Guest Post: Taking New Orleans into the Future?
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author and guest blogger Pauline Baird Jones.
Pauline is here today to talk about what inspired her to take New Orleans into the future in her An Uneasy Future Series.
Take it away Pauline!
Taking New Orleans into the Future?
It is exhilarating and heart-breaking to come to the end of a series. You type that last “The End” and you’re SO happy, then you look around and “What’s next” hits you upside the head. I had started a romantic suspense series, set in present day New Orleans, called The Big Uneasy, but I wanted, I needed to be writing some made-up science fiction. I chortle with glee at making it up (though I think my high school science teacher thinks I started making it up back then…)
And then Heather Massey at Galaxy Express, wrote a blog post wish list that included some science fiction mystery and I got that idea bulb over my head. I was already researching New Orleans, what if I followed my Bakers—and New Orleans—into the future?
But—what future? What would New Orleans be like in the future?
At first I went all Jetsons in my head. It would be all shiny and new and—not New Orleans. New Orleans doesn’t mind shiny, but it clings tenaciously to its past, too. So I started looking at the past to get clues into its fictional (but possibly possible) future.
There were things I wanted to keep for sure: the music, the food, the parties, the easy, the people. I saw this meme on Facebook in July with this quote attached:
“In other cities, as Old World cultures broke down, people became Americans. In New Orleans, as Old World cultures broke down, people became New Orleanians.” –Joe Logsdon
That hasn’t changed that much, or hadn’t went circumstances moved us on to a new adventure. I really wanted my future New Orleans to be as connected to the past as the New Orleans we lived in for 18 years, the city that care forgot until Katrina.
That would be the other thing that would be the same: the weather. No sassy weather control machines in the future, at least not yet (I love that about SF, you never have to say never). My New Orleans would be about managing the weather, not controlling it.
So future New Orleans—New Orleans New—began to emerge from the fog inside my head. There would be changes, because, hey, future! But generally the changes emerge from trying to solve problems which often created other problems and problems are the engines of plots…
One of the biggest problems New Orleans has right now is that so much of it is below sea level. (I almost had a heart attack when I was driving next to the river and looked up to see an ocean sized ship going by ABOVE me.) They’ve spent a lot of years drying out land, only to have it flood and building levees and—
Hmmm…I had some alien first contact in my Project Enterprise series. What if first contact with aliens got out to general populace and the world got some shiny new technology—like anti-grav platforms able to raise entire cities right out of the swamps and flood zones? There’d be all kinds of benefits. Land that had been concrete could be farmed. Green spaces returning would benefit the atmosphere. Throw in some anti-collision thrusters and let the good times roll? What could possibly go wrong?
Cue disaster incoming soundtrack here…
Let’s face it, Mother Nature is going to stay the same, now and into the future. She’ll look at our shiny tech, laugh and bring it.
In Core Punch, boy does she bring it. The Hurricane Naming Board calls it Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe (WTF—oops!) and it earns it moniker in spades.
Oh, those unintended and unforeseen consequences that we find out about in Sucker Punch.
And because this is a mystery series, too, there’s murder, a crime solving duo—one an alien cop on an inter-galactic exchange program, the other a Baker descendent who has been having trouble getting a date because she’s related to most of the police force (The Bakers tend to be a bit prolific), all of it with New Orleans style and with a futuristic twist.
I probably won’t be alive when 2061 arrives, so I’ll never how close, or how far off the mark, I am with my vision of an Uneasy Future. But it sure was fun visiting it, if only in my imagination.
What do you think the future of New Orleans, or your city will be like?
Spinning off The Big Uneasy and Project Enterprise…
Welcome to An Uneasy Future!
About An Uneasy Future Series…
Welcome to New Orleans’ and
An Uneasy Future…
Earth date: 2061 Location: New Orleans New (NON)
Welcome to the future. Much has changed in future New Orleans, but some things never will. The food. The music. The weather. The crime rate…
A kiss may be all they have life expectancy for.
When an intergalactic cop exchange program serves up an alien partner for NONPD Detective Violet Baker, she can’t help wishing the handsome alien would be a little less Joe Friday about keeping the pleasure out of their business. Yeah, he’s kind of purple and she can’t pronounce his name to save her life, but he’s almost the only guy in the New Orleans New police department that she’s not related to.
Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn has come a long way hunting the evil that has infiltrated Vi’s floating city. When he meets his charming partner, he discovers another reason to stamp out evil. If only he wasn’t keeping so many secrets from her…
When an epic hurricane heads their way, they are sent dirt side to New Orleans Old (NOO) on a rescue mission. But murder and sabotage strands them in the heart of the raging storm.
As they fight for their lives, Joe realizes that the evil he’s hunting is actually hunting them….
Vi never liked math and aftermath isn’t floating her boat either…
Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe has moved north. Yeah, the storm almost killed Detective Violet Baker, but it also blew some romance her way. Her uptight partner, Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn actually kissed her.
But there’s no time for any follow-up kissing, much to Vi’s regret. They are hunting something very bad. Something that tried to kill them while they were dirt side during the storm.
And has now escaped up into New Orleans New.
It’s not business as usual, though there is some deja vu in there, when Vi and Joe get sent to a FEMA camp to check out a dead body.
Until that body turns into a trail that might lead to the evil it. Or to its next victim.
Just when Vi thinks things are crapeau enough, the MITSC (Men In Top Secret Color) show up and take over their case. Are they after Joe or the evil it?
Before they can find out, the evil it lures them into a trap.
It’s ‘it’ versus them and it hasn’t lost yet…
Thanks Pauline for giving us a glimpse of what inspired you to write this series!
About the author: Pauline never liked reality, so she writes books. Sixteen of them, actually. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance.
You can learn more about Pauline and her stories through the following:
Tags: Future New Orleans