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Worm: Superhero Web Serial

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Wildbow, Jun 27, 2012.

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  1. Worm
    www.parahumans.wordpress.com
    Web serial, updates twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

    Taylor is cruelly bullied at school, ignored or tormented by her peers, and unassisted by the school's staff. At the end of her rope, she holds on to one thing - her recently gained superpowers and her dream of joining the ranks of Brockton Bay's superheroes.

    Things prove a little more complicated than that. It's not only the fact that her power is much less conventional than shooting out laser beams from her hands or super strength: Taylor quickly discovers that there are a lot of gray areas in a world she previously thought of as black and white. As she gets caught up in the politics and head games, the information warfare, rivalries and individual factions, she finds that things don't necessarily go the way she hoped.

    Increasingly hard to write a synopsis that doesn't spoil anything, so I'm sticking pretty close to what I've got up elsewhere.

    Hi Spacebattlers - I'm Worm's author, and I started the series a year ago. A longtime reader mentioned that I should post here since I got a flood of new readers from a link he made in one general recommendations thread. The story's been really well reviewed thus far. You can see the reviews begin halfway down the page here with some minor (and one or two major) spoilers contained therein: Worm's Webfictionguide Page. The story's going strong, the readership is currently booming, and a bunch of stuff related to the story is popping up: a wiki, fanart, a fledgling facebook page, a tv-tropes page (which I admittedly started) and more stuff to the point that I can't always keep track of it.

    Selling points people keep bringing up are creative powers, attention to details, the gray and gray (or black and gray) morality of the setting, the depth of characters and the compelling, fast paced plot. There's a fair bit of content there, too. Three to four books worth.

    Interested? You can start here. Due to the way I wrote Worm, not letting myself go back & edit early stuff (I'll explain if anyone's interested), the first few chapters are maybe a little stiff, but it does improve fairly quickly.
     
  2. Atlan

    Atlan One-way time traveller Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Took a peek yesterday, that was enough to make me want to come back for more.
     
  3. Been reading it for a while. Love it. Definitely recommend.
     
  4. vel10

    vel10 Seriously?

    Huh, I started reading this a couple days ago, before I noticed this thread. I found it via the General Recs thread, of course.

    It's a good story. I'm somewhere in the middle of Parasite, currently.

    Well done, I shall keep reading.
     
  5. frozenchicken

    frozenchicken Has a Custom User Title.

    Hehe, I love the fact that I'm beginning to see this advertised at most of the places I hang out at. For anyone new to this, I'll add my recommendation to the pile. It's a well-written and creative story that makes very effective use of the differing perspectives of various characters, and though it is a bit of a dark story, it's more 'Batman' dark, not 'Emo' dark.
     
  6. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROU Once A Knife Missile

    Archive-binged the whole fucking thing last night. Went to bed at 4AM.

    Totally. Worth it.

    Why are there so few comments on this? This thread should be on page 74, rife with discussion and speculation and argument!
     
  7. blackmamuth

    blackmamuth Lazy Lurker

    Ditto what Razorsmile said.

    Perhaps I kinda miss a more powerful "moveset" for the protagonist, because after seeing the big guns of the setting, kinda feels constantly as "bringing a knife to a gunfight" and it gets old, Also, I was kinda hoping for a "shonen powerup" for the protagonist, but it seems that isn't likely to happen.

    Also, Dragon. Stupid thing HAS to obey the rules as part of her programming. How come she let Skitter go? or worse, actually deleted regent's email to the Police. I thought she had to obey the laws and authority as part of her programming. Intercepting a call to the Police seems kinda illegal...

    To not add that she knows Armsmaster is a murderer (Enginereed a situation where several villians were likely to die, he is unrepentant, and still confides in him.) I hope she is deleted, and her former hard disk space, is filled with X rated content.

    What else, How does the birdcage prevent teleporters from escaping? Or even better, the birdcage has like 600 superpowered people policing themselves. What does prevent a prison wide escape attempt?

    How come they haven't already organized some escape plan, there aren't any heroes to enforce it, so they actually have free reeign of the prison...
     
  8. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROU Once A Knife Missile

    She may not be powerful but she's been showing impressive versatilty. Her spying, tracking and information-gathering abilities are insane.

    Don't know about the rest but she let Skitter go because she's required to protect human life and all that. She sacrificed her platform to save Skitter's life during the explosion, no?

    Dragon 0wnz0rz that prison. Literally. She's a frickin' AI. Runs that place from nuts to bolts and everything in-between. You bet your ass she has measures in place for teleporters.
     
  9. I would assume that anyone capable of just teleporting out of the prison wouldn't be put there. Also, somewhere down the line I would not be surprised by Skitter getting a powerup. People upgrading their powers was mentioned as rare but possible in the Faultline interlude.
     
  10. blackmamuth

    blackmamuth Lazy Lurker

    well yes, but even if she upgrades the Range, or the number of insects she can control dunno how that will help her if she has a fight with one of those "invincible" or "regenerates" foes.

    Dunno, if she can make her bugs grow like the dog girl, maybe... On the other hand, the author has stated that the history won't move from the city, so chances are that the protagonist won't singlehandedly destroy an endbringer...
     
  11. Draculthemad

    Draculthemad Only Somwhat Mad

    There are a couple of, very easy upgrades available to skitter simply through insect selection. Shes shown parts of it by going for spiders that produce stronger silk.

    What could she do with an ant colony? They can't fly, but a big enough swarm of army ants would up her combat capabilities against squishy types tremendously.

    They would be less tactical perhaps, but the strategic uses are significant.

    There are also certain species of wasp, that could be nightmarish if she abused their use.
     
  12. blackmamuth

    blackmamuth Lazy Lurker

    how much of those are native of northern america?

    Such a shame that her home base isn't australia, nasty poisonous critters there.

    Also, She doesn't actually have to have a lot of the nasty critters. If she extrapolates from the "insects coated in pepper spray" into "insects coated in poison-Sedatives" it would work much better. and she could keep her valuable exemplars safely in her lair

    Are there any insect that makes some kind of non toxic tranquilizer?
     
  13. Draculthemad

    Draculthemad Only Somwhat Mad

    Tranquilizers are a problem if you aren't working with movie-verse physics. It is a *very* thin line between "too little to be effective" and "too much, target dies", and it varies based on a vast array of factors. Things varie from the mundane like "how big is the person", to things like "what is the state of their liver health". For example: redheads need more anasthetic/tranq for a given result than a brunette, usually.

    Hallucinogenics are probably better, both because they are less likely to be lethal and are more effective in very small doses. Also, more easily available in insect-form I think.
     
  14. Right. Shadow Stalker uses tranquilizer darts with her crossbows, but these are tinker designed & thus have ways to bypass some of the inherent flaws of such. Taylor doesn't have access to a tinker like that (yet?).
     
    Wander likes this.
  15. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROU Once A Knife Missile

    What do we think of the latest updates? Any ideas on how they're going to take down (or at least rebuff) the Slaughterhouse Nine? Because at this point, it doesn't seem possible at all.
     
  16. Read it, liked it, following it per email. The things that I disliked are mostly standard superhero story tropes (individual costumes and thematic code names, stupid tactics, people in combat who have no business being there, people self identifying as villains, the default for people with powers being either criminals or crime fighters) so it's not exactly fair to blame the story for its genre.
     
  17. Fair enough, FAWS. I think detracting too much from any of that (except maybe stupid tactics - though I think these heroes/villains do apply better tactics in general than most costumed characters) would make it into something other than a superhero story, and I really did want to explore that genre and play just a little with its conventions.
     
  18. I think the strategies for rebuffing the Nine are going to depend heavily on what extra rules they add. If they don't include something prohibiting reinforcements then a huge chunk of the protectorate are probably going to end up camping Brockton in an attempt at killing off as many of the Nine as possible.
     
  19. blackmamuth

    blackmamuth Lazy Lurker

    yes, I agree, After all, aren't the nine in the top list of the most wanted criminals? I'd expect that after the news gets out, the heavy hitters will come back in town in order to capture them? If they crossed that line that many times, what does prevent half of the heavy hitters of the country to beeline towards them? Especially if the "doom prediction" gets known...
     
  20. The only member of the Nine that I think is in some really serious trouble is Shatterbird. With Cricket and Grue being able to cancel sound I imagine she would be the easiest of the durable members of the Nine to kill.
     
  21. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROU Once A Knife Missile

    Didn't think of Grue. Yeah, he could take out Shatterbird. He'd need help to get close to her though; she can find and kill him loooong before he can do the same to her.
     
  22. Exeon130

    Exeon130 ;E~t2$a12ekT

    Impressed by updates as ever, the only web-series I'm avidly following so far.
     
  23. Thank you, Exeon130. Quite a compliment, that.

    Hearing readers are enjoying is always nice. Especially around now - my readership numbers have been zig-zagging like crazy, lately (I think a combination of the event week & lots of referrals to places like Spacebattles and people disappearing on vacation)- so it's tough to assess if people are enjoying, just looking at the stats.
     
  24. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROU Once A Knife Missile

    Why hello there, author!
     
  25. Heya Razor. Thanks, by the way, for your work on the TV tropes page. Nicely done - it did need tidying up, and a few of those entries put a smile on my face.
     
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