*sings* I'm on my way to Cuba, That's where I'm going, Cuba, that's where I'll stay. Cuba, where wine is flowing, And where dark-eyed Stellas Light their fellas' panatellas. Cuba, where all is happy, Cuba, where all is gay, Why don't you plan a Wonderful trip to Havana Hop on a ship And I'll see you in C-U-B-A. - Irving Berlin, "I'll See You In C-U-B-A." *stops singing* During my banned period I got known on TV Tropes and started rewriting parts of my first draft of an alternate history steampunk YA novel I started a while ago. It's set in Cuba in the near future, and the protagonist is a literal clone of Che, living in a Cuba which is basically a mobsters' paradise, ruled by The Generalissimo, who's secretly a narcotics trafficker and uses child clones as soldiers. The song quoted above is used in tourist ads in-story (no lyrics are quoted) which the General uses to present a great public image to the international community and draw in more tourists looking to enjoy the forbidden. I've got two books: Havana Before Castro and Havana Nocturne: How The Mob Owned Cuba and Lost It To The Revolution. Both books have insights into Cuban culture and the political background of the pre-revolutionary period. I've done some research on the Internet on things like food, geography and Cuban slang, and have found some books. In your opinion, is cultural knowledge the most important part of a story? How would you feel if you picked up something and the culture was only referred to occasionally ie few mentions of food, customs etc? Do you think cultural knowledge is still important in a story in a setting the writer's never been to even when it's not exactly a "real-world" depiction of the setting?