Gestation 1.1

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Brief note from the author:  This story isn’t intended for young or sensitive readers.  Readers who are on the lookout for trigger warnings are advised to give Worm a pass.

Class ended in five minutes and all I could think was, an hour is too long for lunch.

Since the start of the semester, I had been looking forward to the part of Mr. Gladly’s World Issues class where we’d start discussing capes.  Now that it had finally arrived, I couldn’t focus.  I fidgeted, my pen moving from hand to hand, tapping, or absently drawing some figure in the corner of the page to join the other doodles.  My eyes were restless too, darting from the clock above the door to Mr. Gladly and back to the clock.  I wasn’t picking up enough of his lesson to follow along.  Twenty minutes to twelve; five minutes left before class ended.

He was animated, clearly excited about what he was talking about, and for once, the class was listening.  He was the sort of teacher who tried to be friends with his students, the sort who went by “Mr. G” instead of Mr. Gladly.  He liked to end class a little earlier than usual and chat with the popular kids, gave lots of group work so others could hang out with their friends in class, and had ‘fun’ assignments like mock trials.

He struck me as one of the ‘popular’ kids who had become a teacher.  He probably thought he was everyone’s favorite.  I wondered how he’d react if he heard my opinion on the subject.  Would it shatter his self image or would he shrug it off as an anomaly from the gloomy girl that never spoke up in class?

I glanced over my shoulder.  Madison Clements sat two rows to my left and two seats back.  She saw me looking and smirked, her eyes narrowing, and I lowered my eyes to my notebook.  I tried to ignore the ugly, sour feeling that stewed in my stomach.  I glanced up at the clock.  Eleven-forty-three.

“Let me wrap up here,” Mr. Gladly said, “Sorry, guys, but there is homework for the weekend.  Think about capes and how they’ve impacted the world around you.  Make a list if you want, but it’s not mandatory.  On Monday we’ll break up into groups of four and see what group has the best list.  I’ll buy the winning group treats from the vending machine.”

There were a series of cheers, followed by the classroom devolving into noisy chaos.  The room was filled with sounds of binders snapping shut, textbooks and notebooks being slammed closed, chairs screeching on cheap tile and the dull roar of emerging conversation.  A bunch of the more social members of the class gathered around Mr. Gladly to chat.

Me?  I just put my books away and kept quiet.  I’d written down almost nothing in the way of notes; there were collections of doodles spreading across the page and numbers in the margins where I’d counted down the minutes to lunch as if I was keeping track of the timer on a bomb.

Madison was talking with her friends.  She was popular, but not gorgeous in the way the stereotypical popular girls on TV were.  She was ‘adorable’, instead.  Petite.  She played up the image with sky blue pins in her shoulder length brown hair and a cutesy attitude. Madison wore a strapless top and denim skirt, which seemed absolutely moronic to me given the fact that it was still early enough in the spring that we could see our breath in the mornings.

I wasn’t exactly in a position to criticize her.  Boys liked her and she had friends, while the same was hardly true for me.  The only feminine feature I had going for me was my dark curly hair, which I’d grown long.  The clothes I wore didn’t show skin, and I didn’t deck myself out in bright colors like a bird showing off its plumage.

Guys liked her, I think, because she was appealing without being intimidating.

If they only knew.

The bell rang with a lilting ding-dong, and I was the first one out the door.  I didn’t run, but I moved at a decent clip as I headed up the stairwell to the third floor and made my way to the girl’s washroom.

There were a half dozen girls there already, which meant I had to wait for a stall to open up.  I nervously watched the door of the bathroom, feeling my heart drop every time someone entered the room.

As soon as there was a free stall, I let myself in and locked the door.   I leaned against the wall and exhaled slowly.  It wasn’t quite a sigh of relief.  Relief implied you felt better.  I wouldn’t feel better until I got home.  No, I just felt less uneasy.

It took maybe five minutes before the noise of others in the washroom stopped.  A peek below the partitions showed that there was nobody else in the other stalls.  I sat on the lid of the toilet and got my brown bag lunch to begin eating.

Lunch on the toilet was routine now.  Every school day, I would finish off my brown bag lunch, then I’d do homework or read a book until lunch hour was over.  The only book in my bag that I hadn’t already read was called ‘Triumvirate’, a biography of the leading three members of the Protectorate.  I was thinking I would spend as long as I could on Mr. Gladly’s assignment before reading, because I wasn’t enjoying the book.  Biographies weren’t my thing, and they were especially not my thing when I was suspicious it was all made up.

Whatever my plan, I didn’t even have a chance to finish my pita wrap.  The door of the bathroom banged open.  I froze.  I didn’t want to rustle the bag and clue anyone into what I was doing, so I kept still and listened.

I couldn’t make out the voices.  The noise of the conversation was obscured by giggling and the sound of water from the sinks.  There was a knock on the door, making me jump.  I ignored it, but the person on the other side just repeated the knock.

“Occupied,” I called out, hesitantly.

“Oh my god, it’s Taylor!” one of the girls on the outside exclaimed with glee, then in response to something another girl whispered, I barely heard her add, “Yeah, do it!”

I stood up abruptly, letting the brown bag with the last mouthful of my lunch fall to the tiled floor.  Rushing for the door, I popped the lock open and pushed.  The door didn’t budge.

There were noises from the stalls on either side of me, then a sound above me.  I looked up to see what it was, only to get splashed in the face.  My eyes started burning, and I was momentarily blinded by the stinging fluid in my eyes and my blurring of my glasses.  I could taste it as it ran down to my nose and mouth.  Cranberry juice.

They didn’t stop there.  I managed to pull my glasses off just in time to see Madison and Sophia leaning over the top of the stall, each of them with plastic bottles at the ready.  I bent over with my hands shielding my head just before they emptied the contents over me.

It ran down the back of my neck, soaked my clothes, fizzed as it ran through my hair.  I pushed against the door again, but the girl on the other side was braced against it with her body.

If the girls pouring juice and soda on me were Madison and Sophia, that meant the girl on the other side of the door was Emma, leader of the trio.  Feeling a flare of anger at the realization, I shoved on the door, the full weight of my body slamming against it.  I didn’t accomplish anything, and my shoes lost traction on the juice-slick floor.  I fell to my knees in the puddling juice.

Empty plastic bottles with labels for grape and cranberry juice fell to the ground around me.  A bottle of orange soda bounced off my shoulder to splash into the puddle before rolling under the partition and into the next stall.  The smell of the fruity drinks and sodas was sickly sweet.

The door swung open, and I glared up at the three girls.  Madison, Sophia and Emma.  Where Madison was cute, a late bloomer, Sophia and Emma were the types of girls that fit the ‘prom queen’ image.  Sophia was dark skinned, with a slender, athletic build she’d developed as a runner on the school track team.  Red-headed Emma, by contrast, had all the curves the guys wanted.  She was good looking enough to get occasional jobs as a amateur model for the catalogs that the local department stores and malls put out.  The three of them were laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world, but the sounds of their amusement barely registered with me.  My attention was on the faint roar of blood pumping in my ears and an urgent, ominous crackling ‘sound’ that wouldn’t get any quieter or less persistent if I covered my ears with my hands.  I could feel dribbles running down my arms and back, still chilled from the refrigerated vending machines.

I didn’t trust myself to say something that wouldn’t give them fodder to taunt me with, so I kept silent.

Carefully, I climbed to my feet and turned my back on them to get my backpack off the top of the toilet.  Seeing it gave me pause.  It had been a khaki green, before, but now dark purple blotches covered it, most of the contents of a bottle of grape juice.  Pulling the straps around my shoulders, I turned around.  The girls weren’t there.  I heard the bathroom door bang shut, cutting off the sounds of their glee, leaving me alone in the bathroom, drenched.

I approached the sink and stared at myself in the scratched, stained mirror that was bolted above it.  I had inherited a thin lipped, wide, expressive mouth from my mother, but my large eyes and my gawky figure made me look a lot more like my dad.  My dark hair was soaked enough that it clung to my scalp, neck and shoulders.  I was wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt over a green t-shirt, but colored blotches of purple, red and orange streaked both.  My glasses were beaded with the multicolored droplets of juice and soda.  A drip ran down my nose and fell from the tip to land in the sink.

Using a paper towel from the dispenser, I wiped my glasses off and put them on again.  The residual streaks made it just as hard to see, if not worse than it had been.

Deep breaths, Taylor, I told myself.

I pulled the glasses off to clean them again with a wet towel, and found the streaks were still there.

An inarticulate scream of fury and frustration escaped my lips, and I kicked the plastic bucket that sat just beneath the sink, sending it and the toilet brush inside flying into the wall.  When that wasn’t enough, I pulled off my backpack and used a two-handed grip to hurl it.  I wasn’t using my locker anymore: certain individuals had vandalized or broken into it on four different occasions.  My bag was heavy, loaded down with everything I’d anticipated needing for the day’s classes.  It crunched audibly on impact with the wall.

“What the fuck!?” I screamed to nobody in particular, my voice echoing in the bathroom.  There were tears in the corners of my eyes.

“The hell am I supposed to do!?”  I wanted to hit something, break something.  To retaliate against the unfairness of the world.  I almost struck the mirror, but I held back.  It was such a small thing that it felt like it would make me feel more insignificant instead of venting my frustration.

I’d been enduring this from the very first day of high school, a year and a half ago.  The bathroom had been the closest thing I could find to refuge.  It had been lonely and undignified, but it had been a place I could retreat to, a place where I was off their radar.  Now I didn’t even have that.

I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do for my afternoon classes.  Our midterm project for art was due, and I couldn’t go to class like this.  Sophia would be there, and I could just imagine her smug smile of satisfaction as I showed up looking like I’d botched an attempt to tie-dye everything I owned.

Besides, I’d just thrown my bag against the wall and I doubted my project was still in one piece.

The buzzing at the edge of my consciousness was getting worse.  My hands shook as I bent over and gripped the edge of the sink, let out a long, slow breath, and let my defenses drop.  For three months, I’d held back.  Right now?  I didn’t care anymore.

I shut my eyes and felt the buzzing crystallize into concrete information.  As numerous as stars in the night sky, tiny knots of intricate data filled the area around me.  I could focus on each one in turn, pick out details.  The clusters of data had been reflexively drifting towards me since I was first splashed in the face.  They responded to my subconscious thoughts and emotions, as much of a reflection of my frustration, my anger, my hatred for those three girls as my pounding heart and trembling hands were.  I could make them stop or direct them to move almost without thinking about it, the same way I could raise an arm or twitch a finger.

I opened my eyes.  I could feel adrenaline thrumming through my body, blood coursing in my veins.  I shivered in response to the chilled soft drinks and juices the trio had poured over me, with anticipation and with just a little fear.  On every surface of the bathroom were bugs; Flies, ants, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, earwigs, beetles, wasps and bees.  With every passing second, more streamed in through the open window and the various openings in the bathroom, moving with surprising speed.  Some crawled in through a gap where the sink drain entered the wall while others emerged from the triangular hole in the ceiling where a section of foam tile had broken off, or from the opened window with peeling paint and cigarette butts squished out in the recesses.  They gathered around me and spread out over every available surface; primitive bundles of signals and responses, waiting for further instruction.

My practice sessions, conducted away from prying eyes, told me I could direct a single insect to move an antennae, or command the gathered horde to move in formation.  With one thought, I could single out a particular group, maturity or species from this jumble and direct them as I wished.  An army of soldiers under my complete control.

It would be so easy, so easy to just go Carrie on the school.  To give the trio their just desserts and make them regret what they had put me through: the vicious e-mails, the trash they’d upended over my desk, the flute –my mother’s flute– they’d stolen from my locker.  It wasn’t just them either.  Other girls and a small handful of boys had joined in, ‘accidentally’ skipping over me when passing out assignment handouts, adding their own voices to the taunts and the flood of nasty emails, to get the favor and attention of three of the prettier and more popular girls in our grade.

I was all too aware that I’d get caught and arrested if I attacked my fellow students.  There were three teams of superheroes and any number of solo heroes in the city.  I didn’t really care.  The thought of my father seeing the aftermath on the news, his disappointment in me, his shame?  That was more daunting, but it still didn’t outweigh the anger and frustration.

Except I was better than that.

With a sigh, I sent an instruction to the gathered swarm.   Disperse.  The word wasn’t as important  as the idea behind it.  They began to exit the room, disappearing into the cracks in the tile and through the open window.  I walked over to the door and stood with my back to it so nobody could stumble onto the scene before the bugs were all gone.

However much I wanted to, I couldn’t really follow through.  Even as I trembled with humiliation, I managed to convince myself to pick up my backpack and head down the hall.  I made my way out of the school, ignoring the stares and giggles from everyone I walked past, and caught the first bus that headed in the general direction of home.  The chill of early spring compounded the discomfort of my soaked hair and clothes, making me shiver.

I was going to be a superhero.  That was the goal I used to calm myself down at moments like these.  It was what I used to make myself get out of bed on a school day.  It was a crazy dream that made things tolerable.  It was something to look forward to, something to work towards.  It made it possible to keep from dwelling on the fact that Emma Barnes, leader of the trio, had once been my best friend.

Next Chapter

49 thoughts on “Gestation 1.1

  1. I just read the entire thing in a day. Wow.
    If you’re a reader, keep reading.
    If you’re the author, great work.

  2. Enjoying it so far, are you planning to take your writing to a professional level, or is it just a hobby to you? I’ve worked with quite a few published and soon-to-be published authors and this seems to be at about the right level for finding an agent and getting a publishing deal.

    Thanks for your help on the Webfiction guide forum btw.

    • If my dreams came true, I’d become a career author. More realistically, I’d like to make some money doing this while working another job full/part time to actually have enough money to buy food. I plan to sell Worm as a series of ebooks somewhere down the line, after I’ve finished.

      • Realistically? If you don’t think you have what it takes to write professionally, I can’t even see the POINT of professional writing. I’D like to be a writer! If YOU don’t think you could after completing a project like MOTHER FUCKING WORM, what possible hope can the rest of us have? What hope is there for me?

  3. Well it certainly gives more information, the expanded chapter is an improvement in that sense. And I guess there were issues with the original but, well parts of this feel kind of sterile, not the right word. The orginal really captured the feeling of being in Taylor’s head, whereas this feels more removed. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, just that it’s noticable for me at least. Probably nothing.

    Though I was surprised that the flood of colours remained in the bathroom scene. I’m still not sure why we need to know the paper towels are brown.

    • It’s funny that you say that (The above comment is in reference to edits made, for any new readers) – I added more on Taylor’s thought processes, but you feel that this is more removed.

      I also removed several references to the colors of the juice, but you still feel there’s too much reference to color?

      • Oddly it feels almost too grammar focused now. If the previous felt like a direct feed to her brain this is more like a diary entry. Again it’s not so much a bad thing as it is a difference.

        Yeah, it’s probably just me, but the mention of the paper towels being brown strikes me as cumbersome still. The other colours (clothes, juice etc) all feel necessary, they help build a picture of what’s going on. The towel colour feels like it pushes that a bit. It’s not so much the number of references, just that adding in an unnecessary one makes it seem odd.

        • I agree that the writing seemed less emotional and direct after the editing to me.
          The colors thing didn’t bother me in the first place; in fact, it felt very much like the sort of thing someone in the process of being traumatized would focus upon.

          • Hmm. I tend to get comments along these lines after I focus on editing something. I may just have to rewrite from scratch, keeping the high points of the previous draft in mind.

            Just odd that I tried to inject more emotion into it, offering more details on what she was thinking, and achieved the opposite. The only colors I removed were a repetition of ‘purple orange and red’ that appeared twice in one paragraph.

            Any areas in particular where you feel it was emotionally flat or stiff?

          • Well, I don’t think it is flat or stiff, or definitely a bad thing- I tend to like Taylor’s obsessive in-combat woolgathering later in the story, too. It’s just a slightly different tone.

            Been long enough since my last reading that pointing to specific spots is hard.

  4. ###GESTATION 1-1

    >“Let me wrap up here,” Mr. Gladly said, “Sorry

    said. Now I didn’t even have that.
    >
    >I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do for my afternoon classes.

    I didn’t know what <– Remove 'even' in second sentence due to repetition of 'I didn’t even' in adjacent sentences.
    about my afternoon classes bathroom were bugs; Flies, ants, spiders

    flies vicious e-mails,
    >nasty emails

    e-mails vs. emails <– You can spell it either way, but be consistent. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/e-mail-or-email.aspx

  5. Hmm.

    Wish I could re-read the original version you had up.

    Some thoughts – with the caveat that it’s probably just fine as it is, so take all of this with a grain of salt:

    >>Class ended in five minutes and all I could think was, an hour is too long for lunch.

    Good, but it didn’t flow naturally for me. I heard a pause after ‘minutes’, for one. Perhaps something like, “Class ended in five minutes. And yet all I could think was an hour is too long for lunch.

    For me at least that emphasizes the dichotomy a bit more, while still sounding like something Taylor would think (I went through a couple versions that just didn’t sound like her.)

    >>Since the start of the semester, I had been looking forward to the part of Mr. Gladly’s World Issues class where we’d start discussing capes.

    …Seems labored. And it buries the lead a bit. “Since the start of the semester, I’d looked forward to discussing capes in Mr. Gladly’s World Issues class. Now that he finally was, I couldn’t focus.”

    Then, a few descriptors are unnecessary, under the show-don’t-tell rule (and there are a few minor verb tense disagreements.) – “I fidgeted, my pen moving from hand to hand, tapping, or absently drawing some figure in the corner of the page to join the other doodles. My eyes were restless too, darting from the clock above the door to Mr. Gladly and back to the clock. I wasn’t picking up enough of his lesson to follow along. Twenty minutes to twelve; five minutes left before class ended.”

    into

    “My pen moved from hand to hand, tapping, or absently drawing some figure in the corner of the page to join the other doodles. My eyes were restless too, darting from the clock above the door to Mr. Gladly and back to the clock. I didn’t pick up enough of his lesson to follow along. Twenty minutes to twelve; five minutes left until class ended.”

    Perhaps even separate that last line, to bookend the passage and emphasize that all these thoughts occur but it’s still five minutes. Together:


    Class ended in five minutes. And yet all I could think was an hour is too long for lunch.

    Since the start of the semester, I’d looked forward to discussing capes in Mr. Gladly’s World Issues class. Now that he finally was, I couldn’t focus. My pen moved from hand to hand, tapping, or absently drawing some figure in the corner of the page to join the other doodles. My eyes were restless too, darting from the clock above the door to Mr. Gladly and back to the clock. I didn’t pick up enough of his lesson to follow along.

    Twenty minutes to twelve; five minutes left until class ended.

    • Minor edit to above – “Now that he finally was, I couldn’t focus” to “Now that we finally were, I couldn’t focus.”

      • “I was momentarily blinded by the stinging fluid in my eyes and my blurring of my glasses”
        should be the blurring of my glasses

  6. “She was good looking enough to get occasional jobs as a amateur model for the catalogs that the local department stores and malls put out.”

    Just thought I should make a quick comment about this, I think it should be “an amateur model” instead of “a amateur model”

    I really am enjoying the story thus far (at the time of this comment i have just finished Arc 1) and I must say, this is something I look forward to reading more.

  7. A fairly recent comment from Wildbow about clues that hadn’t been noticed (or at least mentioned) by any readers thus far has tickled my obsessive fancies. I’m beginning a close and critical reread of Worm, to see what there is to see. This may take me a while, since I’m planning to at least skim through comments on the way through as well.

    • err wrong chapter I went to the top of the table of contents assuming it would be the most recent chapeter

  8. I know much has likely changed for you, since the initial posting of this first chapter. I do not know much about you or your work, I actually stumbled onto this from a friend who found “Worm” through a simple Reddit post you left… So I guess this is more directed at the person who wrote this first chapter, however long ago that was. Here are just some initial thoughts:

    I’ve had meaningful experience studying literary criticism, and I know that feedback can be incredibly helpful, rewarding, and important for a writer. Yet, some brilliant members of our field have argued that art is art, and the artist’s work should not be judged or tampered with, but respected in a way that reflects the ideal that a work is intentional and is created for appreciating – not manipulating.

    This position suggests that every choice the artist makes, was made for a reason – their reason – (as it is their art), and as the ‘audience’ of that art, (i.e. the reader), it is not our place to pass judgment on what is “correct” as well as we would like to see the writer do, or change, or fix, but instead appreciate what the artist has done and consider what each choice has done for the overall piece.

    I see the logic in this concept, and it is fun to practice appreciating art in this way, but then again, even Dickens had to learn to write, and even at the end, he could have been better. We can always improve – every one of us – and I anticipate after reading this wonderful beginning that “Worm” will continue to impress, as more and more writing and feedback help you learn how to make this an even better story.

    Hemingway eloquently stated “The first draft of everything is sh!#.” I don’t quite think that is true, but I know that it can only improve from that first go. Rewriting and rethinking your work is so important, and it is nice to see you do that. But remember — one comment made earlier was very wise: “Take all of this with a grain of salt…”

    No one has the answers, this is art after all! :)

    There is no right or wrong, only the best you can offer, which so far seems Fantastic. Keep with it! And don’t let anyone make you think you are anything but brilliant.

    It has been a pleasure to read your work, thank you for sharing it.

  9. Oh GOD. Worm, exhaustion, crack theories and formatting problems really DO NOT MIX. Take the comment in the spirit it was given..?

  10. Last chapter was posted tonight, and for some reason felt compelled to come back and read this one. It is truly amazing to look back on what Taylor was like at the beginning here, what her life was like, knowing what is in store for her.

    To anyone just starting this story for the first time: get ready, you’re in for one HELL of a ride!

  11. Minor nitpick: the correct spelling is “just deserts”, even though it sounds like something you would find in a menu.

    The reason is etymology: the “deserts” in “just deserts” comes from “deserve”.

  12. Sorry to be pedantic xxxx again, but if you ever do get to publish (though what is this but published anyhow, I wonder?) you could save your proofreader 5 seconds’ work by changing ‘an antennae’ to the correct singular form: ‘an antenna’.
    P.S. this is my very first day with Worm, having followed the recommendation of Eliezer what’s’isface of HPMOR fame. Thus far, no reason not to continue.

    As I believe from my previous comment that you moderate all these comments, please let me know if you would prefer me to make any future proof-reading type of comments via an alternative channel, or not at all. And feel free not to post this on the open forum. In fact, I think on balance that I’d prefer that you didn’t!

  13. Came here via HPMOR, too. I binge read the story, skipping lots of chapters. I plan to do a thorough read through now (maybe by sticking to the schedule the story was originally wrote by). It has already been very rewarding, because with the knowledge gained from later chapters, the mobbing is even more sad/annoying/emotionally resonating than on my first read through.

  14. I stumbled upon Worm on a bus back home from New York City. I was annoyed that the lights were not working, and I could not read my book. I pulled out my phone and checked Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality to see if there were any new chapters. There were not, but there was a recommendation for this work… Little did I know what the next month would have in store. I started reading 11/19/13, and finished on my 36th birthday, 12/29/13. I am a voracious reader. I have read widely and deeply, usually at least a few books a week. I am not exaggerating at all when I see that Worm is one of the best stories I have ever read. Avoiding spoilers, I will only say that Taylor’s story and character arc hits the perfect balance between epic scope, and intensely personal. I will eagerly read, and pay for, anything that this author publishes. Wildbow is up there with CJ Cherryh, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Robert Jordan for me. Thank you for the gift of your talent.

  15. This is the first time i comment on “Worm” and i will just start by saying that i am in love with the story. I would marry the crap out of the story if it was possible. The second, is to you new readers who might see this comment. Do not get discouraged by the length of the stories or the story in general. You will find that it is all worth it when you are done, however confusing it might be.

    Thank you Wildbow, for an unforgettable and emotional story.

    • Oh. And to anyone who’s reading this. I have found “The Miracle of Sound” to deliver music that fits perfectly to many of the things that happens in the story. Great music to Great stories

  16. It’s kind of haunting to read the first few chapters after finishing Worm. To see what Taylor thought about in those early days, compared to the things she’ll experience in the future is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. Figured I’d just throw this out there.

  17. I don’t read web novels. In fact this is the first I’ve ever read. But I’m glad that my journey from literary purist to cool modern reader begins here. As an aspiring writer myself, I cannot stress the burning jealousy I feel. A million and three-quarter word? A MILLION AND SVENTY FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND?! In little over two years! This is staggering. I just started this story so I can’t say anything, but I have never, NEVER, seen anyone write woth such speed and obvious vigor. Maybe other authors do, but I don’t know. You’ve gven me a new stratospheric target for writing-speed. I am amazed, and passionately envious.

    • I like the way Eliezer Yudkowsky put it, if I may toot my own horn. “There are stories which are better than Worm, and stories which were written faster than Worm, but I don’t know of any epic which was ever written faster and better than Worm.”

      It’s not perfect. I was a novice when I started and I had a few points where life intruded (about 2/3rds of the way through the story, there’s one arc I’m planning on scrapping & rewriting in edits). But I’m really happy with what I wound up with.

      Thanks for reading, S&A.

      • Thank you, with the force of a million suns, Shocked-and-awed. I have, since halfways through Worm, been looking for the word Web Novel. I couldn’t for the love of Scion remember what it was called.

        And to you Wildbow, while what Eliezer Yudkowsky said might be true for you, i don’t feel the same way. I think most stories lack the length to properly build up the characters and enviroment that you have made. I can think of few which got close, but not many that did. Eliezer’s “HPMOR” was one of the few that i found as good as this one, but that’s because it’s full of clever things and stuff that i wished the original books fixed. Your story is simply perfect in every aspect. It made me laugh, get angry, sweat manly through my eyes. Perfect. And for this, i also thank you.

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