As always, I'm on the road again. But I have a story reprint online, courtesy of the good folks at Lightspeed.
The story is "Slow Life," which was originally published in Analog. Here's how it begins:
The raindrop began forming ninety kilometers above the surface of Titan. It started with an infinitesimal speck of tholin, adrift in the cold nitrogen atmosphere. Dianoacetylene condensed on the seed nucleus, molecule by molecule, until it was one shard of ice in a cloud of billions.When I first decided to write "Slow Life," I wanted to make it as hard-science -fiction-feeling as possible. So I went back to the early Larry Niven collectiions to see how he'd done it . . . and discovered that a lot of his early stories began with a brief lecture on physics. Not what they teach you at Clarion -- and yet it worked.
Which is why I determined to start by tracing the fall of a raindrop from the upper atmosphere to the surface of Titan. It was a lot of work. It was a lot of fun. And when Stan Schmidt bought it, his acceptance letter noted that normally Analog didn't accept stories with that much technical detail in them.
I may well have that letter engraved on my tombstone.
You'll find the interview here. And the story here.