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Snake in the Canebrake 6 : Glass Harvest

Hank
Poster: Hank @ Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:47 pm

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I read one of those ‘young adult' sci-fi books about a colonial expedition from a dying Earth that landed on some alien planet after years of travel in suspended animation. There were vast fields of grain on the surface, but when the settlers tried to mill it, they found that it was so crystalline in structure that their flour was like ground glass. There was no other food to be found. As their supplies ran out and the folks began to starve, some of the children found and consumed the alien flour. When the parents discovered what had happened, they were prepared to administer their stash of suicide pills to these kids. This was just a science fiction story, but boy, it really stuck with me through all these years. While cancer was eating away at my guts, I thought about it a lot. Back when I was younger, thinking about that story had made me afraid of space travel and the future. But I'd grown to realize that for years already, I'd been chowing down on the fruits of the glass harvest.
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