Prev NEXT  


10 Fictional Spacecraft We Wish Were Real



Grant Morrison's Barbelith is here to help us. Like that illustration? Click here to see a bigger version.
Grant Morrison's Barbelith is here to help us. Like that illustration? Click here to see a bigger version.
Image courtesy J. Nicklas Andersson

What if Neil deGrasse Tyson is right? What if the only forces capable of pushing us to greatness are economics , war and religious fervor? Is there something broken in the human psyche that prevents us from achieving more? Perhaps it's a blessing that we're sequestered to this single, insignificant world.

If that's the case, we need a fictional spacecraft that can fix us -- a vessel that can travel faster than the speed of human ignorance and escape the gravitational pull of our violent hearts.

In Grant Morrison's comic book epic "The Invisibles," a sentient satellite known as Barbelith intercedes in human events to help the species realize its true potential. Vaguely resembling a dying sun or blood-red eye, the craft allows one character to feel humanity's collective suffering and ultimately enables the heroes to defeat the forces of darkness and achieve enlightenment.

An enlightened civilization of spacefaring humans -- now there's a fiction worth clinging to.

Author's Note: 10 Fictional Spacecraft We Wish Were Real

You don't have to look far on the Internet to find a top 10, 20 or 100 list of awesome fictional spacecraft. All they really have to do is look awesome and do gnarly things. In this article, I attempted to highlight spaceships that illuminate something real about the dream of true cosmic exploration. What hurdles do we have to overcome? What holds us back from, as Carl Sagan puts it, wading out from this shore on the cosmic ocean?

Plus, yeah, I made sure to pick some extremely gnarly spaceships. I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Adams, Douglas. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Pan Books. 1979.
  • Banks, Iain M. "The Player of Games." 1988. Macmillan.
  • "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." The Science Channel. 1980.
  • "Dead Space" Official Web site. Electronic Arts. 2012 (Feb. 22, 2012)
  • "Farscape." The Jim Henson Company. 1999.
  • Games Workshop. 2012 (Feb. 22, 2012)
  • Herbert, Frank. "Dune." 1965. Chilton Books.
  • Morrison, Grant. "The Invisibles Vol. 7: The Invisible Kingdom." Dec. 1, 2002.
  • "SDF-1." 2012. (Feb. 16, 2012)
  • Tyson, Neil deGrasse. Personal interview. Sept. 22, 2011. (Feb. 16, 2012)
  • United Nations. "Deforestation in decline but rate remains alarming, UN agency says." UN News Centre. March 25, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2012)


How the International Space Station Works

How the International Space Station Works

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan envisioned a permanent space station. Today we know it as the International Space Station. HowStuffWorks goes aboard.