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10 Unsinkable Science Fiction Stories About The Titanic

Illustration for article titled 10 Unsinkable Science Fiction Stories About The Titanic

The RMS Titanic sank almost a century ago, but it's still sailing through the imaginations of science-fiction writers and artists. Here are 10 Titanic tales, including Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, and Doctor Who.


On April 14th, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the most technologically advanced ship of its time, struck an iceberg, and sank beneath the Atlantic ocean during the early hours of the 15th. Radio calls went unheeded, and over fifteen hundred people perished, with only seven hundred and six of the passengers surviving the wreck.

The wreck of our high-tech ocean-conquering liner has captured our imaginations ever since, especially after explorer Robert Ballard rediscovered the ship in 1985. Here are the classic science-fiction stories that feature the good ship Titanic:

Illustration for article titled 10 Unsinkable Science Fiction Stories About The Titanic

Starship Titanic, Terry Jones & Douglas Adams
First a game, then a book based on the game, this story follows a main character whose home has been destroyed by a crashing space ship, the Titanic. Players solve puzzles, and the book, co-written by former Monty Python member Terry Jones (who also provided voicework for the game) collects a number of the story's subplots together. If you're interested, you can read the entire book online, although the words have been reordered to be in alphabetical order. Read it here

A Flight to Remember, Futurama Episode
Futurama also tackled the Titanic storyline, with Episode 10 of Season 2, "A Flight to Remember." The crew takes a vacation on the newly built Titanic, the most advanced ship in the universe, piloted by Zapp Branigan, and chrisined with the head of Leonardo DeCaprio. Predictably, things go south when Zapp pilots the ship between black holes, which he describes as Icebergs in the sky, and much of the plot spoofs the film Titanic.

Raise the Titanic!, Clive Cussler
Raise the Titanic! is the third book in Cussler's popular Dirk Pitt series, published in 1976. While mainly an action novel, there are some science fictional elements to it, as the protagonist seeks out the RMS Titanic to recover a shipment of minerals that would be used to power a top secret weapon, the Sicilian Project, being built by the US Defense Department. Pitt is tasked with raising the ship while intelligence and governmental agents clash, at the height of the Cold War.

Voyage of the Damned, Doctor Who episode
"What? What?!" So ended the third series of the current Doctor Who, as the Titanic crashes into the side of the Tardis. The third Christmas special, Voyage of the Dammed, finds the good Doctor on board the Titanic, a ship modeled after the real one, from the planet Sto. Along the way, he partners up with Kylie Minogue, goes down to modern-day earth, comes across some aliens and when the ship starts to crash into the planet, the Doctor saves the day. Business as usual.


The Ghost from the Grand Banks and the Deep Range, Arthur C. Clarke
This novel takes place in 2012, where two groups are attempting to raise the Titanic from the bottom of the ocean for the centennial event, where technological rivalries and egos ensure, while Astronaut Walter Franklin has been tasked as a submarine warden, and uncovers dangers under the sea while doing so.

Illustration for article titled 10 Unsinkable Science Fiction Stories About The Titanic

Distant Waves: A Novel Of The Titanic, by Suzanne Weyn
This urban fantasy, released today by Suzanne Weyn on Scholastic Press, follows four daughters and their mother, as well as journalist W. T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist John Jacob Astor. One of Tesla's inventions dooms them, while another could save them.

Ghostbusters 2
The Titanic makes an appearance in the 1988 movie Ghostbusters 2, where a ghost Titanic lands in New York City, piloted by a number of ghosts.


The Cursed Tuba Contingency, The Middleman Episode
Last year's short-lived but amazing superhero show, The Middleman, featured the Titanic as well, with a cursed Tuba - when played, anyone who heard it would be fated to drown in the Atlantic. In the episode, the Middleman and Wendy attent a yacht party to attempt to prevent the instrument from being played.

Illustration for article titled 10 Unsinkable Science Fiction Stories About The Titanic

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time
Adventure Out of Time was a 1996 computer game developed by Cyberflix. In the story, starting in 1942 during the London Blitz, players are sent back in time to 1912 as a secret agent, who is tasked with retrieving the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The story features a number of subplots, and by completing the missions, the player changes history, and prevents the Second World War from happening, as well as several other outcomes based on the player's performance.

Ghost Hunters
Tonight, SciFi will air a Ghost Hunters special on the Titanic, where the team will be investigating ghosts from the Titanic, at an exhibit of Titanic artifacts. This will be airing on the SciFi channel at 9 and 11 pm.


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You forgot to mention the second appearance of the starship Titanic in Doctor Who in "Turn Left", where it actually crashes in a alternate Doctor-less timeline and turns London and half of England into an irradiated waste land. They really did a great job of using the silly story line of the Christmas special to create a nasty dystopia for Donna.