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WIP The Origin of Species by DaystarEld - T - Pokemon

Discussion in 'Anime, Cartoons, and Comics' started by ImaNuke, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. ImaNuke

    ImaNuke Squib

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    Title: Pokemon: The Origin of Species
    Author: DaystarEld
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/Sci-fi
    Status: WiP
    Fandom: Pokemon
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: Enter the world of Pokémon from a rational perspective. Instead of starting his journey in ignorance, Red has spent his years studying the creatures so central to his world... and he doesn't quite agree with all the information in his books. No time for rookie mistakes here: he's on a quest to discover the true nature of Pokémon, and maybe even find out where they really come from.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9794740/

    -

    Thanks Thaum. Here's the original. Consult the rules before posting, folks. - Drome

    Pokemon:The Origin of Species by DaystarEld

    Words:274,735 Chapters:38

    A story about the pokemon world form a rational perspective.

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9794740/38/Pokemon-The-Origin-of-Species
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2016
  2. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

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    Two questions and a request:

    - Why should we read it?

    - What is your rating?

    - Please follow proper format as outlined on the Review Board Rules
     
  3. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    This story is ok if you can ignore the occasional naval gazing and unnecessary explanations about extraneous junk.

    3/5. It'd be easily 4 if the author didn't have a hard-on for rationalism or whatever they call it.
     
  4. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I have yet to read a story that had the word rational in the summary that was actually bearable. What's this about?

    Summary says:
    So, what can we expect? Is this going to be one long lecture from Red tearing down everything that made pokemon charming or something?
     
  5. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Supreme Mugwump

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    Location:
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    Title: Pokemon: The Origin of Species
    Author: DaystarEld
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/Sci-fi
    Status: WiP
    Fandom: Pokemon
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: Enter the world of Pokémon from a rational perspective. Instead of starting his journey in ignorance, Red has spent his years studying the creatures so central to his world... and he doesn't quite agree with all the information in his books. No time for rookie mistakes here: he's on a quest to discover the true nature of Pokémon, and maybe even find out where they really come from.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9794740/

    Okay, so now that's out of the way, I'll get onto the actual review.

    I'm normally reluctant to delve into rational stories, because most of them are shit. The MC will walk around, attempting to convert everyone and make them worshippers of the great EY, whilst ignoring whatever they feel like from canon. Hell, some of the authors don't even bother reading the source material!

    But this is actually a good pokemon story. Red is the rationalist who wants to become a scientist, Green is a foreign junior journalist, and Blue wants to step out of his grandfather's shadow. Whilst Green and Blue listen to Red and his ideas, he isn't the only smart one - they both help him decide on a plan of action, and he does value their input.

    There's some extensions to the canon world, and fleshing out of ideas I've seen used in other stories, but there isn't anything that springs to mind that really jarred me.

    However, whilst I am already following this story, I don't really remember much of the plot. I know Giovanni runs a blog, I remember the witness scene, Bill and his lab, and the Psychics... But there's not much else I recall. The story hasn't stuck with me, unlike several other pokemon fics, which is a bit of a negative.

    It does update frequently, with decent sized chapters, so it's worth giving a go. I like it, so I'm giving this a 4/5, although I really think this is a YMMV fic.
     
  6. M.L.

    M.L. Seventh Year

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    Btw, what is the deal with these rationalist fics and the last name of Verres?
     
  7. Stealthy

    Stealthy Seventh Year

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    HPMOR made Harry's name Harry Potter-Verres because obviously hyphenating is rational, and the rest of them are referencing that as an homage to The Great EY, father of logic and reasoning.
     
  8. Imraefi

    Imraefi Third Year

    Joined:
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    I recently picked up the Origin of Species and managed to read through half of it before quitting. I give it 1 star because I think it's terrible.

    There are a few good things about this story. I like how the roles of the three main characters are segmented and specialized. It gives clearly defined goals and is a twist on the edgier generalist Red-as-an-ubermensch archetypes of other top tier Pokemon fics. The representation of Pokemon as forces of nature are also well done.
    The mass migration of Pikachu and the disturbance of the Paras colony are good examples of making a living world where the stakes feel real, especially when this results in the death of trained pokemon.
    The writing is acceptable, and is vetted for common mistakes, which is admittedly a low bar to clear, but it's one that a surprising number of authors fail to.

    Unfortunately, the downsides heavily outweigh the upside of reading. I'm not opposed to rationalist fiction on its face, but this story's faults mainly lie in the execution of the premise as a "rational" retelling of the 1st Gen pokemon canon. Again, it's not a bad thing in and of itself, but it essentially reads as an homage to MoR, which is annoying enough. In effect, this piece of fiction suffers from the same problem that Methods of Rationality does.

    I think the flaws are even worse in the Origin of Species because the Pokemon world has little grounding in our world, unlike the alternate history of the Harry Potter series. There is an attempt to merge them together by relabeling a number of pop-rationalist personalities as "Professors" in the Pokemon world. I believe Chapter 3 is where this is first brought up with a reference to "Professor Dawkins" and the Selfish Gene. "Professor Daniel Kahneman" and his work on biases is used in the same way. It is clumsy and breaks all suspension of disbelief for me. It even mentions Eliezer Yudkowsky himself at some point, which came off as more than a little sycophantic.

    This problem goes beyond the way the story is told and plotted out. The first instance of this is the surname of the protagonist (Verres) matching the surname of Harry Potter-Verres in MoR, something which I forgot at first, but was reminded of by previous comments in this thread. It is an ideological continuation to the type of fiction that Eliezer Yudkowsky popularized with MoR, which has its own serious flaws with regards to telling a compelling story.

    These flaws all add up to a singular point: it's just not an interesting story to read. All the characters come off like they were shaped with the same rationalist clay and their problems begin to merge into the same unending mission of applying and using a rational framework to deal with a seemingly irrational world. There's a lot of words put to the effort of directly applying tools from the real world into a constructed Pokemon one. This effort slows the fic down. I skipped to the most recent chapter to see what's happening and the main characters are attempting to rationally handle the same general problem they were dealing with half a million words ago. This mental masturbation over rationality chokes out the narrative and the story suffers from it.

    1 star, terrible. Happy New Year's.
     
  9. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Heir DLP Supporter

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    This pokemon commits one of the cardinal sins of the fandom - gamification. To be fair, I don't usually mind instant evolution in fics - shit, my favorite pkmn fic of all time uses "instantaneous metamorphosis," but I prefer monsters that evolve slowly through age and training and power.

    But this fucking story lost me when it had a segment of quick switching - you know how in the game you immediately swap out and what not and this story took it to an extreme. Blue was praised for having like 10 switches per minute.

    1 star is a bit low, but it just wasn't enjoyable for me to read which is annoying since there's some fun worldbuilding in here like the tiered threat system an what it entails - location it occurs, pokemon it involves (diglett displaced via earthquake, pikachu migration, a hurricane hits the coast and storm surge floods the downs with tentacool and chinchou), whether it stays localized or is expanding or is moving on one direction. There are good natural disasters there that are perfect for the pokemon world. It makes me want a thread or something that thinks them up - how extant natural disasters would affect pokemon for better or worse or how pokemon themselves would cause one.

    (Imagine how fucked up a freak bit of larvesta growth and evolution would be in their forests as volcarona flutter about scattering embers with each flap)

    I'll go 2.5 -> 3. It's the definition of some trying-to-hard writing and the faux-science is exhausting to read, but there's some good shit in here which makes the overall product frustrating
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019