Table of Contents

Arc 1: Gestation
1.01
1.02
1.03
1.04
1.05
1.06
1.x (Interlude; Danny)

Arc 2: Insinuation
2.01
2.02
2.03
2.04
2.05
2.06
2.07
2.08
2.09
2.x (Interlude; Victoria)

Arc 3: Agitation
3.01
3.02
3.03
3.04
3.05
3.06
3.07
3.08
3.09
3.10
3.11
3.12
3.x (Interlude; Wards)

7.x (Interlude; Hannah)

Arc 8: Extermination
8.01
8.x (Interlude; Coil)

Arc 9: Sentinel (Wards Interlude Arc)
9.01
9.06

Arc 10: Parasite
Arc 11: Infestation
11.h

Arc 12: Plague
12.01
12.02
12.03
12.04
12.05
12.06
12.07
12.08
12.x (Interlude; Jack)
12.x (Donation Interlude; Jamie)

Arc 13: Snare
13.01
13.02
13.x (Donation Interlude; Aisha)
13.03
13.04
13.05
13.06
13.07
13.08
13.09
13.10
13.x (Interlude; Piggot)

Arc 14: Prey
14.1
14.2
14.3
14.4
14.5
14.6
14.7
14.8
14.9
14.10
14.11
14.x (Interlude; Sierra)
14.y (Donation Interlude; Legend)

Arc 15: Colony
15.1
15.x (Donation Interlude #1; Carol)
15.2
15.3
15.y (Donation Interlude #2; A guy with the second trigger event)
15.4
15.5
15.6
15.7
15.z (Donation Interlude #3; Alexandria)
15.8
15.9
15.10
15.x (Interlude; Rory Christner)

Arc 16: Monarch
16.1
16.2
16.x (Donation Interlude 1; PRT Squad)
16.3
16.4
16.5
16.6
16.y (Donation Interlude #2; Defiant)
16.7
16.8
16.9

16.10
16.z (Donation Interlude #3; Marquis)
16.11

16.12
16.13

Arc 17: Migration
17.1
17.2
17.3
17.4
17.5
17.6
17.7
17.8

Arc 18: Queen
18.1
18.2
18.x (Donation Interlude #1; The Most Powerful Man in the World)
18.3
18.4

18.y (Donation Interlude #2; Crusader)
18.5
18.6
18.z (Donation Interlude #3; Jessica Yamada, Therapist)
18.7
18.8
18.z (Donation Interlude #4; Faultline)
18.z (Interlude; Echidna)

Arc 19: Scourge
19.1
19.2
19.3
19.x (Donation Interlude #1; Blasto)

19.4
19.5

19.6
19.7

19.y (Donation Interlude #2; Parahumans Online)
19.z (Interlude; Emma)

Arc 20: Chrysalis
20.1
20.2

20.3
20.4
20.5

20.x (Donation Interlude #1; Stan)
20.y (Interlude; Accord)

Arc 21: Imago
21.1
21.2

21.3
21.4
21.5
21.6
21.7

21.x (Donation Interlude #1; Number Man)
21.y (Interlude, Parian)

Arc 22: Cell
22.1

22.2
22.3
22.4
22.5
22.6
22.x (Interlude, Charlotte)

22.y (Donation Interlude; Lung)

Arc 23: Drone
23.1
23.2
23.3
23.4
23.5
23.x (Interlude; Number Thirty-Six)

Arc 24: Crushed
24.1
24.2
24.3
24.4

24.5
24.x (Interlude, Chevalier)
24.y (Interlude 2, Aftermath)

Arc 25: Scarab
25.1

25.2
25.3

25.4
25.5
25.6
25.x (Interlude, Bonesaw)

Arc 26: Sting
26.1
26.2
26.3
26.x (Donation Interlude; Saint)
26.4
26.5
26.6
26.a (Interlude A, Golem part 1)
26.b (Interlude B, Golem part 2)
26.x (Interlude, …)

Arc 27: Extinction
27.1

27.2
27.3
27.4
27.5
27.x (Interlude, Eidolon)
27.y (Interlude, Addendum)

Arc 28: Cockroaches
28.1
28.2
28.3
28.4
28.5
28.6
28.x (Interlude)

Arc 29: Venom
29.1
29.2
29.3
29.4
29.5
29.6
29.7
29.8
29.9
29.x (Interlude; Fortuna)

Arc 30: Speck
30.1

30.2
30.3
30.4
30.5
30.6
30.7

Epilogue: Teneral
E.1

E.2
E.3
E.4
E.5
E.x (Interlude: End)

110 thoughts on “Table of Contents

  1. Awesome story, I love you man/woman, one week of my life gone just like that and I don’t fucking regret. Keep it up and stay healthy(I know its selfish) and know that when you do publish you already have a customer in me.

  2. Haven’t been here in a while. Needed to check the ToC to find out where I left off! Glad to see you remained productive without my supervision wildbow. :) Even happier to know that there’s a nice fat stack of chapters to work through over the next few days.

    (The, ah, darker nature of the last few arcs before I stopped weren’t sitting well with my mental health, hence the need for a reprieve.)

    At any rate, glad to be back reading, and I hope to repay the favor by the end of this summer with a chapter or two of an entertaining story on my blog. With appropriate thanks for getting me motivated to want to share the things I write again. But no royalties. I’m too greedy for that.

      • I’d be hurt if I could reasonably expect you to remember everyone who comments and make the connection between two seemingly unrelated posters. WordPress requires usernames to be at least 5 characters long and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, makes all of the characters lowercase.

        I’m STH. “An” STH. I complain a lot, if you recall. :P

  3. Probably my favourite Web Original story. It’s wonderfully unique, in setting and execution. I haven’t read another superhero (well not a superhero, but you know) story like this.

    I especially love the moral ambiguity of the characters, and how everyone is characterized realistically when they are. You don’t have unnecessary detail, everything feels tailored. Interlude stories are the best though, they really flesh out the world without feeling forced.

    Don’t finish it until I’ve read everything! I want at least one update…

  4. Hey there! New fan here. I love this story. Why haven’t you started publishing this yet?! You have so much material already and it’s so engrossing. I love the character development and your descriptions of people and their emotions are inspired… Keep up the good work!

  5. Thanks for the response.

    If it’s alright, can I delegate? It’s a bit much for me to go through the entire cast list and figure out what needs updating, so maybe you guys could note the people who are missing on a given page and characters that need updating, and I’ll take the time to add them when I’m free?

  6. I’ve been meaning to post this when I’ve finished my archive binge somewhat last week,but the hectic of Eid al-Fitr celebration put a brake on that(and coincidentally make me miss the last three updates).Better late than never ,huh?

    Worm is my very first experience with this medium(text-based-web-serial-whatchumacallit) and I have to say that I’m quite enthralled .You managed to spun such an engaging tale within a superbly wrought out setting that keeps me at the edge of my seat and my sanity( considering how precipitous your cliffhangers tend to get ,agonizingly amplified now that I caught up).

    Thank You

  7. Just wanted to say that I am indeed a huge new fan. I’ve been reading on this for well over a month (spending as much “free” time as possible) and have finally made it to Arc 25.

    Call me sick and demented, but I LOVE Bonesaw…so, I can’t wait to read her interlude (25.x) soon. I have to force myself to not rush ahead…lol.

    Also wanted to thank you for inspiring me to create my own blog at WordPress and to start writing as well.

    You, sir are AWESOME!

  8. Wildblow,

    I am in love with this series. I cannot wait until you get this published, put out as a comic or whatever! I found this series through tvtropes and I have not regretted the week and a half I missed out on life to catch up on this series.

    Not one bit!

  9. So I did some number-crunching.
    Notes:
    1. I count the two Extinction Interludes as one interlude.
    2. I count Interludes 11a-h as a separate arc from the rest of Migration.
    3. These numbers might be a bit off.
    4. These data are as of Venom 29.4.

    Worm is 1,535,255 words long.
    It consists of 457,628 Interlude words (those not from Taylor’s perspective). These make up, to the nearest percent, 30% of the story.
    The average chapter is 5406 words.

    The longest chapter is Scarab 25.3 (11193 words). The shortest is Insinuation 2.1 (1382 words).
    The longest Interlude chapter is Interlude 26 (10772 words). The shortest is Interlude 4 (2782 words).

    The longest arc is Monarch (92008 words). The shortest is Gestation (17446 words).
    The arc with the most words per chapter is Sting (8511). The arc with the least is Gestation (2492).

    • I did a quick search. According to Amazon’s Text Stats feature, the average novel is 64,000 words long. If your numbers are accurate, some quick math makes this series roughly 25-30 books long when finished. No wonder it has taken me so long to read!

      • That would make it nearly 1 book per Arc… I thought it was weird that it took me so long to read the story, taking almost 2 weeks for 20 arcs, but now I understand…

        I decided to convert it all to a pdf (with poor formatting for the more interesting markup, such as the Parahumans online interlude), and on a5 paper with a 9pt Garamond font, it comes out at 3571 pages. Takes forever to generate the pdf too :p

    • So, if Wildbow published the whole story in its glory as one novel, we’d be looking at the second longest novel EVER WRITTEN. Let that sink in.

  10. Just finished with Arc 30. Fabulous story, on the whole. Very good quality writing consistently, except for a dip during some of the intermediate chapters when there was an attempt to make time pass much faster, with some loss of convincingness of dialogue and plot. Lots of fresh ideas– quite stimulating. Thank you, wildbow!

  11. your awesome, love this story. Read from arc 1 to arc 30 in a week.
    Thank you for putting this up for anyone to read. Really glad I found it.

    Now i am convinced there must be other awesome authors i haven’t heard of as it took so long for someone to recommend this to me

    Thank you

  12. It would be helpful if you change the CSS on this page to have different color for visited and unvisited links. Every time I come back here to pick up where I left off I have to take extra steps :(

  13. Wildbow – I stumbled across Worm around two weeks ago. I’ve been reading it obsessively since then. I love it! Such a rich and different take on superpowers. I’ve been telling all my reader friends about it. Many of them are now hooked as well. I look forward to your future projects!

  14. I’ve never been into the whole ‘cape’ genre but a cursery glance at Gestation 1.1 did grab me.
    I’ve been here ever since.
    Most of my friends are sick of me talking about this.

    Now Worm is ending.
    It’s a little like saying farewell to a good friend. Sad, with the hope of seeing you again.

    On behalf of the Willesden branch of SCOGAN (the Secret Coven of Geeks and Nerds), thank you, Wildbow!
    We hope to see more of your work in the future!

  15. As of E.4, there are 304 chapters. With E.5 and the final interlude, the total will be 306.

    You could put a single chapter on every page, and it would STILL have the thickness of a small-medium novel.

  16. I’d just like to say – thank you for this.

    I was referenced to this story from Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong, at hpmor.com. Though the story was fantastic, it still felt like a souped up parody. Though I’m only on 11.3, Worm feels 100% unique in every sense of the way. Your writing style is addictive, and as I read this during downtime throughout the week, I find myself wanting to read it more and more.

    I don’t have the money to donate right now, but I can guarantee that I will. Thanks again for making such a fantastic read, and thank you for making it free – I’ll definitely be a customer if you ever publish.

    Take care!

  17. **EXTREME SPOILERS!**

    I’m putting the TImeline here so it’s easier to find, please don’t follow the URL unless you have finished reading…

    http://timeglider.com/t/f1a836311fa00bb3?min_zoom=13&max_zoom=40

    If you’re wondering what’s in the link, it’s a finished timeline for Worm from Arc One to Thirty. Epilogue chapters have not been added – I couldn’t find any exact dates to use, and I don’t like guessing. Sorry if it’s a bit late.

    • I love how there are thirty years or so with an event every two-three years, and then the story starts and we have 6000000000000 in two and a half years.

    • Just noticed a mistake: according to the very first chapter, Taylor mentioned she entered highschool(and the bullying started), “one and half years ago). Your timeline has it around 2.5 years ago.

      While these seems to make sense, if Annette died at the very end of 2007, we can squeeze it all in properly.

      And now I’m sad, because I’m imagining Taylor being told her mum died during the Christmas holidays. :(

  18. If not for the length this would make an epic movie. Definitely an amazing graphic novel. I’d gladly buy the book, comic, movie and follow the television series if it came to it

  19. Hi Wildbow, I don’t want to repeat all the praise from the other posters but I at least have to say this:
    I found out about this about a month ago and was hooked from the very beginning. This stroke of brilliance, this breathtaking monument to storytelling completely wrapped me in knots.
    —SPOILER—
    From the little clues and hints that pan out ten arcs later to the near perfect use of worldbuilding, this has everything I really like in a story. I mean the moment Saint basically killed Dragon, the first appearance of the s9, the behemoth fight and the portrayal of moral grey areas on a small and large scale; the whole goddam thing is a crowning moment of awesome.
    There are some mistakes I noticed while reading. I only started to keep track of them at the end so the list is not complete.
    In 25.2.:
    “… It wasn’t many, but I didn’t need much. Enough or three or four swarm clones….”
    The “or” should probably be a “for”.
    “…the line, t had become something of a habit, as we ended our sessions. I gave her a little smile as we parted. …”
    The “t” should be an “it”.
    And in 29.8.:
    “…It conjured up images an artist’s sketchpad, putting body parts on the page, trying variations. There, in the sliver…”
    There is an “of” missing here
    “…that meant we were trying to tear through landmass of raw matter, and we were doing it a few handfuls at a time. …”
    …and an “a” missing here, I guess.
    Also, one thing I noticed rereading some chapters: In 3.12. after escaping the bank there is something of a continuity error. In later chapters it is mentioned that when bitch’s dogs shrink back to normal all the dead meat falls off and they have blood in their fur and so on. Point being the excess doesn’t simply disappear completely. But there is no mention of that in this chapter. Wouldn’t it be quite obvious/terrifying if there was a pool of blood and chunks of flesh lying around after the darkness leaves?

    Anyway, I hope you are proud of your work and had at least as much fun as I had with it and I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

  20. Just a quick question. I just got to the part where Brian’s little adventure in the refridgerator and Piggot’s daring plan to kill everyone who she disagrees with using Bakuda’s grenades.

    Is this what the rest of the story is like? I mean, I get that it’s very hip nowadays to write crushingly depressing stories that are just hitting the reader over and over again with how unfair the world is and how good intentions always end in shambles, but I’m rather tired of that kind of story. That story is bland and depressing, and frankly it’s not what I read superhero stuff for. If I wanted that story, I’d read regular fiction, or maybe a couple of biographies.

    I started reading the story despite the title. I kept reading despite the main character’s power, you know, blowing arse (a ton of superhero stories seem to love to do this, give the main character a shit power and show them struggling to get by in a world of gods. It’s very annoying; I find it much more entertaining when the main character is genuinely powerful even compared to other supes, and the author is good enough to STILL write a challengine journey for them; again, if I wanted to read about some weakling underdog getting constantly stomped on I wouldn’t be reading in the superhero genre – Skitter’s power wouldn’t even be better than a gun for anything other than assasination in the regular world, where noone has powers). I did this mostly because there seemed to be a metric shit-ton of content to this story, quite a few books worth, and it’s hard to find superhero stuff. But the book has just gotten steadily more morose and depressing as it’s gone along, and honestly I’m just sick of that kind of thing. So does it keep going like that to the end?

    Honestly, I’ve had the impression for a while that Skitter’s going to end up w/ the Slaughterhouse 9. Hence the title of the book being the name given to her by one of their members. That would also explain why the entire story has just been her failing harder and harder, though it’s not a big enough twist to make reading thousands of pages of downer storytelling worth it.

    On a side note, does her power ever stop sucking? I mean, that was part of the reason I stuck with the story – the author kept giving hints about ways that powers could expand, about second trigger events and crossing the boundary between affecting living and inanimate material or the other way around and so on. I figured, for sure, she’ll have another trigger. I could deal with the constant shitty situations where she just gets abused and beat up again and again because I was always anticipating this happening. Anticipating her power expanding to cover humans, or her getting a bit of bitch-like morphing ability with her bugs, or something else that made her not absolutely useless in the role she’s chosen (primarily one of a non-killer)

    And then Grue got his upgrade and that really cemented it for me, the author’s just fucking with us. I mean, you HAVE someone get beefed up, and then it’s not even the main character? It’s a supporting character? WTF. I really think this guy misses what people read superhero books for…

    So anyway, yeah, I don’t really expect these questions to be answered or even read so I rambled like crazy because this has been a very frustrating read so far, keeping me just interested enough not to throw it away until it became pretty apparent that the protagonist wasn’t going to stop sucking.

    • See question one in the FAQ, regarding spoilers.

      Given your perspective, it may not be the story for you. I’m not saying that your fears are right on every count, but given your stance in approaching the story, I’m not getting the sense that you’ll make a big turnaround.

      I do know why people read superhero stories, because I know why I read superhero stories. A lot of people like Worm (it’s popular), there are a good number of pretty amazing scenes coming down the road from where you’re at, and a good few of the things you’re complaining about are things that are necessary to make those two things happen.

      Have you read Legion of Nothing? It’s somewhat more lighthearted, and may be more up your alley.

      • I don’t mind grit if there’s PAYOFF for it. But if a book’s depressing just to be depressing, just to make the point that life sucks, well, like I said, I could read a biography. It’s just become entirely too common to use that in every genre, and the combination of constant defeats (or pyrric victories) with a low-powered heroine in a SUPERHERO book throws me. Not saying that these things don’t have their place but, damnit, superhero literature is SUPPOSED to be escapist, it’s OKAY for it to be escapist where it supposedly isn’t in so many other genres. So yeah, a book like Prepare to Die! where there’s a lot of sad and some dark shit but it pays off well in the end, I’m fine with that. Or the Ex-Heroes series where they’re pretty much getting beaten constantly throughout the books, outsmarted and outpllayed until the end when they finally get their shit together and win (temporarily, until the next book). Though perhaps for something this long there should be a few payoffs in the middle to string you along. This reminds me more of something like The Girl in the Box where each book is just a little more depressing, each scenario met with just a little more defeat, to the point where I just quit reading that series (it’s not really straight superhero capes and all, but honestly psionic powers are close enough for me).

        And I’m not saying it’s not good writing. Because it is. Especially for the field of superhero literature where I have read – by necessity – a ton of absolute crap, digging through all the self-published efforts on amazon as most of the ‘professional’ superhero lit is marvel/dc universe stuff and I just don’t care to delve into that without any real background in the comics (other than some spider-man and avengers from the most recent retcons). That just makes it even more frustrating.

        Oh, and I think I’ve seen Legion of Nothing somewhere, pure lighthearted YA if I remember correctly, Har-Har. I don’t mind shit being a bit dark, I don’t mind the main characters getting their asses handed to them on occasion, as long as that’s building up to the payoff at the end. I didn’t even used to mind the style I’m complaining about now – the defeat after defeat all the way to another defeat or pyrric victory at the conclusion of the novel. It was refreshing, almost LITERARY the first time I read a sci-fi or fantasy book like that as opposed to the old-style sci-fi optimism. Then someone caught onto that gimmick and over the past ten years or so it seems like EVERY SINGLE BOOK is like that, and it’s just gotten silly.

        I guess I’ll give this a try to the end, and see if there’s some kind of payoff.

    • I’m really uncomfortable discussing things here in the table of contents, but I’ll say that I nearly quit reading the story myself where you mention having trouble, and I’m very glad that I didn’t. ‘s just my opinion, of course.

      I didn’t have as much trouble with Taylor’s power as you seem to, so we differ there. She’s a clever one and her power… lends itself strongly to inventiveness, I’d say.

  21. So glad my friends recommended this to me. Lovely story arc, love the characters and I can’t stop reading it!
    Thank you for writing this! I hope it gets published ouo

  22. I finished reading Worm a couple of weeks ago and since then I have problem reading other fiction that contains any element of mystery or superpowers or horror. My problem is that I can’t properly enjoy the story as I keep thinking “Meh! Worm is so much better!” Also I am from a non-English speaking country so I keep telling people at length about this really awesome story I’ve read online, but most of them don’t speak English well enough to read it which is frustrating. Anyhow just wanted to say again, thank you for writing this great story. I do not know enough about writing and literature to analyze all the reasons I love it, but I know that I love it very very very much. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing it online for everybody to read. Rock on.

  23. I just finished reading this amazing story the other day. Seriously almost 2 weeks of daily binge reading to read the entire thing only stopping to sleep and drag myself to work where i stood washing dishes thinking about the chapter i read the night before! I hope that one day i can have this as an actual book to add to my collection, it deserves a spot on my already sagging shelves and i daresay this is one of the best stories ive read in years. Thank you Wildbow.

  24. If anyone is interested, I threw some python code together to parse this Web Serial into an Ebook. Here is the source (not very elegant) and the output in epub, mobi, pdf, azw3 and html. Anyone is welcome to use and improve my code. If there is still a lot of editing and changes happening to this Web Serial, I will consider scheduling a weekly build if requested.

    https://www.dropbox.com/

  25. hey, i just started reading worm and i wanted to tell you i am deeply grateful for your work, pretty much I started reading two days ago and yesterday i buried myself reading for about 10 hours, so, really, thanks a lot for being this awesome

  26. Hello wildbow I’ve been reading worm for over a month now. On the tram to work; during my lunchbreak; on the tram back home and 1 more chapter on the couch before I do anything else.

    It’s been a great ride already to follow the progression of the story (I am now at chapter 23.4 so still have a ways to go). I just wanted to let you known that I bought (a gift for my gf) a version of the game prison architect where you can name a prisoner that’s going to be in the finished version of the game. So there will definitely be a prisoner called Taylor Hebert.

    I haven’t donated as of yet, but once I reach the end of the story I’ll be sure to donate: because people pay for books, so why not for something that’s longer than all Harry Potter books combined and that’s written so perfectly.

    I’ve read in your comments that you enjoy getting feedback so you know what style of writing people like best so here are my highs and lows so far in the story

    – The whole arc about the travellers origin (I read the first 2 chapters of that arc and then decided to skip the rest of it. I just COULDN’T wait for the rest of the story to go on. And where I usually enjoy donation interludes and end of arc interludes I really couldn’t be bothered to read a whole arc interlude.

    + Interlude 4.X Brutus: Seeing the world from a dogs perspective was something I haven’t seen before, it was refreshing and exciting. Definitely had lots of smiles and giggles there.

    + 19.y (Donation Interlude #2; Parahumans Online): By far the best interlude in the whole book. I can’t believe how much effort you’ve put into getting the layout of the forum JUST right. This is the part where I got pissed at reality. if only Worm was as big as Harry Potter or Lord of the rings then for SURE there would be someone who would make an actual forum we could browse. Cause god knows how many times i tried clicking “next page” in that chapter.

    + 22.6: OMG that chapter made it all worth it, that’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • I’d strongly suggest that you finish reading the traveller Arc. there are some reveals in there that will assist in making sense of later events, and iirc a MAJOR event.

      also, I agree that is a helluva chapter. My strongest remains 20.5

      By the way. His new story pact is pretty good as well if you like the material.

  27. Hello,

    I noticed that the order in the Table of Contents here differs from the order in the Table of Contents in the sidebar of the actual posts. For example, for Arc 15, on this page it shows the interludes interspersed with the rest of the chapter, but the sidebar TOC shows the interludes at the end of the arc. Which one is the correct reading order?

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