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Old 19th June 2007, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Science Fiction in your neighborhood

I am currently reading "Dies the Fire" by S. M. Stirling. I am enjoying the book very much and Stirling is an author i also like very much.

The curious thing is that the book takes place in my neighborhood, i.e., the Willamette Valey of northwest Oregon. It's odd (to me) to have a book take place in your town and the environs you're familiar with. The map in the book is simply a map or the area around Salem (where i live) and north to Portland.

Has this ever happened to you? Other writers have used real locations for their stories. It just strikes me in an odd way; maybe it's just me...
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Old 19th June 2007, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Must be an odd feeling. I can't say I've ever experienced it as far as books are concerned. But I do live in Cardiff where Doctor Who and Torchwood are filmed. It's good fun trying to spot the locations - especially when they're pretending that Cardiff is London!!
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Old 19th June 2007, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Yeah, when I lived in Glasgow we used to do the same with, "Taggart."
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Old 19th June 2007, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

The town I grew up in in Massachusetts (Natick) is mentioned several times in Zodiac by Neal Stephenson. He gets just about everything wrong.
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Old 19th June 2007, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

I remember reading Christopher Priest's Fugue for a Darkening Island only to discover that much of it is set around the area in Hertfordshire where I grew up, which was an odd feeling. More recently, Peter F. Hamilton's 'Greg Mandel' novels (Mindstar Rising etc) are set in an area close to where I live presently, though I didn't have the same reaction to reading these as with Chris Priest's book for some reason.
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Old 19th June 2007, 04:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

I used to live in Milton Keynes and watching Superman 4 was distracting as a lot of 'Metropolis' looked very local.
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Old 20th June 2007, 10:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Not exactly science fiction, but I got some kicks out of watching Jackie Chan run around in some of my old favourite hangouts here in Melbourne.

Mr. Nice Guy was the name of the movie.
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Old 20th June 2007, 10:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tau Zero View Post
I am currently reading "Dies the Fire" by S. M. Stirling. I am enjoying the book very much and Stirling is an author i also like very much.

The curious thing is that the book takes place in my neighborhood, i.e., the Willamette Valey of northwest Oregon. It's odd (to me) to have a book take place in your town and the environs you're familiar with. The map in the book is simply a map or the area around Salem (where i live) and north to Portland.

Has this ever happened to you? Other writers have used real locations for their stories. It just strikes me in an odd way; maybe it's just me...
Yay OREGON! WHOOO HOOOO

There is someone else on the planet from OREGON!

Um, but there are few books that take place in Douglas County that I've heard of, which is sad because the Umpqua Forest has a rich history.
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Old 20th June 2007, 11:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Oh, sure. One of Clive Barker's books uses the place where I grew up as one of its locales (although he got the geography all wrong, so much so that I couldn't read the book).

One of the locations of Greg Bear's The Forge of God is about is about ten minutes' drive from where I sit as I type this.

Part of one of Tim Powers's books takes place about three blocks from where I used to live in L.A. County. His research was so good that I could picture the area in my mind as I read.

Those are just the novels; I can think of several non-fiction books that are related to places I know well.

Oh, and the big funny-looking glass and metal building in The Puppet Masters? That's the city hall here in Fresno.

The list would be even longer if you wanted to expand beyond science fiction and fantasy.
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Old 21st June 2007, 12:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Can't really say there's any SFF references to my area... there are a couple of interesting things, however:

- The town in The League of Gentlemen is based on the town a mile from where I live: Bacup.
- Tim Burton considered using streets in Bacup to film parts of the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film (Johnny Depp), but decided against it as it was far too dirty and realistic for what he had in mind.

I suppose Lancashire is famous for its witches, which feature in many books, if that counts?
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Old 21st June 2007, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Robert Rankin's Brentford series is in West London, although post code wise it's Middlesex. And he only changed the name of one pub.
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Old 21st June 2007, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Over in "critiques", Phil Brown has been posting excerpts of a story set in CERN. on the other end of the number nine bus route. I have to hold myself back from commenting on the setting rather than the writing.
But he's not intending to blow me up until 2012 (and then he's doing the rest of the universe, as well)
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Old 21st June 2007, 02:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny View Post

I suppose Lancashire is famous for its witches, which feature in many books, if that counts?

Including Magrat Garlick.
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Old 22nd June 2007, 01:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

I've never seen a genre story that I could relate to in that way but the comedy A Christmas Story is based on Jean Sheperd's book of short stories , In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. The stories and the movies were centered in Northwest Indiana where I was born and grew up although it took place a decade or so before I was born. The feel of the area was similar and some of the landmarks were still there when I was growing up. He intentionally changed some names and left some the same. Just enough to be irritating.
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Old 22nd June 2007, 01:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Science Fiction in your neighborhood

i could say we londoners are famous throughout the world, but then id say the we south londoners are unknown throughout the world....i know, my book'll be set in south london!
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