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LLSix
Jan 20, 2010

The real power behind countless overlords



Hiveminded posted:

I'm a cheap gently caress getting back into genre fiction and want to read free words online. Wildbow is the most popular web author, decided to read his stuff as an entry point about a year ago. I somehow read Worm and thought it was okay (definitely a lot of interesting ideas), but in retrospect i'm not sure if i liked it or if it just stockholmed me after the first ~100k words. I loved Pact, it's probably going to be the standard i weigh future web serials against despite its many flaws. Twig was good in a lot of ways and very interesting, but the story arcs got very muddled and indistinct to me after a certain point; i lost the will to finish it and couldn't actually find where i left off when i decided to go back and try and complete it. Ward was painfully bad and drudging, couldn't make it past the first 20k-30k and all the other opinions on it i've seen from previous fans of wildbow were even more negative. I'm leaving aside Poof Pale after a brief read of the first several chapters, but my opinion on it soured after the perspective shift from crippled/dying 30-something woman (the initial prospect of reading a story with this kind of protagonist really engaged me) to three melodramatic zoomer tweens. in general, i think i'm a bit burnt out reading about -- and also at this point, more than a bit skeeved by -- the sheer number of teen/kid protagonists in very dark, lethal settings?

Basically, can anyone recommend more web serials like Pact and maybe Twig/Worm? Maybe with a cast that are in at least their twenties? I'm starting on Unsong and it's giving me Good Omens vibes which i appreciate greatly, but it's considerably drier and the writing hasn't gripped me yet. would definitely prefer to go back to it later and read in the meantime something a bit livelier, or without as much gematriah.

If you're looking for something specifically like Worm, try https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21410/super-minion.

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Peachfart
Jan 21, 2017



Read something like Delve, or Vainquier the Dragon(anything by this author actually) or if you think you can conquer nearly 10 million words, The Wandering Inn.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

Rob Filter
Jan 19, 2009


90s Cringe Rock posted:

Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

If your willing to go cross mediums, the fiction podcast archive81 is very very much about rituals (ESPECIALLY its third season, which is stand-alone compared to its first two, and follows two magicians as they attempt a very large and complicated spell)

http://www.archive81.com/

"Archive 81 is a found footage horror podcast about ritual, stories, and sound."

Tom Clancy is Dead
Jul 13, 2011



I tried reading Super Minion once and really disliked it, it had a bunch of awkward language and CALORIES to try to present a veneer of an alien thought process but really just was a kinda normal person in a not terribly interesting story when you stripped everything back.

Affi
Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy

X GON GIVE IT TO YA


Unsong is one of the weirder but still very good serials Iíve read.

Read the warning post about how heís attracting racists and being a waffle if youíd like but I canít recall the author actually being racist in his writings.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Affi posted:

Read the warning post about how heís attracting racists and being a waffle if youíd like but I canít recall the author actually being racist in his writings.
he's nazi adjacent (in the sense that he refuses to cast out his following and continually waffles between the two sides of actual loving decency and racist biotruths)

Is Unsong the kabbalah one, because if so he has Obama being a literal negromancer (okay that's not fair, he's a demon, and Reagan is a literal golem, it's not just Obama but it's still in atrocious taste) as like a ha-ha backnote to the setting and that's just off the top of my head from the last time I complained about that nazi-adjacent fucker

Affi
Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy

X GON GIVE IT TO YA


I donít doubt that but being a waffle is not the same as writing racist crap.

I read it before any of this surfaced but from my point of view: Itís a fantasy story that borrows heavily from Abrahamic religion and a lot of the poo poo he writes is about badass cool Jewish wizards. Obama being a demon I recall being played very tongue in cheek as ďoh look the idiots were right all along!Ē

Does it surprise me that dumb racists read it and like it? Not at all. Am I disappointed that the author wonít distance himself from them? Yeah thatís disappointing.

Is it a fun alternate history romp. Very much.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Affi posted:

I donít doubt that but being a waffle is not the same as writing racist crap.
I think I respect waffling less, because the only real difference is that outright racists at least have the courage to take a clear stance. Waffling and refusing to speak out against racism is functionally the same thing as agreeing with it, or at least not finding it offensive enough to be worth speaking out against.

Affi
Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy

X GON GIVE IT TO YA


I donít agree. Itís a real minority that actually speak out against racism.

I do see what you mean because it is disappointing that people with a voice and some power that can actually make a difference waffle.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



He waffles as a way of promoting racist ideas he believes and considers valuable while hiding his power level and maintaining plausible deniability. We know this because he was stupid enough to write it in an email.

and also because of basic pattern recognition after seeing which ideas he extends endless charity to and which he dismisses instantly as insane and evil (basic feminism, iq tests not being real and true and demonstrating genetic inferiority), and fanboying over charles murray, and so on

Anias
Jun 3, 2010

It really is a lovely hat


Exciting.

Do I want to know what HBD is?

This reads like someone who tells themselves "I am very smart. People Like Me." in the mirror every day before they go off to their job as a thug.

Piell
Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer



Young Orc

Anias posted:

Exciting.

Do I want to know what HBD is?

This reads like someone who tells themselves "I am very smart. People Like Me." in the mirror every day before they go off to their job as a thug.

Human Bio Diversity, the newest scientific-sounding way of saying "black people are dumber than white people and also we need to do eugenics"

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



Anias posted:

Exciting.

Do I want to know what HBD is?

This reads like someone who tells themselves "I am very smart. People Like Me." in the mirror every day before they go off to their job as a thug.
Human biodiversity, which is literally "scientific racism" rebranded. Skull-measuring and eugenics and those drat low-IQ blacks destroying the purity of the White race.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Well, that sucks, because I know the term under an entirely different context: biodiversity says that eugenics are bad because having a wide variety of human ethnicities is far superior to having a single one that all has the same basic predisposition to certain diseases.

LLSix
Jan 20, 2010

The real power behind countless overlords



90s Cringe Rock posted:

Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

World of Cultivation might satisfy you're desire for rituals. It's not great, but it hasn't scared me off yet either.

lurksion
Mar 21, 2013


I don't think he's waffling, nor that he believes much of the crap (will need to look into his writings on genetics). However, he's not the only libertarian-adjacent1 that I've read that underestimates the amount of damage that that can and has been done by erring too far on permissibility in attempting to dig for nuggets out of the craphole. Though given the relative lack of far-right folks commenting on his stuff lately and removed comments, he's probably recognized that by now.

He has some excellent writing on the institutional COVID response and why it probably can never be better than sufficient
https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/webmd-and-the-tragedy-of-legible
Among some other stuff.

1 https://stratechery.com/2020/zero-trust-information/, specifically the ideas around

poo poo's not a normal distribution, probably more like a gamma distribution with loads more crap on the left side of the distribution

lurksion fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Mar 29, 2021

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



read the drat emails that were linked

he absolutely does believe a lot of far-right crap, he just thinks he's discovered "facts" hidden in their bullshit rather than being far-right himself. he's deluded himself into believing that he is capable of sorting through endless far-right garbage in search of pearls of wisdom, when in fact he is mistaking particularly shiny pieces of vomit for pearls because those ideas are presented as superficially scientific/historical instead of being mask-off fascism. so, the usual libertarian slide into insanity

Tom Clancy is Dead
Jul 13, 2011



He's also written a lot of actual crap on his blog like it's important to be tolerant of homophobia because the progressives are winning and soon no one will be able to hold the public opinion of homophobia, and that does actual harm unlike homophobia.

This was in defense of Menicious Moldburg, who was being prevented from speaking at a professional conference because he's a utter shithead and no one wanted him there once they associated him with his shithead writings online.

Wittgen
Oct 13, 2012

We have decided to decline your offer of a butt kicking.


I would highly recommend Neo-reaction: A Basilisk if you are interested in how this branch of libertarianism interacts with the alt right.

These people who say they're gray (instead of red or blue) inevitably end up being fascists who happen to live in CA and think science is neat, huh? Too bad. I liked his moloch essay and the dozen chapters of unsong I read.

Hungry
Jul 14, 2006



Rob Filter posted:

3. genuinely weird fantasy, where fantastical things occur.

for 3, Katalepsis is great. https://katalepsis.net/

'Genuinely weird' is just a gigantic compliment to me, thank you.

Narmi
Feb 26, 2008


90s Cringe Rock posted:

Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

Have you tried Palus Somni? I would say it's similar to Katalepsis (gothic/lovecraftian horror), and does go into the occult.

quote:

Palus Somni (ĎMarsh of Sleepí) is a worldbuilding webnovel about what happens when your God forsakes you.

Inspired by gothic horror and mingled with British myth and folklore, join the Alucinari nuns as they struggle with day-to-day life after the world has ended.

Every night when the sun sets the monstrous Gol, colossal beings with too many teeth, awaken and roam the marshlands. Only those with a faithful heart will be spared. Young acolyte Wille has never seen the walls fail, but when a fellow nun is murdered within their sanctum the very safety of the monastery is thrown into question. Did the Gol find a way to breach their defences, or is there a human traitor amongst them? The answer lies both far in the past and deep beneath the earth, through the maze of ancient catacombs.

The author is also a pretty cool person IMO.

Silynt
Sep 21, 2009


Wittgen posted:

I would highly recommend Neo-reaction: A Basilisk if you are interested in how this branch of libertarianism interacts with the alt right.

These people who say they're gray (instead of red or blue) inevitably end up being fascists who happen to live in CA and think science is neat, huh? Too bad. I liked his moloch essay and the dozen chapters of unsong I read.

Thanks for the title, though Iím not sure Iíll read it. Hereís the first review, Iím guessing written by Yudkowsky himself:

quote:

I'll admit I've only read the first essay, but the quality of this work makes it undesirable to continue beyond that point.

Was expecting better, but the obnoxious snark and blatant condescension for the people written about in the first essay alone makes this practically unreadable. The author simply takes for granted that you already consider Yarvin, Land and Yudkowski as worthy of contempt and scorn and proceeds to uncharitably strawman half of what they say. Their discussion of Yarvin's writings on race are particularly childish: Yarvin is stated to believe that Africans should be slaves (factually false) and that they are biologicaly suited for it (vaugely implied at one point based on historical primary sources, but aside from handwringing is never grappled with on any real level by the author). Furthermore, despite acknowledging that Yudkowski is politically distinct from land and Yarvin, the author heavily overemphasizes the commonalities in their thinking, which aside from being innacurate is arguably immoral (as Yudkowski would clearly object, and rightfully so, to being lumped in with two members of the "alt-right", if that is even an accurate label to describe them.)

In the introduction, the author even praises the impluse to "crush the Nazi's skulls", presumably referring to people like these three writers (who could only be described as national socialists by the intellectually dishonest). Which, I mean, wow. The fact that the author isn't ashamed to attach their name to such dribble only speaks to the decline in the intellectual tradition of philosophical critique as a whole.

The writers discussed in the first essay are by no means without serious error, but a better understanding of that error would be better achieved by reading their works then reading this trash. The author's psuedo-intellectual attempts to analyze their writing does little more than cloud any attempt to understand or critique them.

Ultimately this isn't worth the digital ink it's printed on. If you are interested in a good takedown of neoreaction, go read Scott Alexander's reactionary philosophy in a planet sized nutshell. Don't waste your time with this.Ē



Anyways, donít go track down the Scott Alexander article listed, which Iím now sure is the source of everyoneís comments about his ďNow Iím not a racist, but maybe they have some good ideasĒ attitude, because that essay just drips with it.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Yeah, that's the kind of overly verbose "nuh uh!" word vomit that Yudkowsky would write.

Tom Clancy is Dead
Jul 13, 2011



90s Cringe Rock posted:

Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

Etzoli's The Last Science is pretty great. It went on hiatus for COVID but I think they're working on it again.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



Thanks for the recommendations!

Kaja Rainbow
Oct 17, 2012

~Adorable horror~

90s Cringe Rock posted:

Is there anything good in the vein of (I'm sorry Hungry) Katalepsis, Unsong, Pact, for the occult stuff?

Not necessarily Reincarnated in Another World with the Power of Enochian Ceremonial Magic (unless that actually exists, in which case link me to it), just something with rituals and grimoires and poo poo, also not being written by a terrible human being like Scott would be good.

There're a number of quests on Sufficient Velocity inspired by the game Cultist Simulator, that generally has some of that kind of thing. Of course, they're of varying quality. I also run one such quest which I just brought back from hiatus though I've no idea how good it is. I do try my best, at least, and created a reasonably distinct setting I guess. https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/invisible-cults.56948/

KOGAHAZAN!!
Apr 29, 2013

a miserable failure as a person

an incredible success as a magical murder spider



Kaja Rainbow posted:

There're a number of quests on Sufficient Velocity inspired by the game Cultist Simulator, that generally has some of that kind of thing. Of course, they're of varying quality. I also run one such quest which I just brought back from hiatus though I've no idea how good it is. I do try my best, at least, and created a reasonably distinct setting I guess. https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/invisible-cults.56948/

Oh, neat! Cult Sim carved its way into my mind the week it released and I haven't been able to get it out since. Embarassingly large portions of my brain are now dedicated to thinking about the Lithomachy and the Intercalate.

Will I, uh, be disappointed if I go in expecting lore on the level of the game's? Where should I be calibrating my expectations?

Josh Christ
Dec 23, 2020


I've been reading The Wandering Inn to kill time in unemployment, I'm most of the way through book 5 now, they've fought the raskghar and saved Mrsha and spent two chapters on baseball and now it's back to the goblin plot and I have honestly never cared less about plot, go back to baseball.

That actually is a really good example of what I love about Wandering Inn: Yeah there's a huge fight, and we save the day and kill some monsters, but also, we're going to gently caress around and play baseball for a couple of chapters. Plot can wait. Let's chill and have fun with our friends.

The Shortest Path
Jun 21, 2012

Peace was never an option.




That is definitely my favorite thing about TWI.

Peachfart
Jan 21, 2017



Agreed. Some stories ramp and ramp and ramp and the pace is exhausting and boring in the same way that watching a 30 minute action scene is. But TWI gives you a reason to care about those characters through those downtime stories.

Affi
Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy

X GON GIVE IT TO YA


Only problem with twi is the insane character bloat.

Liscor is easy to track because itís the core.

But weíre following people on five different continents and wistram. Itís literally a thousand characters that show up now and again in different contexts.

Kaja Rainbow
Oct 17, 2012

~Adorable horror~

KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

Oh, neat! Cult Sim carved its way into my mind the week it released and I haven't been able to get it out since. Embarassingly large portions of my brain are now dedicated to thinking about the Lithomachy and the Intercalate.

Will I, uh, be disappointed if I go in expecting lore on the level of the game's? Where should I be calibrating my expectations?

I'd say probably a tier below or so, I'm not as good an author as that game's author. But do expect way more character interaction.

Narmi
Feb 26, 2008


Anyone know what's the deal with The Crab Fighter on TWF? It kinda came out of nowhere and took the #1 spot, and has almost as many votes as #2, 3 and 4 combined.

I read the first 30 chapters, and it's not all that great. Not terrible mind you, just not all that different from most LitRPGs.

Tom Clancy is Dead
Jul 13, 2011



Narmi posted:

Anyone know what's the deal with The Crab Fighter on TWF? It kinda came out of nowhere and took the #1 spot, and has almost as many votes as #2, 3 and 4 combined.

I read the first 30 chapters, and it's not all that great. Not terrible mind you, just not all that different from most LitRPGs.

Probably abusing the system, it has 900 followers on RR which seems to be its primary home and 800 votes on TWF.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Would be my guess as well: an aggressive clicking/voting campaign by a bunch of fans who can't stand to see their new Favourite Thing Ever not be at the top of the charts. It's usually how this sort of thing happens.

Lone Goat
Apr 16, 2003

When life gives you lemons, suplex those lemons.






Is it about a crab that fights, or is it about someone that fights crabs? Or both??

This is very important.

Josh Christ
Dec 23, 2020


Lone Goat posted:

Is it about a crab that fights, or is it about someone that fights crabs? Or both??

This is very important.

quote:

A man wakes up in an unknown, fantastical world with blue screens, levels, classes, and absolutely no idea of who he is. Did I mention giant crabs? Worst of all, a series of unfortunate circumstances lead to him adopting an... uncomfortable... name.

In his struggle to survive, he will fight his way through crab dens, forests, towns, and sewers. He will befriend barbaric orcs and smug outcasts, sneakily sneak into the enemy's heart of operations, fight against monsters and stand for what is right. Besides, if he just so happens to amusingly and quite epically turn the world on its head while doing so... Eh, it happens.

But all that is only provided he survives his first day in the world of Peras. Will he live and thrive, enjoying an epic lifetime of razor-sharp adventure and manly brotherhood? Or will he be turned into crab food on the very first day of his existence?

And what's a modern-day sailor doing there?!

This sounds pretty bad.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

LitRPGs usually are, but the low-brow pulpiness is part of the fun.

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Tom Clancy is Dead
Jul 13, 2011



Cardiovorax posted:

Would be my guess as well: an aggressive clicking/voting campaign by a bunch of fans who can't stand to see their new Favourite Thing Ever not be at the top of the charts. It's usually how this sort of thing happens.

90% of followers is not very believable even for that.

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