There is a long naval tradition of referring to ships as "she". An admiral once said that this is because it costs so much to keep them in powder and paint. In a science fiction setting where spaceships are fitted with Artificial Intelligences, the ship might actually be a girl. In some cases, the A.I. interfaces with the crew through a feminine hologram (as in the TV series Andromeda), or simply as a feminine voice (as in Star Trek; rest in peace, Majel Barret). In extreme cases, the ship can actually shapeshift into a girl, (or an alien rabbit-cat as in Tenchi Miyu)
Game and Story Use
- The Spaceship Girl is most likely to be an NPC/support character than an active PC. It depends on how much the ship can actually do.
- In a magic-based campaign a vessel might also have a feminine personality and the ability to talk.
- My Mother, the Car
- Of course, many mundane vehicles have personalities too
- K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider is a rare male version of the Spaceship Girl
- So is the title character from an obscure '80s TV show called Automan, an AI who could manifest himself either as a driveable holographic car, or as a pompous action hero. Man, I had forgotten about that one.
- In some settings, the Spaceship Girl can be justified by having the spaceship actually be a living creature capable of existing in and moving through space, as in the TV series Farscape.
- Yet another possibility is to have a human brain wired into the ship's computer system, as in Anne McCaffrey's "Ship Who Sang" stories.