I've always been interested on learning Java -- Applets in particular -- so that I could write my own simulations/games in such a way that they're widely distributed. I've programmed using VB (including some single-player gaming, but stopped because I hated VB language), C++ (never got graphical on it), DHTML (errr... if you can call HTML/JS/CSS a "programming language"), and some server-side Web dev. stuff (CGI, ASP, CFM, PHP).
Just today I have finally downloaded and installed the SDK, etc., and wrote my first "Hello World" application and applet. I have a decent background on programming, game programming, including lots of game physics, yet I lack the basic Java knowledge. I thought of getting a book on it, but am not sure which way to go, since my focus is, at least at first, Applet/Games.
Any suggestions? -- This could be books, websites, etc., or any thoughts in general on how I should approach the "next step". Thanks in advance.