OK, so in the last post, I wrote about getting my facts straight for the sultan’s harem in 16th Century Istanbul. Let me tell you, there is a ton and a half of material about that time and place. I could spend the next six months researching that aspect of Book Three, but I’ll restrain myself. It’s one thing to drill down to get the solid facts and the juicy bits for a novel. It’s another to get so lost in the research that the novel never gets finished!
I could also spend the next six months on research for the other major aspect of Book Three, which is Portland, Oregon, in 2059. This part, too, requires drilling. I’m looking into the past…and exploring what’s just below the surface in the present…to discover trends that might make sense in my future world. Ecology, climate, politics, social media, energy sources, technology, transportation, diet, demography, education. And that’s just the beginning.
If I were writing about Portland 200 years from now, the research would be easier, because, frankly, I could make up more things and they would pass the “it’s possible” test. But 2059 is the bicentennial of Oregon’s statehood. Really. While all you folks in the East were gearing up for the Civil War, Oregon was still a territory. It’s different out here in the West. Anyway, I’m committed to 2059 as the year in which much of the action takes place. That means I want to drill down to get a solid foundation on which to base trends for the next 45 years.
There’s help. One place is the World Future Society. Another is simply the newspaper, especially the business section (not my favorite read, but, still, it has its place). The recent future-oriented series on Nova is filled with ideas. Transmedia guru John Anthony Hartman has been suggesting resources, and I take his ideas very seriously! Everyone I ask seems to have an idea of what the future has in store. You, too? Let me know. I just might my credit you in my book.
One last note. I admit to my own bias. Like the late Pete Seeger, I have a positive bent toward what could happen in the future if we humans get our act together. Mother Nature has not been kind to Oregon in my book, but I refuse to design a totally dystopian world. Now back to my regularly scheduled imaginings….