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The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Life on the transdimensional ship Skidbladnir is a strange one. The new janitor, Saga, finds herself in the company of an officious steward-bird, a surly and mysterious engineer, and the shadowy Captain. Who the odd passengers are, and according to what plan the ship travels, is unclear. Just when Saga has begun to understand the inner workings of Skidbladnir, she discover ...more
ebook, 21 pages
Published December 12th 2018 by Tor Books
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
These are the voyages of the starship ... Skidbladnir.


Skidbladnir is an old, failing ship that travels between the stars through hyperspace. It’s a cross between a spaceship, an old high-rise building and a hermit crab, with an immense, jellyfish-like body hidden within in the walls of the building it uses as a shell for its interstellar travels. Because Skidbladnir is an aging ship, it has frequent electrical and plumbing malfunctions that keep the ship’s janitor, a woman named Saga, busy. So
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
🛸 Free SF short from Tor 🛸

Okay, so this story is not overwhelmingly fascinating. To say the least. It's about a starship that has kinda sorta seen better days (hence the title and stuff). And about its new janitor (please don't yawn), a chick/girl/woman/whatever called Saga. (Which made me think of Saga repeatedly while I was reading. Which probably did this little story here no good whatsoever.)

Anyway, the story is pretty meh and boring and stuff, and I would have rated it 2 stars had it no
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Skidbladnir is a living interdimensional ship encased in a shell that carries a human crew in “The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir” by Karin Tidbeck. Now the Ship is growing too large for its shell and is falling apart. The captain wants to sell off Skidbladnir for meat to make a deposit on a new ship, but the engineer Novik and mechanic Saga conspire to save her from that fate. Tidbeck has a preternatural gift for describing the otherworldly: “First it wasn’t there, and then it was, heavy and solid, ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
I know what to expect from Tidbeck's style now, and I enjoy it immensely. This story was just elegant enough, and somehow Tidbeck makes me overlook the implausibility of the crab-building spaceship, because the message is beautiful and not overdone. ...more
C. S.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like one of the best Eccleston-era Doctor Who episodes.

Free to read online here
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A free short sci-fi story from - available here.

(view spoiler)
Uma    | Books.Bags.Burgers
I think I would enjoy a series of this... The short story doesn't explain much but the world building was so intriguing and I'd love to learn more! ...more
Waving between two and three stars, here. There's nothing wrong with this story except that it's, well, bland. There's no conflict, there's no character growth. There's an interesting spaceship concept that lends itself to original visual descriptions, but that's not enough to power 6,000 words of story on its own. Not what I expected from the author of Amatka. ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-freebie
Good, if predictable. 3 solid stars.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This super lovely story can be read for free here: ...more
Nerine Dorman
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ah, man, I loved this story so hard. It's not so much the story of Skidbladnir's last voyage, but more the realisation of the protagonist about what it means to be her own person. A coming-of-age kinda tale. But Skidbladnir's pretty darned awesome. I love this concept of a sentient, space-faring vessel so very much. ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
'The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir' by Karin Tidbeck is a story told through Saga, the ship's janitor. Saga's job is to fix and repair the spaceship Skidbladnir, a living cruise ship that is similar to a hermit crab, in that it uses a high rise building as its shell, with it's tendrils embedded throughout the building and travels between points through interdimensional hyperspace. But after a few recent repairs, Saga and the ship's engineer, Novak, discover that Skidbladnir is sick and outgrowing i ...more
Peter Bradley
Please give my review a helpful vote -

Unusual creature.

Unusual way of traveling in space.

Skidbladnir is the name of a ship, or, to be more precise, it is the name of the creature who lives in a building like a hermit crab and can move the building/ship through other dimensions. So, what happens to hermit crabs when they grow?

The story is told through the perspective of Saga, who is a low-level mechanic on Skidbladnir. Unfortunately, I didn't find her to b
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
One day extra-terrestial sentients make contacts with humans... and they give us the gift of the entire universe that we can finally reach via transdimentional travel. Saga is given an opportunity to experience it working as a transdimentional spaceship janitor, and she takes it in an heartbeat. Her new life is a strange one: she finds herself in the company of an officious steward-bird, a surly and mysterious engineer, and the shadowy Captain. Who the odd passengers are, and according to what p ...more
Lizabeth Tucker
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Saga learns the ship she serves on is a living creature who is outgrowing her shell of a high-rise building. Saga and Novik, the engineer, are determined to save Skidbladnir from being sold for meat. She needs a new shell, so they'll find her a new shell.

This gripped me the moment I realized Skidbladnir was alive. I'm a sucker for stories like this. So enchanting. I wish it had been longer or had a sequel, but that is just me being greedy and not wanting to leave Saga, Novik, and Skidbladnir beh
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I'll give this three stars because of the very end, but throughout most of the story it was going to be two.

It's fine.

That's about all there is to say about it. It's dull and there's so much useless information. For a story this short it sure was a slog to get through.

And dear God that name! I had to shorten Skidbladnir to Skid because saying the former was so annoying. And it's in the story about a hundred times.

There's not really much else to say. It's just whatever.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this story because it had brand new elements and very old elements.

Saga watched videotapes. Extremely retro. She watched a TV show called "Andromeda Station" which could've been similar to ST:DS9.

Then there were new elements like the star system map in the captain's office.

Short and pleasant.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
[The Last Voyage or Skidbladnir]( is an okay scifi short story – too predictable for my tastes, and the switch between concrete scenes and dream-like time skips feel unfinished. But the concept of sentient space ships is always a nice one. ...more
Hugo Saravia
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome sci-fi!

The world building is out this world on a par with the best of my favorite weird sci-fi writers, such as Jeff Vandermeer, Peter Cawdron and China Miéville. Too bad this is just a novelette because it left me wanting more but as short as it is it hit all the right buttons for me, ten stars out of five!
Miriam Cihodariu
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweden
This Tor short story reads like an elegy for an old ship, one which makes us look at it in an endearing light. The main character is Saga, the janitor who often needs to repair one thing or another to keep the old space ship afloat. It's endearing to read something like this when we are all used to seeing spaceships portrayed rather on the cool, techy, novelty side. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable slow-burner from Karin Tidbeck, a welcome change from the hot-and-heavy style Tor usually supplies in its short stories. Comparisons to Ursula le Guin are completely justified. ...more
John Rennie
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There aren't any deep insights into life, the universe and everything here but it's a charming little story. Skidbladnir herself could have stepped out of the pages of an H. P. Lovecraft story, and it was nice to see such a bizarre create portrayed sympathetically. ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of space hermit crabs! It makes a nice change from space whales. What's their lifecycle like, I wonder? ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really interesting. Really, really interesting.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

(view spoiler)
Deckard Ra
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story reminds me of the basic desire in us humans to explore the unknown.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sweet but sad story.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Most memorable spacecraft I have read about.
I kinda wish the story was longer but on the other hand appreciate that we got a short glimpse into a very strange universe.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
well, this was delightful! a quite simple, healing story!
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