The first inkling of a potential sci-fi project came to me a couple weeks before the ideas for the story started developing. A picture of a spaceship I saw got me thinking about the kind of giant ships of sci-fi that seem to support whole cities worth of people, and the fact that ships and stations in the near future at least would not be able to be built like that.
No one’s going to have the capital, resources, power, desire, to create a city in space all at once. Real cities don’t get built like that — they start as towns or forts, grow up around them, add layers and layers and expand and expand. Why would a space city be any different, at least in a time before humanity has united to the point where we can embark on giant construction projects like the USS Enterprise?
Think of the International Space Station — built tiny piece by tiny piece, expanded over time. What if we kept building it up, adding more and more to that base structure?
So I had this idea for a setting, a city-like space station, built like a true city — bit by bit, slowly expanded as expansions were necessary — and could be afforded. And then as it was built out and out, growing to accommodate new inhabitants, new technologies, new generations, the parts in the middle, the original modules that served as a foundation, would fall into disuse.
Like the abandoned subway tunnels of New York or the layers of ruins under Rome or London, over time these parts would be abandoned, forgotten.
And thus you could have this great space station city, inhabited by thousands of people, with a city underbelly of abandoned modules taken over by squatters, criminals, fugitives, gangs. And deeper still, lost ruins, knowledge, old technology — and what secrets might that hold?
So this is the foundation of my setting. A city station. Somewhere around a few hundred years in the future. With all the twists and turns of a city, the power structures, the rich and poor, the secrets and the unknowns.
The space station Concordia.