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Complete Worm by Wildbow - T - Original Urban Fantasy

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Orm Embar, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I've been reading this obsessively as well. I haven't been drawn into a story as deeply as this, probably since the first HP books. I'm up to chapter 9, after having devoured the entirety of the leviathan fight scene, which may have been the most epic fight scene I've ever read.

    Of course, there's still a lot of the story left, which is good. I know once I finish reading it, there's going to be that period of shock of wanting more, but not having any more (until next chapter is posted.) There's also going to be that disappointment, knowing that it may be months before I read another story that's anywhere near as good as this one is.

    Even if this story wasn't half as good as it is, it would still be a 5/5 in my mind.
     
  2. Mock Moniker

    Mock Moniker Professor

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    I wish I had stopped before reaching the very latest chapter. You know, found some good stopping point and then waited a few months for more of the story to be released so I can read it all at once.

    Oh, and the author mentioned that she has an ending planned and the whole thing should be finished by the end of this year.
     
  3. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    I gave this a bit of a second reading a while ago (not the whole thing - It was hard enough finding time to read it once). I'm still pretty obsessively interested in how Taylor's story is going to end (and goddamn does it seem like we're heading for one hell of an end). The variety and sheer creativity behind the powers on display is staggering. So to it the world building.

    In retrospect however I'm finding that certain sections of dialogue can be broken down into a bit of a formula. One characters explains a situations and another agrees to push forward the narrative. This hardly happens all the time, but at a second read I have noticed it a little more. It doesn't really detract from how much I'm enjoying Worm, but I figured I might as well mention it.
     
  4. Ayreon

    Ayreon Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    I finally caught up to the latest chapter. It really is a great story. I don't usually read superhero stories, but this was just so fascinating and interesting.

    Towards the end I got kind of exhausted by the story even, because it just doesn't let up. Stuff keeps happening and you don't get a breather. I think we're just 2 months in from the start of the story.
    It's almost like Dresden, but he gets at least a year to rest between crisis - Taylor gets like 15 minutes.

    One of its strongest points is probably the great range of interesting powers and how wildbow uses them. Not every character uses their powers to their full potential, but that is realistic too. Those who do use them to their full potential become major players. See Taylor with something lame like 'controls insects'.

    The world it builds is really cool - even though it's a bit unbelievable at points. It's hard to believe how there could be so many villains running around. That seems extremely unstable, but it's apparently the norm in every major city and has been for at least 2 decades. Also, no tinker has invented anything that has penetrated to the mass market. The containment foam is the only thing that you could sort-of count. But all those futuristic technologies are only used by the tinkers themselves or those they shared them with. You can only hand-wave so many plot holes with stuff like "Mannequin kills everyone who tries to invent something useful" before they become obvious.
    Same thing with Dragon. Apparently only one tinker ever invented a powerful AI and he also conveniently put in enough handicaps that it wouldn't be too overpowered in the setting.
    But these are just minor complaints and kind of unavoidable in superhero settings. Some amount of Fridge Logic is inevitable.

    Btw: fuck Bonesaw!
    I almost get nightmares from the shit she does and she just doesn't stay down!
    In one of the recent chapters Armsmaster almost managed to kill her - he bisected her! She still didn't die! She's almost like an evil mirror image to Taylor - always coming out ahead or at least not losing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  5. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Auror

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    This is the author's response to this; apparently the registration isn't working for him, so I'm just going to throw this out there:
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  6. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    Eh, I don't quite buy it. We all use hideously complicated technologies in our daily life and have no clue how to fix or repair. Hell, a lot of our electronics when they break and sent back due to a warranty just get trashed and you get a new version. The idea that a tinker couldn't set up a mass produced hologram projector factory or the like. There should be corporations that are in bidding wars for the right to sell those products. Anything which doesn't require field maintenance should be fair game for the market.

    You can write in a Manton effect (the universe reason for powers not effecting living beings as drastically as inanimate objects) for tinkers against mass production I suppose, but if you want realism then non-dangerous use products (thinking general transportation so no jetpacks for all) should be revolutionized. Singe large scale projects seem to already be pretty big, noting the floating fortresses and all. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a tinker who did trains and just kept a super line running in that vein as his job and hobby. Medicine and the like I understand, as you need to understand the technology for it to be used (although I feel like the line should be slightly blurred when you understand what tinkers are) but the general tech level should be much higher
     
  7. Francis D. Saber

    Francis D. Saber Second Year

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    I don't quite buy it either, I mean the world is a state of conflict. And history has shown us that rapid innovation happens during this period. People are just more motivated when they have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

    Even with that analogy, I can't quite stomach the logic. Why would soldiers get the tinker hardware? I mean wouldn't it be passed down to scientists? Hundreds of the best minds on the planet can do a lot. They'd be able to make at least make a bastardized version, that might not be as great as the orginal but it still be useful. They'd make there own little operating procedures for the army mechanics to follow. Lastly, as long as a scientist can recognize it then it should be possible to understood given time. (come on 3 generation of capes)

    It's not like we're talking about 10 generations ahead of us in terms of tech just a leap or two further. Because if it was so much more advanced then wouldn't that invoke clark's law? , "any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Just my two cents

    This is just my argument. The Story is a good read, I doubt anything would change that at this point.

    Sorry for grammar mistakes wrote this on my phone
     
  8. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    All these really end up being minor nitpicks; the author has put a tremendous amount of thought into Taylor's power and a lot but not quite as much into the rest, so you find cracks in the logic.

    I really like how the overall plot threads are coming together. You have the Endbringer which sets up Noelle as a ticking bomb, which encourages Trickster and the Travelers to their nomadic way of crime, which brings the to Coil's attention as a merc group with an easy level (who he knows about and can use due to Tattletale). That gives Coil the power to start taking over Brockton Bay and leads to the ABB fight, which brings up the next Endbringer, which brings forth the SH9, which breaks Taylor enough to have her kill Coil, which sets Noelle off, which brings in the Triumvirate and gets them evil cloned and looks like it basically destroys the main truce between all powered beings. It's a nice bit of inductive reasoning once you establish you can make evil clone factory monsters.

    That said, this is the weakest arc so far just in terms of general storytelling I find. You have the introduction arc, the ABB arc (general fighting and power use for street level fights), the Levi arc (establishing a power level for the world and general world building, crossovers), the rebuilding arc (descent into villainhood, powerbase building, No Man's Land), SH9 (the sinister six run, fighting outside one's weight class), finishing up with Coil, and now Echidna. This latest tale feels like it's more of a setup than anything else, effectively giving the characters an Endbringer they can beat to show evolution of powers and tactics while putting forth the pieces for everything fall apart.

    Right now the big plot threads hanging around are Theo ending the world (as his timelimit and the apocalypse match up too perfectly), Taylor and co being different in terms of powers (which I don't think is just artificial vs natural powers), Scion in general, and maybe something in the Birdcage, not sure how dedicated wildblow is to that. Armsmaster and Dragon fit under Theo's quest along with the SH9, Cauldron and Faultline just got pushed to the front of the story, and I don't think we'll really see Shadow Stalker again.

    One thing that has come up a few times is how Taylor is multitasking and acting far too smart for her base characterization. The level of manipulation and planning she shows is absolutely insane compared to a normal human, much less one that was in her social strata. I'm guessing it has something to do with a hivemind effect with the bugs, as in the beginning she didn't have her swarm always connected in. Otherwise it nags at me
     
  9. zoetewey

    zoetewey Muggle

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    I'd love to say that mine is, but if I did, you could reasonably assume that I'm biased (I am). Take a look at Web Fiction Guide. It lists hundreds of serials, some of which are good, some of which are not. Fortunately the majority are rated and reviewed, making it easier to decide which ones are worth a look.

    The listings page sorts them by overall rating. Unsurprisingly, you'll find Worm there--right at the top. It's got a lot of good ratings and reviews.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  10. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

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  11. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Good points, but I'm inclined to disagree slightly here.

    I feel like most tinkers in this world are fundamentally unique from each other in some way. Two Tinkerers can put together anti-gravity devices, but each one functions on different principles. I think it was implied somewhere that tinkerers are actually receiving their ideas for designs from other dimensions. My thinking is that this heavily affects who can work on them. The things that make up our world (gravity, how mass interacts with an accelerating object, how cells divide, etc) are slightly different in these other dimensions. Or you get entire planes of crystal, whatever.

    That means that the one tinkerer who's getting ideas from that dimension is trying to translate an entirely different scientific system into one that works in Taylor's world. Naturally they'd sometimes be similar enough that the inventions work but not all the time.

    Which would explain the containment foam I guess and the fact that there's a group of mercs who are successfully using some of Dragon's tech.

    For a tinkerer to explain one of their ideas, on average, would be like trying to explain how a change in earth's gravity and relationship to the sun along with the completion of the difference engine caused this particular branch of technology to develop.

    It's possible, just very difficult. I also feel like part of it is ego - most tinkerers that we've seen don't even bother trying to explain how their stuff works. A comparable analogy would be that one guy who can make a leap of logic that would take the average person decades to figure out. Expect they do that all the time, with every individual element that makes up their tech.

    Fundamentally I agree that there's a little hand waving going on here - but there are some acceptable reasons for it, even if they aren't great. The idea of the manton effect somehow influencing a tinkerer's development process is a really cool idea though.
     
  12. Greener

    Greener Sixth Year

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    Just hit the fourth chapter & looking forward to the almost 1 mil that comprises the story (doubt I'll be doing much else on Sunday). This recommendation is full of win, glad I decided to give it a try.

    5/5
     
  13. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    I just feel like there should be more of a dissemination of technology going on. Sure, it might work on different principles but once you've got that down mass production isn't far off. And it's not like the moment you get your powers greed goes away. Hell, I'm surprised that no tinker has build a better mousetrap; that there aren't billionaires out there due to tinker powers giving easy upgrades to existing technology. Basically we should see even a non plot effecting upgrade to the tech level, even if it's something as simple as having consumer smart phones be twice as powerful. Any low stress or replaceable technology should still be marketable if it's reproducible, and if there's one thing we saw from the plant scientist snippet, it really isn't that hard to set stuff up so a monkey could reproduce tinker tech given instructions
     
  14. Barzûl

    Barzûl Third Year DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    It wouldn't surprise me, if they were tinkers building commercially viable stuff out there. But as most tinker-talents are or can be used to fight villains instead of gaining riches, they're probably keeping it quiet. And then there's probably tinkers, who in their civillian identity does some work for major companies in order of getting some easy cash. If it was normal, perhaps people would become angry, claiming the tinkers are 'cheating' because of them being parahumans.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  15. yak

    yak Moderator DLP Supporter Retired Staff

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    I'm really enjoying this. That said, it's ruined the last handful of days for me. So much stuff I should've had done and instead I'm hooked on this wonderful universe and Skitter's story.

    I've got a question about "Interlude 15 (Donation Bonus)" which covers Carol/Brandish and Sarah/Lady Photon's trigger events. I'll keep it in spoiler tags.

    Why was Carol so creeped out by Marquis? It somehow links back to the situation surrounding her trigger event, but I can't see the connection. The clues are probably there and I've missed them.

    When Carol's facing down Marquis: She stared down at him. That long hair, it was such a minor thing, but there was something else about him that stirred that distant, dark memory of the lightless room and the failed attempt at ransom. Her skin crawled, and she felt anger boiling in her gut.

    I thought at first one of the kidnappers might've been a young Marquis, but I didn't notice any evidence for it beyond that paragraph.

    Can someone who got it, please explain it?
     
  16. NoxedSalvation

    NoxedSalvation Temporarily Banhammered

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    I read up to arc 7 ("Buzz") and have to concur with nearly everyone else in this thread- "Worm" is a fantastic piece of entertainment, with believable characters, multifaceted (!) relationships and enough action for everyone.

    An easy 5/5.
     
  17. Rhys

    Rhys High Inquisitor

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    I don't know where my last week went.

    Also Bonesaw is probably the most viscerally terrifying character I have ever seen in fiction.

    "You become a living hive, see? We could even make it so they crawl inside you and build nests there."
     
  18. Knyght

    Knyght Alchemist

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    Read it. Loved it. Lost a week of my life and I don't want it back.

    5 out of fucking 5.
     
  19. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I just finished this. I read the first 15 or so arcs in 5 days (4 of them I had to work too, lol). Now that I've finished everything that's posted (thankfully the most recent chapter posted is the end of the current plot arc, so no real cliffhangers left for me), I'm going to most some of my more detailed thoughts, with appropriate spots in spoilers.

    Firstly, I've said it a few time already, but this is probably the best story I've read, on this site or not. It's better than every piece of HP or DF fanfiction out there. I wish I could write a story a quarter as good as this one, but no story is without things I dislike, but in this stories case, it only makes it better. I like how the author can write something I disagree with, but makes be enjoy that fact much more. I'm sure someone will come along and vote this a 2/5 just for the sake of it. But honestly, If you actually enjoy the story enough to read a million words of it, it's very hard to rate it anything but a 5/5

    Anyways. On a technical level, it's nearly flawless. I counted maybe ten mistakes in total. That's one mistake for ever 100,000 words, which is pretty damn good compared to actual published works, and the fact that a new chapter comes out like clockwork (although I'm not sure if it's saturday AND tuesday, or if it's OR, since there wasn't a new one yesterday). One error was a missing punctuation mark, another a missing connecting word. Other than that, there were a few mistakes with cape names, such as a misspelling Victor and Matryoshka, and it seemed to happen slightly more frequently in the later chapters, but at a 1/100000 ratio, it's essentially perfect.

    Now it's spoiler time. It's comments, with some of the things I slightly disliked (I don't outright hate anything), and some of the things I liked. Obviously, there's too much written to comment on everything, so I'll just mention a couple of things that left an impression on me.

    I felt the whole Taylor joining the Undersider's to betray them to Armsmaster was slightly overplayed. I felt like her feelings would have changed a bit earlier than they actually did, perhaps spurned on by her actually liking the Undersiders, rather than Armsmaster being a douche. I don't feel like it's really contrived, as it does work into a lot of other plots later on. It was written well, which I can appreciate, since it must have been a very hard plot to actually write on and execute months later, without the author's own feelings getting in the way.

    The leviathan fight scene was the best fight scene I've ever read. I loved how the author actually had the nerve to kill off a score of characters, some of which we had seen since the beginning of the story, like Kaiser and Aegis. It made it feel very real, very end-of-the-world feeling. I'm glad my hunch about Taylor being able to control Leviathan with her power didn't actually come true.

    As a side note, I really love how the author balanced the whole hero/villain thing. It's exactly the type of thing that DLP loves. Nothing is cut and dry, everyone has a secret, and it's awesome. For those of you who haven't read this yet, the story is pretty much about a girl who always wanted to be a hero, but circumstances mold her into the reluctant villain. It's like those dark-but-not-evil!harry stories that we thrive on, except done properly.

    I wish Brian died, instead of actually having a second trigger event. Not that I hate his character, but there's only so many times I can read about people not acting on feelings, but I am glad the story didn't turn into a romance story. After 19 arcs, it feels like the Undersiders should have lost someone.

    I didn't really like the Slaughterhouse Nine as much as the leviathan. They were mentioned early on in the story, and after Leviathan hit, I figured it was only a matter of time before they showed up. It was good, but not as good as the leviathan arc, and the S9 arc was a lot longer (and still isn't finished, I guess). It was only a matter of time before Simurgh was explored, and now we have Behemoth as the only endbringer we haven't seen much of. I do find it fascinating that Manton was Siberian, and I do have to wonder who else the S9 really are, but I wish we go to see the scene where Dragon hunted him down for good. I do like how it is shown that they can be killed, and I am curious that if Crawler and Mannequin being turned to silicon will have any interaction with Shatterbird's ability.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the travelers (and current) plot arc, but it was still very enjoyable to read. It was pretty crazy in the end. - and we still don't know what happened to Vista, do we? It was hard to grow attached to them even after 8 chapters dedicated exclusively to them, since I just wanted to read more about Taylor.

    I'm not sure what to think about Cauldron. I do like how pretty much everything we've read in the story is pretty much all connected to each other. It must be really scary having to wonder who bought their powers, and who got theirs from a trigger event. And the brief revelations about the major powers as the story continued were quite good.

    Interludes. I loved them, for the most. They really explored the background world, and did a good job of it. Except for the one that occurred after the cliffhanger of Coil shooting Skitter, and forcing us to wait many words to find out what happened. I really like how we got to see how Miss Militia came to be, and the relationship between Battery and Assault. I think dedicating a whole arc to the Wards and Travelers might have been a bit overkill though.

    Coil arc. I guess it was inevitable. I think the whole saving Dinah thing was quite overplayed, bordering on the point of zealotry on Skitter's part. The whole thing seemed to end a bit too abruptly though, and I'm not surprised that Skitter actually killed him in the end. It was inevitable with how it was set up.

    Alternate dimensions. I guess it's nice the author actually put thought into the whole thing, but it seems a bit convoluted, by the very nature of the idea. I feel like the author is getting in too deep with the concept, but I trust that it will make for a great read like the rest of the story, since I'm guessing it's going to pretty much be the answer to most things.

    Tinkers. Taylor mimics my thoughts on them, and that I hate them. I'm just curious as to how they actually make the stuff, or how do they make the stuff to make the stuff? You can't exactly make nanotechnology with a hammer and a screwdriver, yet apparently they do, just because of some innate understanding.

    Capes. Overall, I love the whole idea. There's a ton of flavor everywhere. In the beginning of the story all we knew were the myths of some super powerful capes, far outclassing Lung, who at the time seemed unstoppable, and as the story went along, we start actually seeing them in the story, which is awesome. But I hope we don't get too used to, since seeing Legend for half the story sort of makes him lose his luster (even though his power is awesome). I guess we just have to wait and see Scion kill an endbringer for a change, which will be awesome.
     
  20. Ashan

    Ashan Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    There was one yesterday. 19.7 released on March 12th. 19.6, on March 9th. It's both Tuesdays and Saturdays with Thursdays being occasional bonuses.
     
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