Publisher: A Legend book Published by Arrow Books Limited , London, 1988
Involution Ocean is a far cry from the cyberpunk niche that Sterling later came to dominate (and arguably create). The setting is the far-flung world of Nullaqua. The world is defined by a single habitable crater, and that crater is filled with a heavy, perpetual mist of dust. Nullaqua is a sea-faring world, populated by a race of stoic, unimaginative sailors – all on an ocean of dust.
The book’s protagonist John Newhouse, an off-worlder, is drawn to Nullaqua by ‘Flare’, a potent drug stilled from the belly of the ’dustwhale’. The story begins with the drug being declared illegal. In order to preserve his supply, John is forced to join a whaling ship, and sail the dusty seas of Nullaqua.