Once again I am grateful for the resource that is the World Wide Web, the Internet.
I’m currently writing a novel which will eventually cover all corners of the globe a dozen or so mythologies, and over two thousand years of history. At any given time I can be in need of the name of the ferry from Dover to Calais across the English channel, or the time difference between London and Santiago, Chile, or the location of an apartment complex in Devonport in Tasmania.
I need to know what kind of coal was pulled out of a certain mine, the location of a gay badminton club on another continent, what is the view from a condo balcony in Utah and the name of an all-father-type God in the aboriginal pantheon in Australia.
I need to know if a certain IH Youth Hostel I’ve never been to has private rooms or just dorm-style. I need to now the weather of a place all the way around on the other side/end of this big blue marble. I need to know exactly when Fidel Castro took back Cuba.
And it’s all at my finger tips. It’s all within the reach of my keyboard.
Even when it comes to the title of the book, I can search Amazon.com or Google, to see how many other works have an identical or even similar title.
I can use Google Streetview to ‘walk’ the same path that my character does, seeing the Toy Library on the corner just as he does. See that the door is on the left and the window is on the right, or vice versa, because sometimes that’s important, and I love getting details right.
I wish my father had been alive long enough to enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Over the phone (not Skype!) I walked my mother through her discovery of Streetview and she was able to show me the balcony of her new condo… two thousand miles away from where I was sitting at my keyboard, in my pajamas (don’t tell her!).
I suppose when I dedicate this book it will have to include something to Google and Yahoo and the inventors of the whole thing-a-ma-bob.
Oddly enough, though, the book isn’t about the Internet or the web. I leave that to writers like Robert J. Sawyer and his WWW trilogy, starting with WAKE and WATCH. For me, it’s simply a tool to help me add factual & semi-factual depth to stories about people and places and times I will never meet, visit or live in.
That’s it. That’s all.
Ciao for now,