Thursday, April 21, 2016

Do You Ever?

Alaska, Juneau, Glacier, Ice, Snow  Have you ever read a fiction book that takes place in your state only to find the author didn't know the area he or she wrote about?  I have. Since I live in Alaska, I have friends who send me books or links to stories that take place in Alaska.  I usually cringe when I read them because the person definitely used poetic license.

If you check out a map of Alaska, there are places that look like there might be a road but its not guaranteed.  There are a couple of roads that are not on the main system from Valdez up. 

There is a major road that goes from Fairbanks up to the Barrow area but its the haul road and cars are not allowed there, especially in Winter.  If you've ever seen that reality show about Ice Truckers, you've seen the road.  It's really only for truckers.  There is a road from Nome to Teller that is usuable some of the year.  You have a few spurs off the main road that head off to Manley Hot Springs or Circle.

Back to the books and stories I mentioned earlier.  One book, I have no idea of the title, took place in Fort Yukon which is north east of Fairbanks.  It was about a nurse who worked at the regional hospital and drove down the road connecting Fort Yukon with Fairbanks for a night out.  First off, regional hospitals are not found in a place as small as Fort Yukon.  It might be a regional clinic but not a hospital.  Second the only "road" you can find out there is the river.  You could drive on it during the winter once its frozen but not any other time.

Another story I read, started off quite well.  The story takes place in winter when its so cold outside that you have to have your car plugged in to electricity to keep the battery from dying.  The author had the part about starting the car to warm it up before trying to drive.  The driver unplugged the car.  The wheels made a kurthunk sound because they had one side that was frozen so it makes a noise until it thaws and the wheel is round again.  So you want to know what made me mad about the whole story?  The author said it was midnight with the sun out.  It doesn't happen unless you are in Antarctica in the summer maybe but not in Alaska in the winter.

There are authors who write fiction set in Alaska that is done properly.  There are authors who did enough research to get everything right.  I'm sure everyone has had this experience

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