I’m trying something new with the website. I found a WordPress plugin, amazon-machine-tags, which makes it very easy to pull in information about a book from Amazon’s site. I’m going to try it for a while (see my essay on Niven’s “Neutron Star” for an example), if it’s annoying just let me know via the comments.
In other news, I just returned the proofs for my short story “The Gremlin Gambit” to MindFlights, so it should be appearing there soon. It was fun to write and people tell me it’s fun to read. I’m wondering if I could sustain that to expand the story perhaps to novella or novel length; if it proves popular I may try.
Borderlands Books in San Francisco is listing Footprints as its #1 seller in trade paperback. Thanks to editor Eric Reynolds for the tip (and, with Jay Lake, for putting together such a strong anthology).
Okay, the headline may be a bit over the top. My daughter just finished her final open water dives for her SCUBA certification. (She took the course through her high school as last semester’s PE requirement, how cool is that?) I was out there to watch part of that. I used to be a pretty avid diver myself, and logged maybe 150 dives (don’t have my logbook handy for the exact number) before I stopped bothering to log them. Deep, night, cave, wreck, ice, reef — I’ve done most of it except mixed-gas, which wasn’t an option for sport divers in my day. But it’s been a while since then.
There hasn’t been much in the way of dive-related science fiction, unless you count some of Clive Cussler’s novels as SF, or James Cameron’s movie The Abyss. That’s changed some in recent years, with the likelihood of oceans under the ice of moons like Europa, and Alastair Reynolds and others have set interesting stories there. Certainly any terraformed planet is going to have oceans and lakes, with all kinds of exotic flora and fauna. (By the way, to get a real feel for just how alien life can be even on Earth, take a look at the marine invertebrates, sponges, worms and the like that live in our oceans — sometimes it’s hard to tell the fauna from the flora!)
Watching my daughter’s class gear up for their dives got me itching to get back in the water again, so I just signed up with a local dive store for a skills refresher (my doctor’s already signed off on it). That’s next weekend. The last time I was in SCUBA gear was over 15 years ago, in a neutral buoyancy tank at Space Camp (the UAT, Underwater Astronaut Trainer); I’m looking forward to this.