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I read a short story years ago and would like to find it again. It was about a world ship of mysterious origin traveling for millions of years. There was a group of (presumably) humans living near the engines of the ship. This group was fighting a war against some sort of non-sentient organisms. There was also some sort of coup near the control center, but the book did not go into much detail about that.

That's all I can think of. I would appreciate some help figuring out which story this is. Thanks.

  • Can you recall any other details about this? – Adamant Oct 23 '16 at 6:11
  • I remember that the humans had a guest staying with them who may have been the last of his species. – posfan12 Oct 23 '16 at 6:12
  • Another detail is that no one knows the purpose of the world ship. – posfan12 Oct 23 '16 at 6:15
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    Sounds like one of the "The Ship" stories by Robert Reed; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marrow_(novel) – Valorum Oct 23 '16 at 9:21
  • Sorry. I read the story (not book) about a decade ago. I can't remember if the ship itself is alive. It may be one of the Greatship stories by Robert Reed, as @Valorum pointed out. – posfan12 Oct 23 '16 at 15:26
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This is "Hatch" by Robert Reed, one of his 'great ship' short stories.

  • World ship of mysterious origin traveling for millions of years - Check

  • Group of (presumably) humans living near the engines of the ship - Check

  • This group was fighting a war - Check

  • Against some sort of non-sentient organisms - Check

  • Some sort of coup - Check

This particular one is about passengers stranded on the outside of the ship's hull and forced to survive there while cut off from the increasingly mysterious interior of the vessel. Living in a rocket nozzle on the gas giant-sized ship, they live off the remains of an alien attacker's body that has formed an ecosystem on the ship's exterior. Peregrine, a prosperous "raider" whose job is harvesting the periodic "hatches" that send enormous swarms of aliens up into the atmosphere of the "Polypond," now in the midst of an affair with an old engineer who knew his mother, catches wind of a rare giant hatching which, of course, may well lead to much more than that.

Nader Elhefnawy reviews - The New Space Opera Ed. Gardner Dozois

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