Brainship Books

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The “Brainship” series (which has been called “Ship Who Sang” series by some people), is a science fiction series that was written by prolific author Anne McCaffrey. Those who take part in the shell people program have heavy debts when they come of age that they have to pay off to free themselves. They have to work in hospitals, as brains of brainship for spacecrafts, or even cities. Some of the novels, McCaffrey had help in the form of co-authors who wrote with her after the first book in the series. The co-authors are Margaret Ball, Jody Lynn Nye, S. M. Stirling, and Mercedes Lackey. Some of the co-authors even wrote some novels for the series by themselves; these two are Jody Lynn Nye and S. M. Stirling. According to McCaffrey, this novel was the one she was proudest of, and thought it was her best and was her favorite of her work.

Order of Brainship Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Ship Who Sang ( By: Anne McCaffrey) 1969 Description / Buy
2 The Ship Who Searched (By: Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey) 1992 Description / Buy
3 PartnerShip ( By: Margaret Ball) 1992 Description / Buy
4 The City Who Fought ( By: S.M. Stirling) 1993 Description / Buy
5 The Ship Who Won (By: Anne McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye) 1993 Description / Buy
6 The Ship Errant ( By: Jody Lynn Nye) 1996 Description / Buy
7 The Ship Avenged ( By: S.M. Stirling) 1997 Description / Buy
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She came up with the story after reading about a female looking for her son’s brain. It had been used for autopilot on a ship, and she wanted to find the brain to bring it to an end. McCaffrey wondered what would happen if the disabled were able to be reborn as star ships. She worked on the “The Ship Who Sang” story after getting two of her stories published. This story wound up being published in an anthology that showcased the year’s best science fiction for 1962 and was published in a magazine for science fiction and fantasy in April of 1961. The first novel was published with the five previously published stories and one new one.


McCaffrey was given a Margaret A. Edwards Award for her making a career of writing for teenage readers, the first novel “The Ship Who Sang” was one of her works listed when she was given the award. One of the stories, “Dramatic Mission” was one of five nominated for the Hugo and Nebula for Best Novella, but did not win either award.


This next section is for those readers who would like to get into the “Brainship” series. It will go over the novels “The Ship Who Sang”, “PartnerShip”, and “The Ship Who Searched”.

The Ship Who Sang: This is the first novel in the “Brainship” series that was released in the year 1969. It is a fix-up novel that has six stories to it. Helva was born a human, but her brain had been implanted into the body (that was made of titanium) of a scout ship that could move throughout galaxies. The first thing she had to do was find a human that she wanted soaring with her throughout all of her daring adventures and other escapades in space.

PartnerShip by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball: This is the second novel in the “Brainship” series that was released in the year 1992. A new member of the elite Courier Service from the Central Worlds and a smart and advanced stellar ship, Nancia, finds the way she thought about humans ruined. This happens when she is paired with a brute for a partner in someone named Forister.

The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey: This is the third novel in the “Brainship” series that was released in the year 1992. A nice young girl named Hypatia, at the age of seven, comes down with a nasty and paralyzing alien illness. She is a rarity among the different protagonists of this series because she became disabled as a child, rather than at the time she was born. She finds herself unable to survive without a mechanical support system. The girl puts the spaceship on and goes out to find the virus that got her.


“R. Daneel Olivaw” series by Isaac Asimov: This series is about a robot, named Daneel that was built by Spacer roboticists from a planet called Aurora, in the year 5020 A.D. His full name is Robot Daneel Olivaw, but is named R. Daneel Olivaw because of Asimov’s naming scheme in the future societies.

“Hainish Cycle” series by Ursula K. LeGui: This series is set in a alternate future history in which civilizations of human beings on planets that orbit nearby stars that includes Terra (Earth). Some of them have started contacting each other for the first time, and establishing relations on a diplomatic level. They take guidance from the most peaceful of the human worlds, the Hain.

What Is The Next Book in The Brainship Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Brainship Series. The newest book is The Ship Avenged and was released on February, 1st 1997.

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