Here’s a conundrum for you. What’s the best sci-fi spaceship ever? What makes it your favourite? There have been so many really neat sci-fi spaceships that there’s no right answer – or maybe any single answer – to this one. We’ll all have our favourites, and they’re all valid.
I don’t have any single favourite. My top list de jour (which may change), and in no particular order, is:
- The TARDIS. Because it’s – well, it’s the TARDIS, innit.
- The Eagle Transporter. This has to be the most iconic ship from 1970s sci-fi, and for all the silliness of its apparently near-infinite mass-ratio and one or two other things, it really captured the look you might expect for a tough utility spacecraft of the near future.
- Battlestar Galactica (from the re-imagined 2003-09 mini-series and series). Just awesome all round, a kind of combo aircraft carrier/battleship with an operating concept and combat tactic that was a lot closer to the ‘wooden walls’ of Nelson’s time than a modern warship.
- Thunderbird 2 (from the original series – and yes, it isn’t a spaceship, but hey…) – looks like a 200-foot long bullfrog with an atomic motor. Yes, the Thunderbirds were nuclear-powered aircraft. It was all the rage back in the sixties. (“Come on in, the fallout’s lovely”).
- Discovery – deliberately worked up by Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, Fred Ordway and others to be a ‘realistic’ near-future spacecraft. Compromised in the film version by lack of radiators – though early concept drawings had them – and in reality the centrifuge was too small to avoid heavy Coriolis effects. But it wasn’t bad.
- The Lexx – a spaceship that’s actually a giant sentient dragonfly which blows up planets, crewed by a dead guy, a latrine attendant (who has the control key) and a ‘love slave’ (who’s in love with the dead guy). Totally berserk. Totally cool.
There are plenty of others – everything Trek, naturally; some of the Star Wars craft; the Nostromo – and I’m sure you’ll have some too.
What are your favourite sci-fi craft…and why? And, if you want to check out my concept for a sci-fi spaceship, check out my short story ‘Missionary‘. I did the maths to work out the hab module – and for the rest? Well, you’ll have to read the story… It’s available in the first Endless Worlds compilation, on Amazon.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2017