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Complete Chrysalis by BeaverFur - Original Sci-Fi

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Raiko, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Raiko

    Raiko First Year

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Title: Chrysalis
    Author: BeaverFur
    Rating: N/A
    Genre: SciFi
    Status: Complete
    Fandom: Original
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: None posted by author.
    Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/comments/55v9e1/chrysalis/

    I know this isn't the typical story posted on DLP but I think that it deserves to be read. I am typically not a fan of all the HFY (Humanity, Fuck Yeah) stories since they seem to repeat themselves all the time. Humans are scary and smarter and more insane than everyone else seems to be 90% of that genre.

    Chrysalis is worth a read if you enjoy a good story about AI and what it means to be human. Without spoiling the story it had one of the better tales of revenge I have read recently, and what it means to seek retribution. The author was able to successfully describe massive space battles that are easily envisioned.

    I would rate the story as 4 stars that came close but didn't quite reach a 5 star status.
     
  2. NTD

    NTD High Inquisitor

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    That was way better than I thought it was going to be. I did skim one or two parts but only to get back to the first narrator.

    In the end though I liked the story it tried to tell 4/5.
     
  3. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I was an avid promoter of Chrysalis on the irc back when it first started, and quite loved it. The conclusion, however, as well as the last 2-3 chapters before it, left a lot to be desired, and were a massive let down that I've gone to some lengths in discussing with the author.

    3/5 for an amazing start, an interesting middle and a disappointing ending.
     
  4. Raiko

    Raiko First Year

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    I agree that the end was by far the weakest part. I think he really suffered by sticking to writing each chapter in 3 days. But sometimes that happens when you are trying to stick to a writing challenge like that.
     
  5. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Are there any mirrors for this story? I'd like to read it in a nicer format if possible, and I don't trust reddit to keep posts around.
     
  6. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    It was a good read. I enjoyed the storyline, character arcs, and the characters themselves. The author seems to have had a firm plot and character arc in mind and he kept to it. He didn't lose his way, or invest in irrelevant side stories, back stories, or world building. Every scene and character had a purpose in telling the tale. The conservation was refreshing compared to typical fanfiction.

    I had a few problems with the science part of the scifi. Radio jamming, oxygen based atmosphere and hallways in a crewless AI vessel, hollowing out Mt Everest, the non-exponential growth, and a number of other small questionable pieces on the engineering and physics side of things. The author forgot that his protagonist was a robot at one point. "I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath."

    The aliens fall into the Star Trek/Wars model of mostly being bipedal, communicating with sound waves, similar lifespans, and generally humanish on the outside. And internally and socially they're exactly like humans, being green skinned proxies for our own international/interracial relationships and politics. I understand why he didn't use truly alien lifeforms (sapient Silicon-based crystals who communicate with refracted sunlight aren't as easy for the reader to relate to or feel sympathy towards as the young, struggling diplomat, Daokat), but it would have been a great accomplishment if he'd pulled it off. I can't blame him for not going down that route; it would have made it more difficult to tell the story in an engaging way.

    I do have a criticism about a plot point in the story (I'm avoiding spoilers here) that weakens the author's theme, and also about the protagonist's conclusion and how that didn't fit neatly next to his other realisation. A muddying of the waters. It forced a situation and mindset that would have made for a more powerful and compelling finale and character arc if it had occurred more naturally and gradually.

    Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Chrysalis. I didn't expect to enjoy a HFY story and feel that this barely qualifies as one. It isn't perfect and could do with a few changes and some polish, but it's almost there. 5/5
     
  7. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    I devoured the whole thing today and... I could just end the review right here. It has been a while since I read the entirety of a particular work in one go. It's the best recommendation I can give.

    But for reals now. I enjoyed this immensely, even despite having to read on Reddit on my phone. The premise hooked me right from the start, because it's so clear, so simple. It doesn't hide behind unnecessary subterfuge. "Aliens destroyed Earth. We're going to destroy the aliens. Revenge is best served nuclear. Humanity, Fuck Yeah." Brilliant in its simplicity.

    Now, I enjoy a complex plot as much as the next guy, but the barebones plotline here combined with the relatively short wordcount that forced the author to have every scene advance the story (especially the First Terran's POV, which was just thundering along at a rapid pace), all of that makes for a great combination. This is a story that benefits from the lack of subplots and scarcity of characters.

    I suspect a lot of my gushing here comes from the feeling of freshness I got from Chrysalis, due to my scarce experience with sci-fi, so it may not grip others like it did me, but I think anyone who's into sci-fi will find something to enjoy here.

    The science aspect is toward the softer end of the scale (barring the author's dedication to keeping time distortion with FTL consistent in the narrative), but this isn't where this story shines. At the core, it's a typical revenge story with redemption, it could be inserted into any setting. Chrysalis really shines with the exploration of the themes the First Terran ponders. His insistence on calling himself (itself?) human, keeping only one "body", refusing to embrace the full extent of the digital nature until his low point forces him to reconsider and edge very much closer to becoming some kind of eldritch technological terror, getting irritated when Daokat calls him Terran instead of human...

    It's just very well put together, what can I say?

    The one harsh criticism I have is the "reboot sequence". A flashback chapter jumping out at me in the wake of a cliffhanger... All the gears spinning in my head ground to a stop so abruptly I swore out loud. I won't lie, I skimmed the first few paragraphs and then just skipped the rest of that chapter, so any nuance contained in there is lost on me. The author even says that it was supposed to be a few lines that ballooned into 5k words. Blergh.

    Of course, it's not perfect, but with some polish I wouldn't blink if I saw it on a bookstore shelf. It's well worth a read, despite the roughness and that fucking flashback chapter. It came so out of left field that I can't rightly award full marks, so it stands at a very strong 4,5/5 with a personal seal of approval. If you have an afternoon that you would otherwise spend surfing the weird part of YT, read this instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
    yak
  8. Mutton

    Mutton Auror

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    Meh. It wasn't particularly interesting; a Berserker story from the pov of the Berserker with a twist. It didn't really do anything with the concept and I found the emotional appeal entirely unconvincing