lee koven Blog Other worlds blog hop

Other worlds blog hop

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Other Worlds Blog Hop

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My work-in-progress takes place in what is currently Portland, Maine, several hundred years from now. When the United States fragmented, the Portland area, most of modern-day Maine, and parts of Vermont and New Hampshire consolidated into a city-state of the same name. Jet fuel is scarce, so most valuable trade is done via ships, and Portland’s primary industry is shipbuilding. Three mega-corporations (Corps) control Portland along with the municipal government: Harbor Securities, Michaud Dynamics, and Fairchild.

Picture of Portland's Old Port area
The Old Port in the modern era

Portland, Maine was named after the English Isle of Portland by English settlers. Before that, the Algonquian people who lived there called the peninsula Machigonne. Portland, Oregon was named for Portland, Maine when pioneer Francis Pettygrove won the right to name the town he and Asa Lovejoy founded on the Columbia River when he won a coin toss.

Why set a cyberpunk novel there? One of my assumptions when considering a future was that several large nations would fragment because governing that many people is very difficult to do with any nominally democratic process. I’ve been to Portland a handful of times and developed affection for the city: it was enough unlike Boston (where I lived in and around for almost ten years) that I thought it deserved its own place in my fictional future. A city, but not the Big City.

To celebrate summer and the blog hop, I’m giving away some SFR books:

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And don’t forget the Grand Prize on the blog hop if you haven’t entered already!
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27 thoughts on “Other worlds blog hop

    1. This reminds me that some philosophers point to the heavens (Platonists) and some point to the ground (Aristotelians), as seen in the painting The School of Athens. Fiction writers must be the same: I think we need both!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I hadn’t thought of the world as going backwards with the dissolution of many large empires, but it’s definitely a way to see it. I just thought since Rome ended, the Ottoman Empire ended, and many European and Asian empires lasted only a few hundred years, it made sense to break up several more large governments. I’ll admit I’d been going with this idea for seventeen years or so, so I didn’t foresee a lot of the difficulties that might get us there.

    1. Oh, thank you! I think Maine deserves some love. I have a Consulting Mainer to help me highlight its beauty…or fryolators, as the case may be.

    1. It scares me too- I can look at the history of the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to see where it leads.

  1. I’d never known that Portland, Oregon, was named after Portland, Maine, so I learned something today.

    Hmm, my favorite place to visit? Someplace with both books and chocolate! Portland, Oregon, has Powell’s Books which could fit the bill.

    1. Yes, but they’re expensive. If you want it, it’s like springing for a rather nice filet mignon!

    1. Interesting that you see it as a regression! I had governments break up due to the sheer difficulty of anyone keeping an empire together (I consider the US enough like an empire) over the centuries, and didn’t think of it as going backward. Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. I’m a beach person too. If the ocean off the coast of Maine is still safe in a few hundred years, maybe it’ll be more swimmable?

  2. Oh, hey, I didn’t know Portland, Oregon, was named from Portland, Maine, either. And the Algonquian name too! Very cool. I learned a couple things! Interesting how things have split up in your future too. I’ve often wondered if that’s what the future holds. Holding just about an entire continent with so many different cultures and mindsets together for hundreds of years makes one think. In fiction, your future makes sense. In life, it becomes a political debate. I very much enjoyed your post. 🙂

    1. Portland, Oregon was a coin flip away from being named Boston, Oregon, which I think just sounds silly now. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. My favorite real places to visit are Kauai and Disneyland, lol. My fictional favorites range from Pern to Valdemar to Eve Dallas’ NYC, lol. Thanks for the giveaway and what a tragedy that the future Maine has such expensive lobsters…there’s nothing like a delicious lobster roll there!

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