Set In Stone: Follower is the first book in a planned series. The book tells the story of a young animal trainer named Allen Rickson who is caught up in the chaos of upcoming war. Can he survive in the field while at the same time preventing his trained swine from finding their way into the cook pots of the army that presses him into service?
For those familiar with the writing concept known as rational fiction, this will be an attempt at such. For those not familiar with what rational fiction is, it is simply fiction where things make sense to a much greater degree than in normal fiction. Here is a link to the rational fiction subreddit, if you want to poke around.
The characters who are rational do things that make sense. Physics makes sense. The environment makes sense. The story development itself makes sense. There will be irrational individuals, and not all irrational people will be enemies – because that wouldn’t make sense! Allen and at least some of the other significant characters will be portrayed as mostly-rational individuals. Without giving away any plans, I plan on having Allen develop from a young teenager with rational tendencies into a level 2 rational adult character over the series. Level 0 characters in rational stories ‘hold the idiot ball’ regularly. Level 1 characters act mostly if not entirely rationally. Level 2 characters act almost exclusively rationally, and are able to predict outcomes of situations and reactions of other characters with high degrees of success.
Following the tenets of rational fiction, almost everything Allen does should make sense if he is not being driven by extremely potent emotions or panic. All the science in the story should be sound, or at least have no gaping holes in it. There should be no deus ex machina, though there will hopefully be surprises and at least some degree of plot armor. If I do surprise you, it should be possible for you to look back earlier in the book and see clues that you could reasonably have used to predict what I did. These restrictions put a limitation on me. I’ll have to be a bit vague about some things that I do not understand well enough to be factual about, likely hiding my own ignorance behind Allen’s ignorance. At the same time, I’ll have to be a little vague from time to time describing some of what Allen knows. I do not have his fictional lifetime of experience as an animal trainer or access to pigs that have been bred for hundreds of years by his family for improved intelligence and tractability.
I am going off in a direction that I’ve never personally seen written before. I didn’t even know what to call it before a helpful person over at Reddit mentioned the term ‘stonepunk’. When I poked around for examples of stonepunk, it clearly fits. The Flintstones are stonepunk, but they are not rational stonepunk. This colony world, Nirvana, is inhabited by a civilization that arrived as a post-need society, but then collapsed. The citizens of the colony fought collapse every step of the way, preserving as much knowledge and technology as possible. A great deal was lost to them, but the scientific method was not one of those things.
If you see me using a technology that doesn’t make sense, call me on it. If you see an otherwise rational character do something irrational, and they aren’t concussed, highly stressed, or otherwise mentally impaired, call me on it. If you see any plot elements that feel irrational, bring it to my attention.
Oh, you might want to read the back story before the chapter content.