Hunter-ship is a phrase used in C.J. Cherryh's Compact Space books; it refers to a jumpship which does not carry cargo and hence does not even have permanent (or real) cargo holds. Due to the enormous costs of operating a jumpship, the only ships that can exist as such are those that survive by piracy or are maintained by species governments, hence the name. Their masters are called hunter-captains. Typically much more heavily armed than the average jump freighter (with some exceptions), hunter-ships are the closest thing any species in the Compact has to being what we might call a military. They tend, however, to be fairly independent units, as follows from Cherryh's spaceflight and space combat model; aggregating ships for engagements is difficult, because crowding the jump lanes between masses (star systems) can lead to collision at relativistic velocities. They are also, as previously mentioned, quite expensive.

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