The story goes that a ship of humans is designed and sent off into space as a last-ditch effort, heading towards a perfectly hospitable planet without any life on it, right before all life on Earth dies out. The ship spins to generate gravity, and inside the large cylindrical body there is a massive farm to sustain the people.

They all believe that they are meant to colonize the planet, but the ship was designed to crash, killing the people, but not explode as that would burn up the bacteria stored in the feces that the ship has stored for centuries. The whole plan was to inject bacteria into a neutral environment so that life could evolve again, as the designers deemed humans unworthy of continuing. There was also two kids that grabbed spacesuits and hid in the waste matter to survive the crash, and lived out their lives as guardians of the bacteria colonies.


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"The Dirt On Our Shoes"

"The Dirt On Our Shoes" by Neal Shusterman was first published in Guys Read: Other Worlds, an anthology of science fiction stories published with the aim of getting boys interested in reading.

The story features a small human population that lives in a cylindrical spaceship. The spaceship contains a large farm:

For his entire life, he’d been an “insider,” stuck within the steel walls of a rotating drum hurtling through space. His whole world, and the world of everyone he knew, was nothing more than a small farming town shoved into a cylinder less than a mile in diameter. Once they landed, he’d truly get to be an outsider. And it would be wonderful.

The builders used the ship to manufacture bacteria, rather than preserve humanity:

“It was never the builders’ plan to start a human colony!” Tanner told Morena. “Our sole purpose on T-Bin was to create sixty-seven years of bacteria. We are not the precious cargo. Our crap is!”

Two children hid in the waste matter to survive the impact:

Within silo #106, Tanner and Morena clung to each other, afraid to be alone within the foulness around them. The fall through the atmosphere, the not knowing where or how this would end, was beyond terrifying.

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