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June 2nd, 2009

In the crater

One of my favourite novels from the early days of the cyberpunks is Bruce Sterling's first book, Involution Ocean. Set in a universe he returns to in The Artificial Kid, the world of Nullaqua is an airless desert of a world, where unimaginable weapons have gouged out a 70 mile deep crater, full of air. Now the home of a rerpressive theocracy, Nullaqyua is a primitive place, where sailing ships go out across the fine powder of the crater in search of drug secreting dustwhales. The final harvest takes place as Sterling brings us a homage to Melville and Conrad.

Standing on the rim of Crater Lake, looking down the cliffs at the water far below I couldn't help but be reminded of Sterling's book.

Crater lake may not be 70 miles deep, but it's still an impressive piece of geography. Formed nearly 8000 years ago by the collapse of a volcano, the deep waters of the lake fill the empty caldera. Looking at the waters it's hard to imagine the 3 kilometre high mountain that once stood here. A thunderstorm was rumbling its way around the rim, signalling the summer thaw that would soon open all the roads in the area.

In the crater

In the crater

Crater Lake, Oregon
May 2009