For most writers, having the opportunity to live in the place they’re setting their story can be a huge asset. In such cases, daily experiences become raw narrative material that can be refined to add texture and depth to their fictional world. I learned this firsthand when I wrote my debut novel, Cash Crash Jubilee, which takes place entirely in Tokyo.
However, since we’re talking about a near future, cyber-dystopian Tokyo, it wasn’t a simple matter of jotting down details from my life in this hypercity and feeding those into my prose. I had to transport my urban experiences forward in time, and recreate them as part of an alternate era. Since such experiential time travel is no easy feat for one mind alone, I wanted to get some help from other minds and decided to read a whole whack of novels set in Tokyo, to see how it had been depicted elsewhere.