An Ocean is a Snowflake, Four Billion Miles Away by John Barnes (MOBI format [Kindle compatible])
In a future where no one much pays attention to them, two documentary-makers team up to do one big project together -- but not necessarily for the same reasons. Suddenly there's something much bigger than the project.
This novelette was originally published in Jim Baen's Universe in 2007. I would guess it might take an hour and a half to read.Every writer has scenes and characters they keep returning to, just because they like them or feel like they're good at them. In this case I saw a way to put a bunch of my favorites together in a somewhat different way that I liked. So among my old time favorites in here, you'll find:A post-scarcity societyA self-sufficient loner who is famous for something he no longer cares aboutA mildly histrionic person so obsessed with what things mean that she doesn't see what they arePeculiar space-based athletic featsTerraforming in process (I always think that's way more interesting than terraforming that has been completed)The artist's drive to get the perfect x (or you could call it the craft side of being an x)A complex survival challengeGoing camping in a really strange environmentMachines that people attribute personalities toReally big honking storms, explosions, impacts, and stuff that goes BOOM.All yours for 99 cents and about 90 minutes of your time!