Paradise (Setting)

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[[:Category:Paradise|Paradise]] story universe

[[Setting::Paradise| ]]

Author: Jon Buck

A direct link To the original story.

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. ("Well, I guess the fawns have two moms.")
    • 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.
  • Added 2/24. At this point there are a lot of stories that feature transgendered furs. I'd like to de-emphasize that for a while. No changes to ongoing series, but as interesting as it is (and as much as I want to write in it myself, poor Jerome), I don't want TG to overwhelm the setting. Too much of a good thing.

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.

Physiology

  • Furries can still interbreed with one another as if they were all still human. Children get a 50/50 chance of which of the parents' species they follow.
  • 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 400 lb (180 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 unless the laws of physics get bent a bit so they can actually fly... Which still may happen.
  • No Extinct Species. No dinosaurs. Sadly, I can't include them. There are so many species that are just too big.
  • Mammals only until I figure a reasonable way others can be included.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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          1,028   5,849,427,754     0.000 018%
12  1998          2,056   5,920,473,436     0.000 03%
13  1999          4,112   5,992,382,020     0.000 07%
14  2000          8,224   6,065,163,988     0.000 14%
15  2001         16,448   6,138,829,947     0.000 3%
16  2002         32,896   6,213,390,635     0.000 5%
17  2003         65,792   6,288,856,918     0.001 0%
18  2004        131,584   6,365,239,795     0.002%
19  2005        263,168   6,442,550,400     0.004%
20  2006        526,336   6,520,800,000     0.008%
21  2007      1,052,672   6,600,000,000     0.016%
22  2008      2,105,344   6,680,161,943     0.032%
23  2009      4,210,688   6,761,297,514     0.062%
24  2010      8,421,376   6,843,418,536     0.123%
25  2011     16,842,752   6,926,536,980     0.24%
26  2012     33,685,504   7,010,664,959     0.48%
27  2013     67,371,008   7,095,814,736     0.95%
28  2014    134,742,016   7,181,998,721     1.88%
29  2015    269,484,032   7,269,229,474     3.71%
30  2016    538,968,064   7,357,519,711     7.33%
31  2017  1,077,936,128   7,446,882,298    14.47%
32  2018  2,155,872,256   7,537,330,262    28.60%
33  2019  4,311,744,512   7,628,876,783    56.52%
34  2020  8,623,489,024   7,721,535,206  >100%

At this point stories should take place in 2001 at the earliest, up to the current story-time year (2007). 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.

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.

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.

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.

2002

2005

2006

2007