In Liverpool in 1998, I bought a book from a publisher clearance style bookshop called ‘The Breeders Box‘.
It’s set, primarily, in New York, around Greenwich Village – where I have never been – and for the first four, five times I read it, I had to imagine what the area looked like, how the streets fitted together and where things were in relation to each other.
The last time I read it – a couple of years ago – I realised I could look up the area on Google Maps and I could navigate all around, looking at the positions of stuff and blurry satellite photos of the tops of buildings.
This time I read it, I went back onto Google Maps, looked up the area then clicked for the street view – I could see the shapes for all the buildings in the area then plonk my little guy down where, say, the fictional eponymous club was on Spring St and look at the street itself, both sides and moving back and forth along the road.
I wonder how I’ll be able to interact with the real version of the fictional world in another ten years time.