For reasons that escape me (and that probably wouldn’t be good to chase down) I found myself over at a rather interesting corner of Reddit last week, which lead to a reading binge of material that might not be the most polished (some of it) but is generally a damn good read. In some cases a very long damn good read.
I speak, of course, of HFY aka the story forum of Humanity, Fuck Yeah! (yes, that is its name), a corner of the intertubes devoted to all things awesome about humans with a particular fondness for humans being anything but the scourge of the environment (although there are some lovely twists on that theme in there as wall).
As one might expect of a place with this theme, there’s no shortage of kick-ass humans stomping evil alien appendages into the dust, but there’s also a heck of a lot of depth, some damn good characterization, and enough hope (of the real, not-purveyed-by-a-skeevy-salesman variety) to wash the bad taste of life out of your mouth.
It’s also one hell of a time sink.
One of the more prominent series has a chapter that clocks in somewhere north of a hundred thousand words. Cleaned up, with extra depth and expansion of some of the sketchier bits… I’d guess it’s over half a million words on the main plot thread by now, and still going. And going well, too. The author hasn’t bogged down anywhere and the characters continue to gain depth as the piece progresses.
For those who are interested, The Deathworlders is worth the lost sleep and lost time. It’s not all that polished, but it’s got plot twists that fit the ‘verse (and I’d guarantee the author was subconsciously foreshadowing them because even though this is going up on HFY a chapter at a time, the twists aren’t “WTF?” territory: they have that “click” feel that a story gets when a plot twist puts everything into the proper perspective), interesting characters – not all of them likeable, but all of them are interesting, and all of them have understandable motives for acting the way they do – humor (at least one section that left me unable to breathe for a while I was laughing so hard), tragedy, and everything in between.
Thus far none of the other series I’ve looked at have shown that level of craftmanship, but a lot of the short works have. And there are a lot of short works. And a lot of series. It’s kind of like discovering a writing club where anything goes as long as the humans are awesome.
They don’t even have to be kick-ass awesome. Or even necessarily exactly human. Just embodying the best things about humanity (or embraining in at least one of the stories I’ve read).
So if the last week or so has left a nasty taste in your mouth, and you want something refreshing even if a little on the cheesy side, go thou forth and sample the wares over at HFY.
I probably won’t be responding: I’m at a testing conference today and tomorrow and I’ve got a very full schedule for it. I suspect that by the time I drag myself back to the hotel, I’m going to be doing well to fall into bed instead of on the floor.
:: Pokes cautiously :: This is time sink, right? I ought to back away slowly . . . or maybe eschew dignity and just run away . . .
Oh my, there does seem to be a lot of stuff here . . . maybe if I could find the first chapter, I could take a tiny peek . . . I can quit anytime . . .
Hopefully the conference will have a panel on “Project Managers: Threat or Menace” (says the tester who was up all night because one of them didn’t pay any attention to what she was told repeatedly over the last SIX MONTHS!!!!).
Oooh! Do they have a tazer demo? “Practical torture techniques for developers”? “Is Bugzilla proof of the emergence of Skynet?” “How Agile Programming causes cancer.” 😀
Agile programming probably DOES cause cancer.
[cue Twilight zone theme]
[A small voice from deep in the heart of a tumor remarks] Actually, we are cancer. Agile programming is what we do. Just a little bit here, a little bit there, and … metastasize! [we now return control of your TV from that visit with a cancer cell]
Back when I was a corporate sarariman I had a 3-ring notebook.
When I sent or received e-mail that was particularly important (to me…) I would print a copy, use the big chromed time/date inkstamp, initial the pages, and put them in the notebook.
Certain people grew to *fear* that notebook…
Yup, sometimes you see an email and immediately recognize that a bad decision is going to come boomeranging back. I too would carefully archive these email threads, if for no other reason than to allow me to cut-and-paste my ‘why this is not going to work’ explanation into my ‘why this did not work’ email after the bomb went off.
I learned to call it the “Pearl Harbor File”, something you use to protect yourself from the surprise (or not so surprise) student or parent complaint to The Dean. Here are all our communications, here are the times I met with the student to provide tutoring, here are the four instances when student made an appointment for tutoring and failed to appear and then made excuses . . . #BigUniversityProblems
Dammit, and I thought their nosleep forum was bad in terms of time sink…ARGH!! 😀
Okay, I also *highly* recommend this author’s stuff, after reading a couple of stories: a nice alternate take on ‘don’t pick a fight with humans’ with ‘humans are awesome’ + ‘captialism and humans do it REALLY well’: https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/wiki/authors/dspeyer
Sigh – I have my own time sink … a schedule of Christmas marketing events in various Texas towns over the next six weekends. I have thirteen books out there now, and people who haven’t read any of them yet.
Timesink? I don’t need no steenkin’ . . . OK, just one story before rehearsal starts.
Yeah, I told myself that. Thank goodness it’s a super slow day at work, and I already know I’m gonna be walking around this weekend with my phone or tablet glued to my nose because I made the mistake of starting the Deathworld series (and it’s companion series, “Salvage”). Both of which should be published, stat.
Ah yes, /r/HFY — haven’t been there in a while becuz it’s way too easy to get drawn in and not come up for air for hours.
Here’s a fun little taste of HFY in the Star Trek universe — I laughed so hard my sides hurt and I had tears… https://imgur.com/gallery/wpZ4w
Seen it. McGyver and Guyver are different properties, with awesome crossover potential.
My personal favorite HFY
I not ashamed to say that I teared up at the ending.
It’s NaNo, and I’m behind. I cannot go there. Really. I must not. Really, really.
It’s NaNo, I’m behind, and I went there. Save yourself!
I will send Saint Bernards, but I am fleeing as fast as the knights in Monty Python with their coconuts.
Hey, thanks for telling us about this. I just finished (up to the current episode) Chrysalis. Great stuff.