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Cool Starships in literature.


  • Subverted in Iain M. Banks's The Algebraist, where the Luceferous VII, designed to suit the whims of the eponymous genocidal despot who has some definite ideas about how a badass flagship should look. His engineers apparently cried at one point, not wishing to be tortured to death for defying him when his designs became far too impractical to implement. It is mocked by the staff of the Navarchy as being a clear sign of vanity trumping sense, being too big to travel FTL via wormholes and far more vulnerable in a real fight than a sensible warship.
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  • The Vengeful Spirit from Black Legion, if one can forgive the spirits of the dead trapped in its hull. It's absolutely enormous, incredibly sturdy and capable of dishing out a world-killing amounts of weaponry. It gets even better when it bonds with Anamnesia, gaining a single intelligence to guide it.
  • The Circe in Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise is the titular character's relativistic ship (no FTL Travel in this 'verse), allowing him to travel the thousands of settled worlds in his capacity as a space trader (the first space trader, in fact). Starships are rare due to the nature of interstellar travel, but the Circe is actually the first, starting its "life" as the Star Conqueror, NASA's first ship equipped with the Ramsden drive back in the late 21st century, which French piloted to Alpha Centauri and back. After NASA was disbanded and its property sold off, French absconded with the ship, renaming it. Subjectively, the ship is over 2000 years old, although French had it modified and expanded over time.
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  • The Great Glass Elevator in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Ordinary elevators can't travel to the Moon and back.
  • In James Blish's Cities in Flight books, devices called "spin-dizzies" lift up whole cities and send them into space. It's just as cool as it sounds. They can also be used on whole entire planets.
  • Arthur C. Clarke:
    • In The Songs of Distant Earth, the Magellan is powered by zero-point energy. It can keep accelerating 'til it's travelling just a hair shy of the speed of light. To protect itself from the interstellar medium — which at 0.999c is more like a constant shower of cosmic rays — the front of the starship is one huge long chunk of ice, which slowly wears down over the course of a voyage and has to be replaced.
    • Also the titular spaceship from Rendezvous with Rama, a giant alien generation ship. It holds multiple generations of otospiders, of the Avian-Myrmicat-Sessile symbiotic ecosystem, and, eventually, after Rama II, of humans.
  • The Culture series by Iain M. Banks has various examples of cool ships:
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    • The General System Vehicles are 200 kilometer long ships with force fields used as hulls, housing millions if not billions of denizens, ruled by sentient "Minds" (AI) and able to turn into overpowered warships when the need arise. Less than 1% of the Culture population lives on planets, because the Culture consider it uncool to Terraform worlds, and because GSVs are part of the Culture PR policies: you don't need to go to one of the Culture's homeworlds when you see near your own world a nomadic self-sufficient sentient Metropolis that can kick a star out of its own solar system showing how advanced the Culture is and what awaits you if you make the very deadly mistake of pissing off their Minds and/or their denizens.
    • Note that because of the Culture ships' sense of humour, these ships are likely to call themselves something like the Cutie-Pie, or something about the lack of gravitas in their names. This is part of the charm: how can you not like names like the Psychopath-class Rapid Offensive Unit Frank Exchange of Views?
    • From Use of Weapons: "The ship was over eighty kilometres long and was called the Size Isn't Everything."
    • Arguably culminates in Surface Detail with the Abominator class "Picket Ship" the Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints. It curbstomps a Culture tech (they thought) equivalent battle group in milliseconds and then proceeds to wipe out thousands of smaller craft per minute. It also keeps very high resolution recordings of all its engagements as possibly the closest thing a warship-Mind can have to porn.
    • No one is really certain about its combat power (even itself),note  but Mistake Not... from The Hydrogen Sonata definitely takes the cake in the name department. Its full name is Mistake Not My Current State of Joshing Gentle Peevishness for the Awesome and Terrible Majesty of the Towering Seas of Ire That Are Themselves the Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans of Wrath.
  • Discworld: Technological miracle? How about a spaceship built with Renaissance-level technology? Living ship? Well, sort of; its power source is a lot of swamp dragons. General cool appearance? It's designed to look like a bird-of-prey in the process of catching a salmon. It is, of course, The Kite from The Last Hero.
  • In another Weber series, Empire from the Ashes, Dahak is a sentient battleship the size of the Moon (having destroyed and secretly replaced the original 50,000 years ago). Even after he gets planetoid companions, all the characters still agree that Dahak is an awesome ship. Dahak II even more so.
  • The "Cavorite sphere" from H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon was nothing more than a room-sized sphere of anti-gravitational Applied Phlebotinum known as Cavorite, named after the story's well-meaning Mad Scientist Cavor. No giant rockets here. To begin their journey the crew merely unleashed the moorings so the hull could set about its gravity-repulsive business and, like a metal hot air balloon, float off into the void. This altogether genteel and erudite mode of transport allowed its Victorian-era crew to focus on pipe smoking, tea preparation, existential angst, and other civilized behaviors. Possibly the ultimate in Steampunk technology.
  • Foot Fall: Thuktun Flishithy of the Fihtp, a true interstellar ship that carries part of a world's population to Earth, and Michael, the Orion-driven ship launched by Earth in response to the Fihtp actions after their arrival.
  • From Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series, in "The Mayors" a long-derelict Imperial cruiser from the days of the old Galactic Empire is found drifting in space and is refurbished for service. It is very much a Cool Starship in-universe. The Wienis is two miles long, and as described by one character:
    "It's a ship! They could build in those days. Its cubic capacity is half again that of the entire Anacreonian navy. It's got atomic blasts capable of blowing up a planet, and a shield that could take a Q-beam without working up radiation."
  • And in its sequel Foundation's Edge:
  • The Phoenix Exultant of The Golden Oecumene. It's designed and built by the greatest engineer in the system and tough enough to fly into the heart of the sun.
  • The Great Ship from Robert Reed's Great Ship series. A ship larger than Saturn, full of hundreds of thousands of rooms, each capable of being modified to suit any biology. The Ship has a hull made of a nearly-indestructible material that spreads energy from impacts across hundreds of dimensions. Propulsion is provided by fusion engines larger than Ganymede, fueled by hydrogen tanks deep enough to submerse Europa in. The Ship may also be a thinking entity. Built by an unknown race and possibly millions or billions of years old, it is large enough that an entire planet was hidden in one corner and nobody noticed, and made out of a nearly-indestructible substance called hyperfiber. When the Great Ship drifts, empty, into the Milky Way, humans colonize it, figure out how to run the massive engines, and decide to take it on a round-trip tour of the galaxy. They pick up colonists of several other species along the way.
  • Frank Herbert:
    • The series starting with Destination: Void, includes a ship which becomes self-aware and omnipotent. It refers to itself as Ship.
    • Spacing Guild Heighliners from Dune. Massive cargo ships several miles long that are the only things in that wold capable of FTL Travel.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has some:
    • The Heart of Gold, with its "infinite improbability drive" is reckoned, in-universe, to be the coolest ship ever.
    • The Bistromath is arguably a subversion of this trope, being deliberately designed so that no-one would even be interested in looking at it.
    • Hotblack Desiato's Space-Limo in the books and television series. So cool Zaphod and Ford can't help but steal it. Even in the radio series, where it looks the same but is actually the flagship for a massive intergalactic war fleet.
  • In the mil-SF novel series Honor Harrington, approximately seventy percent of the books deal with cool space ships that can kill worlds and use gravity as their Deflector Shields, and the steady improvement of such. Harrington's own command becomes one as the saga continues. The books are unabashedly "Horatio Hornblower in space," and author David Weber designed the spaceflight physics to encourage maneuvers and combat right out of the 18th century, including broadsides of gamma-ray lasers and missiles capable of doing 0.8c.
    • Kind of subverted in the very first book, in which the Super Prototype ship seemed incredibly Cool on the surface- it was able, in theory, to casually destroy vessels orders of magnitude larger- but was actually horribly flawed by a fatal case of Awesome, but Impractical in a world too far on the realistic end to let such things slide.
    • The ship was a standard cruiser fitted with a gun that could bring down the "shields" and propulsion systems of any other ship (leaving it open to the full broadsides of the other weapons on the ship.) It had a range of something like fifty thousand kilometres when the next shortest ranged weapon had a range of one light second (three hundred thousand kilometres) and missiles had an effective range of millions of kilometres. Generally speaking, in that universe no ship ever got within one hundred thousand kilometres of another with malevolent intent without one of them exploding very shortly thereafter.
    • Special mention goes to HMS Medusa and GNS Honor Harrington (the first purpose built podnaughts); HMS Hexapuma (a heavy cruiser capable of taking down most existing battlecruisers in a one-on-one fight, nicknamed the "Nasty Kitty" by its crew); and the entire Roland class of Destroyers (fitted with missiles able to take out capital ships!)
    • Also worthy of mention is HMS Minotaur (Minnie to her friends, just don't call her that in front of her captain), the first of Manticore's LAC carriers. Capable of carrying and deploying a wing of 100 Light Attack Craft (20,000 ton "fighters"), she and her wing almost single-handedly destroyed an entire battleship task group in their very first engagement and put the fear of the new Manticoran super-LACs well into the hearts of the People's Navy.
    • HMS Nike, originally a one-off Super Prototype but now the lead ship of the Royal Manticoran Navy's newest class of battlecruisers, is also worthy of mention: Among the fastest battlecruisers yet built but almost large enough to be considered a battleship by pre-First Havenite War standardsnote , and capable of engaging Solarian League superdreadnoughts on better than equal terms.
    • Although they seem somewhat pedestrian compared to the newer examples listed above, Honor Harrington's commands from the second and third books of the series, the new HMS Fearless (a Star Knight-class heavy cruiser built to replace the Courageous-class light cruiser from the first book) and HMS Nike (the Reliant-class battlecruiser mentioned above) definitely qualify in the context of the books they first appeared in. At the time, they were among the newest, fastest and most powerful ships of their type in any navy and had several grand achievements. The Fearless can almost be thought of as an Honorverse counterpart to Captain Kirk's original Constitution-class USS Enterprise: a top-of-the line heavy cruiser in its day, not the biggest or most powerful ship, but the perfect command for a daring, slightly unorthodox starship captain like Kirk or Harrington to prove themselves with.
  • House of Suns has the Silver Wings of Morning, a 50-kilometre-long ship capable of accelerating at hundreds of Gs, and has a 8-kilometre-long cargo hold, filled with more interstellar ships.
  • The Teacher, Flinx's KK drive starship in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, is custom built for him by a race of hyperintelligent aliens after he teaches them civilization. It is unusually fast and well-armed for its size, employs a powerful AI to run things, can reconfigure itself to disguise its appearance from the authorities, and most importantly has the power to land on a planetary surface on interstellar drive without destroying both ship and planet, a feat beyond the capabilities of any other ship in The 'Verse.
  • In Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos:
    • The Consul's ship. All the comforts of home and a well-equipped hospital IN SPACE, a fully automatic self-repair system, and a friendly AI with a sense of humor to boot. What's not to like? (Well OK, no weapons, but as stated in the books, the exhaust of a fusion-driven ship would make a good enough weapon anyway.)
    • Spin-off short story Orphans Of The Helix features the Amoite Spectrum Helix, an ubertech coloniser ship designed so that when it spins up its phlebotinum drive it looks like the DNA double-helix.
    • The Archangel Class ships from Endymion counts as a cross between cool and terrifying.
  • On the subject of Weber, "Star Runner" from In Fury Born. An AI-controlled light cruiser equipped with battleship-grade engines and shields. As it's too small to carry useful numbers of the long-range SLAMS (Supra-Light Accelerated Missiles - essentially targeted black holes), the designers pretty much decide 'sod it' and pack it bow to stern with Frickin' Laser Beams, missile launchers and point defense. It can outrun destroyers and outgun battleships, in spite of the fact it's a light cruiser. It also has a hologram projector capable of making it look like a down-on-its-luck tramp freighter rather than, say, a stolen military experimental ship piloted by the most wanted woman in the sector.
  • The novel Invaders From the Infinite featured the Thought - a ship made of, well, solidified thought. Its main armament consisted of the device that made it.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space series of novels and short stories features ships built into the Puppeteer-produced General Products Hull. Sure, you can only get them in "cigar-shape" or "kilometer-wide-sphere" models, but they're completely invulnerable to anything short of antimatter. And they're transparent.
    • They actually come in 4 sizes/types. A sphere, roughly the size of a basketball, a cylinder 300 feet long and 20 feet wide, pointed at both ends and with a slight "wasp-waist" constriction near the tail., a cylinder with rounded ends and a flattened belly. and a transparent sphere around 1,000 feet in diameter.
    • This series is full of awesome ships: Lying Bastard, Angel's Pencil, ramships, The Wunderland Treatymaker, Outsider Ships, the Wunderland raid payload, any slaver ship, the Ringworld and The Fleet of Worlds.
  • The eponymous fake ship in Mark S. Geston's Lords of the Starship is designed to be this in-story. It's seven miles long with a wingspan of three miles and takes a workforce of thousands more than a century to build, using ancient technology that's conveniently been rediscovered for them. Its ostensible purpose is to revitalise the economy of its Crapsack World and motivate the workforce by giving them something to believe in. In reality the project is designed to weaken and impoverish the country in preparation for an invasion, foment a war between pro-and anti-ship factions, and then use the ship's humongous rockets to incinerate both armies fighting over it, thereby eliminating any effective defense.
  • In Tony Daniel's Metaplanetary series, the forces of the outer system have Cloudships: spiral-shaped clouds of connected meteoroids with uploaded minds named after classic writers; males are shaped clockwise, females counter-clockwise. They regularly travel to Alpha Centauri. The forces of the inner system have 5-mile long ships shaped like bundles of scythes with limited intangibility. There's also a Jeep with an FTL-engine-in-a-Thermos.
  • The enormous Black Ship in the Nation of the Third Eye novel by K.K. Savage can switch between physicality and the astral world at will. Also, it is the most powerful ship in the Solar System and hosts the Grand Temple - a room that is over 2 miles high.
  • The Starship Lady MacBeth in The Night's Dawn Trilogy. It's essentially a giant flying sphere, but it also has 3 fusion rockets and 8 overpowered communication lasers (Masers) that just happen to double as Deathrays. It also has an Anti Matter Drive - Antimatter itself is illegal, but nowhere in the Confederation laws does it say that a antimatter drive is illegal.
  • Orion: First Encounter: The Orion, which can travel interstellar distances in seconds, understand multidimensional physics and uses holographic boxing gloves and tiny bugs as weapons.
  • Implied by the first edition cover art of each book in Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy, but at least partially averted in the actual story. The Generation Ship "Peerless" is a hollowed-out, internally-reinforced mountain propelled through space by a bunch of rockets, and it is never visually described as anything more glamorous than that, but the artwork depicts it as a sleek, sexy, and definitely-not-made-of-rocks-and-dirt spaceship. Of course, the ingenuity required to make such a feat happen in the first place might qualify it as a Cool Starship, but the discrepancy between how it is represented in the artwork versus the story certainly highlights the trope.
  • Not surprisingly, as it is a SF series, most starships in Perry Rhodan fall into this trope. Famous examples are
    • The giant robot ship Old Man - a hemisphere with 200 kilometer diameter and a height of 100 km - was one of the largest ships ever encountered... and mistook a domestic discussion for people initiating a war.
    • The SOL was a dumbbell-shaped ship with two spheres at the end - each 2500 meter large, held together by a originally 1500 meter long and thick 'tube'. The tube later was enlarged to 2500 meter length. The ship would land 'sideways' (i.e., on one of the spheres), turning it into a mountain 8 kilometer tall - about the height of Mt Everest, measuring from sea level. It's main computer, SENECA, was sentient and the ship would not react to any commands if he was removed, which several beings attempted.
    • The GILGAMESCH, like the SOL a flag ship for a while, consisted of 13 modules, each 'belonging' to another one of the protagonists. When put together, the diameter was 2.5 kilometer, but each segment was capable of independent action. If parts were on missions, force fields made of 'form energy' filled that gaps and made it look as if it was a round ball.
  • The ships from Neal Asher's The Polity books - the 'Cable Hogue' has the same mass as Earth's Moon, but it's bigger. 'Geronamid' and 'Jerusalem' are space-distorting huge, and make planet-eating alien creatures of near-infinite intelligence wet themselves just by their arriving anywhere. AI controlled, they also tend to be very self-aware, often inscrutable and occasionally inclined to sarcasm. The wardrones are even more fun...
  • The Emiline is the tricked-out space yacht belonging to Miles Flint, Retrieval Artist. A man of otherwise simple tastes, it's the one thing he spends his lavish fortune on: black, sleek, fast, upgraded with the latest defense and security whenever a new version comes out, richly carpeted and furnished and modified with a few features he's used to from his days with Armstrong police: handcuff mounting points, a brig, and so on.
  • Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space mostly takes place on the Nostalgia for Infinity, one of only a few hundred "lighthuggers" existence. Infected with an alien plague that affects nanotech, the ship is riddled with strange, cancerous organic-like growths and failing systems and changes layout in unpredictable ways yet it can still reach the speed of light and travel between stars.
    • It also carries a whole bunch of "Hell-class" weapons, all of which easily outperform the state of the art in space weapons used by almost anyone else and capable of smashing planets. Each weapon is AI-controlled and independently mobile like a miniature warship, and was designed by future humans from an alternate reality.
    • At the end of Revelation Space, Captain John Brannigan's variant of the Melding Plague (a cybernetic virus) is allowed to take over the ship, rendering The Captain into a Living Ship.
    • The sequel, Redemption Ark, introduces the Nightshade and the Zodiacal Light, lighthuggers that use inertia-suppressing machinery to effectively reduce their mass and achieve much higher acceleration.
  • Subversion? The cool ships in the "Ship Who..." series tend to be middle of the road, completely average ships. Not too junky, not too edge of the tech. Mainly because it's too expensive. And the ships can't afford it (yeah, the ships are alive — each ship is controlled by a "brain", a human born with incapacitating disabilities raised as a "shellperson" and trained to control ships, space stations, or cities, who are cybernetically connected to the ship/station/city systems). Oddly, few have weapons.
  • In the classic Skylark Series by E. E. “Doc” Smith, Doctor Richard Seaton and friends trade up through a series of increasingly powerful spacecraft. He discovers a substance that catalyzes the conversion of copper to energy and linear momentum, then makes contact with a succession of alien races and gains galaxy-turning scientific insights. The original Skylark is a forty-foot steel-hulled sphere, refitted with the alien metal "arenak" into Skylark II, then replaced with the mile-long blimp-shape of Skylark III using an even stronger metal, "inoson." He finally constructs the gargantuan Skylark of Valeron (his wife being tired of numbers) out of thin air and raw computation (having discovered the secrets of Sixth Order Forces and time manipulation), a thousand-mile-wide sphere. Its size wasn't ego — he simply needed that much room for mechanisms to lock onto Earth after being thrown to the far side of the universe.
  • The TC/USNA America from Star Carrier, one of only 12 supercarriers in any human Space Navy. While built and officially a part of the United States of North America Navy, it operates under the umbrella of the Terran Confederacy (hence the TC/USNA prefix). It's particularly noted that other Earth nations don't build carriers that size due to different military doctrines. Whereas North Americans base their fleets around huge carriers, other nations tend to field only smaller carriers as part of their battlegroups, which are focused on battleships. The America herself (like most human ships) looks like a giant menacing mushroom. The "cap" is actually a reservoir of water that acts as both radiation shield and used for life support. The lower part of the "stem" contains the reactor arrays that use miniature black holes to generate power. The upper part of the "stem" contains the living spaces and Space Fighter hangars. The fighters themselves are typically launched using the magnetic accelerator tube at the center of the "cap" or simply dropped from the side of the "stem". When not in use for launching fighters, the tube can be used as a Magnetic Weapon, launching metallic slugs at relativistic speeds at the enemy (although not as fast as a dedicated railgun). Like every other ship, the America moves by projecting black holes in front of the ship, allowing her to accelerate incredibly fast. For interstellar travel, an Alcubierre Drive is used. Over the course of the series, the ship is hit hard, including nearly being destroyed during the battle with the Grdoch. She is repaired in a matter of weeks by using nanites to "regrow" her damaged parts.
  • The USS Sagittarius from Star Trek: Vanguard is a fast-looking, sexy little thing, even when it's on fire and about to be curb stomped by Klingons. Also, the fiercely awesome USS Bombay. Not only is it a TOS-ified version of the already cool Reliant, it kicks ass and takes names in an insane five-on-one battle before getting blown up. Starship Determinator FTW.
  • Remaining in the Star Trek EU, Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels have the Bloodwing. That, according to Kirk himself, defeated the Enterprise more than once. That was before her commander Ael augmented her guns and switched sides to save the Romulan Empire from itself. After the change of sides... Well, on one occasion Bloodwing flew past Romulus' defenses and landed on the Imperial Senate building, then flew away after blowing up the only ship that dared not to be awed enough to try and stop her...
  • Also in the EU are New Frontier's ships.
    • Both versions of the Excalibur, the second being what amounts to a hot rod version of the Galaxy-class.
    • The Trident, Excalibur's sister ship
    • The Spectre, a badass Romulan vessel that can be rigged to run silent and virtually undetectable.
  • In the post Star Trek: Destiny universe you now have the Vesta-class, spearheaded by the USS Aventine. Forget warp speed or transwarp. These babies were built with quantum slipstream drives - the kind that make a jaunt from Earth to the Delta Quandrant (a 70-year journey for Voyager) a quick three-week trip. But don't let their quick velocity give the impression of a Fragile Speedster - the Vestas can go toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters of the Breen Confederacy or Romulan Empire.
  • Star Wars Legendsnote :
    • The Suncrusher. It's barely bigger than an X-Wing, yet it can destroy solar systems in a single shot, and endure glancing hits from the prototype Death Star's superlaser. Oh, and it takes out a Star Destroyer by flying through it, coming out the other side without so much as a scratch. The only way to destroy it was dumping it into a black hole.
    • The TIE line of ships from the films eventually culminates in the TIE Defender, which is more heavily armed, more heavily shielded, and faster than Vader's TIE Advanced model. "Trips", as the Rebels call them, made it into EU material outside of the TIE Fighter computer games and in the early days of the Alliance / Empire war were generally considered a failure due to the massive pricetag (and the fact that the admiralty feared such expensive and non-expendable fighters would be used as an excuse to cut funding to Star Destroyer construction), although the handful of times they saw deployment they certainly fit the criteria. As production became less expensive and the Imperials' military philosophies had to change with their shrinking territory, the Defender became more common.
    • There is also the slightly less powerful but more common TIE Advanced, a mass-produced variant of Darth Vader's personal fighter. It was proven capable of outmaneuvering any Rebel starfighter, and experienced pilots were able to outwit renegade TIE Defender pilots. The thing's nickname? The TIE Avenger.
    • The Errant Venture is the only civilian-owned Star Destroyer, and it's red. This makes other Star Destroyer captains jealous. While initially stripped of the bulk of its guns to make it civilian-legal, eventually Booster Terrik (who isn't big on legality) not only had them restored, he also installed a mini-superlaser in the bow. While it can't blow up planets like the Death Star or render them uninhabitable like the Eclipse, it can one-shot almost any warship. The Venture also has twice the starfighter capacity as a typical Star Destroyer, since all the landing craft, walkers, etc. were removed, though in practice most of that capacity is used to let freighters dock since Booster uses it as a mobile smugglers' port.
    • The Sith Mediation Sphere. It's a giant bat-winged eyeball powered by pure EVIL. Bad. Ass.
    • The heroes of Galaxy of Fear, after losing their original ship, end up taking the villain of the book's ship, The Shroud. It's battered looking and doesn't seem to be armed, but it's noted for performing well and has great engines. However, its greatest asset was the information in its computers. Unfortunately it crashes as part of a Closed Circle.
    • Executor's sister ship, the Lusankya (originally Executor II). It was buried under Coruscant's surface and used as a brainwashing facility; the New Republic knew of the facility and the name, but they thought it was a secret prison on a distant planet, not right in the heart of the Empire. Its rising, to the utter gaping shock and horror of the New Republic, which had just captured the planet, was a big achievement. When the New Republic captured it they did not rename it, unlike virtually every other captured capital ship. And, well, face it. If there was ever a ship's name that went really well with terrified/awed bits of Ominous Latin Chanting, it's Lusankya.
      • If there's anything more awesome than the background of the Lusankya (she wasn't just any SSD - she was the Executor's friggin twin sister), it was the fact she was used mainly by the good guys. Just imagine what the original Executor would have been like as a Rebel flagship (complete with Rebel Alliance/New Republic sunbirds on her sides), and you have the Lusankya. Many an Imperial Warlord and wannabe Emperor has literally pissed themselves upon seeing her exit hyperspace, especially when, going by her New Republic transponder signal, they were originally expecting a Mon Cal cruiser or Nebulon-B-class frigate. And that's not discounting how the Republic also used her against other Executor-class Super Star Destroyers, as best shown in the Third Battle of Orinda. Hell, even the Yuuzhan Vong (who usually despised and looked down upon New Republic ships for being inorganic) outright feared her, especially when the New Republic began utilizing Imperial tacticsnote  against them at the Battle of Borleias.
      • Even the Lusankya's death was incredibly epic - the ship was damaged during a long siege, and so it was slowly stripped of weapons, and a reinforced spar full of explosives constructed along its 8km central spine. In the final battle of Rebel Dream, it rammed an enemy worldship and exploded, wiping out the attackers' command cadre and allowing the garrison to evacuate from what was supposed to be a suicide mission.
      • It helped that she was the flagship of Wedge Antilles, the guy who helped destroy the second Death Star. And happens to have hundreds (maybe thousands) of kills in air-to-air combat. And he's every bit as brilliant in ship-to-ship combat (not that kind) as he is in an X-Wing. For reference Admiral Ackbar, the New Republic's commander-in-chief of the navy, considers him a Worthy Opponent and has been beaten by him in simulated war games. This is the guy who once toppled a miniature empire with a fleet that actually contained the Lusankya using just a couple squadrons of fighters, a few dozens armed freighters, and a broken down space station. Did we mention he has no control over the Force whatsoever, making him a Badass Normal?
  • Scott Westerfeld's Succession is full of Cool Spaceships. Pictured here are the Rix battlecruzer (top) and the Lynx (bottom).
  • In Poul Anderson's Tau Zero, almost the whole story takes place aboard the good ship Leonora Christine. It's a Bussard Ramscoop that sucks in its fuel from the interstellar medium, and so can theoretically keep accelerating indefinitely. Which it does.
  • This was the main point of the Terran Trade Authority series, especially the first book. Given that many of the illustrators went on to be prolific and influential cover illustrators in their own rights, some of the designs may seem quite reminiscent of other examples on this page. Celebrated in this fan-made video.
  • The Troy class Battle Globes from the Troy Rising series. A nickel-iron asteroid, hollowed and inflated to 9km in diameter, with walls 1.5km thick, acting as home-port and carrier to Constitution class cruisers, and hundreds of assault shuttles. Plus an armament of tens of thousands of missiles, and laser emitters capable of throwing a petawatt or so (and more to come). Two-point-two trillion tons of death. And they fitted Troy with an Orion Drive to make it mobile. So far, they've built two of them, with a third on the way...
  • The Ark in Tuf Voyaging is an ancient, thirty-kilometer-long "seedship" containing the genetic material for thousands of species and millions of bacteria with the technology on board to clone them all, tweak their genetics as desired, and warp the fabric of time to age them up as needed. It even comes with fancy shuttles named for mythical beasts. And a Nice Hat.


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