The End of Lunar Hens is a hard-science look at the dilemma of creating enough food in a lunar environment. Hutchins adds a comical feel to the piece, detailing the various struggles with trying to create food when a shipment from Earth isn’t an option. The title indicates the beginning of the project’s downfall, namely putting your success in the claws of a chicken. I can’t recall reading a story that looked at the effects of the moon on livestock, making this especially fascinating. Let’s just say the Moon doesn’t take kindly to animal visitors.
The story is an entertaining piece that juxtaposes the hard science side of lunar life with the sense of awe and childhood wonder that a first-time colonist would feel. Our protagonist is hellbent on making the project work with increasingly disastrous results, while her coworker is intent on reminding her how amazing it is to live on the Moon. His constant talk about food and reminiscence of life back on Earth creates a solution, though a bit too late.
Overall, The End of Lunar Hens provides an interesting lens by which to measure space exploration. It’s fascinating to see such a hyper-focus on one experiment, and exciting to imagine humanity having the chance to learn and grow in another environment.
The End of Lunar Hens
Written by M. K. Hutchins
Analog Science Fiction & Fact