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The Swallows

The Swallows is a series of computer-generated novels meta-written for NaNoGenMo 2013 by Cat's Eye Technologies. Our submission issue can be found here.

The Swallows is also the name of the first novel in the series. It follows the madcap adventures of Alice and Bob as they both try to acquire the golden falcon, which is priceless, or at the very least irrationally desirable by all involved.

The Swallows of Summer, the sequel to The Swallows, revisits Alice and Bob's life three years later. They have a much bigger house now. They also own more things.

Swallows and Sorrows, the third book in the series, shows us another period in Alice and Bob's life, not much later. They have taken up drinking — at least when they are disturbed by things — to calm their nerves. And then they start arguing. Oh, and the narrator knows how to use pronouns now.

The fourth novel, Dial S for Swallows, probably takes place shortly thereafter, or possibly at the same time as Swallows and Sorrows but in an alternate universe. Alice and Bob are no longer psychic (although this may not have been apparent in the previous books, the fact is that they were easily able tell what the other was thinking. Now, they only have suspicions. Also, the previous editor was sacked, and a completely new editor installed in their place.)

All four novels can be found, in Markdown format, in the doc subdirectory of this distribution.

At 49K words (in 15 chapters of 33 paragraphs each,) The Swallows is not quite long enough to qualify for NaNoGenMo. At 53K words, The Swallows of Summer is. Swallows and Sorrows is just barely over 50K words. Dial S for Swallows is over 56K words.

All novels were generated by the Python script the_swallows.py in the script directory, at different points in time. See the repository history to get the version of the script used for a particular novel.

I invite the reader who is interested in how the script works to read the source code. It sometimes even contains comments.