One of the questions I’m anticipating with Mike.Sierra.Echo is “Why does Mike go to New Mexico?” After all, I live in Eugene, on the West Coast. My last book took place in San Francisco – a traditionally futuristic scifi locale – what’s the deal with putting the characters in Santa Fe?
New Mexico has a proud tradition of being a science-and-space-friendly place. You visit the Land of Enchantment to see places like the birthplace of the atomic bomb, UFOs (if you’re a believer), and continues to change the future through energy and nanotechnology. They have 60-foot radio astronomy dishes that search for life in the universe. New Mexico is also home the site where Thomas Edison attempted a process to extract gold and a full re-creation of Robert Goddard’s workshop. You can learn more about Goddard’s contribution to space flight here.
It gets better! Spaceport America is located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It’s “the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport”, designed and constructed specifically for commercial users. Spaceport America is owned and operated by the State of New Mexico, via a state agency, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Just like New York and Chicago are famous for their financial centers, Hollywood is famous for its movie industry, New Mexico is betting their future on space-based companies. Mike’s father and his new space elevator company would be right at home there.
Yeah, New Mexico does attract some weirdos. That isn’t a bad thing. “Some of the finest scientific minds in the world come here to lecture and study and commune with each other, and then on the other side you have people who will balance your aura and sell you a crystal to deal with your cancer.”
Researching space and space elevators for Mike.Sierra.Echo led me to New Mexico. After learning about the historic scientific and space-based achievements, I realized that Mike should go to New Mexico, too. He doesn’t stay in New Mexico forever, but Mike.Sierra.Echo wouldn’t exist without the Land of Enchantment.