*Please note: this post is not without spoilers*
The House of the Scorpion is set in a future world in a country called Opium. Several times in the novel it explains that Opium is a strip of land between the United States and Mexico. When I say that this novel is set in the future I think it's only seventy five to a hundred years instead of s billion years in the future. Clones seem like something that could be developed fairly soon however when the novel mentions hovercrafts I think that this sort of technology is something that will take humans longer to develop.
The various scene specific settings such as the little house in the poppy fields and the oasis tell you a lot more about the characters than I had originally thought. For example Celia's house tells you a lot about Celia. I image her house to be warm, cozy, welcoming, friendly, etc. like Celia. The oasis reflects Tam Lin who is mysterious and holds many secrets. I think that how the settings reflect some of the characters it helps to drive the narratives. By giving the reader hints about the characters and how the characters react in different environments it helps you to be able to see the different sides of the characters and it makes you curious to read more.