Twitter, Worldbuilding

The World of The Paper Duchess

Falside Map

The Paper Duchess series is set in Falside, a city that sits on the edge of the stinking Falwere River. It climbs up the cliffside, arranged across six terraces, each distinct from the others.

The books are set some 100 years from now, but it’s certainly not the typical science fiction view of the future. For the general residents of Falside, technology has largely been abandoned after the administration started using it to spy on every moment of their lives. They don’t carry phones, or use the Internet. They live in a way that we would consider to be a regression.

And technology isn’t the only thing that’s regressed. In Falside, women living under the administration’s rule are removed from their families at the age of sixteen, when they begin their preparation for life as a wife and mother. The only role that most women in the city will ever have.

Falside is suffering a crisis. The birthrate of girl babies has fallen to catastrophically low levels, and the city is running short of women. The administration’s answer to this plight is to take ownership of every girl born, subjecting them to strict controls, constant tracking, and arranged marriages. But, as with any system, there are those that embrace it, and those that fight against it.

It’s not fun being a girl in Falside…