I'm looking for what I think was a short story, the style reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson, but I couldn't find a match under his works. I think this was a fairly short story, that I read sometime in the last few years, say 2016 onward.

The Story revolves around a boy living in a Generational Spaceship approaching its destination. The boy is from a poor family, the majority of the Ship's wealth is owned by families that control the water supply, which is decreasing.

The ship is reaching its destination and the population preparing to disembark. The main character is also fretting about why all the water is controlled by a small number of rich people, and where the rest of the water seems to have gone.

The twist ending is that the water is still on the ship, it's been transferred from general availability into breeding vats to create vast amounts of simple plant life that is going to be used to seed the destination planet. The population of the Generational Ship are also going to be fodder for this seeding and the landing craft is designed to crash/explode and the whole ship crash into the planet to spread the seeds as far as possible across the planet.

The main character figures this out and discovers a hidden safepod buried at the centre of the vat tanks where he and his girlfriend hide to survive the crash landing. I believe "DARWIN" was the password to access the pod, and there was a clue on a statue in the town centre that he solved to figure it out.


1 Answer 1


"The Dirt On Our Shoes" by Neal Shusterman may be the one as per Short story about a generation ship designed to seed a planet with bacteria and kill the humans on board

It follows Tanner, an orphan on a space capsule that was designed by the builders to deliver its contents onto Primordius. His parents have died and he farms his plot of land by himself, but with the water shortage, he barely is able to get enough to drink, let alone wash. Because of his status, he isn't welcome in most places. When he figures out the builder's plan, it's nearly too late for everyone. He manages to save Morena, another orphan after her grandfather died. Everyone who trusted the builders got a horrible surprise - but Tanner and Morena were able to wash and hopefully live.

  • 1
    Fantastic thank you. Seeing that duplicate makes me pretty certain I first read it after reading the other Question.
    – Jontia
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 13:46
  • Glad I could help.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 13:56

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