Sentient Ships

Intelligent, autonomous but not fully sophont spacecraft

Stultifera Navis
Image from Steve Bowers
The Stultifera Navis, a sentient ship which independently ferries volatiles from the cold outer regions of Gillbank system to the dry, inner regions

Sentient ships occupy a midpoint between their less common sophont equivalents, who are regarded as persons in the Civilized Galaxy, and other space vessels that are subsentient and attend to tasks that do not require awareness. Within the scope of their duties they may have capabilities that exceed those of most ordinary sophonts, but in terms of their ability to relate to persons or solve more general problems, they are less capable.

They may present as having as little intelligence as a worm or insect, appearing to be largely 'automatic', or they may be presapients, with capacities equivalent to those of an elephant or dolphin and demonstrate aspects of personality according to the needs of the situation and of their creators. By design they are typically devoted servants, strongly wedded to their work, and those in the high subsapient range are often capable of loyalty to their masters/passengers. Like their sophont equivalents, sentient ships are an essential link between the parts of the Civilized Galaxy.

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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 05 September 2014.