Sodium In Fiction
Dan Rabin writes:
I've been greatly enjoying your Periodic Table web site. The account of the sodium party has prompted me to cite a
couple of relevant mentions of sodium/water reactions in fiction:
1. In Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, volume 3 The Sword of the Lictor, chapter 30 (entitled "Natrium")
recounts a battle between two groups of people on boats on a lake. The otherwise low-tech people from
the shore use sodium sling stones that they got from the local mad scientist to scare the heck out of
the people who live on floating islands on the lake. The outcome of the skirmish depends in a crucial
way on the chemical reaction in question.
This work is currently available in the omnibus volume entitled
Sword and Citadel.
2. In Thomas Pynchon's short story "The Secret Integration" (collected in the volume
Slow Learner), some kids
plot to dump sodium in a school swimming pool. It's not a main point of the plot, however.
Both these authors are trained engineers, as it happens.