Paradise (Setting)

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Paradise story universe


Author: Jon Buck

A direct link To the original story.

Separator f left.png Stories in Chronological Order Separator f right.png

Authors may add links to their stories as they happen in chronological order in story time. For a complete listing of all Paradise stories, since this list may be updated sporadically, see the Paradise Category.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010


2011


2012


2005 - Two Lovers:Iris and Gabriel (Call this a Teaser Trailer, for now.)

Alternate Future/Non-Canon Stories 2006

2063

2064

Undetermined

Separator f left.png Basics Separator f right.png

  • The setting is basically indistinguishable from the Real World up until 1987, the year when people first begin to spontaneously transform into furries.
  • Exactly one person transformed in Year One (i.e., 1987), and the number of furries doubles in late August each year. The initial story in this setting, A Kind of Paradise, is set in Year 21 (i.e., 2007), when there are just over one million furries. The next year (2008) will add a million, for a total of two megafurries, and so forth.
  • The first furry in 1987 was a vixen, with a tod the next year. Some stereotypes do have a basis in "reality". :)
    • The entire world will be furry in 2020.
  • Every year it's possible that an already-changed person could change again. With increasing rarity, all less than one percent:
    • A species change. ("What the..? I'm a wolf now? What am I supposed to do with all these hoof picks?")
    • A gender change. ("Where do men put this thing between our legs when we sit down?")
    • A combination of both. ("Don't even call me a bitch! Just show me how to put on this stupid bra!")
    • The next year there is about a 25% chance that the person will revert to their original gender/first species. If that doesn't happen, it's fixed. If they change back... there's another 25% chance that you'll bounce back again the next year. So there's some potential for characters who spend years alternating between species/gender.
  • Also distinctive from Winds of Change: No superpowers. Just whatever natural abilities (things like augmented senses, physical strength, etc) come from being half animal.
  • The Role Reversal Paradox.
    • IF the couple has children, pre- or post-Change, no matter what age...
    • IF one of the couple has been transgendered...
    • THEN it is essentially a sure thing that the partner will TG as well.
    • The reason for this is simple. ROB hates paradoxes. If they have children, there must be a father and a mother. And it must be the same two people. It doesn't matter if that person divorced and remarried someone else. Or if they're unmarried. One father, one mother. Otherwise, the kids will logically not have come into existence.
    • Conversely, if they are married/going out/living together/etc., the same TG 1% dice roll applies to them as everyone else.

Important. Please do not write stories that are father ahead in the timeline than those I have written.

Note on Politics. As a request, I ask authors not to use major political figures from Real Life. I don't want any political bashing going on here. Characters like Congressman Sandrick are perfectly fine, so feel free to create fictional members of Congress or Members of Parliament. Remember this world is different from ours from 1987 onwards. There are still details I haven't filled in between then and now, and the Butterfly Effect means that there will be some small, some major differences.

Winners of the 2008 Election

  • President: Karen Hutchinson. (Reverse Pres. Obama and his wife, basically)
  • VP: Steven Angstrom

The Transgendered

Just a few details.

  1. This is an earlier, generally harmless virus that got into the simulation. ROB dealt with it by the "history editing" as described in the stories.
  2. It's been around a LOT longer than the Furry Virus.
  3. Even though it's probably been around for thousands of years, there are far fewer victims than the Furry Virus as of 2009. I imagine the furry virus co-opted this one for the TGed furs.
  4. As in real life, there are many more male to female victims than the other way around.
  5. Transgendered victims have little or no support system like furries do. They're generally isolated. And before 2009 couldn't see through the RDF.

Physiology

  • Furries can still interbreed with one another as if they were all still human. Children most often follow their parents' species, however, they can also follow their grandparents species, or something out of left field.
  • Conversely, humans cannot interbreed with furries, probably due to the RDF.
  • There are some physical variations, but not the wide "Degrees" that Winds of Change has. The most obvious differences are hair, feet, and hands. Otherwise, most everyone is about as morphic as seen in common furry art.
    • Females most often have hair the same color and similar texture as their fur. Though you do still get the occasional blond.
    • Males retain their hair less frequently.
  • Size Limitations. On the suggestion from the Talk page. I'm not going to limit species. However, I will have a minimum/maximum size range:
    • 7 feet (or 2.1m), max. About 600 lb (272 kg), max.
    • 4 feet (1.2m). I'll leave the small side open.
  • Species are native to a particular continent. So most people in North America will end up whitetail deer, elk, bears, foxes, wolves, etc. Recent immigrants will more likely end up native species to wherever they came from.
    • However, this means that someone from Seattle could still end up a leopard, or a llama, or what-have-you from other continents. I just want to make that clear.
    • No mythicals like dragons, griffins, satyrs, vampires, mages, what-have-you. Just furries.
    • No birds, reptiles, or other non-mammals.
  • No Extinct Species. No dinosaurs. Sadly, I can't include them. There are so many species that are just too big.
  • Note on Transsexuals. This setting is intended as a mix of wish fulfillment and darker, more realistic consequences. That said, all TS folks get their bodies "corrected". Keep in mind that this won't necessarily make life easier for said character. Conflict generates Plot. And since most of the folks who get their gender switched won't be TS, there's still plenty of that around.
  • Results of major surgeries are translated. Artificial hips, knees and pacemakers still work as needed. Transplant patients will not reject their organs. However, lost limbs will not regenerate and major chronic diseases will not be cured, but may go into a lengthy remission.
  • One of the major benefits is a major improvement in health and fitness. ROB can't stop the change, but at least he can give the victims a sort of consolation prize. You may not end up in perfect shape, but it'll be close. A flood of positive endorphins to make the victim feel good about their new bodies doesn't hurt, either (optional). Now, what happens to that state of fitness after is entirely up to your characters.

Psychology

  • At this point I'm inclined to have some mitigating effects on the "victims". It's still going to be very, very hard to deal with. This is a major life disruption. And there are no doubt a lot of secluded furs. But suicides aren't as common as you'd think.
  • The transgendered furs do have an even rougher time. The double-whammy of species and gender would likely make serious post-change Issues a reality.
    • Transgendered furs typically refer to themselves by their initials: BD, DL, etc..
    • Some might end up going a little crazy and think they had always been their new gender, especially after the effects of Tall Tales Con.
  • The more adjusted furs have figured out how to find these troubled souls and bring them back into the real world.

Separator f left.png The Reality Distortion Field (Veil) Separator f right.png

  • Humans can't see furries for what they are. They still see whatever the person looked like before, even if that person was the opposite gender.
  • Some things aren't filtered correctly. Consequently...
    • If a TGed man gets pregnant, the filter will change that person's ghost image to female. But she will still appear human to other humans.
    • Things like hoof/paw prints, shed fur, shed antlers, clawmarks, animal odors, etc., are not filtered. So if a cougar morph gets in a fight with a normal human and lashes out with his claws, he could cause a hell of a lot of damage.
    • Some humans think that there is something up (referred to as "Known" or "Friends"). And some have figured out that the friends who claim to be furry actually are what they claim to be.
  • The RDF sometimes breaks down a little during large gatherings of furries (like at conventions). "Hey, that's the best costume I've ever seen! Is that a prosthetic muzzle?" Memories afterwards will probably remember some really good costumes, and photos will be perceived as such.
    • In more extreme cases it will break down entirely. But it would take repeated exposures, or perhaps having a number of furry friends while remaining humans oneself. Like in Changing Perspectives.
    • Transgendered furs may be perceived by humans as their new gender out of the corner of their eye. And there are likely other circumstances where the human RDF image will realign also. Specific circumstances (such as pregnancy) will be the decisive factor.
    • As of 2007, TGed TallTales Con attendees have had a major RDF alteration. Everyone except family, friends, or people who have seen them often enough to really know, will perceive them as their new physical sex. Which is essentially the vast majority of people. This effect will spread to all the other TGed until 2008, when it becomes the norm.
    • As of 2009, all human ghosts now reflect their real gender, no matter who is looking.
  • Do animals perceive the RDF? Probably not. But the odor of a fur is neither quite human or animal. There are still some common human pheromones, for example. Which is what makes romance between wolf and deer possible. This is a good thing, since it means that a doe-woman in heat won't be chased down by a normal buck.
  • It may start to break down as there grow to be millions of furries in the world (see below).
  • Another storytelling idea: The RDF is an antiviral measure (see The Cause below). When the RDF breaks down, people may change out-of-phase, since they no longer have that protection. This will make it harder to track down people who change and get them the help they need. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but the storytelling device is available. But I don't want it to become commonplace.

Separator f left.png Holes in the Veil Separator f right.png

As seen in After Hours, on August 29, 2009 the Veil started coming down.

  • First one appeared in Hyannis, MA on August 29. It quickly expanded to (size to be determined) and outed every furry in town. Other holes appeared in and around Chicago. Without exception they appear first where there's been a recent or frequent concentration of furs.
  • Holes start small, but will grow depending on how weak the RDF is in the area.
  • As the RDF decays, furs will feel like they're wrapped in loose plastic. And there's something of a light show. The air shimmers. The air feels cleaner, fresher.
    • The RDF is an extra "rendering layer" of sorts. Since until now all furs had lived with it, they only really notice it was there now that it's been taken away. Leaving a Hole a fur will feel like he or she is wearing clothing a size too small or too large, depending on how much they deviate from the human norm. A really sensitive fur might feel suffocated, as if they were wrapped in plastics. They'll feel irritable and given the right situation, may tear new Holes (which could make good story fodder).
  • They're like soap bubbles in that if they encounter other holes, they'll grow even larger. All of them are still slowly expanding, and may jump to larger sizes at unpredictable intervals.
  • ROB will start a controlled shutdown of the RDF over the course of the year. Its replacement will be a Weirdness Censor.
    • The world is going furry crazy. But not crazy crazy. Using a cooking analogy, it's like a foamed egg whites getting folded into a souffle or other dish that needs careful mixing, or the recipe falls apart.
  • Furs feel much more comfortable with themselves inside the holes. To furs, the RDF feels like restrictive clothing. Doubly so for the TGed furs. Even normal humans feel better. Caveats:
    • Normal humans who spend more and more time inside one of these holes run increasing risk of becoming furry at any time of the year ahead.
    • Once the RDF is down completely in late 2010, the above may apply to everyone. The numbers are still doubling as below, but the August 17 restriction no longer applies. And as above, a TG can happen before a TF.
    • Furries cease being humans in funny costumes. Their animal natures will more easily bob to the surface. This is partly for psychological reasons (don't have to hide any more). Partly due to the pressure from the RDF being gone.

Separator f left.png The Numbers Separator f right.png

Total sequence as follows (all figures approximate):

Year  AD  Total Furries  Total Populace  Furries, as %age of total populace
 1  1987              1   5,184,212,887     0.000 000 02%
 2  1988              2   5,247,179,035     0.000 000 04%
 3  1989              4   5,310,909,955     0.000 000 05%
 4  1990              8   5,375,414,934     0.000 000 15%
 5  1991             16   5,440,703,374     0.000 000 3%
 6  1992             32   5,506,784,792     0.000 000 6%
 7  1993             64   5,573,668,818     0.000 001 1%
 8  1994            128   5,641,365,200     0.000 002%
 9  1995            256   5,709,883,806     0.000 004%
10  1996            512   5,779,234,621     0.000 009%
11  1997          1,024   5,849,427,754     0.000 018%
12  1998          2,048   5,920,473,436     0.000 035%
13  1999          4,096   5,992,382,020     0.000 07%
14  2000          8,192   6,065,163,988     0.000 14%
15  2001         16,384   6,138,829,947     0.000 3%
16  2002         32,768   6,213,390,635     0.000 5%
17  2003         65,536   6,288,856,918     0.001%
18  2004        131,072   6,365,239,795     0.002%
19  2005        262,144   6,442,550,400     0.004%
20  2006        524,288   6,520,800,000     0.008%
21  2007      1,048,576   6,600,000,000     0.016%
22  2008      2,097,152   6,680,161,943     0.031%
23  2009      4,194,304   6,761,297,514     0.062%
24  2010      8,388,608   6,843,418,536     0.123%
25  2011     16,777,216   6,926,536,980     0.24%
26  2012     33,554,432   7,010,664,959     0.48%
27  2013     67,108,864   7,095,814,736     0.95%
28  2014    134,217,728   7,181,998,721     1.87%
29  2015    268,435,456   7,269,229,474     3.69%
30  2016    536,870,912   7,357,519,711     7.30%
31  2017  1,073,741,824   7,446,882,298    14.42%
32  2018  2,147,483,648   7,537,330,262    28.49%
33  2019  4,294,967,296   7,628,876,783    56.30%
34  2020  8,589,934,592   7,721,535,206  >100%

At this point stories should take place in 2001 at the earliest, up to the current story-time year. The community gets really, really small before then. If you have a story that takes place in this era, submit it to me first. Thank you.

Things should start to get really interesting around 2010. There's enough furs in the world then that niche markets would start to open up. More clothing and products specifically designed for furries start popping up. Also, it will become harder and harder to induct new furs into the group in a healthy manner. Society may start to break down in places.

It will take a concerted effort by those previously changed to keep everything under control...

Distribution. It's not random, or even. It's an expanding fractal centered on the Chicago area. As far as visualization, I'll leave that vague. But the majority of the first furs were in North America.

From the way these stories are playing out, I'd say that events are unfolding like this:

  • 1987-2002: "Alone" period. Isolation between furries, with only a few very small groups, most of them thinking they're all alone. Best exemplified by MatthiasRat's stories. Nobody knows what's going on.
  • 2002-2008: Forming Communities. There's now enough furs to start encountering each other regularly. Conventions start up. Anthro imagery (in movies, TV shows, and other media) start to show up more frequently. Information getting put together indicates an ominous trend. The whole world will eventually go furry.
  • 2008-?: Events unfolding in Open Secrets will nail down this theme. From here for the next few years, a third to nearly a half of the new Changed will be Known/Friends or family members. People who can see through the Veil easily.

Important Events

This section will be for events of note that will be important to the overall storytelling. Authors feel free to note important events in your works that could impact the setting as a whole here.

2007

  • First instances of total, permanent RDF breakdown. Incidents isolated.
  • First appearance of anthro dolphins. The RDF with these people is a very strained affair. The longer they stay around humans, the more likely it'll fail. Perhaps it realigns the image as a normal dolphin in the water, and a human on land.
  • Added 2/24. Transgendered furs at Tall Tales Con now appear as their new physical gender to anyone but close friends and family. The RDF is even actively changing identification. Active records like passports and driver's licenses, medical records are all altered to reflect this. Even a pre-Change photo ID will show the new human face, which will be a shock to the TGed fur. This effect is slowly spreading to other TGed furs, see Doing Hard Time.
  • A number of pressing environmental problems relax slightly. While these solutions will solve some problems, they will cause others, especially in the short term.
    • The recovery of the major world fisheries detected in the mid-90s continues apace.
    • Major discoveries in energy include massive oilfields in various stable First World nations: US, Canada, UK, Norway, etc..
    • Scientists observe CO2 levels stabilizing for currently unknown reasons.
    • Third World experiences boosts in food production from improved farming practices and soil conditions.
    • New renewable energy discoveries, new batteries, a bacterial process for making gasoline and diesel from municipal wastewater.
  • With all these new furs, there are now enough singles to start pairing up. The lingering worries about fertility and children will be answered next year...

2008

  • Fallout from Tall Tales Con continues. All newbie and furry gatherings the next year will be much, much smaller, informal.
  • Although there were a few before this year, this is the first year a large number of furry babies will be born.
  • A Changed rabbit appears as Playboy's September Playmate of the Month (though only other Changed/Changed-sensitive know it until later).

2009

  • This Change Day will be different from the others. Instead of all happening in the same moment, the new furs will happen in fits and starts throughout the day. Some might change in the early morning, others late that night. The trend will continue over the next few years.
    • Another wrinkle. If there's a TG, they don't have to happen at the same time. So some poor fellow who becomes a clouded leopard in the morning (or a woman) will get hit again sometime later.
  • The shoe field died in 2008. Now the Veil no longer hides clothing modifications. For some furs this might be a Veil-breaker. We will see.
  • Since Open Secrets, the secret is functionally out, though a sort of Weirdness Censor is in place, possibly due to widespread denial. Furry imagery started to dominate the media after the first of the year, especially on medical dramas and "what if" shows on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, even the Food Network. Mostly done with CGI, a few shows used furry actors and cameras able to see through the Veil.
  • The Shutdown, August 17-25. With a major Sleeping Sickness outbreak, much of the world economy shut down for a little over a week, with only essential services (energy, food transport, etc.) kept running. Similar to what Mexico did during the Swine Flu outbreak. Later they are accused of overreacting, as Sleeping Sickness seems to leave a minuscule number of deaths, and the victims healthier than before they contracted it.
    • In hindsight this should probably take place after the Bubbles appeared on August 29, all the way through Labor Day on Sept. 7.
  • The Veil starts coming down, per the events in After Hours. This shows up as "Bubbles", areas where the Veil is simply gone. These expand at various rates and originate in places where many furries have recently congregated.

2010

  • Tiffany Tanner appears as the first Changed to play a Changed in a recurring role on daytime television. With the aid of a special lens, Tiffany's character "Felice Hunter" on One Life to Live dramatizes the plight of Changed forced to keep secrets from family and friends. Her stint on the show is briefly interrupted when she is kidnapped for several weeks, after which she again makes headlines as one of "Melton's Eleven," eleven furres who had been kidnapped for the private amusement of a twisted, reclusive millionaire (who vanished shortly before they escaped).

2012

  • There's still a big lump of Change on and around August 17, but the number of Changed grows daily and with increasing speed. It's not unusual to "call in furry" for a few days to get accustomed, but after that it's back to work. The TG'd get a bit longer, but even "The One Percent" are growing in numbers just as fast (but still in proportion). They're the ones who get the media attention.
  • The "Bubble" situation from 2009-2011 has reversed. There are now shrinking "Pockets" of Veil/RDF. However, the effect in the Pockets is very concentrated. Even the Changed perceive themselves as human. All the original RDF rules apply.
    • Pockets aren't always stationary. They move across the surface like beads of mercury on a mirror, or an amoeba moving by throwing pseudopods in one direction.

Separator f left.png The Cause Separator f right.png

So, why is this happening? What's causing it? A nanotech virus? Microscopic magic pixies? The return of magic? The wrath of God? What?

The answer is contained in Tall Tales.

However, the idea is this. Ever since I read Accelerando By Charles Stross, I've been enamored with the idea of the technological Singularity. So I've been looking for a way to use it in my fiction at one point. This setting provides the answer to that desire. Accelerando is available for free on the web.

Our universe--or perhaps just our planet, I haven't decided yet--and all the people in it, are basically a simulation. This doesn't make the characters in these stories any less real than you our I. Mathematics forms the basis of the universe, after all. The people are as sentient as you or I. This makes the setting rather Matrix-like, without the human bodies being used as "batteries". We're all more like Agent Smith.

I refer to this as a "furry virus". It comes from outside the post-Singularity brain, and is slightly more advanced than "ours". What's happening is this bit of malicious code (sentient, no less, but on a level far beyond our ability to comprehend it) is messing up the simulated world we reside in. Why? I dunno. One of those inscrutable things. The RDF is an antiviral measure to contain the damage and allow the society within to adapt. This is also why so far, furry species are limited to mammals. As the numbers of furs increase, that will change. I have yet to decide just when.

Why not just scrap the whole thing and restore from backup? There are no backups because the simulated people are nevertheless living beings. And they can't just be wiped out.

I hope that explanation isn't too confusing. Please let me know on the Talk Page if you have questions.

Separator f left.png Notes on Avatars Separator f right.png

So far, the convention for avatars in this setting is for writers to use the first initials of first and last names. However, I wanted to note that my intent here is to give the writer more freedom than to base these characters on yourself. I've changed a lot of details about Jerome, for instance. If you want to put your avatar--if you decide to use one--into this setting, go crazy. Give them a challenge (worse job, emotional trouble). Or make them better off and have the change cause a lot of trouble with work/family/whatever. What I'm trying to say here is, don't feel you have to be directly limited by your present or past self. Have fun.

Separator f left.png Important Cast Separator f right.png

Paradise Cast List

Since this is a wiki, that means everyone can edit it. Authors who want to put names and short bios of the characters in their stories, just in case someone else wants to use them for a cameo. With the characters, please list the stories that they appear in. Please put your cast members on the linked cast page. Thank you.