So, in my story, there are these 3 tribes out in Southern California that are fighting a war over resources, water specifically. My main character helps one become victorious. The names of the tribes are the Blackfoot’s, the Canyon Runners, and the #1 Mutants.

They don’t have planes or automobiles, so they don’t have any other choice but to walk (no horses survived in the West Coast). Their tech level is around Stone Age humans with metal-tipped spears and tools. (The metal is salvaged from scrapyards.)

So, in my story, I explained the reason for the tribes not wanting to leave is because the area they are in is surrounded by mountains and deserts and finding a suitably livable place would be challenging. Would this reason be plausible?

  • $\begingroup$ Because it's their land, where their parents lived and their parents before them. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 21 '18 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ Because most people really don't like moving. Otherwise, the Inuit wouldn't still be living in the Arctic, nor the Berbers and Masai in the desert. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 21 '18 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn: But Ron, that hasn’t stopped others from leaving their parents homeland. In the early 19th century, immigrants to the US were coming out the wazoo $\endgroup$ – Talos Apr 21 '18 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ 1) You are aware that the name "Blackfoot" is often not associated with Southern California but further up north? 2) There are only those people organized in 3 tribes in this world? A more realistic premise would be that they are surrounded by other people, The hard-to-beat mountainous tribes like the Medes or Gutian people are classic examples you could model those others after, but there are so many other examples. Just have them not move because they would have to fight the war anyhow no matter where they go, but then on someone else's terrain $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 21 '18 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Vincent: I didn’t know how to edit before I wrote this question $\endgroup$ – Talos Apr 21 '18 at 14:08


Colorado river reservation

You can put them here and comment from the perspective of a fictional world on the current battles over water that really are taking place in this region. That is high science fiction.

Key is that they must have need of the water: if these are a bunch of badass hunters they will not be so water oriented. They need to be farmers (or doing something else with the water) and they need to farm such that the water there is cannot support them all. Maybe they can be rice farmers - wildly impractical in this part of the world but doable. If this is absurdist fiction, take it one more step to impracticality: they are trout farmers and catch them via fly fishing.

Not implausible at all in modern SoCal. Putting this story on the desert Colorado River will bring home to your readers what it is you are commenting on. Except for the river, there is no surface fresh water for hundreds of miles in any direction. No-one who had any conception of what was out there would leave - unless they were following the river.

The gang concept from @Raditz_35 is excellent - culture of tough people in this part of the world will be influenced by gang culture and the SoCal gang tattoos are amazing.

other bonuses from locating story at actual site

  • You can look at real topography and landmarks to plan the action and movements of your people.

  • You can lift character names from the map and region. Swansea; Wenden; Havasu; Nothing. For my character - dibs on Chubbuck.

  • My guess is that you live in Fresno. You can go on a research road trip and check out the scenery in person. A great excuse for a road trip!


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