Happy Canada day! Let's talk about the end of the world.
I get both points (from Canadians) and odd looks (from everyone else) for setting The Scorpion Rules in Canada. But the truth is I had three very good reasons.
1. I live here. I was born in the States moved to Canada not long after university. I have dual citizenship now. My first book (a book of poetry called Ghost Maps) was largely composed at St. Michael’s monastery and retreat centre in the Qu'Appelle valley in Saskatchewan. So when my mind went to "monastic school," it went there.
It looks like this. If you've spent some imagination time at The Precepture, it might look familiar.
(I was at St. Michael's attending the Sage Hill writers' retreat and workshop. I highly recommend Sage Hill. It changed my writing life.)
2. In a world where water is power, Canada is a superpower, with about one fifth of the world's fresh water supply. Though, only about a third of that is renewable. The rest is what's called "fossil water," a great phrase that leads to a useful another concept -- water mining. If you pull too much water from a lake, you're not borrowing it, you're mining it. It's not coming back.
Canada worries about this, even now. For instance: Waukesha, Wisconsin, has radium in their drinking water, which they draw from ground water. It's too radioactive to safely drink, and it is difficult to treat, and so Waukesha would like to draw their water from nearby Lake Michigan. Ontario objects, largely because they don't want to set the precedent. There's a fight. Make Wisconsin a little more desperate (and armed) and Ontario a little more intransigent (and armed) and we're off to scorpio races.
3. But the most Canadian thing about The Scorpion Rules is not the Canadian setting. It's the attitude. Where the American government has "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," the Canadian government has "peace, order, and good government."
The Scorpion Rules is what you get if you take that idea way too far.