During my interview taping of the Authors Show, Don McAuly asked me about my choice of NYC and State for the location of the Zxap Jacket.
Having grown up in the NY area, and having spent my first 14 years as a professional musician in the Metropolitan area, NY is a place I know fairly well. It is also the place where I developed my deep love of sci fi, discovering Phillip K Dick, William Gibson and Stanislaw Lem in particular. New York in the 70s and 80s was quite different from what it is today. It was shabbier and seedier. Crime was worse and neighborhoods were in decline all over the city. Having been back to NY recently and witnessing the ‘revival,’ if one will accept that tag, it is obvious that the City does go through major and perhaps cyclical changes. It is thus not a fantastic stretch to assume that things will turn down again at some point–whether within my time frame or not is really not important. It is the idea of a changing an dangerous landscape that is important, give or take a decade or two if need be. The emergence of powerful nationally ranging gangs is really just an extension of the gang culture of the 90s into the present. The Zxap technology is also just an extension of what we are already living with, in many ways.
I would also add that NY is a most fascinating environment physically and culturally. Its age, and the contrasts created by its age serve a story teller. My personal experiences as a young musician took me all over the city, through the neighborhoods both beautiful and terrifying, in the transit system, out in the night life and on the streets. Especially when I was hungry and starting out, the images burned hard into my memory–the harsh and the gentle, the beautiful and the vulgar.