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Set in the Real World

My first novel, Lucinda at the Window, is set in 1901-ish. The next two novels I wrote (the defunct ones) were set in a fantasy-laced version of Renaissance Europe. The Weordan novels and Zeta Iota are both science fiction, either off-world or far-future. Pas de Chat, written in 2004, is the only long work I’ve set in the “real” world.

For the first time in six years, I’m writing in a contemporary setting and it’s a little strange. When Aleister listens to music…on his mp3 player!…these can be bands that people have heard of! Bands that I listen to! So there’s a temptation to go a little Mary Sue. (I’d like to say that I planned to have Mr. Luck listening to the Cake album Prolonging the Magic, but I didn’t realize the aptness of that choice until I posted on Friday.)

The internet is also a more helpful place, research-wise, than it was in 2004. I’m more inclined to question my detail choices. Things I’ve done research on for this novel thus far:

PG&E energy scandal (for now defunct aspect of the novel)
How blackjack is dealt in casinos (hand v shoe)
Locations of casinos in the Chicago area (now also defunct)
Hallucinogens / deliriants
Scratch card sales in Nevada / Nevada state lottery (rather, the lack thereof)
Facial recognition security systems
Private investigator licensing

And of course, my new knowledge (or lack thereof) influences the writing. As much as I complain about inaccuracies in fiction, I better get as much as possible right. For example: short of calling gas stations in Nevada, I haven’t come across an answer as to whether I can buy a scratch card with my gas and coffee. I’m guessing you can’t, and therefore a pretty piece of writing bit the dust last week. (The concept will be recycled later.)

Anyway, in conjunction with that and my post on writer’s lock, I’m posting the following Luck extra: Mr. Luck Goes Fishing (and buys a scratch card and doesn’t meet Davis).