The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

I always feel at a disadvantage when I read a story I’d heard about forever. Especially a story that I’ve been told I’ll love, a story that someone felt I had to read right now. I’m such a contrary cuss that I generally don’t read those stories at all.

My husband tried to get me to read this story years ago with just those arguments, so I dug my feet in hard and refused to read it. I have no idea why I hadn’t read it on my own before that, but I hadn’t.

When I read the story tonight, I felt that initial resistance, the I’m not going to like this feeling I get whenever I’m told what to love. Then I sank into the story, and fell in love. Helva, the ship who does sing, is a fascinating character and believably young, and the life lesson she learns brought me to tears. I had to abandon my reading for a while to let the story sink in, one of the highest compliments I can pay to a piece of fiction.


Collected in Women of Wonder edited by Pamela Sargent, Vintage Books, 1974.

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