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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:26 pm 
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I'm now reading Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Moon", a novel set in 2047.

It starts on the moon, where the south pole is being colonised by China. (The Americans and Europeans are mostly at the north; the lunar poles have ice in deep craters, so prime places for settlement.)

There is a murder and the protagonists flee back to Earth,and go to ground in Southern China...




Then they were showing their wristpads to a pair of terminal employees, after which they descended stairs to a dock right at water level. On the other side of the terminal, a ferry as long as the building was being boarded by people on a higher floor, over a gangplank that was at least two stories off the water. They, however, stepped right onto a small boat with only a dozen seats, set on a single deck with a wooden roof and walled by salty glass, behind a wheelhouse where two women ran the craft. As soon as they were on board, joining what looked like a single group of other passengers, the boat cast off and grumbled away.

Fred turned and looked back. Palm trees bracketed the gigantic ferry terminal. Their boat's top speed was putteringly slow. Late-afternoon sun glazed the air, and there was so much salt crusting the boat's windows that they could see little more than impressionist shapes to the sides: other boats, either anchored or moving; a container ship in the distance; a lot of construction cranes on the shore they were leaving; jets taking off and landing at what had to be an airport, somewhere behind the buildings; green hills behind, lush with foliage, too steep to be built on. And then, as they motored beyond a building-filled promontory on the left, a city. A big city: like New York, or Oz, or Cosmopolis.

Fred felt his mouth hanging open, and closed it. More skyscrapers than he'd ever seen in his life were bunched on both sides of a crowded strip of water. Above the far side of this clutch of skyscrapers, green peaks reared toward the sky, towering three or four times higher than the tallest buildings. On the tops of these green peaks stood more buildings.

Their boat passed to the west of this harbor city and continued around a point, headed south. Ahead of them lay an island, considerably lower than the high ridge backing the city, but equally green.

The boat drew up to a small concrete dock protruding into a little bay indenting the island. Behind the dock a village terraced the hill overlooking the bay. The water was still. The buildings were salt-chewed concrete blocks, as in Shekou, but the tallest buildings here were only three stories, each floor stepped back so that a balcony terrace overlooked the street. There were no vehicles except for a couple of small carts there on the corniche behind the dock. People were either on foot or riding bicycles. Palm trees, broad-leafed trees; Fred was unfamiliar with the foliage, but it reminded him of photos of Hawaii or places like that. The buildings looked like beach resorts in tourist brochures, but tackier. Fred saw quite a few Westerners walking the corniche, or sitting in the many open-air cafes. He didn't know what to make of that. He heard English being spoken in the cafes they passed and kept his mouth shut. It was no trouble to look ignorant and confused.

They walked up a sidewalk that left the little harbor, and followed the sidewalk over a low hill, walking for half an hour to another harbor on the other side of the little island, where an even smaller village was built around a bay deeper than the first one. A variety of boats, including even some classic old-fashioned junks, were anchored next to a stretch of water roped off between buoys, possibly because it was filled with aquaculture pens; he could see little flags and metal rails just sticking out of the water. The concrete buildings around this little bay were shabbier even than those on the side the ferry had docked at.

The sidewalk that had crossed the island led them past a little cave where an old sign in English and Chinese explained that Japanese soldiers had hid in it during a war. Then down to the little harbor, which was faced by a line of open-walled restaurants that shared a single long awning roof. They approached a two-story concrete box near these restaurants, some kind of large cubical bungalow, it seemed. Qi's friends unlocked a door painted green and they hurried inside and upstairs to the second floor, where the main room's window overlooked the little bay and its scattering of boats.

"Okay," Qi said to Fred as she looked around the room. "We're here."

"What here?" Fred asked. "What was that big city we passed?"

"Hong Kong!" she said, staring at him. "And this is Hong Kong too, for that matter."

"Lamma Island," one of their young companions explained. "One of Hong Kong's outer islands."

"It's a good place to hide," Qi said to Fred after they sat down heavily on worn-out rattan couches and armchairs placed in the middle of the little room. "This place is owned by friends. It's usually a rental apartment for tourists, so lots of different people come and go, and sometimes it's empty. So we can hide here for a while, until I figure out what to do next."

"Okay," Fred said, as if he had any choice in the matter.




So, in 2047 there are still gweilos and VVs on Lamma. Sadly the Quarry development doesn't seem to have gone forward. And still no MTR station.

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In the book, the Chinese lunar colony is described as somewhat like HK's SAR.
And oddly enough, I just saw this video, which is about a serious proposal to do exactly that:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
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Many thanks for this excellent write-up!

How about sharing it in my "Lamma Island Hong Kong" Facebook group or the new "Lamma Island Residents" group?

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