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All right y'all, I made this account specifically to ask this question because it's killing me trying to find this story.

I thought it was an Ursula K Le Guin thing but maybe not.

It's set on a space station, and the MC/narrator is some kind of officer in some space agency (Starfleet-style). An alien ship comes in to negotiate entry into the equivalent of the Federation.

The ship itself is a biological organism, as are all the components within it.

There's also an Ambassador, who as far as I remember is quite short and possibly white-furred. The ship docks with the station by means of a sphincter that opens and closes to let people through.

The Ambassador comes onto the station, the MC meets them, and...stuff happens. There are some lines about the relative merits of artificial machines vs. biological ships and components. That's all I remember.

There's also a chance that this isn't a short story, but the beginning of a novel I picked up and only read a bit of.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

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    Around when did you read it? – user14111 Nov 26 '20 at 2:15
  • A few years ago, probably around 2016-17 – whaleofalael Nov 26 '20 at 6:06
  • In what language? And do you remember anything about the cover of the book? (Sounds like no, but worth a shot - sometimes that helps) – tardigrade Nov 26 '20 at 7:17
  • English, and no, I don't recall the cover – whaleofalael Nov 26 '20 at 15:07
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It could be Warhorse By Timothy Zahn

An ecologically-aware science fiction novel filled with warnings modern humans can (and probably should) carefully consider. The Warhorse universe is populated by living starships with telekinetic abilities. These “space horses” have been tamed and are controlled by an alien species that keeps tight rein over their wrangling tech. Human poachers are determined to capture one of these living ships and learn how to pilot them. As you can imagine, that puts something of a strain on peaceful relations with the Tampy. Can the two species learn to work together, or are space horse jousting wars a future inevitability?

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Part of the book:

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  • Hm, doesn't seem familiar. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that it was either a short story or a dream. – whaleofalael Nov 27 '20 at 2:12
  • May be some memory references to Lexx ? =) – Yaroslav Kornachevskyi Nov 27 '20 at 11:58

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