Christopher can answer with more authority, but I believe he meant that the notion of a scientifically plausible
ocean planet was only theorized about four years ago. I think we can all agree that those two words rarely have applied to either Star Wars
, or Voyager
What I mean is that the planet in the novel is a specific type of planet which was proposed in 2003 by Marc J. Kuchner and Alain Léger (independently), and which was given the formal name "ocean planet
" by Léger in 2004. It's a scientific category name like "carbon planet" or "gas giant." Admittedly it's not a very descriptive name, because it doesn't just mean a pelagic planet, a rocky world with a thin veneer of ocean -- it means a planet that consists primarily of water, in liquid and ice form. In other words, something geologically similar to Titan, Enceladus, and many other gas-giant moons, but large enough and warm enough to have a liquid surface. (Wikipedia recommends using the term "ocean world" or "water world" for a planet like Mon Calamari, because "ocean planet" now has a specific technical meaning.)
Rush Limborg wrote:
Uh...outta curiosity, was a video made of this, or an audio-recording?
I'm sure a lot of people here would LOVE to watch it!
If you're referring to the interview, it was conducted by e-mail. It only exists in print.
So...did you ever get any non-Trek stuff published?
So far, only the two stories I got published in Analog
in 1998 and 2000, both of which are available on my website.
Doesn't Neptune have a mantle of water or something?
Yes. It and Uranus both belong to a subclass of giant planets called ice giants, because they're abundant in substances like water, methane, and ammonia which are normally ices in that part of the Solar system. Indeed, a Léger ocean planet is basically what Uranus or Neptune would have become if they had migrated closer to the Sun and had their hydrogen atmospheres evaporated away by its heat.