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"If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction."
- Frederik Pohl

Slowboat  
  Slower than lightspeed spacecraft used for interstellar colonization.  

One of the hallmarks of Niven's novels is the use of realistic technology for space travel.

Settling Home had been made easier by two techniques. The slowboats had carried sixty colonists each, in stasis. Sixty colonists would have filled three or four slow boats a century earlier. And, though no living thing could survive travel in a ramrobot, it had proved possible to ship fuel to the slowboats by ramrobots. An older technique was used extensively: colony supplies were shipped by ramrobot to orbit around Home, saving room aboard the slowboats.
From Protector, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1973
Additional resources -

There is no way for a spacecraft to travel faster than light using currently available technology. However, interstellar colonization is possible using ships that travel at a substantial fraction of the speed of light.

Consumables are the biggest problem, given the length of time; also, journeys that take longer than a human lifetime are not easily undertaken.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Protector
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Protector
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