While I was away I was telling Southern Dave about one of my projects. We have a book in the archives, 100 Historic Places in New Zealand, by Gavin Mclean. I liked to look through it, and started making notes on the places in it, to see how it would fit together as a single city. Since reading China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station it appealed to me to put something together if I would amuse myself by doing some creative writing. Urban fantasy would be a challenge. Other ideas have fitted in. I thought one of the character sketches I had been doing in my Scribbles file would make a good prince of the city. It would be a city in the colonies of a greater empire. The world could be adapted from our earlier Hypercronian project.

The city is built on an inlet. An old volcanic outcrop. Earlier settlers have landscaped it for terraced farming. The actual city is at the innermost end of the harbour, on one side, opposite the holiday and weekend settlements. The city is mainly administrative and industrial. The port is at the mouth of the inlet, in a bay. A railway network connects them. A lot of transport also goes across water. The train also goes inland, to farming and mining communities. The technology is late: telegraphy, combustion, and gunpowder exist, although I want to play with some fantasy elements in the city as well.

Now I’ve got to think what I want to write about in such a city.

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