I have a love hate relationship with the back roads in that part of country. They are beautiful and, when you know where you’re going, a lot of fun to drive. That part about knowing where you’re going is key.
Back in the days before in-car GPS systems, I was in the Vienna/McLean/Tyson’s Corner area on business. I landed at Dulles at night and was driving to my hotel. If had gone right, I would have been in the brightly lit heart of Vienna. I went left instead and found myself in a semi-rural residential neighborhood. Back in those days (1995), the people in those parts didn’t believe much in street lighting. About once every block, the road I was on seemed to be named after a different Confederate general.
This was also before I owned a cell phone, of course. Fortunately, my search for a pay phone led me across the road where my hotel was supposedly located. If I hadn’t stumbled on that, I might still be roaming the wilds of Northern Virginia like a Flying Dutchman in a rented Chevy.
When I wrote the climax of Human X, I thought I was taking some liberties when I described the missile site nestled in the oil fields of northern Orange County, Site LA-29. The site was real but I was certain that, by 2011, much less 2039, it was a neatly manicured tract of homes. Turns out I was wrong. The old site was still a decaying, graffiti-covered collection of abandoned structures. It was, however, far more complete than I describe in the book. Fortunately for accuracy, the remaining structures are marked for demolition and, by 2039, the site should be the relatively pristine wilderness described in the book.
Continue reading “The Real and Unreal World of Human X – The Missile Site”
Most of the second half of my novel, Human X, takes place in and around my stomping grounds of Orange County. My hero is treated in the hospital where I was born.
Actually, it’s more accurate to say in a fictitious satellite of the hospital where I was born. Since I’ve been in this world, St. Jude Hospital has grown from a single modest building into a medical complex that now covers several city blocks. A character in the book says that the main hospital is threatening to swallow my hometown of Fullerton whole. Time will tell if he was exaggerating.