The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey; S.M. Stirling

Simeon was bored. Not with being a shellperson--like Helva, The Ship Who Sang, and Tia, The Ship Who Searched, he rather pitied "softshells" their mayfly lives and absurdly limited senses--but with running the mining and processing station that made up his "body." So when the arrival of an out-of-control refugee ship interrupted his latest wargame (Simeon's hobby) the excitement was welcome.

Then the refugees told their story: attack by space barbarians. Soon, long before any help could arrive from Fleet, Station SSS-900 would be in the Fist of High-Clan Kolnar, and nobody would be bored, least of all Simeon. If anyone was to survive, somehow he must transmute his hobby into the real thing, and become
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