29 March 2011

The dangers of surface tension

This photograph was one of the "Pictures of the Day" at the Telegraph:
Trapped in a tiny perfect sphere of water, this unlucky ant is unable to escape. A sudden downpour gave it no time to take cover, and photographer Adam Gormley was there to snap the image. Adam, from Noosaville, Queensland, Australia, had been photographing spiders in his neighbour's garden when the rain came down. He had no idea there was an ant in one of the three-millimetre droplets until he viewed the images later...
The image immediately reminded me of the story Surface Tension, which I read in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964 over forty years ago.  I remember the compilation as an excellent one, much better than the typical sci-fi collection of stories.


  1. Stan,

    Thank you for the photography, it's breath taking! Made my day.

    I've find an audio version of the short story in archive.org:



  2. It seems the audio version is not the complete story, but just an shorten radio drama version of it.

  3. Paulo, try the Google Books one -


    - but I haven't checked to see if it's complete.

  4. I was interested, so took a look at the Google books link. They leave out quite a few pages (intentionally, of course)

    I did some more digging, and found a pdf version somebody put together. Just do a Google search for:
    "surface tension" james blish pdf book 3 prologue

    First link should be what you want. Quite probably, a violation of copyright (so feel free to delete this post, Stan). Our local library doesn't seem to have it in any collection though. Reading it now :)

  5. Just finished it. Great story, even with all the errors in the OCR text. Thanks for the impetus.


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