Here's what I remember:

  • Takes place in the future on a giant, bigger-than-a-planet spaceship found and now run by humans
  • Humans are genetically altered and/or are enhanced with nanotechnology and have essentially become immortal and can be healed from almost any wound
  • The surface of the ship is inhabited by former humans who have mutated into a new species, and live their entire lives in a kind of space suit
  • The plot involves the discovery of a small planet within the ship that the protagonist is stranded on along with many others, and they form a civilization and live there for centuries

Anyone know the name of this book? I can never remember it.


2 Answers 2


It's Marrow by Robert Reed. Good book.

When a jovian sized, artificially-created structure enters the galaxy, a society of technologically advanced humans (capable of interstellar flight and functionally immortal) are the first to intercept and investigate it. Finding it to be an intergalactic ship, they decide to convert it into a cruise ship, inviting alien races to join them in its massive, uncharted interior as it makes a slow circumnavigation of the Milky Way .

After thousands of years, with over 200 billion creatures living in its upper levels, a group of explorers discover a planet hidden in the core of the Great Ship. As they explore it, however, an ionic blast cuts them off from the rest of the ship and destroys much of their technology. Because this planet, Marrow, is slowly expanding, the explorers reason that a new bridge can be built in another 5,000 years. They thus begin a civilization on the surface of Marrow.

There's a sequel, The Well of Stars, and also a chapbook containing a novelette set in the same universe, Mere.

  • That's it. It was a great book. I didn't know there was a sequel. I think that's next on the reading list. Jan 19, 2011 at 18:50
  • 2
    The book Marrow is actually an expansion of a novelette by the same name, which (in my opinion) was much better for being shorter. May 5, 2011 at 15:50
  • I edited in part of Wikipedia's plot summary from your link, so that it's clear without clicking that this is the right story. Hope you don't mind! (Now we can close that duplicate in the direction you originally suggested.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 6, 2017 at 11:31

If you're looking for giant ships:

Iain M. Banks: The Culture's General System Vehicles. Holds 2000 or more miles wide, holding a captured sea with whales, one or two of them big enough to hold 200+ million folk inside them, flying about, partying, sucking on the gas.

In Frank Herbert's Chapterhouse: Dune, NO ships that are vast, where whole populations can be hidden inside them. They are prescient enough to shield prescient vision, and provide drive with a guild navigator, and are used to hide in the universe for life.

  • That's nothing. The Loolandre in the Perry Rhodan universe had a diameter of at least 4 lightyears. Nov 26, 2011 at 23:14
  • How does that happe? Do you build a Stanford Tulus around a planet? I know spheres are structurally sound and all... but you would think getting that penny in the bottle would be rather impossible. What happens to the magneticsphere? The Lagrange points? Satellites and tidal forces? Can you change the axis and how the heck do you continue photosynthisis and power the Big Orange Ball?
    – Jersey
    Sep 17, 2013 at 15:42

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