I'm trying to help my mother find a short story that she remembers reading some, oh, 30 or more years ago.

I don't have a lot to go on, but apparently the main concept of the story was that the food that everyone was eating was said to come from “The Giant Chicken” or “The Great Chicken” kept somewhere (she read it in a Hebrew translation), but when the protagonists delve into the matter, they discover that this “chicken” (as it was translated) is actually a giant cancerous tumor, kept alive and growing for food.

I've established, probably, that this is not Harry Harrison's Make Room! Make Room! or Roommates, the basis for Soylent Green. That was my first thought. I also couldn't find a lead in the In Vitro Meat In Fiction section on wikipedia.

I don't know any more - not what the main characters were, what book it was published in or the actual decade it was written, unfortunately. It would have been read in the early 80's at the very latest.

  • “Looking for the Giant Chicken” Aren’t we all? Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


You might check The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. It's mentioned on the Wikipedia list that you cited in your question, so perhaps you've already done so, but it includes the elements you mention, although not as the main theme of the book (except that the in vitro chicken is called Chicken Little, but who knows what a translator might do).

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    It doesn't match several other elements that my mom remembers, but it HAS been many years. However, it seems that it HAS been translated to Hebrew in 1978, so I'll try to find a copy and see if it rings a bell for her. Thanks! Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 15:39
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    ...and it's a winner. Showed a synopsis to my mother, she agreed that it is, in all likelihood, the book she half-remembered. Thanks! Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 18:21

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