Tastes Like Chicken?

Now and then, I like to write short stories. These are often somewhat tongue in cheek, or whimsical, and sometimes act as as snippets of back story for my Joe Ballen and Logan Twofeathers books. A few years ago, I published one called “A Place In The Sun.” inspired by the classic book and movie “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.” The movie starred Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvyn Douglas, along with an excellent supporting cast. It’s a hilarious story about a family that moves to a rural dream home, which isn’t quite what they expected (and in fact, they end up building a completely new house!).

It’s the kind of classic movie that I enjoy a great deal, so I thought it would be a fun to write a science fiction version. Initially, it was just for laughs for my wife, also a classic movie fan, but she persuaded me it was good enough to release “into the wild.”

In my story, there’s a scene where the main couple, Jim and Joan Harding, have their friend Doug around for dinner, and I threw in a casual reference to the food preparation. Here’s a snippet:

“So, what are we celebrating?”

Jim gave me that lopsided grin of his. “Congratulate me, old man. I’m a home owner.”

My lawyer’s hackles bristled only slightly, and I made an all-encompassing circle with my finger. “Don’t you already own a home?”

“Dinner’s in the printer.” Joan perched on the sofa next to Jim. “You men are all the same… a home isn’t four walls and a roof. Jim had exactly the same reaction when I first mentioned the idea.”

The line about dinner being in the printer was meant to be nothing more than a silly idea that people in the future might eat 3D-printed food. At the time I wrote the story, 3D printers were just becoming available, albeit expensive, but there was no discussion of them being used for food. But now things have changed.

Recently, University of Ottawa researchers Ezgi Pulatsu and Chibuike Udenigwe, produced a paper detailing how printed food of various forms could be turned into reality. Not only that: a company called Aleph Farms has produced the world’s first printed steak, while Novameat has recently produced a printed vegan steak!

It’s safe to say that with the way the world is going, and the environmental impact of farmed animals, printed food is likely coming to a plate near you soon! Personally, I can’t wait to try out some of these creations, especially if someone starts printing “crangos” – which may not be far off either. 🙂

It’s amazing that something like that can go from imagination to being a real thing, especially in such a short time frame. That’s one of the fun things about writing science fiction. I’m not sure I’d like some of the other things in the story to come true, though. But to find out what those are (and about crangos), you’ll need to read the story! 🙂

A sci-fi twist on a classic comedy.
Jim Harding is something important at the World Congress. He lives in the city with his wife Joan and their two children. But Joan is tired of their cramped apartment and dreams of having a place in the sun. Of course, Jim is far too in demand to leave town. But when he falls for Nuevo Mondo’s sales pitch, he goes all in and buys a custom designed house on his very own alternative Earth. Privacy guaranteed!

But then the arguments over the house design start, and the children don’t like the new place, and then there are the strange noises. And when the Great Storm of 2072 hits, Jim finds himself cut off from his house and family, and all of this before he’s had his first Martini!

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