In revising Gimme Shelter, the second story in the Compact Universe series, I’ve run into a snag. It’s the personal vehicles. Gimme Shelter takes place on the farming colony of Amargosa, where the next few stories will take place. To imply how primitive the conditions are, I designed the farmers’ vehicles originally to look like ancient equivalents, generically using present day models as shorthand to stick on in the readers’ minds. One guy drives a “jeep,” another a “hummer.” (Guess which one has the bigger ego.) But as I realized that this might be 500 years into the future (Is it? I don’t know yet.), it occurred to me that people probably won’t remember Jeep or Hummer or Land Rover.
But what do they drive? That’s the question I’m struggling with right now. If I’d have done this before revisions, I wouldn’t have this problem right now. Instead, I’d be struggling to come up with a blog post today.
I cast about for some ideas. One gent suggested airships. It’s a great concept and one used by Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars. But that’s mass transportation, which I already have covered. What would an established colony of farmers use to get around their farms, their settlements, and probably within a 100-mile radius? They might not be driving Jeep Wranglers, pickup trucks, and HUMVEEs, but they are driving something around.
I’m pretty sure some will suggest self-driving cars like Google is testing and Tesla wants to get into. But we’re talking about a world where they have a few cities and towns, but the this place’s internet is spotty and people living out on the plains have to be self-sufficient.
So what do they drive?
Not sure. I’m open to suggestions.