Mindstorm takes place on a space station that doesn’t currently exist and on two planets that might exist, but if they do, we haven’t found them yet. 😉
The story opens during a negotiation that literally blows up around the characters. The planet, Cordil, is populated by huge centipedes. Although they’re mentioned, they don’t really show up in the story.
The space station, on the other hand, is in the tale frequently. It’s a big donut-shaped space station that spins to provide gravity. There are several levels to the station, and as a general rule, the further up you live, the more affluent you are. The lowest levels of the station are used for trash recycling and other stuff of that sort.
Haidar Station orbits Earth. It was originally built by Terrans, but their genetically modified citizens got fed up with mistreatment, revolted, and took over the station. (Yes, this may become a novel in the future). In the treaty that ended the conflict, Earth gave their genetically weird offspring the station, not that they had a lot of choice in that.
The other location is Ologo, where the second negotation takes place. I wanted Ologo to be more than just some Earth analog, so I decided it needed a few quirks. I put a second planet in the orbit with it. That, of course, would have major effects on the ecology of Ologo. Our little, puny moon creates our tides, for example. Put something planet-sized in orbit with the world, and those tides become more impressive.
So, the land-dwelling race (Gotrians) built their cities in the trees because the tides turned the ground into a swamp. The water-dwelling race (Olvians) are amphibious when mature, so they can come out on the land when the waters recede and make them swampy a couple times a day. The humans who have a corporate office (Pharmacorp) there built their company and the nearby mini-city on a stilted platform to keep their shoes dry.
In retrospect, I probably should have had land-tides, too, with a mass that big that close, but that didn’t occur to me until later.
As for the timing of the story, I never exactly nailed that down. It’s far enough in the future that even non-genetically-weird humans can go interstellar distances.
Yes, I do have a sequel and maybe a prequel in the planning stages.