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Continue Online by Steven Morse - T/MA - Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Zombie, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Apr 28, 2007
    Title: Continue Online
    Author: Steven Morse
    Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
    Word Count: For now 3 books with about 120,000 words each.
    Update Rate: Twice weekly, Tuesday and Friday

    Link: Continue Online

    So I rarely if ever throw anything up for review anymore, outside of word of mouth. I follow Mother. I followed Worm. I rarely come across something I genuinely like.

    This is one of them.

    Basic setting is Future. Virtual Reality is a thing, flying cars is a thing. AIs possibly going sky net is a thing. I think that the reason that I like this story so much is the presentation of the AIs and Virtual Reality not as something outright dangerous, but something to be wary of. I'm so used to the typical post apocalypse setting that I have grown tired of it.

    I don't have much more to say. Summary is under the link. Interesting read.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  2. Nuit

    Nuit Dark Lord

    Feb 14, 2010
    The Peach State
    I remember seeing this recommended on SB a while ago and stopped reading after the first chapter because I was busy reading other stories. I just finished the second chapter and I think I'll continue reading.

    Edit: Just as I post that it seems the site has taken a dump.

    Edit2: Down For Everyone Or Just Me says it's only me...

    Edit the third: Okay, seems to be working for me again. Hopefully it stays that way.

    Fourth Edit: Just got to Session Seven and this testing phase, along with the MC, is kind of boring for me.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  3. I Burn Water

    I Burn Water Seventh Year

    Jun 30, 2009
    This was excellent, got much better as it went, as soon as James got on a roll the story really found its voice.

    Too much of a Ready Player One vibe in the beginning, but it pulled away and became its own idea.

  4. Invictus

    Invictus Banned

    Mar 21, 2013
    I'm really enjoying it, the MC feels so damn human, and anyone that seen depression close can relate a little, even if his case is more severe than most. Writing is solid, and it keeps getting better, the hook is interesting and I'm loving the AIs.
  5. disturbed27

    disturbed27 Professor

    Apr 8, 2010
    So it seems I'm in the minority here, but I do not believe this belongs in the library.

    The main character is in the depths of what seems to be severe chronic depression. This makes him as fun to read about as one would expect. He doesn't seem to care about anything, especially the things he spends basically all of his time on, like his job and Continue Online (The VR game.) He does seem to care about his virtual dancing lessons, but they are a very small part of the story. He doesn't care so I don't care.

    The other reviewers mention that it gets better as it goes on, but I found it to remain at the same level of boring. I kept expecting things to finally start getting interesting, but they never did. I had to constantly resist the urge to skim massive sections and I did so with less and less success as it dragged on. I couldn't read most chapters in one sitting, which I always do, because I got so goddamn bored.

    Certain scenes were just weird and unrealistic. Like when the game's 'creators' speak at its unveiling to the public. People do not speak like that, and a major company would certainly never be so unprofessional as to let their employees act in that manner at such an important moment.

    Also, all descriptions, videos and pictures of the game are censored throughout the entire internet? It doesn't make sense. If the game is as awesome as its made out to be then the company should be dying to show it to people. Perhaps there is a legit reason for this given later on, but the character didn't even ponder why they would act against their own interests like that.

    First we follow the boring protagonist through his boring job and his boring family. Then when he starts the game he picks the least interesting possible god/race/Voice thing. His scrolling through the Voices was probably the most intriguing thing in the story and he ruins it by picking the most vanilla of them all. There was a demon, a cat person, a nightmare creature, a goddess, an embodiment of luck and he picks a friggin psychologist.

    Then he finally begins playing the game. I was ready for the awesome to begin. He can escape his depression by battling dragons or learning magic or plumbing the depths of ancient tombs. At the very least he can start learning one of the crafting skills. (Why people would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars just to bake in VR I have no clue. You can do that in the real fucking world way way cheaper.)

    But no. He does none of those things. Instead he impersonates a grumpy old man (NPC) who gives out stupid quests (like picking up trash) to rude new players while suffering the perfectly realistic pain of arthritis and repeated heart attacks. He reads this man's journals, full of how he slayed monsters, explored the world and fucked everything with a pair of legs (and some things without legs), when the main character could be doing these things himself. WTF.

    After that, I couldn't read anymore. Maybe the story drastically improves in the next chapter or ten, but by that point I thoroughly detested the character and I probably would have rooted for his failure whenever he actually decided to do something remotely fun. I couldn't make myself read it anymore.


    EDIT: The Gam3, also in the Other Review Board is a much better VR game story imo.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  6. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

    Feb 11, 2014
    West Virginia
    You know... this is exactly what I've been thinking about posting. I too kept waiting for it to get exciting. Like you, I enjoyed the voices quite a bit; really liked the Jester, he nailed the creepiness on that. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is some of the most boring shit I have ever read. Everything to do with Old Man Carver is so dumb and boring that I just can't bring myself to care.

    The dragon pet is cool, the story with his dead wife is intriguing, the voices and the game world all sound really cool. But what does he choose to focus on? An old man having heart attacks and bitching about arthritis.

    Also, the writing seems off to me for some reason, I don't know if English is the Author's second language or something but at times I felt it was difficult the follow the narrative, especially some of the dialogue.

    Anyways, 2/5 for cool ideas but wasted potential.
  7. Mutton

    Mutton Order Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    I just got completely bored during the whole old man segment and dropped it. There's no hook here, it's just depressing.
  8. Dillweed

    Dillweed Squib

    Feb 28, 2006
    Although it takes a while to get to the meat of the story, I feel this is a solid story and deserves a place in the library. I've never read a VR story where the main character occasionally has to take the place of and act like an NPC.

    The Carver quest drags quite a bit and I understand how that can throw a lot of people off. This problem gets remedied later on with the introduction of auto-pilot, allowing the author to switch back and forth between Grant's character and NPC quests. I don't know if anyone is still following this, but the introduction of Advance Online is looking to be pretty cool and I'm eager to see where this goes.

  9. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman DLP Supporter Retired Staff

    Sep 22, 2006
    I think Zombie was high when he posted it. I corrected the link and added the summary and stuff.
  10. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Apr 28, 2007
    So this has been pulled and self published. Bummer. Site links to his reflections of writing the book. Closing this thread unless someone else has a copy of this. Edit: moving it to books and discussion so it can be discussed since it's no longer availible in its serial format.

    Maybe it will get some more discussion here as a published work v. Web serial format.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  11. Absolutista

    Absolutista Fifth Year

    Jan 30, 2011
    It's still available for free in Royal Road. Here's the link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/2247/continue-online

    Fair warning: It's a bit clunky to read it there. Every time you finish a chapter you have to go back to the index so you can open the next one. For some reason the 'next chapter' buttons do not work.
  12. Jarsha

    Jarsha Seventh Year

    Jul 26, 2011
    My deluxe cubicle
    Just picked up the published copy, I'll get back to everyone on how it compares to the original webserial.