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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

RUMOKO  
  A project to create additional land surface by deliberate stimulation of undersea volcanoes.  

In this book of novellas, Roger Zelazny shows us some of the life experience of a man who doesn't exist. That is, according to the computer systems of this near future world, he did not exist. One of the original programmers, he was able to assign himself an identity whenever he wished. Each of the stories is a case he accepted as a contractor from a private investigative agency.

In this story, he is asked to protect a project group that seeks to create additional usable land by creating islands in the ocean. The idea is to use nuclear explosives in areas where hot lava is close to the surface.

We got far enough away, and the signal was given. Over the port bow, I saw the old man stand up. He was old and gray and wore a wide brimmed hat. He stood, slouched and fell on his face.

The glow continued and a dark form appeared. RUMOKO. It was the cone. An artificially created island.

From My Name is Legion, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
Additional resources -

One can reasonably speculate that this story was inspired by the creation of the island Surtsey off the coast of Iceland. In November of 1963 seamen fishing saw signs of an underwater eruption that occurred at a 130 meter depth. The resulting island eveosually totaled about 3 kilometers of new land area, with the highest point about 170 meters above sea level. It was named Surtsey for Surtur, the fire giant of Norse mythology who would set fire to the earth at the Last Judgment. This event made a great impression on me (a child at the time) and was covered at length in National Geographic.

This is a great collection of stories; the others in the book include Home is the Hangman and 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothailll'kje'k.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from My Name is Legion
  More Ideas and Technology by Roger Zelazny
  Tech news articles related to My Name is Legion
  Tech news articles related to works by Roger Zelazny

RUMOKO-related news articles:
  - Seasteading Institute: Homestead The Seas

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