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Beware of Chicken: Book 1 by Casualfarmer - Original

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by BTT, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    Title: Beware of Chicken: Book 1
    Author: Casualfarmer
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Original Fiction
    Pairings: so far, Jin Rou/Meiling
    Summary: In which a transmigrator decides the only winning move is to get the hell out of dodge.
    Link:
    https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/beware-of-chicken-xianxia.910799/ (Spacebattles)
    https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/39408/beware-of-chicken (Royalroad)

    So we've been talking about this for ages on the Discord, and frankly I don't know why none of us have officially recommended it yet.

    Beware of Chicken starts with an initiate to a sect, Jin Rou, getting his ass kicked by a Young Master and dying. Then a transmigrator gets into his brain. The transmigrator, seeing the situation for what it is, saves up all of Jin Rou's money and uses it to get the fuck out of dodge, leaving the sect far off in the distance.

    Instead, he buys a plot of land in the weakest area in the world, with no rampaging cultivators, no sects, no spirit beasts, and starts a farm.

    This is probably the most chill xianxia story ever written, frankly. No Young Masters, no life or death battles, no virtuous cycles of slapping faces to make the elder come out and slapping him also, no exterminating clans to the ninth generation, no stupid long war arcs. It's a dude, his farm, his farm animals who are growing sentient, and his girlfriend from a local village, living the good life together.

    That means that (no matter how much SB wants it to be about unlimited power) it's primarily relaxing character work, with at least one chapter about cultivating rice and another about enjoying a festival. It's lovely small-town, wholesome stuff.

    The xianxia stuff still has its place to shine, though. Because the author made Big D, Jin's chicken, a cultivator, you also get the occasional heaping of xianxia cliches, including overwrought special moves and slaughtering foes and doing drugs to increase his powerlevel and whatnot.

    In short, this is really good. It's not too far yet, only having started on the 10th of January, 2021, but there's been almost nothing to criticize so far. A genuine 5/5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2021
  2. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    This is the only xianxia I've really considered good and not just good for the genre.

    The humor is funny despite not being all that familiar with the tropes. There's no blatant misogyny, we actually have a fairly interesting main character, and the chicken has a better character arc than some published novels. Let that sink in. A motherfucking. Chicken.

    On the technical side, the writing is crisp. Dialogue does what it needs to. Prose isn't over bearing. It's not remarkable, but it's functional and doesn't hurt the delivery of its humor which is all it needs to do.

    5/5.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Marked it to check out later, thanks for the rec.
     
  4. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Dark Lord

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    Also on QQ. A very quick check shows a similar wordcount, and only minor differences to SB/RR.

    Solid story, with near-daily updates. The main character is genre-aware, and just wants to chill out, rather than ascend through the heavens to challenge the universe.

    A nice little comfy story. Not quite inverting cliches, but certainly side-stepping at least a few of them. 5/5
     
  5. Mutton

    Mutton Order Member

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    It's legitimately fun! As with most of this style of story I worry that it can go the distance lest it wear out its gimmick but it's definitely a nice spark of joy each day when it updates
     
  6. Psychotic Cat

    Psychotic Cat Minister of Magic

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    He's got that Big D energy.
     
  7. Legacy

    Legacy Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Putting this at a 4/5. The story doesn't take itself seriously and is just great fun because of it. I don't think anything I have ever read has made me care quite as much about the emotional development of a chicken. While there is the odd spelling and grammar issue in the 20 or so chapters I've read, they're infrequent enough to not be an issue. While it does have issues like the lack of character to the MC, it more than makes up with it so far by just being plain old fun.

    Edit: Nevermind, the chicken just ripped a man's arm off after doing a kung fu movie trope fight against a cat on the farm fence. 5/5 perfect story.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  8. Zerg_Lurker

    Zerg_Lurker Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    I had my doubts as it was mentioned in discord that it'd be just one giant meme but I'm glad this was put up for review.

    The author chronically mixes up it's and its but they're consistent enough about it that a couple of find all/replace will fix it.

    It's an excellent story. The adept blend of different prose clearly signals to the reader when you're in xianxia mode or non garbage mode. It irreverently mocks the terrible tropes of the genre and executes excellently when played straight.

    Even as the cast expands, the focus stays tight on the two protagonists and develops them without being caricatures themselves.

    I avoid the genre as a whole because it's a grotesque power wank that regurgitates fantasy Chinese culture in the worst ways. Beware of Chicken sticks a giant thumb in the eye of xianxia while being truly entertaining. It's absurd and I want to consume it like crack but it's so well grounded with tension to a comfy story.

    I want this to be translated into Chinese and adapted into a manhua so that the motherfuckers churning out xianxia bullshit by the ream will know true artistry. I want it to strike despair in all the cynical webnovel farms and elevate the genre out of subhumanity. I want it to grab those writers and say, "Look at this, you son of a bitch."

    Beware of Chicken stands atop the summit of Mount Tai with its cock hanging out.

    5/5
     
  9. soczab

    soczab Groundskeeper

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    Hmm. I liked it but not as wild about it as some folks. Maybe because I don't have as much exposure to the cultivation genre. It's well writen with some fun themes, but I suppose I just kind of wonder what the point of it all is. Ive read all however many published pages and it doesn't seem to really have any plot. And while clever I admit, I don't need to keep reading about the chicken's misinterpretations of its masters wishes.

    Don't get me wrong it was a fine enough story and i'm following it. But I guesse I don't see the excitement from some. I'd more call it a mediocre pleasure read to pass the time then something that made me go wow. The farm animal bit was clever, the author does a good job of having some mild humor and having different perceptions play off each other (i.e what the main character intends versus how the animals interpret). But the story doesnt seem to be going anywhere, the characters dont have much depth or real motivation that resonates.

    Examples include the weird just 'it happens' relationship of the main character to his fiance. The animals seem more like gimicks then real characters. Amusing ones but hey. And each confrontation seems to follow the same vein 'underestimate them because they are animals/people in the middle of no where. Be shown they rock. Animals amusingly misinterpret their master and say flattering things about him."

    The story sort of just floats along with no real depth that I can see. Its fine. But not impressive to me.

    Clearly plenty of others love it, so might just be differences in taste.

    I'd give it a 3/5 or maybe a 3.5/5 depending on if something resembling a real plot develops later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  10. Swirly Mango

    Swirly Mango Seventh Year

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    It actually is surprisingly fun. For what it is, it's worth reading. Already more memorable than every Xianxia I've read. No massive info-dumps of *eat drugs get strong* or *qi is the life-force and the death-force and the thing in your tummy that goes wheee*.

    Although, It's very sloppy too, the guy's just spewing a 1000+ words a day. Grammar errors exist, PoV is occasionally hard to track, tense is inconsistent. I haven't read far enough for plot with 30 chapters but his characters introductions are very clean. There are character antagonists that are introduced and expanded, side characters like the Land are introduced appropriately.

    5/5 unless we go 200 updates with no plot progression. Which seems unlikely; events are unfolding.
     
  11. DarthBill

    DarthBill The Chosen One

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    I agree, even though that's usually what I like about Xianxia stories. Often in anime and other stories, the goal is to become strong through hard work and to achieve some external goal, like saving the world. In Xianxia, the goal is to become strong through drugs, and the strength is the goal.
     
  12. Donimo

    Donimo High Inquisitor

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    I'm completely unfamiliar with the genre, and so some things went over my head, but I've really enjoyed this. The trope of the unaware master wizard is very well done. I think it was better early on, and seems that the author has been meandering to the detriment of the story. Still, I'm looking forward to updates.
     
  13. Psychotic Cat

    Psychotic Cat Minister of Magic

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    With the volume one epilogue doing a good job of foreshadowing the coming of plot in volume two, I'd consider any doubts on that front thoroughly laid to rest.
     
  14. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    So....what is Xianxia exactly? And how aware of that genre do you need to be to really enjoy the story?
     
  15. Donimo

    Donimo High Inquisitor

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    It's magic China. I know nothing and enjoyed it.
     
  16. Psychotic Cat

    Psychotic Cat Minister of Magic

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    I don't think you need to be familiar with it at all, anything you need to know the author is clearly putting in effort to properly show without assuming genre-savy on the part of the readers. At most I'd say there might be the odd joke that's a bit funnier if you have rolled your eyes at the cliche it's drawn from a dozen times before, but that's all.

    As for what xianxia is, it's a high-fantasy genre, generally about pursuing immortality through Chinese mythology inspired 'cultivation' mysticism/martial arts/alchemy practices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  17. Swirly Mango

    Swirly Mango Seventh Year

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    Xianxia is poorly translated stiff Chinese dialogue, pride, the inverse-shounen of the hero wins because he has become strong through dedication to his craft and pushing away his friends. For some reason there are anti-romance tropes where people who have crushes on each other will never stay in a room together.

    Xianxia also has a drugs are good mentality where everyone attempts to find purer meth.

    The pursuit of strength is to either avert a calamity or for immortality, but actually along the way their pursuit of strength has made that calamity even more calamitous and now they must face a stronger foe from a greater tier of the heavens who will end their immortality if they don't become stronger.

    If that sounds like a crack-fic to you, then yeah, that's what Xianxia is. Strictly speaking, Xianxia is poor soil for a story to take root. The tropes are basic and unengaging, engagement is strictly antithetical to the main characters goal of solitary training.
     
  18. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Order Member

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    I have never heard of Xianxia before this fic, but my impression is that it's a genre that embodies a massive weebish culture where the characters act like middleschoolers who invent new rules in the middle of the game so that they won't lose.
     
  19. Agayek

    Agayek The Cursed Child DLP Supporter

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    The TLDR on Xianxia is "Chinese Shounen". It's basically taking "traditional" Chinese mythology (basically a bastardized almagamation of taoism and confucianism), layering it over martial arts fantasy, and turning it into a setting with various power levels and then mashing action figures together in a fight, and every fight then leads to another, bigger fight with higher power levels. It also tends to include some of the very toxic elements of modern Chinese culture as bedrock tropes (see: arrogant dipshit from a "good family" going around raping and murdering people with no consequences, women are functionally doorstops that can be fucked, etc). The good works avoid the worst of that stuff, but some of it is so deeply entrenched in the genre that it nearly can't be avoided.

    As for BoC specifically, you don't really need to know anything at all beyond "cultivators are functionally wizards, and they tend to be shit people" to grok the whole story.
     
  20. Spanks

    Spanks Chief Warlock

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    Most Xianxia is pretty bad. The translations are hard to get into imo. I’m not sure if it’s just the way Chinese people talk or a genre thing but in English I can’t deal with it. I’ve dropped every one that was a translation. The ones I’ve enjoyed are all English language primarily and will take a few cliches from the genre and make it work.