Between I5-6.1


The third row filled again in 3.5. Five bingos so far.

Bingo #6, thanks to finally meeting Max.

And now I’ve managed to fill row 5 entirely from the discussion of Hive 5.5.

And the statement that Hive 5.9 was almost as good as Shell 4.8 finally finds column 3 for the 8th bingo so far.

Oh my cod. Three bingos at once in 5.10. Krix managed to land a corner piece when I already had everything else in the row, column, and diagonal marked.


shallow newt wants a cute

Ooh, that’s good!

(Incidentally, I wonder how many of my readers got that reference. I have no idea how well-known the Jack Black movie Shallow Hal actually is.)


“Pfft” should have been on the Bingo board. Also, Narwhal was indeed mentioned in 3.3 to be unaffected by the Manton effect, although we learn here that he/she was once limited by it.

I’m honestly surprised that searching for “pfft” and “ahaha” doesn’t pull up results from nearly every chapter that’s got some humor in it, but as the second part of this ask helps reinforce, the search feature is pretty broken anyway.

I don’t think I’ve actually seriously theorized on Narwhal’s power (unless I did back in 3.3), but I guess that’s because I have very little to go on. All I know is that it’s something that is applicable to both non-living things and living things (and thus outwardly directed, as opposed to inward powers like Aegis’), and that it might be aquatic.

Hey, maybe Narwhal’s power is making things’ noses turn into swords. Nosed masks scattered on the floor = instant spike trap!


“It also sends the fanfic potential for this setting through the roof…” No fucking kidding. And yet so many fanfic writers just go “Taylor with another power follows the stations of canon.”

That’s a shame, though I think I’d rather have a lot of those fics than the authors not writing at all.

Newter may be a bit shallow but… he’s still a teenager so it’s not that surprising. Also he can’t touch anyone without sending them on a trip to la-la land and I can’t help but wonder if selling these trips to pretty girls isn’t a way to compensate for the physical intimacy he knows he’ll never get. I really like the “movie scene” you came up with, seems fitting.

Oh yeah, that does make sense. He doesn’t chase a deep, meaningful relationship because he thinks he can’t have one.

(Key word “thinks”.)


Although Taylor was the person Wildbow eventually decided to use as the protagonist, he wanted to include each protagonist from earlier drafts of Worm in the story, which contributes to the feeling of a world outside Taylor. Other potential protagonists (that we’ve met) were Panacea, Aegis, Trickster, and Faultline. As a result, even if we hadn’t gotten the Gregor interlude now, we would have eventually seen some focus on Faultline and her crew’s storyline.

I really love this decision.

I’m surprised to see Trickster on the list. He didn’t really strike me as a protagonist, per se… It’ll be interesting to eventually learn more about him.

It’s kind of interesting that you mentioned that it feels like there are a lot of different stories going on at once. Part of the reason for that is that wildbow actually tried to write a lot of those stories before settling on worm. Basically, he’d been trying to write this story in one form or another for close to a decade before he finally started worm. I think he said somewhere that there were close to 100 aborted drafts (most of which didn’t get past a page or two before he gave up).

A while back I think someone mentioned that Amy and Victoria were protagonists in an earlier version of the story (which contrary to what you were told, wasn’t the original). That’s actually true of a lot of the characters. Wildbow has said that a significant number of the named characters in the story were either the main character or a major supporting character in some version of the story. Taylor was actually introduced pretty late in the process.

Like Amy and Victoria, Faultline was one of his more prominent early protagonists. Based on that, I think it was pretty much a given that we’d get an interlude focusing on her crew at some point. If it hadn’t been now, he would have included it later. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the interludes were in some way inspired by some of his earlier stories.

If you’re curious about the other versions of the story, wildbow has posted some of the more interesting ones on his website. Obviously you shouldn’t look at them yet, since a lot of stuff in them made it into worm in some forum or other (and even some of the stuff that didn’t is still roughly canon, by word of god). Fair warning though, these are all stories wildbow gave up on for some reason or other, you shouldn’t expect them to be anywhere close to as good as worm.

One thing has been clear about Wildbow for a long time: He’s very dedicated to his craft. Even if they only lasted a couple pages each, trying over and over again with different protagonists and different angles on the story that many times is a lot of effort. I honestly admire the fact that he didn’t give up on the idea after, like, 3-5 of those drafts.

I tried bringing up Amy and Victoria in my little ramble about how this makes the world feel real, but it didn’t fit the flow. Much like this paragraph, actually.

I’m looking forward to reading the published drafts when I finish Worm. Assuming I’m still doing this blog when I get there, I’ll probably liveblog them too. 🙂


About you not knowing Narwhal’s powers, I believe the conversation where he/she comes up in chapter 3.3 straight up tells you or at least gives you a damn good idea.


[me quoting the relevant text]

“Wherever our powers come from, they also came with some limitations. For most of us, there’s a restriction about using our powers on living things. The reach of powers generally stops at the outside of a person or animal’s body. There’s exceptions for the people with powers that only work on living things, like you, Alec and Rachel. But the long and short of it is that the Manton effect is why most telekinetics can’t just reach into your chest and crush your heart. Most people who can create forcefields can’t create one through the middle of your body and cut you in two.”
“Narwhal can,” Alec cut in.
“I said most,” Lisa said, “Why these restrictions exist is a question nearly as big as where we got our powers in the first place. The capes that can get around the Manton effect are among the strongest of us.”

Ahh, I see. Sometimes I don’t catch obvious implications like that one because I’m splitting up the paragraphs with my own text; I’m guessing that’s what happened there (there was a comment from me right before “Narwhal can”). I mean, besides me generally forgetting the details of this exchange.

That last ask response does not mean I’m gonna stop imagining Narwhal as having a sword for a nose, at least as part of their costume, until I get a physical description.


Krixwell, you better prepare yourself. I’mma send you a list of god tier fanfiction when you’re all caught up.

Awesome. 😀

I’m sure there are a lot of excellent works out there, and I’m looking forward to reading some of them someday.

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