Some interestingly heavy textual analysis going on at DLP and next steps

There has been a perpetual thread that pulls no punches about my series going on at the Dark Lord Potter forums for some time now. Unlike Spacebattles, where if your fic is not about Shepard killing Reapers with his dick while doing his best Kirk impression, the DLP folks are actually GOOD at textual analysis and reviews.

They raked OSABC over the coals quite a bit, but every last criticism was very fair (and are things I’ve tried very hard to address in the next two books). And lo and behold, as I’ve gotten better they have continued to go over things.

More recently they had several text-walls discussing the nature vs nurture argument of Premiseverse Badasses, which tend to run in familial lines. One poster put forth the idea that perhaps outside forces augmented such things to create ‘heroes’.

It is a curious viewpoint, one that I had certainly not considered. I would say that genetics plays a role. So do connections and who you know. There is often a  subtle chain of events.

The ancient dalatrass of salarians, Shego, would have never amounted to anything if she’d not been somewhat rebellious in her youth and made lots of friends outside her clan. While I’m not ready to drop the big reveal on the Thirty and what Trellani found out, the only reason Trellani was accepted into the ranks of the normally Thirty-only Church of the Sun’s senior clergy was her relationship with Benezia.

If not for Anderson growing up near Kahlee Sanders and being friends with Pel’s father, Pel and Leng would have never joined, and Anderson would never have met Michael Shepard. And without that meeting, Shepard herself would have just ended up on the streets, dead, or in a Commissariat labor camp, and the entire focus of the series would be lost.

Fate, or destiny, may be something the Leviathans can control with their subtle manipulations. It may well be that they can’t see specifics but altered the timelines to ensure the most powerful ‘heroes’ were all available at the time when the Reapers would arrive.

Or maybe it’s sheer dumb luck.

Anyway, you should head on over to the massive megathread on DLP if you’re interested in that kind of thing. They have a HUGE range of other stories they review, and some of the reviews of the more sizable Harry Potter fics — and the depth of analysis — is as good as any New York Times review.

As for the story itself…

I’m in the process of the following:

  • Getting back to work on several pieces that I mentioned last month, like the Encyclopedia BIotic and Lions. I’ve made progress on both, just not enough to republish.
  • The next chapter of TWCD is at about a thousand words. Memes are hard to create without simply reusing existing ones that don’t really fit.
  • About a third of the way through the hanar military section. The drell and vorcha are outlined, although the vorcha file will be … short indeed.
  • Halfway through the next Engineering Guide file, but still figuring out where to go with the story. The math and science (and bullshit asspulls) on FTL sensor and FTL communications is fun indeed, and I just know one of my readers with a good background in physics is going to call me out as a hack 😀

I’m interested (as always) in what you think should be worked on next, although I’m pretty much tasked to capacity in terms of starting NEW projects. The only one I haven’t started is SevenSeven’s guide to the Citadel forces.

6000 words into the next TWCD chapter. 94 repeats of “Indestructible”. No back pain at the moment.

Shit, my beloved readers, is about to get beyond real.

Because, really, no one wants to see another boring ass fight we know Shepard will win. You want to see chaos.

Garrus: “This is the worst plan ever devised, even without the part where you do the driving, Sheep.”

Thankless Tasks : Edits on AO3, and Rewards. Also status update.

The sheer scope of what I am attempting to do is becoming literally unmanageable. Therefore, in the interest of using some of these goddamned Steam coupons, I have had an epiphany.

See some game on Steam you’d love to have but don’t have $55 to fucking waste, or your wife/parents/college debt won’t let you? Have some spare time you would be willing to expend in mindshatteringly boring tasks in exchange for said games?

Contact me. I have put off cleaning up and editing a number of documents, and I literally need someone to clean up the OSABC version on AO3 and get some of the other works on there.

Good with art? Same deal.  (I’m looking at you, LuckyFK. I have a literal muscle-woman that needs art, she makes your ripped up Shepard look like an anorexic.)

As for the Great Work ™:

  • The next chapter of TWCD is … sort of written but still in very heavy first-stage revisions. I have to be careful how I do this so it doesn’t come off as silly….while being completely fucking silly. I also have to come up with associated memestorm for the aftermath. Beyond that the next few chapters are outlined but I may have to revise them.
  • The Engineer’s Guide to Oh God What the Fuck is proceeding well, although I’m going to have to dig out some Conspiracy X and Shadowrun sourcebooks and medical texts and fully crib together my half-ass theories on augmetics. Most of my bionetic stuff is original, while the nanonics is a mix of ConX Atlanean tech and stuff I liked in the Neutronium Alchemist. My cyberware is a blatant homage / ripoff of Shadowrun style cybernetics with a touch of Deus Ex and Megatraveller thrown in, so it literally conflicts itself…and of course despite tossing out the word several times in the game, the Mass Effect canon is completely worthless in defining ANYTHING about the state of cyberware. Say it with me … Goddamn it, Bioware
  • Ahern says the next chapter of Lions is halfway done and if I wasn’t such a lazy fucking pile of shit it would have been put out nineteen fucking years ago, or something like that.
  • I’ve been working on No Single Raindrop to find some sort of concluding arc to it. Maybe by midyear.
  • I’ve done some heavy edits and cleanup to the Encyclopedia Biotica but it’s not published yet. I would love some new ideas for biotic powers.
  • I REALLY need to do some minor retcons around the Hanar, as my original design document did not have the Ascendancy so hostile and had the drell as serving as the main line of communication between the Citadel and the Hanar. May need to revisit that before I get too far into the Hanar Cerberus Files.
  • Speaking of Cerberus Files, I am thinking of re-writing the Batarian Section to be AFTER the collapse of the Hegemony and the Rise of the Batarian Empire. Thoughts?
  • Absolutely no work has been done on the crackfic or happyfic Memories we Forget to Remember. Sorry.


Wong Interviews done

Sort of covering old ground, but also tying things together.

Note: There is only so much bullshit I can tolerate from a game. When you have  a bridge over a river blown out from under you causing complete squad wipe, that threshold has been reached.

If X-COM 2 had a CD I would have eaten it by now. 😀

Working on some stuff, since X-COM 2 has even moar bullshiat than the first.

Not ready to start the next Omega piece yet…but between rage-quits after Gold Olympic ADVENT Lancer bullshit teamwipes and “Oh, look, six Heavy MECs and Sectopod flanking me ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME X-COM?!?!” I am working on a couple of pieces.

Two Wong interviews, a new STG Report, and expanding on the Encyclpedia Biotica. I’ll put another post out when they hit

X-COM 2 is a very good game but will induce raeg.

Good news and bad news.

The good news is, despite the fact that my chiropractor is now out of the city for three weeks, my back feels better. Not 100%, but at least where I’m not laying in bed in agony from nerve pain for hours on end.

Putting out the last chapter + tech document was a bit draining in that regard.

The bad news, of course, is that even as I speak my PC is pre-loading X=COM 2, which will have me distracted for more than a little bit.

The next chapter is only about 1000 words in, but I will probably push out another tech guide update soon and maybe possibly a piece on Lions or another Wong interview.