Sodium In Fiction

Dan Rabin writes:

Mr. Gray,
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.