In science-fiction, do we use the word navy to refer to the space fleet? I am wondering if people would refer to it as "navy" or rather "space navy", which sounds a little bit weird if you ask me? What's the consensus among science-fiction authors?
This is a matter which each author must decide individually, but I can think of a number of authors, both recent and from many years ago, who did use the term "navy" or "space navy" in describing an armed force in space ships. Examples that come to mind include:
- Robert Heinlein, in Starship Troopers
- Keith Laumer in the "Interstellar Patrol" series
- Malcolm Jameson, in the "Bullard" series.
- Lloyd Biggle, in Monument
- Eric Frank Russel in The Great Explosion and "And Then There Were None"
- Jerry Pournelle, in the "Co-Dominium" series, including The Mote in God's Eye
- Lois Bujold in the "Vorkosigan" series
- David Weber, in the "Honor Harrington" series
- David Drake, in the RCN (Republic of Cinnabar Navy) series and the "Hammer's Slammers" series
Some authors have used other terms, such as "spaceforce" in Elizabeth Moon's "Vatta's War" series, and "Patrol" in Heinlein's Space Cadet and E E Smith's Galactic Patrol (and other books of the Lensman series). "Fleet" has also been used. But I think that "navy" is by far the most common usage.
Movies and TV shows seem more inclined to use some variant on "fleet", although calling the commanders by some variant of "admiral" in several cases.
All the above are from written SF, and include works ranging from the 1940s to series now in progress. Several are very popular authors.