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U=(N/T)M*G: Hexagon

Floating cities.

When I first saw the phrase, I was thinking something more space-like. Great, domed orbital platforms nestled in the yellowish hue of Venus’ atmosphere. Maybe serenely sitting above the great storms of Jupiter or Saturn. A way of living off in the middle distance of the future.

These cities are reality on the cusp of fruition, but not in the clouds of our gas giants or even in orbit around our own planet. Think a little closer to the ground. Or water, as it were.

A group of innovators have presented the U.N. Habitat Council with a plausible, wild idea of building floating cities on our oceans. Billed as a way to ease the population burden of major metro areas, it’s also being talked about as a green way to live in the rise and aftermath of rising oceans. The specs and concept are impressive, I gotta say. I’d live there.

As always with these kinds of articles, I started thinking of the sheer possibilities this project could be, and be used for.

The obvious is for things like dystopian disasters or colonization of otherwise uninhabitable planets. This type of city would be a wonderful addition or device for both.

Other ideas came to mind though. Something a little subtler. A little… disconcerting.

Maybe one of these floating cities is found abandoned, no idea what happened to the residents. A creature lurks under the calm water of the ocean, in the midst of this little slice of idyllic heaven. Revolution brings one of these miniature colonies to war. Water wizards decide to attempt a truly dangerous bit of magic and the vast reservoir of the ocean’s power delivers, and than some.

What they say about screaming in space seems to also hold true for the ocean. What weird and fantastic tales could be set on a self-contained small city, so close yet so far from land?

Sounds like fun.

-T.A. Creech

Science in the pursuit of fiction.


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