Because, in some ways, I'm still the 14 year old boy that thrilled to the ride of the Rhorrim, and the death of the witch king of Angmar, I've been listening to some lectures from The Tolkien Professor. Tolkien, he says, thought that no one ever wrote a completely original story, but that all stories were the unrolling of a leaf on the tree of stories. That makes me feel better about completely ripping off Deepness in the Sky's concept of a freezing atmosphere. There was a lot more to that book, though. I completely didn't rip off the intelligent spiders part.