ship in bottle

If you have arrived here from a galaxy far, far away…err, from the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s blog hop tour, welcome!

Ship in a Bottle.


other worlds logoOne of the joys of writing science fiction is the opportunity to create not just a single other world, but thousands of them, if you want.

I personally love new space opera, which does feature hundreds of worlds, spanning multiple star systems, even multiple galaxies.  The stories are of the same sort of scale–big, dramatic and with huge stakes.  They’re so much fun!

Of course, I’m biased, because among the first of the new space opera stories was Star Wars, and that movie was responsible for starting me on my writing career.

But “other worlds” doesn’t have to be so gi-normous.  Other worlds can be intimate.  An entire novel can take place on a single world, even though there are other worlds elsewhere.

Also, what about an other world that is enclosed within a single ship?  The entire world, all five thousand people, lives and dies aboard the ship, generation after generation, and no one ever looks beyond the hull and certainly no one ever goes outside.

That is the world I invented for my new SFR series, The Endurance.    The Endurance is a very big ship, holding inside it an entire city.  Everything is contained within the ship and it is on a thousand year journey to its final destination.  The five thousand people aboard the ship live and die never expecting to live anywhere else but the Endurance.

The enclosed system and community presents challenges and drama.  For example, it is impossible to move to another city if you blacken your reputation aboard the Endurance, where everyone knows who you are and your life is controlled by artificial intelligences who decide what work you will do, and if you will be given a child to raise….

Have you ever lived in an enclosed, small community and wished you could escape?  Tell me in comments, below!


5,001, the series prequel, and Greyson’s Doom, the first book in the series, are both now available.

Yesterday’s Legacy is currently available for pre-order, and Promissory Note, book 3, will be available for pre-order very soon.

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26 thoughts on “Ship In A Bottle”

  1. Well…growing up, I didn’t travel much outside of my neighborhood because I had to either walk or take the bus to most places and that was so cumbersome that it was like discovering a whole new world once I finally got a car! I love the concept of the city within the ship but it certainly sounds like it would trigger my mild claustrophobia!

    1. Hi Elf:

      Thanks for stopping by! \i think you would suffer as some of the people in the series do — mild claustrophobia because the ship is their whole world.



  2. For a year, my wife and I lived in a community of 13, and all but two of those people lived across the bay so you couldn’t walk to them. Going anywhere else on the island required a boat I didn’t possess, or a long hike through a rain forest. There were no stores. No television. Radio reception only at night, No Internet because it hadn’t been invented. To get into or out of the place required a float plane — or maybe a big boat and plenty of experience, or a death wish. If you’ve ever taken a cruise from Seattle to Alaska, you passed Gilford Island in the middle of the night.

    Did I wish to escape? On a day to day basis, no, though it helped that Judi and I got along great. Strangely I never got bored; too much to do and a whole island and Indian culture to explore. But if I’d had to stay there the rest of my life, I might’ve gone crazy. Knowing we’d signed up for one year and no more kept me sane.

    1. Hi Ed:

      Thanks for stopping by. Your time on Gilford Island sounds a lot like Thoreau’s cabin by Walden Pond. Did you do a lot of thinking and introspection? I imagine you would have to, just to stop going crazy!

      Reading, too….



      1. Yes, lots of reading and thinking and talking and communing with nature. If I liked a book I read it three or four times because I couldn’t just dash out and buy another. Life was very restricted but at the same time deeper, if that makes sense, precisely because it was so narrow.

  3. I absolutely adore the ship in a bottle picture you used. Generation ships certainly have their own problems. Actually, going on a cruise ship is not dissimilar when it’s sailing. You’re in an enclosed space, with a finite number of people, and jumping over the side isn’t a great idea. Love your covers, BTW.

    1. Thanks, Greta!

      I have never been on a cruise ship before, but yes, I can see how it would be the same thing. A very limited world.

      I have, however, been on one of the ships that the British used to bring convicts over to Australia…you want to talk about claustrophobia when you’ve been on one of those. Six weeks or more in a tiny little wood vessel with decks so low you have to bend over to walk anywhere. Ugh. I got the creeps just from a quick tour!

      I’ll let Dar know what you said about her covers. She always does great work!



    2. Yep. Our one and only big-ship cruise ended up having engine problems the first night out. Our tiny cabin, down underneath the bowels of the ship, became very cramped, and the other 3600 people stuck on the boat with us started to get real old, real fast. All the open-bar happy hours in the world couldn’t have stopped us from bolting off that ship as soon as we made port. Even though our cruise was comped and we got another free one, we never went back.

      1. Oh…ugh! That sounds just awful!

        My mum just came back from a fifteen day cruise of the Indonesian islands, and she said the opposite. Love the ship, couldn’t wait to get back on it at the end of the day.



  4. I’ve never really lived in a small community. I’ve lived out in the country, but I still traveled to the city several times a week. I haven’t been out of Canada much, but it is definitely not a small community.

    1. Hi Jessica;

      Welcome to my site. I grew up in a very small country town — five houses and a wheat silo, basically. And a three room school. That was my life until I was thirteen. It was as claustrophobic as anything that has walls around it.

      I’ve driven through towns in Canada that look very much like the place where I grew up, too. Just a lot greener!



  5. What a lovely photo!

    I lived on Guam for a while as I was growing up. At the time, I was perfectly happy there, but I think as an adult I would have wanted to venture further afield. I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t do well on a submarine that is on a long term deployment. There you’d have the small community with no fresh air at all!

    1. Hi Kareni: You sound like you’re a military kid.

      I think a submarine would be hard to take, too. Very cramped. Submariners are a different sort of people.

      Thanks for stopping by!



  6. Love this concept! It stirs my imagination, wondering what someone who suddenly found themselves off the ship would think. And your covers are great!

  7. Star Wars was also what inspired me to start writing scifi. Until I was 18 I lived in a small village in the middle of arable farmland. I didn’t much like towns, even small ones, but I’ve now been living in Colchester for more than half my lifetime and I’m happy here (but we live on the outskirts so it only takes a few minutes to be back out in the country).

    1. Hi Pippa:

      Colchester sounds wonderful — just the name alone! Very evocative!

      You’re the only other person I know who was inspired by Star Wars to write. I’m sure there are others, but you’re the first I know about!



  8. I’m reading Grayson’s Doom this week. I love the closed nature of the Endurance because it makes me think about the implications of a society in which you can’t escape or go off-grid. Giving over control of family units is also a delicious thought: what were the intentions of the originators of that policy, and what are the unforeseen repercussions?
    It makes me think a little of the cities of China as they were for several decades in recent memory: tons of people packed tightly with government-assigned jobs and a one-child allotment. The consequences are pretty intense.

    1. Hi Lee:

      Thanks for stopping by. Have to admit I was thinking of China somewhat when I started the series. I was also thinking of a ship community that starts out with the best intentions but has to adapt to survive as time goes on. The series is a documentation of that adaptation…and what waits for them at the other end, too! 😉

      Enjoy Greyson’s Doom!



  9. I love to travel so living on a space ship that never arrives anywhere would not be my choice of places to live.

    1. Hi Jo:

      For most of the people aboard the Endurance, there is no choice. They are born and die on the ship and know nothing else. The idea of “travel” is moribund.




  10. I love love LOVE stories that take place on generation ships. I love to see how the ship affects them. This is why I loved ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis.

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