Summary of Songs of Thalassa
by Don Sakers
Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine
Take a low-gravity planet ocean world. Give it a single subcontinent with a ragged coast. Throw in two large-ish moons to complicate tidal patterns. What you wind up with are the most powerful, most dangerous waves in the Galaxy—and the most challenging surfing competitions ever. This is Thalassa, sole habitable planet in the Procyon system. On Thalassa ordinary waves are as high as tsunamis on Earth . . . and tsunamis are unimaginable. And strange, savage creatures prowl unknown depths.
Sage Thompson, native Hawaiian and pro surfer, has always had a love/hate relationship with oceans. A dozen years ago her astronaut father met his death in the world-girdling seas of Thalassa. To honor his memory she started competing in surfing competitions in the waters around Hawaii. In a few years she was one of the most successful and popular pro surfers in the world, with millions of fans following her career on social media. The ocean, it seems, had shown her a path to overcoming her grief at last.
Then came the accident, when the ocean nearly claimed her life and devastated her career. Shaken, uncertain, she wonders if she’ll be able to recover. At this point her greatest rival, a surfer named Milo, challenges her to an ultimate competition on the waves of Thalassa.
Sage accepts the challenge as a way to win back her standing, her career, and her fans. But on Thalassa she discovers something worth more to her. The natural music of Thalassa compels her to defend the world against those who would exploit and despoil it.
Brian Tissot is marine ecologist, Director of Humboldt State University’s marine lab in California, and a life-long surfer. In Songs of Thalassa, his first novel, he blends cutting-edge oceanography, marine biology, Hawaiian culture, and music into a delightful hard-SF tale sure to join the ranks of fine water worlds.