Monday, May 16, 2011

Cows in Space?!

I think most sci fi writers might not care about National Cow Week, but when Mercy emailed me to tell me of this event (more info here), my first thought was: AWESOME! My book has lots to do with cows!

And while yes, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is a sci fi, and yes, it does take place on a space also does have a lot to do with cows. Because while Godspeed is a space ship, it's a generation space ship, a special kind of ship that allows generation after generation to live on the ship. It is, essentially, a bio dome.

And there are cows.

I actually thought about this, and made sure to include cows in the ship. See, I'm from the country. And there are a lot of cows here. In fact, on my first day of teaching at the school where I used to work, I was taken for a tour of the cow pastures.

I even mentioned cows in my author video :)

For a peek at the cows that reside on Godspeed, here's a little excerpt:

I slow down when I see the cows up close.

They’re not normal cows.

I haven’t, you know, grown up on a farm or anything, but still, I know what a cow is supposed to look like. And these cows—well, clearly they’re supposed to be cows, but I’ve never seen any cow like these before.

For one thing, they’re shorter. A lot shorter. Their heads barely reach my shoulder. The males have horns like cows are supposed to have horns, but they’re mushroom shaped and blunted, not because they’ve been cut off, but because they’ve grown that way.

They seem as curious about me as I am about them. I stop at the fence and lean over it, panting and sweaty, and a few of the cows wobble in my direction. They have more muscle on them than normal cows, meat bulging under their hides, making them bowlegged and slow. They chew on cud in even, measured movements, smacking a little each time, releasing a whiff of dirt and grass that almost reminds me of home.

One of them moos, but it’s not a regular moo; it ends with a squeal like a pig. Moo-uh-eeee!

I back away from the fence.

The cow-pig-things watch me as I go, their silent big brown eyes somehow ominous.

Hurrah for cows! Even genetically-altered cows on a creepy space ship!

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