18 May 2020
If you’re looking for something to eat up some time, I have a webserial for you. Worm is a webserial by John C. “Wildbow” McCrae. If you aren’t familiar with webserials, it can help to think of them as the 21st century successor to 19th century serialized novels (think Charles Dickens). You can’t get it at the library, since the author hasn’t yet released an official book/ebook, but you can read it in its entirety online. There’s also a fan-made audiobook of it, too, although I haven’t listened to it so can’t comment on the quality.
Worm has a few things going for it. First, it’s really good. Like good enough to disrupt my sleep schedule good. It took me a section or two to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. The characters are interesting and believable, the setting is well-built, and actions have consequences (death isn’t cheap, people hold grudges, and concussions will mess you up). Before I get any further, I should disclose that it is superhero fiction, not usually my favorite genre, but it is closer to the Warren Ellis flavor of the genre than the Avengers.
Second, Worm is long. 1.6 million words long. For comparison, it is as long as almost three Lord of the Rings series back-to-back. Normally, this length is a bit daunting, but if you’re reading this, you might just be looking for something to soak up some hours. At this point, I should disclose that I haven’t finished it yet, but since I’m about 2 Lord-of-the-Rings into the story and lots of other people seem to like it, I feel comfortable recommending it to you.
Finally, Worm somehow manages to remain hopeful despite being pretty dark (people die, communities are devastated by natural disasters and the story doesn’t look away, bad things happen). Although it can be tough to read at times, I find its depiction of the resilience of our species to be inspiring. That being said, it isn’t a kids book, as the author says, “It would be easier to note the trigger warnings that don’t apply than all the ones that do.”