Larry's Letters

Sent: 16 March 2003
Subject: ducks etc.

There are ducks on the coy pond! They were swimming around ignoring the fish, and the fish were ignoring them. They're too big for the ducks, I hope. The ducks were raiding the bushes for snails. Last summer I hoped we'd collected a turtle. It might be still here. Hard to tell.

I spent the last few days proofing "The Integral Trees" and "The Smoke Ring", about to come out in one volume in paperback. I love how well they read. I think I see why the third book, "The Ghost Ships", couldn't be finished. I had a contract with Del Rey Books. I had to give them "The Ringworld Throne" instead.

My thanks to several folk who wrote me, who spotted opportunities, things that didn't get into these two books. Yes, you can steer integral trees using a kite at one tuft; you don't have to chop off the tuft. There were other matters...but they're embellishments. Everything I had in mind when I conceived this two-lobed novel, I got said. The Smoke Ring is a finished playground, the gates left wide open.

We're about to go to Dortmund, Germany (as GOHs at a convention) then Paris, France (to autograph at a Brentano's. Only, they're afraid to admit I'm in the store, so I'll be somewhere else signing for a fan group.) This trip could have been better timed.

Larry Niven

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