I’ve now finished the prologue and first chapter of my next novel in the Of Man & Machine series Lord of Poison! I’ve also started some of the other minor processes for the novel, a lesson learned from doing XENOCHRIST. With my first novel I waited until after I’d already written and edited to get everything together, the cover, the marketing images etc., so I’m happy to be doing all of that while writing Lord of Poison.
I think my biggest snag is making sure I stay as faithful as possible to a lot of the cultural aspects referenced. With XENOCHRIST I was able to invent a lot of things since the characters travel a lot in that book, but with Lord of Poison it all takes place in central Mexico, so I’m having to study and ask a lot of questions just to stay true to the cultural sources. There’s some things I do know and understand because I live in Mexico City, but as a white male writer who isn’t from this culture you often see writers just like me fail in that regard. That’s how we got American Dirt! The last thing I’ll ever do is write something so culturally and ethnically obtuse.
Ultimately, for me, Lord of Poison is a celebration of such an incredible place full of incredible people. When we scifi/cyberpunk authors write we often use Japanese influenced imagery, XENOCHRIST wasn’t immune to that either, so I wanted to really do something different.
Mexico City is now Metropoli de Mexico and it has that “used future” feel you get from works like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, but instead of the “future retro” vibe of Japan it’s Mexico. There’s so much beauty in this country and so many cool things to imagine a cyberpunk future with that I think it’d be so cool to explore. Like, imagine a cyberpunk future where your camotero or tamalero uses a flying or hovering cart to bring you plantains or tamales? It’d make my life more convenient rather than having to run 3 flights down and chase the guy!
I guess what the post has turned in to is my point that there are still so many incredible scifi and cyberpunk stories to tell in locations that aren’t often used, with themes largely ignored. I’m not pioneering anything with my story in Lord of Poison, but I hope that I can add to such a great catalog of existing stories of the future set in non-traditional futuristic settings.