It's not an uncommon concept, and there are many stories that may fit it, but the simplest possibility that leaps to mind (being one of the earliest depictions of a generation ship) is Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky.
Main Character (Hugh) does go exploring the ship and finds many things, including the control deck.
They have been traveling so long that they ...
I'm pretty sure that's Mayflower II by Stephen Baxter, published separately as a chapbook but also collected in Resplendent. It has all of the elements that you mention, except that there are five ships rather than three and the protagonist's voyage lasts 25,000 years rather than 10,000.
The story begins on Pluto in the distant future. Its inhabitants,
I'm a huge fan of SF from the golden age of SF, so this could be a fairly old book. It was a story about a "generation" starship or sublight starship.
It's "Golden Age" all right (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1944, available at the Internet Archive) but it's not a book, it's a short story: "Far Centaurus" by A. E. van Vogt.
It was a story about a "...
"The Dirt On Our Shoes"
"The Dirt On Our Shoes" by Neal Shusterman was first published in Guys Read: Other Worlds, an anthology of science fiction stories published with the aim of getting boys interested in reading.
The story features a small human population that lives in a cylindrical spaceship.
The spaceship contains a large farm:
For his entire ...
"Birthdays" by Fred Saberhagen, 1976. The boy's name is Bart.
I read this in 'Galaxy: the Best of My Years'
Looking back, Bart could never clearly remember any part of his life before the day when the Ship first woke him from a long, artificially induced sleep, and guided him to the nursery ...
It could also be Phoenix Without Ashes by Harlan Ellison and Edward Bryant, the basis for the ill-fated TV show The Starlost. It was published in 1975.
They had banished Devon from the world of Cypress Corners because he
dared to challenge the Elders. And when he defied them again, they
hunted him like an animal. Then Devon stumbled on a secret ...
The earliest generation-ship story that I know of is "The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years", a novelette by Don Wilcox in Amazing Stories, October 1940 (available at the Internet Archive), seven months before Robert A. Heinlein's novelette "Universe" (the first half of his fix-up novel Orphans of the Sky), which first appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction, May ...
This sounds like Ark by Stephen Baxter (the sequel to Flood), published in 2009.
a generation ship type setting:
The events of Ark overlap with those of Flood: in preparation for a flood that will completely submerge the Earth's continents by 2052, the billionaire Nathan Lammockson builds Ark Three, a gigantic ship that will sail the waters of the drowned ...
While you've already accepted an answer, Damon Knight's The World and Thorinn also fits (and is an obscure favorite of mine).
It follows a young boy named Thorinn, raised by what are essentially ogres in a world where the horizon curves up into the sky. After something happens to make their well go dry, they seal Thorinn (whose name means "flea" because his ...
I am looking for a short story
"Between the Dark and the Daylight" by Algis Budrys, first published (as by "David C. Hodgkins") in Infinity Science Fiction, October 1958, available at the Internet Archive.
and anthology / anthologies containing it.
The ISFDB bibliography page for this stories lists several anthologies and Budrys collections in which it ...
The novel is Checkmate by Eric T. Baker, published in 1997. Aaron Hudson, the main character, is a cop in the Contraband Unit aboard the Jersey, one of a fleet of generational colony ships between which shuttles at least somewhat routinely ferry people and goods (the latter not always legally, hence Hudson and the rest of his unit).
The implants ...
Was her name Taya?
James Hogan wrote a short story called "Silver Shoes for a Princess" that he later expanded into the novel Star Child. I'm guessing you read one of these. Excellent short, mediocre novel.
The girl had always been called Taya. Her companion Kort had always been with her. She accepted these things, and why not- they were her ...
The part about the ship powering up and gravity kicking in doesn't fit (as far as I recall), but the rest of the description sounds a lot like Heinlein's classic "Orphans of the Sky" (originally published in 2 parts "Universe" and "Common Sense.")
The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson. The book has a wikipedia page. It won a Lambda Literary Award for gay SF/F. Here is the back cover blurb from the 1992 Tor paperback edition:
TO SEEK THE STARSIS MANKIND'S DESTINY—BUT ONLY ONE MANKNOWS WHEN TO RETURN!For two thousand years, the starship Astron has searched the galaxy for alien lifeforms—...
This is "Stranded" (2012) by Anne Bishop.
The Restorers travel the universe fulfilling a purpose handed down
through the generations. They live and die aboard city-ships, never
knowing the worlds they create and save. What begins as a disastrous
training exercise in creating and balancing ecosystems becomes an
unexpected fight for survival. The ...
"The Dirt On Our Shoes" by Neal Shusterman may be the one as per Short story about a generation ship designed to seed a planet with bacteria and kill the humans on board
It follows Tanner, an orphan on a space capsule that was designed by the builders to deliver its contents onto Primordius. His parents have died and he farms his plot of land by himself, ...
Brian W Aldiss' Non Stop (aka Starship). First published 1958.
At the end an "emergency stop" is triggered which causes the ship to split up into its component decks, so obliging Earth to bring the people down.
Ben Bova's Young Adult Exiles Trilogy.
Computer engineer Lou Christopher's life falls apart when the World Government decrees that the project he is working on is too dangerous to continue. Thus, he and thousands of other scientists and their families are sentenced to permanent exile from Earth on a space station. But Lou and several others decide to ...
Any chance this would be The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson? The Wikipedia page indicates a match on some important details:
The ship has slowly shrunk from cannibalizing sealed off sections for
parts and breaking apart from centuries of wear; meanwhile, the crew
has dwindled from generations of selective breeding. The Captain wants
I recall reading this story (or, at least, a story very much like it) in the sci-fi anthology called Federations. It's called "Twilight of the Gods" and was written by John C. Wright.
The captain would be Acting Captain Weston II. Not sure about the bird, though the last Watchman does say "A true Captain would use the power, not for himself, ...
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
Could be "The Whims of Creation" by Simon Hawke.
From an online review:
The Agamemnon is a generation ship. Ten miles in diameter and even
more in length, it carries hundred thousand humans and multiple AIs on
a slowship trip to the stars.
It's a dozen generations into the trip by now, and things are working
perfectly. Except in the last five ...
Is it The Watchers Of Space? Here is a link to amazon for it, maybe the cover art looks familiar?
Synopsis: The starship Genesis carries the last survivors of Earth on a desperate flight to a new home. But the ship is slowly disintegrating and the oxygen supply is running out -- it's a race ...
I remember a similar question:
Book about an isolated space ship where a new society/religion develops after order collapsed
As you can see, there are several books resembling the described scenario:
Orphans of the Sky by Heinlein (protagonist here is a young man)
Non-Stop by Brian Aldis (the main character is a mid-aged man)
Earthseed by Pamela Sargent (...
Could be The Voyage that Lasted Six Hundred Years by Don Wilcox.
In this story there is a man called the "Keeper of the traditions" who goes the whole way in suspended animation, coming out every hundred years to see that all is going as planned. Needless to say it doesn't, and toward the end of the voyage he has to come out permanently. Not long after, he ...
This is very probably Flight of Exiles, by Ben Bova. It's the second novel in his Exiles trilogy. The first two books are pretty hard young adult science fiction; the third book, End of Exile, gets a lot softer and more kid oriented. (However, I should note that Bova disdained the distinction between hard and soft SF.)
This is the original cover:
It's "Voyage from Yesteryear" by James Hogan
The story opens early in the 21st century, as an automated space probe is being prepared for a mission to explore habitable exoplanets in the Alpha Centauri system. However, Earth appears destined for a global war which the probe designers fear that humanity may not survive. It appears that the only chance for ...
You are looking for Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear and released in 2010.
Excerpt from the Wikipedia article:
A starship hurtles through the emptiness of space. Its destination – unknown. Its purpose – a mystery. Now, one man wakes up. Ripped from a dream of a new home-a new planet and the woman he was meant to love in his arms-he finds himself wet, naked, ...
Another possibility is Harry Harrison's Captive Universe Where the passengers have an Aztec culture and live in a valley unaware they are on a ship, while the crew are behind the scenes, but they also have an imposed culture.
The Whims of Creation (1995) by Simon Hawkes?
The Third Millennium: The multigenerational space ark, Agamemnon, is a perfect ecosystem, designed to support 100,000 human colonists and their descendants as they journey to a distant star system. But halfway through the voyage, something has gone drastically wrong.
Depression is ...