaders sends the arrested dictator along with a small portion of the fleet after the original Lethanta asteroid ships, which were secretly sent with a group in case the Krann succeeded. The leader is skeptical that the peace will hold (too many generations of hate), and is determined that, should the inevitable war resume, none of the Lethanta survive.
* Creator/LarryNiven:
** The most extreme example -- in ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'', the Fleet of Worlds is the Puppeteers' ''entire planetary system'' converted into a generation ship to flee the galaxy.
** The Pak also did this with when they colonized Earth and the Ringworld itself. In addition to that ultra-long journey (half a million years), the Pak have ships that ''would'' be generation ships for a species with less incredible lifespans - Phssthpok flies a ship for 1200 years ([[TimeDilation ship's time]]), ''alone''.
* ''Second Genesis'' has a LivingShip called Yggdrasil that takes a journey between galaxies; it would normally be called a generation ship, except its inhabitants have discovered {{immortality}}, and so a few centuries of relativistic travel is not much of a burden.
* Niven and Pournelle's ''Literature/{{Footfall}}'' has the Fithp use a hybrid generation ship to reach Earth: most of the passengers are in stasis, but necessary maintenance and piloting is carried out by successive generations of crew. The result is a significant culture clash between the 'Shipborn' and the defrosted original generation ("sleepers").
* Creator/AlastairReynolds:
** In the ''Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries'' novel, ''Chasm City'', the planet of Sky's Edge was settled by 5 [[spoiler:(only 3 made it)]] generation ships traveling at 6% lightspeed. At least four generations pass by on the ships, and resource shortages cause a animosity and eventually a cold war towards the end of the journey, which upon colonization breaks out into a full-blown war. [[spoiler: The main character manages to survive most of the journey and beyond thanks to a longevity treatment]]. Sky's Edge has been in a near constant state of war since then, making it a popular shipping destination for high-tech weapons produced in more advanced systems.
** Downplayed in the ''Poseidon's Children'' series. In the second novel, ''Literature/OnTheSteelBreeze'', humanity launched about a dozen converted asteroid ships towards a distant BigDumbObject with a few million occupants. Though the journey takes 200 odd years and several generations of people are raised on board, it isn't strictly necessary; LongevityTreatment make 200+ year lifespans a piece of cake, and [[SleeperStarship cryosleep units]] are available to "speed up" one's journey, though there are not enough to have the entire population frozen at a given time.
* Creator/GeneWolfe's ''Literature/BookOfTheLongSun'' is set within a vast generation ship called the Whorl. It isn't ''quite'' a CityInABottle, because the characters are vaguely conscious that there is an "outside" (the oldest character in the books has some faded memories of living there)... but they have no real idea what ''outside'' actually means, and none of them expect to ever experience the outside.
* Rob Grant's ''Literature/{{Colony}}''. Various systems go wrong (notably the eugenics program determining who is allowed to mate with whom, and the career-allocation system), so the later generations are hopelessly inbred, illiterate and unqualified for their jobs.
* Eric Flint's ''Slow Train to Arcturus'' with the added bit most of the ship consists of misfits people wanted off Earth in their own sealed habitats. Including Neo-Nazis, SpaceAmish, [[LadyLand Radical feminist genetic engineers]], [[NobleSavage Native Americans]], extreme sports enthusiasts, and [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny North Korea]]. A PlotTailoredToTheParty follows with a message about needing each other to survive (well at least needing everyone except for the [[AcceptableTarget Neo-Nazis and the leaders of the North Korean group]]).
* The planet Martine was settled by one of these in ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'' and the Abh's original home was one as well before they cracked the FTL issue.
* Generation ships (called longliners) are used to carry messages and trade between planets in Literature/FrederikPohl and C. M. Kornbluth's ''Search the Sky''. They're pretty horrid: while they don't ''quite'' forget their mission, the people on board end up suffering mental retardation (it's not too clear why, possibly inbreeding or a lack of intellectual stimulation?), and they're kept from overpopulation by massive infanticide. But ''every'' place in that book is in horrible shape: it's a horribly DarkerAndEdgier world before it was popular.
* In Octavia Butler's ''Literature/LilithsBrood'', the Oankali travel on these as they go from world to world making genetic trades. Also a LivingShip.
* In Creator/BrianAldiss' ''Non-Stop'': A plague on a generation ship reduces the passengers to barbarism: they lose all idea of who they are or even what a spaceship ''is''. The bioengineered plants go into overdrive, turning the ship into a jungle, increasing the sense of obscuration and isolation. The reader's first clue as to what's going on is when the jungle turns out to have bulkheads.
* Non-space example: in ''Literature/PerdidoStreetStation'', by Creator/ChinaMieville, the khepri residents of New Crobuzon are descended from refugees who'd fled a mysterious disaster on their native continent. As their ramshackle ships took decades to cross the ocean, and thousands of the refugees died en route, some khepri vessels technically invoke this trope by having only ship-born crew members left on board when they reached land.
* Another non-space generation ship is Armada from ''Literature/TheScar'' by China Mieville, which is a floating city built by connecting hundreds of regular ships. It doesn't have a permanent destination and it is not meant to ever reach land (as it is a piratical society), but has a permanent population that has lived in the city for generations.
* Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Captive Universe'': A Generation Ship with a seamless environment is launched: by design the highly repressive, extremely stable [[{{Mayincatec}} Aztec]] cities onboard believe themselves to be in an inaccessible river valley. The ship tenders are if anything more rigid and religious: an extraordinary asceticism rules their lives and repairs are sacred rituals.
* The title species in Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''{{Literature/Quozl}}'' seek out new habitable worlds in these.
* Simon Hawke's/Nikolai Yermakov's ''The Whims of Creation'' is set on one, generations after humanity has left the EarthThatWas.
* Common FTL travel powerful enough to at least get around one's own galaxy makes these relatively uncommon in the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe, but they're not unknown. Ships (and space stations) intended for ''really'' extended missions, such as some undertaken by mortal helpers of the setting's PowersThatBe, may be designed to fit the trope, and suitable vessels have turned into this purely by accident, as happened to the SOL when its cosmic odyssey dragged out longer than expected and the shipborn generation started to have their own ideas about what uses their 'home' should be put to. Stretching the definition of "ship" to the limit, a ''major'' significant example would be the cosmic swarms, literally mobile star clusters whose multi-species 'crews' quite naturally were born, lived, and died on the worlds orbiting said stars while going about their assigned task of aiding the spread of intelligence throughout the universe.
* In Poul Anderson's ''Literature/TauZero'', the ''Leonora Christine'' is only supposed to take 5 years of time (relative to the passengers onboard) to reach Beta Virginis. It becomes a generation ship, though, when its deceleration unit breaks down.
* Creator/AndreyLivadny's novel ''Ark'' is set aboard the title ship, a Moon-sized (literally, as it is the hollowed-out Moon with engines attached) ship built by humans to fly around the galaxy and collect samples of intelligent life to eventually bring back home. These "samples" were put into special habitats modified to the conditions on their homeworlds, even including artificial suns. There was also a human habitat for the families of the crew. Then an onboard cataclysm killed most of the senior officers and damaged many cybernetic systems, isolating the habitats from the command module and each other. Millennia later, the ship is falling apart with disrepair, as the human descendants have regressed into a near-Medieval state and forgot their origins. The only hope is a boy who has been a HumanPopsicle since the cataclysm and is the only one who can regain access to the command module and direct the ship to a habitable planet. The ending reveals a possible [[spoiler:StableTimeLoop, as the planet they find is eerily similar to Earth]].
** Also, cats have [[EvolutionaryLevels evolved]] into intelligent humanoids.
** Interestingly, this is one of the few novels by Livadny that don't include some form of FasterThanLightTravel.
* In [[Creator/FrancisCarsac François Bordes]]'s novel ''Fleeing Earth'' (''Literature/TerreEnFuite'', written under the pen name Francis Carsac), the NestedStory reveals that the people of the Second Civilization of humans (after most of us die out in another Ice Age) discover that the Sun is about to go nova. Since they can't build enough ships to fit everyone from Earth and Venus (terraformed and settled), they instead decide to move ''both planets'' by building giant "space magnets" at the poles. The original plan is to move them to the Outer Solar System, hide behind Jupiter, and return once the Sun settles down. However, they discover that the Sun will not return to its yellow dwarf state after the explosion and have to move to a new system. Thus both planets become giant generation ships, although the interstellar journeys only take several decades thanks to the "space magnets" accelerating the planets to 80% of the speed of light.
* DomingoSantos' story ''The First Day of Eternity'' (published in ''Magazine/{{Analog}}'') concerns a ship, the ''Diaspora 32'' that has been traveling for 721 years.
* The backstory of Kevin J. Anderson's ''Literature/TheSagaOfSevenSuns'' involves 11 generational ships sent out into space. None of them reach their destinations, however. Nine are found by an alien race who use their FTL technology to take them to habitable planets. Another ends up colonizing whatever asteroids and other non-terrestrial environments they can find becoming Space Gypsies. The other one is assumed to be lost until it is discovered that [[spoiler: the supposedly friendly Ildirians that rescued the others kept the last one to do breeding experiments with and have been raping generations of human women to experiment on their hybrids]]
* In "Thirteen for Centaurus" by J. G. Ballard, the action takes place on a generation ship [[spoiler: but not really. The main character figures out it's all a scam when he sees supplies being trucked in.]]
* ''Literature/{{Orthogonal}}'' by Creator/GregEgan takes place in a universe where physics is different and TimeDilation works in reverse -- the faster you travel, the ''more'' time passes from your perspective. The protagonists, seeing an oncoming disaster that they don't have the technology to prevent, build the GenerationShip ''Peerless'' so their descendants will have enough time to develop [[ClarkesThirdLaw Sufficiently Advanced Technology]] to SaveTheWorld, while only four years pass on the homeworld.
* Molly Glass' ''The Dazzle of Day'' is set on a generation ship, the ''Dusty Miller'', populated by Latino Quakers as it nears a system where they could possibly settle. Much of the action of the novel deals with the decision of whether to stop here or go on. Since all decisions are made by the Quaker practice of Consensus, this is a complex task.
* In ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'', the planetoid-class ships have perfectly good FTL that can get them around to most places in less than a year, but they're still set up as generation ships because they oftentimes go on ''long'' tours of duty and it's considered necessary for the health of the community to have children born and growing up as they would be on a planet. Of course, being what they are, these ships have crews in the hundreds of thousands and provision for natural increase up to doubling.
* ''Literature/AcrossTheUniverse'' is set on a generation ship called the ''Godspeed'', which is on a journey to a habitable planet that will take hundreds of years to complete. While a lot of the colonists elected to be turned into {{Human Popsicle}}s for the duration of the trip, there was a need for an active crew to perform maintenance. Thus, many generations have lived and died on the ''Godspeed'' as it slowly makes its way towards its destination.
* One is briefly visited in ''Literature/BillTheGalacticHero on the Planet of Ten Thousand Bars''.
* In ''The Tomorrow Log'' by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, [[spoiler:a GenerationShip has actually forgotten that it was supposed to colonize a planet and has become a flying CultColony]].
* The short story "[[http://www.wagar.org.uk/?page_id=553 Schism]]," set in the ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' universe, examines what happens when a homegrown CultColony inside a Generation Ship that has been out of contact with human civilization for centuries encounters another derelict vessel in the void of space.
* Creator/RobertReed:
** In the short story ''The Children's Crusade'', the eponymous organization creates a simulation of the Mars they wish to some day make. On it, there is a crashed alien generation ship where the organic passengers are essentially cargo, while the robotic crew controls the ship. [[spoiler: The organization, backed by [=AIs=], eventually reveals that it intends to launch a similar ship to a star several thousand years distant]]
** ''Chrysalis'' has the last lifeboat of humanity traveling through the galaxy to collect species before [[InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves they destroy themselves]], with immortal robots controlling the ship. [[spoiler: Turns out humanity didn't do such a thorough job blowing themselves up, and those that survived on Earth have advanced far beyond the technology of the ship and spread across the galaxy.]]
** ''The Winemaster'' has a Buick being used essentially as a generation ''car'' - the transhuman / post human residents are so small and live so quickly that an hour real time is like a year to them; several generations go by in the trip from a northern state into Canada.
* ''Ship of Fools'' by Richard Paul Russo is set on one of these, which has been in space for so long that everyone has forgotten about the original plan. They keep trying to land and settle without success.
* In ''Glow'' by Amy Kathleen Ryan, the protagonists Waverly and Kieran are some of the first children successfully conceived in deep space. They live on a ship called the Empyrean with hundreds of other children and families. The ship has been traveling for over 40 years on its journey to populate a distant planet.
* Creator/HarlanEllison's ''Phoenix Without Ashes'' is set on one of these. Originally a screenplay for a sci-fi miniseries, it was later expanded into a novel by Ellison and author Edward Bryant, and has recently been adapted into a comic book miniseries. The story is set in the Ark, a massive cluster of self-contained biospheres several thousand miles long. Each biosphere hosted a different civilization completely isolated from the rest. At the time of Ellison's story, the Ark had been in space so long that the individual civilizations had forgotten they were in a ship; and the Ark itself had been damaged by collision with an asteroid and was slowly failing.
** The television show [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was supposed to have been a series that featured different writers creating stories for each of the individual civilizations]] after Ellison's pilot. Originally intended for [=ITV/ITC=], it was picked up by the Canadian subsidiary of 20th Century Fox; but according to Ellison, they were completely incapable of dealing with the sheer scope and nature of the project. ExecutiveMeddling eventually altered the project so much that they ended up with an InNameOnly version that eventually aired under the title ''Series/TheStarlost''.
* In M.C.A. Hogarth's ''Literature/ParadoxUniverse'' the Pelted left earth on a fleet of generation ships, on board they segregated into the various cultures and races that came to comprise the Alliance after the discovery of FasterThanLightTravel a few centuries after they reached their destinations.
* The Creator/TedReynolds novella ''{{Literature/Ker-Plop}}'' features quite possibly the ultimate example: the ship in question was sent out by a previous (human) galaxy-wide civilization to colonize one of the Magellanic Clouds, and is now returning. It's the size of a (dwarf) planet, has its own gravitational field, and (as the protagonist eventually realizes) contains a population nearly equal to the total population of the galaxy, since it's inhabited in three dimensions rather than just on the surface, as with habitable worlds.
* ''Literature/TenThousandMilesUp'' by Rick Griffin takes place on board the White Flower II, a starship that has been in transit for four hundred years. The species that owns the ship can easily live far longer than that but the SlaveRace that make up the 10,000 member crew do not, the crew at the time of the story are at least the grandchildren of the original crew. Generation ships are the only method of interstellar travel other than a PortalNetwork, the White Flower's function is actually to transport a gate to a colonizable planet [[spoiler: instead they steal the Terraformer that came through the gate and cut it off so they can colonize the planet for themselves.]]
* The [[ColonyShip Mayflower Ark]] in Creator/OrsonScottCard's ''Lovelock'' is a low-key example: time dilation means that it will arrive at its destination within the lifetime of (most of) its original inhabitants, but the voyage is still long enough that some births are expected ''en route''.
* The novella ''Mayflower II'' (a ''Literature/XeeleeSequence'' story by Creator/StephenBaxter) is set on a fleeing generation ship bound for a satellite galaxy 25,000 years away; at .5c, the trip will take fifty thousand years. A crew of nigh-immortal "pharaohs" rule over the "transients" (colonists with normal human lifespans). As the ship drifts through space and time, the society of the transients breaks down as the pharaohs slowly die off, devolving into little more than chimps with reflexive ship maintenance habits. The story is a dark, chilling, and excellent one.
* In Elizabeth Bear's ''Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy'', ''Jacob's Ladder'' is a generation ship on a multi-century journey to colonize another planet. It covers its bases by having a living ecosystem with crew members that are born and die en route in addition to holds carrying frozen sleepers.
* Creator/KimStanleyRobinson's ''Aurora'' is chiefly set on a generation ship, which is approaching the end of its voyage at the start of the book. A major theme of the book is [[spoiler:the fact that while the original generation-ship crew may have consented to their risky mission, their children don't get a choice.]]
* Corinne Duyvis's ''Literature//OnTheEdgeOfGone'' takes place immediately prior to the launch of a generation ship, exploring the ship's construction and resources while contemplating who deserves a ticket into outer space after an apocalyptic event on earth: how much life can the ship support, which individuals earn a place aboard, and ultimately [[spoiler:what the ship's destination and purpose should be]].
* Possibly the TropeMaker here is Don Wilcox's 1940 novelette "The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years", told from the perspective of a Keeper of the Traditions who is supposed to go into hibernation and be revived every one hundred years to check on how society is progressing and return it to the proper path if necessary. It started the venerable trope of the ship's crew forgetting about their goal and regressing civilizationally.
* ''Literature/{{Mirabile}}'' is set on a colony world settled by a fleet of five generation ships. That's all backstory, and the ships themselves don't actually appear, but there are occasional references to events from the trip (like one of the ships losing most of its population to a disease epidemic, which the colonists are still worried about a possible recurrence of).
* Ben Bova's ''Exiles'' trilogy covers three generations in three books: the first generation on the ship, the ones who finally reach their apparent destination, and the ones who finally reach the end of the journey. By the time they get there, the ship has started to decay, they live in technological ignorance and don't even know they're on a journey or there's anything outside.
* In ''Literature/{{Honorverse}}'' the generation ships remained a chief way of human Diaspora way after the FasterThanLightTravel was invented, for [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace Hyperspace remained a scary place]] for several centuries before they found a way to safely navigate it. So the habitable planets were prospected by the daredevils with far more spunk than the common sence, betting their lives on a chance they don't meet the NegativeSpaceWedgie on the way; while the settlers themselves moved far more safely and sedately in the slower-than-light ships, fisrt as generation crews, and later as {{Human Popsicle}}s. The protagonists' world of Manticore took about 600 years to be settled since the launch of the colonisation ships, in which time the colony trust managed to LightspeedLeapfrog them to supply an already prepared bootstrap colony for them.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Magog Worldship on ''Series/{{Andromeda}}''.
** The Arcology also appears to be one of these. While it's, technically, a space station, it is equipped with a (very ancient) slipspace drive.
** Another episode dealt with part of the crew ending up on the Bellerophon, an ancient generational ship launched by Earth centuries ago to [[Franchise/StarTrek "to gather knowledge of life and civilization to go farther and deeper into space than anyone had ever gone before."]] The ship is so old that it doesn't even possess a slipspace drive, relying instead on massive engines that accelerate it to near the speed of light, with the [[TimeDilation consequences]] of such a design being a major plot point for the episode.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E2TheBeastBelow "The Beast Below"]] has ''the entire United Kingdom'' (minus Scotland) on a single spaceship, searching for a new home after the Earth becomes uninhabitable. The discovery of just how this massive ship is travelling through space with the engines apparently off forms the main mystery of the episode. And the Doctor claims it is just one of many, with each country building their own ship. The others are just not shown.
** Much earlier, First Doctor serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E6TheArk "The Ark"]] has the title spacecraft serving as both a generational ship for its crew (of both humans and subservient aliens), and as a HumanPopsicle-stand for the remaining billions of humans and subservient aliens, since a ship that could carry both species in their entirety would've been far too massive to build (or move).
** The story "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls" had an example where things went horribly wrong before the planned voyage even began. A [[spoiler:Mondasian]] generation ship was on its shakedown cruise when it became caught in the gravity well of a black hole. The crew members who went from the bridge at the front to the rear part of the ship to try to soup up the engines became trapped by massive TimeDilation effects along the length of the ship, bred, and created a culture which eventually, under the effects of social degeneration, increasing environmental degradation due to technical failures, and [[spoiler:possible manipulations by the Master, turned themselves into Cybermen in what may be a new official origin for the culture.]]
* [[AllThereInTheManual It appears]] the 'Verse was colonized by these in ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.
* ''Series/TheOrville'': "If the Stars Should Appear" had a ship that was meant to carry three generations of its people to the nearest planet, but an ion storm disabled the engines and the ship drifted through space for over 2000 years until being discovered. Its inhabitants completely forgot their origins.
* Terra Venture in ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' may have been intended as this, but monster attacks and visiting a hostile PocketDimension cut its journey much shorter. They managed to reach an inhabitable planet complete with HumanAliens (the same planet that the team had been warped to in the pilot to receive their powers) within a year or so.
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' housed a breeding population of life-forms descended from a single pregnant cat for about 3 million years, long enough for them to evolve sapience and build their own arks to leave.
* The Australian series ''{{Series/Silversun}}'' used this. As the journey to the new planet would take many years, most of the crew were adolescents and teenagers, so that there would be at least some crew still around when they got to the planet. A lot more people are in cryogenic stasis.
* The ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' episode 'Mission of the Darians'. The crew of Moonbase Alpha respond to a distress call from a 20 mile long ship on a 900-year voyage.[[spoiler: They discover that an accident a century earlier has wrecked most of the ship and its passengers have reverted to barbarism, except for an elite who are keeping themselves alive by using the others for transplant surgery.]]
** The ship provides a good example of an EndlessCorridor.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' had the Travelers, a race of space nomads who live entirely on self-built ships in order to avoid being culled by the Wraith. Despite their strict population control, they don't have the resources to build new ships any more and were forced to abandon some people on planets where the Wraith culled them. This was why they kidnapped Shephard in their introductory episode: they found an Aurora-class Ancient battlecruiser and needed his ATA gene to get it operational since the ship could carry thousands. They lost one of their ships in the battle above Asuras and with the Replicators gone, they settled on a planet... then the settlement and the Aurora was nuked in the final season when their Stargate exploded.
** The Destiny from ''Series/StargateUniverse'' could be seen as a generation ship, in that it not only took the resources of an entire generation to build, but wasn't even boarded until over a million years after it launched. While it is a ship on autopilot and flies through FTL, the scope of its mission is so large that the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients]] who built it could not have hoped that they or their children would be alive to see that mission to its end.
** The Novus civilization, founded by the crew of the Destiny over 2000 years before the crew actually encounters Novus ([[TimeyWimeyBall long story]]), dedicated its resources to building a fleet of ships for its millions of citizens so that they could evacuate their dying world. They will reach their destination in a few hundred years (in stark contrast to the 10 days Destiny needs to cover the same distance with its FTL).
* ''Series/TheStarlost'' had the entire series take place on a huge generational ship with different biomes sealed off and having forgotten it was a ship. Creator/BenBova and Creator/HarlanEllison wrote books about the ExecutiveMeddling and the novelization.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
** "For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky" has one of these in the form of an asteroid.
** "By Any Other Name" had a faster-than-light generation ship that the Kelvans used for the immense journey between galaxies.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
** "The Disease" has a generation ship which is over four hundred years old.
** "Prophecy" has ''Voyager'' encounter a Klingon Battlecruiser made into one. They made the trip to the Delta Quadrant the long way.
** "Elogium" discusses this trope: since the ''Voyager'' is seventy-five years from returning home, Janeway and Chakotay discuss the possible need to turn the ship into one. The discussion becomes HilariousInHindsight given that we only saw one OfficialCouple [[StatusQuoIsGod on the ship at any one time.]]
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', this was the original concept of the ''Galaxy''-class ships like the Enterprise-D. In practice, they [[TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot Travel At The Speed Of Plot]] and between that and the amount of combat scenarios encountered, the idea of ''Enterprise''-as-a-family-poting was dropped from future iterations of the franchise.
** In an episode of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', the Enterprise [[spoiler: gets sent 100 years back in time with [[TrappedInThePast no way to return]]]]. The Enterprise then becomes a [[GenerationShips Generational Vessel]] [[spoiler: in one of the few successful attempts at not screwing up the time line, though they wanted to change one thing while staying out of the way until it happened.]] [[spoiler: They succeed so well that by traveling on TheSlowPath, they meet their parents/grandparents, completely the same as the ones that went back.]]
** Janeway often wonders whether "Voyager" will become such a ship itself: the original return estimate is 70 years, after all. [[spoiler: they make it in seven]]
*** Some fans consider that properly going down the "generation ship" route might have been more interesting, rather than resorting to occasional plot devices to throw them across chunks of space. Of course, the show would never have lasted for 70 years. Also it might've become compared too closely with the likes of Battlestar Galactica...
* ''Series/AscensionMiniseries'' takes place aboard a starship intended for a 100-year voyage, launched in the 1960s. [[spoiler:Except that it doesn't. The whole thing is being faked on Earth as a huge, elaborate experiment. The reasons for this are poorly explained, but seem to be an attempt to somehow force the [[EvolutionaryLevels next step]] in (super)human [[GoalOrientedEvolution evolution]].]]

* Blake Hodgetts' song [[http://www.ovff.org/pegasus/people/blake-hodgetts.html Boundless?]] concerns a generation ship gone CityInABottle.
* The [[Music/JeffersonAirplane Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship]] concept album ''Music/BlowsAgainstTheEmpire'' tells the story of a [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Ragtag Bunch of Hippies]] hijacking a generation ship and setting off for the stars.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':
** Most of the larger human vessels, even if they already have warp drives, qualify. If you have mixed-gender crews aboard ships in service for hundreds if not thousands of years, "voidborn" navy brats are inevitable. The bigger ships even have problems with small civilizations growing on forgotten or unfrequented decks.
** The Eldar Craftworlds also count, as even though they have FTL-capabilities, they're primarily spacefaring colonies designed to house the survivors of the Fall.
** Orks tend to treat space hulks as this, happily piling in when they find one with no idea where or when they might have a chance to get off again. Given the nature of the Warp and hulks' lack of direction, many generations can easily pass during travel.
** Possibly true for the Tyranids as well, which appear to have traveled from another galaxy. However, most of the ground troops are simply created from scratch when the fleet nears a target, and the majority of the remainder hibernate. Only a select few 'nid monstrosities, the [[WeaponizedOffspring Tervigons]], are awake for the journey.
* The early science fiction game "Metamorphosis Alpha" from Creator/{{TSR}} was set on one of these. It was reworked later as the Amazing Engine setting book "Metamorphosis Alpha To Omega".
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Spaceships'' has the uses the traditional concept for the ''Universe'' and ''Endeavor''. The third ship is the ''Magellan'' which carries 20 thousand people in luxury at [[FasterThanLightTravel FTL]] speeds, allowing for ridiculously long trips.

* Parodied in one Australian play, where the crew of a Generation Ship fall into barbarity and think that the {{human popsicle}}s are the equivalent of frozen food. When the last remaining colonist wakes up early, he's not to impressed.
-->"You mean to tell me you've eaten all the great scientists and engineers who were going to build this new world? Didn't anyone protest?"
-->"Of course they did. But we ate them anyway!"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The entire world of ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIII'' takes place on one of these. Ships like it were basically planetary escape pods, sent out when Parma exploded. Didn't go too well, though - some got lost, some were caught in the explosion and destroyed. Later, in ''Phantasy Star 4'', the heroes find the wreckage of one such ship that was crippled in the escape and suffered the nasty fate of getting stuck in a decaying orbit around Motavia.
* In ''VideoGame/WildArms5'' the Veruni spent most of the 10,000 years they wandered for a new home on their ship, Locus Solus. By the time the Veruni have settled on Filgaia the ship itself is considered by many of the Veruni to be their homeland, and they revere it to the point of calling the ship Mother.
* According to the manual, you can occasionally run across these in the original ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}''; however, that's the ''[[ManualMisprint only]]'' place they exist in that game. In the expandable remake ''VideoGame/{{Oolite}}'' on the other hand, you can ''really'' run across them with the right [[GameMod OXP]].
** The 2014 sequel, ''Videogame/EliteDangerous'' added generation ships (and other 'mega ships') in the 2.3 Multicrew update. So far, every generation ship discovered has been lifeless for centuries; however, a large number of systems were successfully colonized and the ship disassembled. It should also be noted that they kept making generation ships even after the invention of FasterThanLightTravel, they just bolted into the ship for even greater range.
* The titular ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' colony ship.
* ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' has this in the backstory: when the Hiigarans were exiled, the entire civilization was packed into a fleet of identical FTL-incapable generation ships that crossed half the galaxy on sublight until the last four or so reached Kharak. Some of them broken off and became the Kadeshi, a society who camped out in a nebula and gave everyone they met a choice: join or die (the ship is plundered and destroyed in both cases). By the time their distant siblings who made it to Kharak found them, the Kadeshi were religious fanatics who worshipped the nebula and talked in a CreepyMonotone. Oh, and according to the ExpandedUniverse, they were also {{Evil Albino}}s. One of the generation ships is still floating in the center of the nebula, unmanned and slowly spinning in place.
* The planet Enroth in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VI'', ''VII'', ''VIII'' and ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic I'', ''II'' and ''III'' was, as found out it ''Might and Magic VI'', colonised via generation ship (an oddly Egyptian-themed generation ship).
* Building one of these and sending it to Alpha Centauri is one of the ways to win in ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}''.
** Of course, the semi-sequel ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' shows that the everyone aboard the ''Unity'' was actually a HumanPopsicle for the duration of the journey.
** The SpiritualSuccessor to ''Alpha Centauri'' called ''VideoGame/CivilizationBeyondEarth'' has the majority of the factions arrive to the planet in {{Sleeper Starship}}s with the exception of Al Falah, a Middle Eastern faction, who sent out their ships before reliable HumanPopsicle technology became available, knowing that those departing would never see their new home. Instead, they resolved to prepare the future generation for the hardships of settling an alien planet. On the plus side, the generations of focused teachings have bred out any centuries-long animosities between tribes and races, leaving a single goal - success (hence the name of the faction, which means "our success"). The flavor text even mentions that the leader of Al Falah, Arshia Kishk, used to take space walks from her ship the ''Golden Shah'' during the journey before becoming pregnant with her daughter. Apparently, it was a pilgrimage of sorts. Arshia is from the fifth generation, since the departure from Earth.
* In the visual novel ''VisualNovel/AnalogueAHateStory'', a generation ship named ''Mugunghwa'' was sent from Earth in the 24th century to colonize other worlds. One day it vanished, only to reappear as a lifeless derelict millennia later. [[FeaturelessProtagonist You]] are hired and [[LateToTheTragedy sent to the ship]] to [[JigsawPuzzlePlot find out what the hell happened]] for it to end like that.
** Its sequel ''VisualNovel/HatePlus'' reveals that its navigational AI was destroyed by a rebellion less than half a millennium into the ship's voyage, thus ensuring that the ''Mugunghwa'' would never reach its destination even without [[spoiler:[[KillEmAll Hyun-ae's intervention]]]].
* In the backstory for ''VideoGame/PlanetSide 1'', the [[TheEmpire Terran Republic]] launched several generation ships before they learned how to [[PortalNetwork force open wormholes]]. Contact with the generation ships was lost several years after launch.
* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'', the Magellanic Clouds were settled by generation ships from the Milky Way. The remains of one form a towering ruin that resembles a SpaceElevator. [[spoiler: It also contains the means to access the [[AbusivePrecursors Overlords']] databanks and work out how to foil their plans to wipe out the universe.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WildStar'', Exiles live on board these ships, with elements of SleeperShip, who are being chased by [[TheEmpire The Dominion]] for 300 years until the discovery of Nexus.
* One of the factions in ''VideoGame/PandoraFirstContact'', a group of environmentalists called Terra Salvum, did not have the funds to buy a proper SleeperStarship from the [[MegaCorp Noxium Corporation]]. Instead, their sympathizers in the corporation stole the plans for a ship and built their own. However, they lacked the proper experience and scientific knowledge to equip it with reliable cryo-pods. Instead, they ended up going with this trope. The trip to Pandora only lasted several decades, but improper radiation shielding in most of the ship's areas resulted in the premature deaths of the adults. As such, only their children (born aboard) reached the planet alive. They're even more fanatical about protecting the planet from human exploitation than their parents.
* In ''Videogame/ChaosRingsIII'', Theia has been home to the only known humans alive for the past one thousand years. Theia was originally one of many ships designed to evacuate the planet Marble Blue [[spoiler:when a planet eating monster called The Entity arrived]], but it was unable to escape the planet's orbit [[spoiler:after the Entity deemed Marble Blue too dangerous an environment for its egg and laid it on Theia instead, leaving it stranded.]] Unable to carry out its original purpose of finding a new home for humans, Theia was repurposed to be that home.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Unity}}'' is set on a generation ship several million years in the future.
* The history of the Aquaans in ''Webcomic/{{Harbourmaster}}'' only goes back as far as their life on one such vessel, prior to their discovering humanity (which already had FasterThanLightTravel).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm'' a few early colony ships were these, but smaller and faster sleeper ships had a tendency to reach the destination systems earlier. They're currently used as mobile habitats, freighters, and wormhole layliners.
* In [[http://writings.mike-combs.com/alfasfer.htm Journey to Alfahsfere]] by Mike Combs, a generation ship was partially damaged during an attack by pirates in the Oort Cloud, after thousands of years the inhabitants of one sphere regressed to a hunter-gatherer existence, and the other though the first sphere was lost.
* In the ''Literature/ParaImperium'' universe the initial {{Colony Ship}}s from Sol to the systems that later became the Core Worlds of the Federation were crewed by teenagers at the time of launch who were well past middle-age when they reached the closest star systems. By the time Alpha Centauri had re-established interstellar travel they had developed immortality and a PortalNetwork but children are still often born on starships.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used in the ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' episode "Lord of the Sands." The descendants of an Earth sleeper ship had crashed on a desolate planet and formed a tribal civilization roughly seventy years earlier. Something had wiped out the adults, so the tribe was mostly comprised of adolescents - led by a rogue Crown Agent.
* In the Australian satire ''Go to Hell!'' (1997) by Ray Nowland, CorruptCorporateExecutive G.D. builds a space ark to escape the destruction of his planet. He stays in suspended animation, waking every generation or so to keep an eye on things, eventually being regarded as a god. By the time they get to Earth, the crew has become so inbred they're useless to him, so G.D. has to [[UpliftedAnimal uplift the local monkeys]] as a slave labor force. [[AncientAstronauts You can guess the rest.]]