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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Galaxy?

To get to the other side, of course!

Irridencent Wormhole
Why does the chicken (or anyone) cross the galaxy?

Why to get to the other side.

Of course, you know that I had to hunt down some chicken-crossing-the-road jokes and was actually surprised there were so many. Here are some, modified for my galactic theme, of course:

Q. Why did the chicken cross only halfway across the galaxy?

A: She wanted to lay it on the warp line…

Q. Why did the monkey cross the galaxy?

A: Because the chicken got fried…(I know, lame!)

And then some famous people answer our question:

  • Robert Frost: to take the wormhole less traveled…
  • Captain Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before…
  • Sir Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in the wormhole tend to cross the galaxy…
  • Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the galaxy or the galaxy crossed the chicken depends on your frame of reference…
  • Darth Vadar: because it wanted to go to the dark side…

I’d like to thank them for stopping by and answering our chicken crossing question. I know I feel wiser now.

I know, lame. The thing is, chicken jokes and space travel have a lot in common.

They are about getting to the other side.

Or the other planet. Or from point A to point B. And to accomplish it in a time frame that is a) reasonable, and b) believable. (Note I wrote believable not real.)

The first truth of writing (and reading) about fictional space travel is that it is (mostly) made up. While this seems obvious—since we haven’t managed to get a human being further than the moon—there are those who want only “reality” in their fiction. (Personally, I’d like a little more fiction in my reality. I think it is past time we got transporters.)

From the time science fiction first appeared, authors have been making up ways for their chickens (characters) to get to the other side (move through space and time). Some feel more “real” than others, but they all require us to suspend disbelief in order to take the ride.

Because they aren’t actually “real.”

Some of my personal favorite types of fictional space travel are:

  • Warp Drives and wormholes (Star Trek)
  • Hyperdrives (Star Wars)
  • Infinite Improbability Drive (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
  • FTL – (Battlestar Galactica)
  • Tardis (Dr. Who)
  • Starburst (Farscape)
  • Stargates (Stargate SG–1, etc)
  • Jump Gates/Jump Space (Lost Fleet, Dock Five)

In my own Project Enterprise novels, I use a mix of types, though I tend to focus more on the story than how the chicken got where it was going. I start from the point that: it just IS. The technology is there and now we’re off on an adventure. Let the hosing of my characters can commence. Woot!

When I went to mix some steampunk into my science fiction romance (Tangled in Time), I made the mistake of asking the scientist hubs if a concept I wanted to use sounded “real.” We ended up in this painful causality loop:

Hubs: But it’s not real.

Me: It’s fiction. Does it SOUND real?

Hubs: But it’s NOT real.

Me: It’s FICTION. I’m making it up.

Hubs: But it’s not real.

Me: You want my science FICTION to be real?

Hubs: Of course.

I left him with a puzzled expression, turning instead to a friend who is also a physicist at NASA. I asked her the same question and her response was, “It’s fiction. It sounds fun. Go for it.”

I suspect your enjoyment of any science fiction/romance novel will be predicated on how real the science feels to you while getting that chicken across the galaxy, and how real you like your science fiction.

In the end, no matter your basic preference, the means aren’t as important as the fact that the chicken (or the characters) do get to the other side—so that the story can commence.

Why (and how) does your chicken cross the galaxy? Do you have a favorite chicken joke?

Perilously yours,

Pauline

cover art

“I’ll admit that I was a bit apprehensive of a science fiction romance. While I adore romance, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi. However, when a book starts with the line, “It was a party on an alien planet in a galaxy far, far away.” you know it’s going to be a great book. I love that this book had such a fun feel to it.” A Girl and Her Kindle

You can (fictionally) cross the galaxy right now when you buy Girl Gone Novaavailable at most online bookstores. 🙂

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