Pure Fiction But We Wish It Was Real: L is for Leviathans

Thanks to everyone who mentioned their favorite ships yesterday. On that theme, here is my favorite. The idea of a living ship is so much fun that I put one in my fourth book. 

In particular the Leviathans from the Farscape universe. They are an engineered race of spaceships, made sentient by the Builders. 

Leviathans are biomechanoid made of both biological and mechanical systems. They have a thick outer skin capable of keeping a pressurized atmosphere inside. They generate a bioelectric field that can keep small openings in the hull from venting atmosphere. 

Holes in the hull are repaired by symbiotic organisms called Hodian trill bats, whose excrement is a sealant. Mechanical DRDs cat-sized droids that the Leviathan manufactures do take care of the rest of the maintenance.

There’s something about the idea of having a ship that can communicate with you and has its own feelings that is both appealing and scary. It can be an unpredictable ride if your ship is having a bad day.

Living ship, what do you think? What can you do with a living ship that you can’t do with a regular mechanical ship?

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T.S. Valmond is the science fiction and young adult fantasy author of The Bolaji Kingdoms Series and The Verity Chronicles. As an award-winning poet, world traveler, and sign language interpreter she uses her experiences to fuel her stories. She’s a regular contributor to the website and founder of the Riders & Flyers group.


  1. Ah this reminds me of an episode of Doctor Who! I believe the entire city of London was on the back of a space whale. I think it’s such an interesting concept – I wonder if we’ll ever get there.

    Operation Awesome. Our A to Z 2019 theme is the writing journey.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Loved Doctor Who. I saw that episode, it was a space whale! I haven’t watched it in a couple of seasons though. It’s hard to get new shows in Central America. Now that I’m back in North America I’m two Doctors behind.

  2. I saw that Dr Who episode, too, even though I actually haven’t watched all that many of them. That was more just a method of transportation than being the ship in its own right, though, I think. The idea of a sentient ship is very interesting, but I can’t decide whether it would be awesome, like having your faithful, beloved horse or dragon mount, or whether it would be creepy, like HAL only even worse!
    Black and White: L is for Leviathan

  3. That’s a great idea, but I prefer real ones 😉 I mean, mechanical, or much better, sailboat. I used to live and travel on a sailboat for 18 years, and it was just someting you want to do forever

    1. I imagine mechanical ones are much less temperamental too!

  4. Have you ever read the book Fluke, by Christopher Moore?

    It’s not one of his best, honestly, but the whale-ship bit is spot-on. 🙂

    1. I haven’t but I’ll put it on the list if you think it’s worth it.

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