It THE Week! The Other Worlds Blog Hop! I hope you’ll hop aboard for a journey to other worlds, via multiple authors’ blogs.
It’s the best kind of journey (IMHO of this hermit) because you can take it without having to pack, or be cryo-frozen, or strip searched by the TSA. #Score!
It’s a journey that takes place only in your imagination.
So where will I take you today? I had a hard time choosing between my Project Enterprise worlds or future New Orleans via my Uneasy Future series. I love them both, I very much enjoyed “visiting” them as I wrote about them.
But, because I’ll be returning to New Orleans this fall (for Bouchercon), and because One Two Punch is now available in a print edition, I’ve decided to take you on a tour of the New Orleans, 2016 (yes, you can have “other worlds” here on Earth).
So take out your tour guide, settle back and don’t be afraid to to ask questions.
(Excerpted from The Unauthorized Guide to Louisiana’s Raised Cities)
New Orleans New, Louisiana
A short history
The original, dirt side city of La Nouvelle-Orléans (now known as New Orleans Old or NOO) was settled by the French in 1718. An early chronicler called it “a place of a hundred wretched hovels in a malarious wet thicket of willows and dwarf palmettos, infested by serpents and alligators.” He forgot to mention the mosquitoes, but did hit most of the basics.
In 1721, a hurricane knocked most of those structures down. In fact, the history of New Orleans is one of fire and water. Fires twice ravaged the Quarter in the late eighteenth century, and in the twenty-first century, the city was ravaged first by Katrina and then, fifty years later, by Category 5 Hurricane Chen.
In an effort to save what was left of New Orleans, the city was raised using alien technology acquired from the Garradians (see They Really Are Here or Yes, Roswell was Real). In an ironic twist, the raising of the city returned New Orleans Old to a wet thicket, once more infested by serpents, alligators, and bugs.
While the raised city retains much of the character of the original, instead of pothole-riddled streets, transit through the city is smoother, well, except for some streets in the Quarter, where the legend says the ghosts of potholes rose with the city—legends vigorously denied by city leaders who can offer no explanation for the strange and persistent bumpiness of some transit lanes. For this reason, it is recommended that visitors to the city use skimmer restraints when riding in any craft with open windows.
Foot traffic is possible in many parts of the city, but pedestrians are warned to stay inside the safety rails as gravity does remain in effect if one steps or falls off the anti-grav platforms. If one wishes to visit the old city, we recommend signing up for a tour (as long as immunizations and wills are up-to-date).
Most popular attractions
The French Quarter remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Orleans New (or NON). It can be enjoyed on foot or in one of the holographic horse-drawn carriages, where visitors can still listen to New Orleans jazz and sample traditional New Orleans fare. (Note: The stone tile and cobblestone roads are holographic, so the old habit of trying to remove them as souvenirs is not longer possible.)
The Garden District is, for the most part, still privately owned, but tourists can either take the air-trolley or hire a pedi-skimmer and look at the past over holographic stones walls. There are some mansions opened for touring, but yeah, mostly all you can do is look.
Lake Pontchartrain was not raised, of course, but to preserve the special character of the lakefront, there are special transit zones for crossing this air space and designated air space is preserved for air board sports, just as if the lake were still there. If you wish to experience the real lake, local guides are advised, as are current immunizations, current health insurance policy, and an up-to-date will. Local tour guides also require next-of-kin information and payment in full prior to departure.
Mississippi River Boat Tours still “paddle” the place where the river would be if the city were dirt-side. They pass under holographic representations of the bridges that used to span the river, including the famous (or infamous) Huey Long Bridge, which no one really misses, but old timers pretend they do.
We like to feel that we’ve managed to blend the best of the old, with enough of the new so we don’t fall out of the sky.
What hasn’t changed, what will never change, is the food, the music, and a people who are easy in a Big Easy that can often be Uneasy (and crime ridden) even in the Future.
Le bon temps roule!
If you’d like to extend your visit to New Orleans New in 2016, you can dive into The Uneasy Future a couple of ways. By “visiting” Core Punch, 1.0 and then Sucker Punch, 2.0 OR get both bundled together in One Two Punch. Core Punch is also available as an audio book (with Sucker Punch coming soon to audio.)
I hope you enjoyed your tour and will “hop” to the next “Other World” by clicking below:
There are prizes to be won if you take the whole journey. And don’t forget to leave a comment here (comments are entries!) and I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.