#BookTour #WaterToWater #KarenAWyle #ScienceFiction
When the time comes for
Vushla to die, they go into the ocean and are dissolved away. Or so
Terrill has always believed, and still believes after taking part in
his father’s final journey. But when he meets a young Vushlu who
lives by the sea, Terrill must confront information that calls this
fundamental belief into question. Will the two of them discover
the truth? And what should they do with what they find?
Character Interview with Honnu
[NOTE: Honnu is a young Vushlu. His family are fisher folk and live by the sea. This interview takes place around the time the story begins, on the beach, in late afternoon. Honnu is cleaning a fishing boat.]
- Hello. I hope I’m not disturbing –
- Watch out! I’m using seawater here.
- It’s splashing all over you. Isn’t that a problem?
- Not with this suit on. [He gestures along his body.] It’ll keep the water out for years and years yet.
- Do you have such suits for visitors? For rent, perhaps?
- Sorry, no. They take a long time to make. We only get them when we’re done growing, and then we keep them for a long time. Let me just finish up here, and we can talk.
[a few minutes later]
All done! I have a few minutes before I go do chores.
- I gather you fish for a living.
- That’s right.
- Do you like it?
- [a slight pause] Pretty well. I like working with other people. More when they appreciate my help, which they mostly do. Of course, I like it better some days than others. In hot season, it’s cooler out on the water than on land – though the suit does make me warmer than I’d be otherwise. Cold season, that can get, well, cold, suit or no suit. And I get pretty tired by the end of the day. But it’s better than being bored. [another pause] Not that I’m never bored.
- Do you picture yourself doing anything different, later in your life?
- [scuffs a hind foot in the sand] I’d like to see more of the world, someday, somehow. I hear stories – mainly from the Weesah peddler who comes here – and I want to see for myself whether they’re true, and what other stories might be out there waiting to be found.
[someone calls Honnu’s name from a nearby dwelling]
I’d better go. Chores, like I said. It was nice talking to you. If you want to come with me, you could maybe stay for dinner. The peddler brought sausages, and we’ll be having a campfire.
Honnu squatted by the campfire, all four legs comfortably sunk in the sand, his lower armor sealed tight to keep sand out, and watched the procession approach the sea. It was a small group, with only one young Vushlu among the older ones. A funeral, then. The young one must be the son or daughter of the Vushlu, aging or ailing, whose funeral it was.
Honnu turned away before the group reached the edge of the water. He knew, of course, what would happen, but he had no wish to watch. After all, he lived with the ocean, lived from it, rode out every day to toss the nets and haul them back. He and his family depended on the ocean. But he often thought he must feel like a farmer with a very, very large and powerful bull. Such a useful animal — it sired strong beasts like itself, and it pulled plows through earth too sticky for pull-cycles. But it could, any time it chose to, trample the farmer into jelly. The farmer could hope that the bull would never turn on its master. Honnu lived with the certain knowledge that one day, the ocean would reveal itself as the largest possible beast, and devour him whole.
No, he had no need to watch it happen to others, not when he would be paddling the boat out again tomorrow morning.
Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers
herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest
ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she
was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to
the goal at age 9.
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