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Almost Recommendable Worm Fanfiction

Discussion in 'Worm' started by NoxedSalvation, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Bernd

    Bernd First Year

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    Since it's been mentioned a couple of times, I read Ziz. I don't normally read altpower Taylor stories, but a bunch of people wrote good things about it, and it was short enough to finish in one sitting, so here's my review of it.



    The good things:

    It was competently written. I didn't notice any mistakes in punctuation, but there were a few spelling errors. "Angelica" was spelled as "Angela", and "cavalry" was spelled as "calvary". "Insurmountability" instead of "insurmountably". A few things should have been capitalized such as "triumvirate" and "birdcage", but it wasn't that bad that I dropped it on the first chapter as I have done before with other stories.

    Amy and Glory Girl were bitchy and had a black-and-white morality. I couldn't complain about the characterization being off in this story.




    The average things:

    The prose is... sterile. It describes the things that happen, but there's no flair. I found it very dull and didn't have much personality like Worm Taylor had. Does it fit in with the personality of this new Ziz!Taylor? Maybe. Is it a pleasant read? No. It's dry. Extremely dry.

    Sometimes it felt like it was more tell than show.

    Chapter 001.004

    Yeah. This prose is competent, but not amazing. The best prose puts you in the mindset and personality of the protagonist, so the things they see and feel become real to you. I could complain endlessly about Worm Taylor as a character, but as the lens to see the Wormverse world, she does it well.

    And what's with the choppy, one sentence paragraphs? There are so many of them. As a writing tool, it gives the impression of choppy, tense, quick-cutting action like in a music video. Overusing it outside of action scenes just makes the narrative feel jerky and disjointed.

    Chapter 002.001

    It's unnecessary for everyday dialogue scenes.
    It's like using a shaking handcam for a cooking demonstration video. Why.




    The bad things:

    The premise is "Taylor triggers at the same time and place with a different power", only in this story, her power is a watered down version of Ziz's. It's still massively overpowered on the street-level Worm setting. She has post-cognition, pre-cognition, telekinesis, and Brute-level durability. She can basically beat anyone in Brockton Bay. This is the kind of story that quickly mops up the street-level villains and then either stagnates into abandonment, or escalates to fighting Scion. Both of them tend to make for shitty plots because there's not much an author can do maintain tension when your MC can beat everyone.

    The story touches on the Lung and the bank robbery stations of canon, which is an obvious sign that the author is railroading stations because they came up with a cool altpower and want to explore its abilities, instead of writing a story with a coherent plot.

    Chapter 001.002

    It looks like the author is aware that the premise is stupid.

    Taylor met Lung in canon because she had to take months to build her costume from scratch and bumped into him at the right time and place. If her power had been different, she wouldn't have to gather spiders in her basement. Yet this Taylor waited 2-3 months to start being a hero. Taylor's not stupid, and shouldn't be, not with the addition of Simurgh's enhanced intelligence.

    In canon, Taylor had taken up running around the city. Simurgh Taylor apparently doesn't do that since she doesn't notice the people around the city until she helps a bunch of people in one afternoon at the park, and realizes how much she could have helped people instead of only using her power for pranking kids at school. That's dumb and petty. I didn't think the excuse was in-character for Taylor at all, especially not this Taylor who tells Tattletale she wants to be a hero instead of an Undersider.

    This story is fine as a snippet.

    As a full story, it will be pretty boring with the OP protagonist and dull writing style. And it doesn't look like the author is interested in making it a story, with the disclaimer that it won't be updated regularly.




    2.5/5. It's not the worst story. Just don't think too hard about it if you want to enjoy a power stomp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  2. mcorey

    mcorey Squib DLP Supporter

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    The scenes with Amy and Victoria are explicitly not canon to the story; whether that makes things better or worse depends on your tastes.

    Frankly, I think calling it Almost Recommendable is generous. It's rough as hell, the pacing is all over the place, and the author is a lazy bastard who "borrows" characters from other fandoms to fill in for placeholder generic OCs. The actual fight scenes are few and far between, and not particularly engaging.

    This is pretty much a talking heads fic. Worse, there's almost nothing in the way of scene descriptions or character descriptions; it relies almost entirely on the reader already having solid visualizations from Worm (or other fanfiction, I suppose). It could really do with a full editing pass, tightening up some parts and fleshing out others. Even then, it would need a ton of work to really get it up to decent quality.

    Still, it is amusing at times and has a few clever ideas. I'd call it more of a decent diversion than a good story.

    Overall, 2/5, would write again.
     
  3. Paradise

    Paradise Slug Club Member DLP Supporter

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    I actually really enjoy the story because there are few fight scenes. While I enjoy those Worm is dominated by action driven stories. This is attention grabbing and enjoyable without the need for a frequent battles and major fight scenes. Its enjoyable and light hearted. A nice break from regular fics.
     
  4. Dark Belra

    Dark Belra Minister of Magic

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    Dominion just updated.

    Shame it updates so slowly but good stuff regardless.

    In other Materia-Blade news, he released a new story, Sovereign. Essentially, it's his take on Taylor has the power to control the Endbringers. Of the first two chapters, I like his take a lot more than every other one so far since he doesn't seem to bring the story into clowny territory.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  5. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    I quote myself to say this. I was wrong. Simurgh Taylor is updating at an okay rate.

    Also this is me being slightly annoyed but yall should look at Khepri Ascendant. It's a great story being held back by the mean people at Spacebattles. 5/5, would hugbox again.
     
  6. fire

    fire High Inquisitor

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    Is it just me or are a good proportion of Worm fics that are recced, nonetheless nothing more than Taylor wank fics?

    And of course the other half are shitty amy/taylor ship fics.
     
  7. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    While much of the criticism of Khepri Ascendant is terrible, some of it is indeed on-point - particularly the notion of a minor slipping through the cracks after the death of their last family. That is actually just completely unrealistic, unlike the insurance thing, which absolutely happens in real life.
     
  8. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Supreme Mugwump

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    5/5? Are you trolling, sir? This fic is the epitome of almost recommendable. Somewhat above average technical writing with typical fanfic realism. I give it a 2.5/5.
     
  9. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    I am trolling.
     
  10. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I'm willing to give Khepri Ascendant a shot simply because the story starts with Danny dead.
     
  11. cheirus

    cheirus Squib DLP Supporter

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    I couldn't get into it because of the whole medical insurance stuff. Sure, insurance companies suck, but the US government has programs to help out minors and will give them free medical insurance (thanks Hilary). Oh, and the hospital does have social workers that make sure people can get insurance to pay their bills. They will apply for this in the hospital and can sometimes get the insurance to pay for a patient's bills retroactively. Hospitals don't make profits unless people can pay.

    Also, you're not supposed to discharge people from a hospital unless they leave to a place that is as safe as the one they are currently in. So discharging a minor without a legal guardian in place is something that would never happen either.
     
  12. Dark Belra

    Dark Belra Minister of Magic

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    That's all anyone needed to say really. I'm sold.
     
  13. Langit

    Langit Squib

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    Lot of misery for an opening chapter though. I'll give it time to pump out new chapters, but I'm not a fan of the 'being Taylor is suffering' trope.
     
  14. CleanRag

    CleanRag Groundskeeper

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    I couldn't get into this post because you forgot that in Worm the government lost its monopoly on force 40 years ago and modern civilization was sent into a downward spiral towards extinction. But sure, keep believing that health care for teens was a high priority for politicians when every six months a monster shows up and destroys a global population center.

    Come on people, don't forget that Worm canon is a dark place. I haven't read the story yet, so I don't know how well it was executed, but these criticisms seem unfair. I can't believe I am saying this, but if anything, Wildbow should be criticized for not making the setting dark enough given the shit he had governments dealing with. I would be impressed if the federal government still existed after a decade of the Enbringers and S9. So long as internal consistency is maintained, orphaned children fending for themselves is a believable take on the setting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  15. chrnno

    chrnno High Inquisitor

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    Story starts in 2011. Scion showed up in 1982, first superheroes in 1984 and it really went public in 1987 so 24 to 29 years depending which you prefer only.

    The S9 are vastly overestimated by people, while they might cause damage it is overblown since it is minuscule compared to the issues by capes in general. The reason capes then later Endbringers didn't bring civilization crashing down yet is Cauldron basically. Wildbow has a post in that regard here, in spoilers because it is big:
    Think bigger-scale.

    Absent Cauldron's meddling, there's no PRT for one thing. There's no Suits, no Red Gauntlet, no Elite Sentai group or whatever I called them, no Elite; all groups that Cauldron set up or supported. Groups are formed but can't sustain themselves past tight Undersider-like groups of 5-10 individuals. Conflicts are more tightly contained and devastating, recovery is slower, and an area that ends up lost or fucked doesn't get the backup needed to revive. Such areas are abandoned or occupied by whatever groups are willing to make do with the aftermath/ongoing occupation by X gang or Y high-level threat.

    Non-parahumans in the West end up taking a more aggressive stance against parahumans, as certain voices aren't silenced, and without the Protectorate as an example, things are just more anti-parahuman around the world as a whole. Heroes are fewer and farther between than in conventional Worm - you've got an awful lot of shades of grey and people doing their damndest just to get by. The Chevaliers and Miss Militias of the world are staying right where they are, in small town X or Turkey-occupied Kurdistan, and they're helping their town/country and only their town/country. For the most part, parahumans are taking over where they can take over, and because the population is so hostile, they're forced to be a little ugly or harsh to quell dissent, or they're nice and constantly watching their back/focusing far too much on just keeping things functioning.

    Assuming that Cauldron's operatives maybe killed Eden but then just sat on their hands/died, the Endbringers don't exist, the cauldron vials aren't spread out, and there's less of the really powerful parahumans here and there who're capable of acting decisively. Gates to other worlds are left open, feeding into Cote D'Ivorie, spitting out more than a fair share of Case-53 like monsters, only in a very tightly occupied space. If West Africa survives, it's either as a world power or as a mutant-occupied area. If they find Eden's corpse, well, you've got a whole other mess, because they're going to be less careful and organized about it. Assuming they don't accidentally revive Eden, there's going to be a lot of failed doses.

    Further, the major threats that Contessa and Number Man deemed too dangerous to leave alone weren't necessarily eliminated (either because Contessa herself didn't pay a visit, or because Cauldron didn't contrive to have said parahuman put down), so there's more Ash Beasts, Blasphemies, Sleepers and the equivalent roaming around.

    There's no Parahuman Containment Center, so there's no place to put the really dangerous villains. What do you do with the villains who can't be killed, like Gavel? You maybe try to wrangle some giant-killers like Flechette/Foil, but how many of those guys are there, really?

    You're talking about infrastructure, but quite honestly, infrastructure wouldn't survive the 90's. By the mid-2000's, getting food from the agricultural states to the areas with the highest population density (ie. New york) is a struggle, because of bandits, threats, organized crime, disorganized crime and more. Things come to resemble the theoretical Edenverse, but you don't have Eden shoring up the population by putting tinkers and capes capable of reviving areas anywhere particular (you also don't have her sabotaging). Scion ends up playing a pretty big role in keeping society alive, more than before, with keen attention to the biggest threats and only those threats.

    By March 2011, half the world is struggling, and the other half is controlled by powerful figures of the Glaistig Uaine class. Richter and his AIs might have a hand in keeping eastern Canada going, but his attention is focused on New York, which is a clusterfuck of the Nth order. A coalition of villains occupy Brockton Bay, including Marquis, the Butcher Queen and the Little Doctor, while outside parties want a piece of that pie. Every second city has a major threat in or near it - not quite on the level of an Echidna or Nilbog, but bad enough that it's hard to put down.

    It isn't hopeless, but it's grim. Points of light in a broad swathe of darkness. There is a way out, nobody's actively trying to stop them from finding it, but it's an uphill battle every step of the way.

    And Scion's still waiting at the end.
    As for the story, meh see no reason to further waste my time with it. Maybe if it had started with the last part and over the course of the story told how it got there I would give it a try but even then Coil tends to be handled rather poorly in general so wouldn't be expecting much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  16. cheirus

    cheirus Squib DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, I can see that. It still bothers me though. It's the same way I used to be able to watch and enjoy House MD in TV because of the wacky characters and the crazy doctor. But now that I've worked in medicine, I can't ignore the stuff the show gets wrong. Sure, maybe House MD lives in a magical alternate universe where this man mystically keeps his job despite everything, but that explanation feels lazy. This fic does the same thing where it gets something wrong and doesn't really set it up in a way that sells it to me. Breaks my suspension of disbelief. Maybe I'm being unfair, and maybe my post says more about me than the author, but I still feel like it's lazy writing.
     
  17. Rhys

    Rhys High Inquisitor

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    I would not have no have bothered clicking but that definitely sold me. With the twist at the end being as it was I think it's safe to say Taylor has a much better father figure in store now.
     
  18. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    I think it's foolish to focus too much on any one problem with the first chapter, since none of them are that implausible on their own. Individually they are all things that could happen due to bad luck, oversight, Worm's world being different, etc. It's the sheer number of them that makes things seem off and breaks people's SoD.

    Putting that aside, it's also just not a very good first chapter in that it's basically just all backstory.
     
  19. kinetique

    kinetique Groundskeeper

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    What causes every one on space battles to include every omake possible as part of the story.
     
  20. Langit

    Langit Squib

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    Having no plan for the story whatsoever. At least that's what I noticed. Or just appreciating other's work, I guess.