Friday, April 8, 2016

CW Listicle Notes

Turns out I've got rather a lot to say about a rather short piece. Specifically, the Car Wars vignette in Pyramid #89. It's all in general pursuit of world-building, but there's probably as much world-building going on in this one as all of my previous vignettes put together. Four out of the five locations make glancing reference to notable aspects of the world of the new Car Wars, so there are some significant bits of history and culture to tease out there. The fifth...well, that was mostly just me amusing myself.

There's also a certain amount of--pardon the expression--reality in there. In figuring out where to put the various arenas, I looked at a lot of maps, lists of roadside attractions, locations of current sports venues, and other such materials. Each place has a definite location in the real world, sometimes to the point of using existing buildings. Here's where everything came from:

Big Swede Arena: Parking garage at the Emeryville Ikea. We went there a few times when we were living in Oakland. Still have several pieces of furniture from there. Despite complaints about how it's cheap and flimsy, it's held up better than a bunch of other furniture we've bought over the years.

Glamorgan Yards: Glamorgan Castle, built in 1904, is a real structure in Alliance, OH. Once the home of an eccentric rich guy (as advertised), it's currently the central administrative office of the local school district and is open for tours.

Homestead Proving Grounds: I always though that Emily Dickinson's line "Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me" sounded like it could be pretty badass in an appropriate context. It goes doubly so for Car Wars. There's Death, there's not doing what Death wants you to, there's a wheeled vehicle, and there's no stopping. The belle of Amherst: car warrior.

PolyPark: Currently, Congress St. borders Prospect Park, which is wide open for development by the time the apocalypse rolls around. It's also adjacent (or nearly so) to Rensselaer Polytechnic, hence "PolyPark." I assume it's the college team's home field.

Washington Slope: Definitely an old working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh there. I don't know if the Heinz family is still prominent in Car Wars-era Pittsburgh, or if it's just a name of historical interest.

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