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Dinsdale 06-13-2019 10:48 AM

Vague recollection of sci-fi/fantasy story
I used to read to my kids all the time when they were young - including all of the LOTR and Narnia books. Yesterday I had a very vague recollection of a story from when they were young - probably would've been in the late 1990s. Wondering if any of you had any recollection of a similar story.

All I can recall is that there were a group of main characters who encountered one character was a traveler/adventurer, and who appeared to have tremendous powers. He arrived in some sort of a ship – possibly a boat or plane/airship. It eventually turned out that the character’s powers came from his ship, which was somewhat sentient. When he was very young, his parents had devised what was essentially a robotic nanny/protector/tutor for him. Not sure if the parents died or what, but growing up it was essentially him and his robo-nanny. Over time, as the character aged, he increased the “nanny’s” abilities, and at some point the ship began improving upon itself. Eventually, the character and his ship developed somewhat of a symbiotic relationship.

Does any of that ring a bell with any of you?

Here's the kicker - I used to make up stories for my kids as well. I don't THINK I would have been creative enough to come up with this sort of thing, but it is possible.

Dinsdale 06-14-2019 07:10 AM

Boy - if none of you guys can think of it, I guess it was likely the product of my twisted imagination.

Was talking to my eldest - she said I was always telling them stories, but when they would ask me to repeat them later, I couldn't remember them. Sure wish I had recorded them or something - tho I imagine they were likely the simplistic blather of a tired parent. No idea why THIS one bubbled up through my grey matter some 20 years later...

Darren Garrison 06-14-2019 09:14 AM

The closest I can think of (and it isn't very close) is Fantomex and E.V.A. Nothing here seems to fit, either.

Shoeless 06-14-2019 09:22 AM

About the closest thing I can think of... didn't they have something like this in one of the more recent Superman movies (or maybe Supergirl), where there was some sort of automated robot/AI guardian/tutor sort of thing sent along when they were shipped off of Krypton?

Snowboarder Bo 06-14-2019 09:26 AM

Dinsdale, did you watch The Tick on Amazon?

Dinsdale 06-14-2019 10:41 AM


Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21697727)
Dinsdale, did you watch The Tick on Amazon?


I can imagine I might have made it up, but the subject matter doesn't seem like what I would have blathered on about trying to get my 3 little kids to sleep. The kids LOVED it when I made up stories, but I will not deceive myself to think they were especially creative or anything.

Cyros 06-14-2019 10:44 AM

Sounds like the Pip and Flinx series to me.

Reading the description a little closer maybe not but it was what first triggered in my mind.

Snowboarder Bo 06-14-2019 12:17 PM


Have you asked your kids?

Dinsdale 06-14-2019 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21697987)

Have you asked your kids?

Yeah. Of the 3, the youngest had no recollection, and the oldest said it sounded vaguely familiar, but she couldn't place it. She is a youth librarian and heavily into fantasy, so if it WERE a kid's book, there's a good chance she'd have been able to ID it. Haven't heard back yet from the middle kid.

It was the eldest who told me about my inability to remember the stories I told them. Said there was one about cars that they always wanted to re-hear, but I couldn't remember it. I have no recollection of any story about cars.

Any parent will understand that so much blather goes on as you are trying to entertain, teach your kids - and not all of it is terribly intellectually stimulating, that it is hard to keep track of all you say.

Elendil's Heir 06-15-2019 10:51 AM


Originally Posted by Cyros (Post 21697831)
Sounds like the Pip and Flinx series to me....

I read only the first book in that series and didn't care for it (although I generally like ADF's work), and I'm 99% sure it's not that.

Biggirl 06-18-2019 10:16 AM

The ship that sort of takes care of a child-like person reminded me of Tuff and The Ark in Tuf Voyaging. But it probably isn't because he isn't a child and the ship wasn't built by his parents. Tuf seemed to me to be on the autistic spectrum and he and his ship do bond. And there are many fine adventures in the story.

Disheavel 06-18-2019 10:42 AM

Actually it pings my mind a little bit on two well known characters, but maybe you read books out of order or just enough time has passed.

If you first read Ender Wiggin's story in "Speaker for the Dead" or one of the later books you would get the powerful ship, Jane, and certianly the powerful boy component. And the nannying, well that is the theme or even anti-theme of Ender's Game.

And the other story that has some components is Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long tales where if I recall correctly there is also a ship/computer entity that becomes sensient.

Probably not either, but just some ideas

Chronos 06-18-2019 11:13 AM


And the other story that has some components is Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long tales where if I recall correctly there is also a ship/computer entity that becomes sensient.
Dora, named after the love of his life, and who starts taking on some of the personality characteristics of the original. Note that in that setting, computers becoming sentient is a normal thing that happens, and while one can't quite make it happen on demand, one can build a computer of the right sort that it can happen, which Lazarus (presumably deliberately) did.

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