I read quite a bit at my high school library when I was younger. I used to read various monthly anthologies of Science Fiction for the years I was at school. I read a cool space driven story about a war ship that could genetically engineer animals to wage wars on planets. The story has always stuck with me but now I can't find it. Any help in finding it would be appreciated.

Basic Plot:

  • Way in the future. Year 10K+?

  • Possibly after a large interplanetary battle has been waged but the war ended hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago.

  • Warfare was carried out with large, automated, genetic engineering spaceships that would be dispatched to enemy planets. The ships would automatically create deadly organisms and unleash them on the enemy planet as they orbited the planet.

  • Time has passed in the story and the war is over and the civilization left behind is at a lower technology level than during the war so the people of the time salvage the previous generations technology and derelict ships where they can.

  • Main character finds a planet that every so often seems to be attacked with alien creatures and he figures out that one of the old automated war ships must be in a long hyperbolic orbit around the planet and still functioning!

  • Main character finds ships and boards it with his salvage crew only to have the ships internal defenses wake up and start engineering protective measures onboard such as a T-Rex and alien creatures such as "Silicon Spiders".

  • There is a really cool portion to the story that deals with the Silicon spiders that weave nanowebs that are only an atom in thickness. One of the secondary characters looses a limb as the web falls through his/her body.

  • Oh, and the ship makes a T-rex. And then releases it wild and pissed off onboard the ship.

  • All hell breaks loose.

I've always thought this would be a great movie and, just for fun wanted, to re-read it to see if I was right.


1 Answer 1


Sounds like the short story "The Plague Star" in Tuf Voyaging, by George R R Martin.

From the Wikipedia article:

The novel [sic; I'd call it a collection of short stories myself] concerns the (mis)adventures of Haviland Tuf, an exceptionally tall, bald, very pale, overweight, phlegmatic, vegetarian, cat-loving but otherwise solitary space trader. Due to the venality and cutthroat tactics of the party chartering his one-man trading vessel, Tuf inadvertently becomes master of Ark, an ancient, 30-kilometer-long "seedship", a very powerful warship with advanced ecological engineering capabilities. Tuf travels the galaxy, offering his services to worlds with environmental problems, and sometimes imposing solutions of his own.

The silicon spiders are actually called 'walking webs'. There's a T rex though!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.