by Michael Bard and Quentin 'Cubist' Long
©2002 Bard and Cubist -- all rights reserved
The results of an intensive and somewhat conclusive banging into place of random snippets of dates and times that authors threw out as they felt like it
As one might expect of any fictional world in which most stories don't make explicit mention of what year (let alone month or day) it is, continuity in the TBP setting is not well-defined. What we do know is that TBP diverges from the real world starting in 2001, said divergence having to do with the Beagle II sample-retrieval mission to Mars. In the real world, there was no such mission in the first place; in TBP, Beagle II did its job flawlessly up until re-entry, at which point something went horribly wrong and it crashed, releasing the Martian Flu virus into Earth's biosphere. From that point on, it's anybody's guess what happened when, and this is Bard's and Cubist's best guess as to when things occur.
|I||2001-2002: Early Stages|
|Late 2001/Early 2002: The 'Beagle II' spaceship crashes and releases
its biological cargo.
April 19, 2002: First spontaneous morph occurs in Austria. Thomas Hassan becomes a horse (of course, of course).
|II||2002-2003: The Plague|
|The immediate consequences of releasing an extraterrestrial pathogen
on Earth. Very little has been written about this period of TBP
Nov 2002: Dr. Bob Stein collapses during a news conference on
|III||2023-2026: Kill the Mayoral Candidate!|
|First major story cycle. Main focus: A virulently bigoted politician runs a Hitler-esque anti-SCABS campaign for mayor of The City, and is opposed (sometimes violently) by various concerned citizens.|
|IV||2026-2031: Deer in Love|
|Second major story cycle. Main focus: A whitetail deer SCAB regains his sentience after 20-odd years as a dumb animal, then acquires a loving family. Most of these stories are based around the major writers on the TSA list (Jon Sleeper, Bryan Derksen, etc).
The Blind Pig Gin Mill opens a family restaurant off to one side and has a club upstairs.
|IV||2032: Requiem for the Shadow People|
|The most recent main-line continuity story from Mark Van Sciver.|
|V||2033-2039: Slices of Life -- Deep Cuts|
|Third major story cycle. Main focus: Coping with SCABS. The end date is the most recent story that we're aware of and is based on the character of Jubatus having contracted SCABS in 2036, two years before his introduction to the Blind Pig. These narratives are a hodgepodge of stories, most telling how an individual deals with SCABS. A non-trivial percentage of them involve Phil's rabbit counselor as a participant.
The family restaurant and club appear to have vanished at some point before this story cycle. It's not clear whether this is due to economic fluctuations, anti-SCABS prejudice, or something else again. Also MIA are the practical jokes which were a notable feature of earlier cycles; fortunately, various authors are working to reinstate the Pig's venerable tradition of pranks and japery.
Major TBP characters
These characters are either fundamental to the setting, or make frequent appearances in the most recent stories. Go here for a slightly outdated but more complete list of all TBP characters.
-- Bar staff --
The center can hold
The Blind Pig's owner and bartender. He appears as a 640-lb. Animorph with the head and shoulders of an Auroch (an extinct breed of wild cattle). Although mute, he refuses to use a voder, instead communicating via either sign language or written notes. Donnie is from Utah. His family rejected him soon after he came down with SCABS, but his daughter Ellen has since reconciled with him.
There used to be assorted serving persons -- Colleen (dog head/tail/paws but human feet) and Eddie/Edwina (gendermorph) -- but they appear to have gone on to other things. Currently, Donnie's daughter Ellen is the main (only?) serving girl.
-- Other regulars (character's creator/writer in parentheses afterwards) --
Machiavelli meets Norman Vincent Peale
Phil (Phil Geusz)
Full rabbit morph. The resident SCAB counselor, often present.
The eyes have it
Brian Coe (Brian Coe)
Partial raccoon morph and optometrist. Becomes increasingly raccoon-like when nervous.
The Lord is my... wolfherd?
Raven (Raven Blackmane)
Female wolfmorph, devout Christian, and pool hustler -- not necessarily in that order.
The old philosopher
Jack deMule (Jack de Mule)
Mule morph and the resident piano player. Usually drunk, almost always found at the piano.
Ham in wolf's clothing
Wolf morph. Actor and singer by trade, he is the Pig's self-appointed "morale officer". Cofounder of the Lupine Boys.
The Lupine Boys
Social club (read: "support group") for canine SCABs. All but one of the Lupine Boys are wolf morphs; the exception is full coyote morph Doug 'Wiley' (or 'Wile E') Linger.
It's not easy being arthropod
Dr. Bryan Derksen (Bryan Derksen)
Insect morph and world-famous SCABS researcher. Polymorph who spends almost all his time in insect form.
Dr. Bob Stein (Posti)
Equine polymorph. World-renowned SCABS researcher. Rarely present.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Jubatus (Quentin 'Cubist' Long)
Cheetah morph and outwardly unpleasant person.
TBP story archives
For those who are interested, or just have a lot of time on their hands, here are a few major sites on the net which archive TBP stories:
Mia's Index of Anthro' Stores, The Blind Pig
Ravens Lair, Stories, The Blind Pig
TSA Story Archives, Worlds, The Blind Pig
There are a number of less significant archives, usually the personal sites of individual authors who are posting their stories to the net. Cubist's Stories Archive may be taken as typical of this breed; it's the most complete and up-to-date repository of stories involving Cubist's character Jubatus, and its coverage of other writers is limited at best.