I would like to introduce my favourite author to you. His name is Wildbow and he writes rather dark webseries.
The main reason I want to share his works with you is not only his style of writing (which is amazing btw), but his work ethic. He puts out at least two chapters a week on tuesday and saturday, often even an additional one on thursday. Those chapters aren‘t short either. He is keeping that schedule for nearly five years, even at christmas or while helping organizing the wedding of his brother or while moving to another city. He only made exceptions when he got sick. (EDIT: Nope, not even then.)
Wildbow has a little gimmick, where every single story title of his‘ has only four letters. Those stories are, in chronological order, Worm, Pact and my personal favourite: Twig. That last one isn‘t completed, yet.
Each of these stories take a while to get into, but they get really, really awesome.
As a starting point I would recommend Worm, because this story is finished and a few tads better than Pact.
Summarizing Worm withouth spoiling anything AND without sounding boring is kind of hard, but I will try nonetheless.
The following contains minor spoilers for Worm:
Worm is takes place on an alternative earth, which has superheroes. Those so called capes get their powers only after traumatising events. Therefore most capes turn out to be villains.
The protagonist is a girl named Taylor that recently aquired her powers, which let her control all insects in a certain radius, and wants to start fighting crime. Soon she starts a undercover mission to take down a group of local villains, but those turn out to be nicer than most people Taylor knows personally, which puts her in a predicament.
Her ability sounds weak and useless if compared to Wolverine or Ironman, but turns out to be quite versatile.
Furthermore Wildbow thought of many weird, clever, mindboggling or simply amazing powers. Yes, there are heroes with lame powers like superman, but also a lot of really interesting ones. For example there is this one guy who gets three powers at random that could somehow help him and gets to choose if he keeps those or if he replaces some of them with new random powers. He never knows what he gets and needs to learn how to use each power, but he always has three different powers at once, which makes him really mighty. Another one can inflict feelings on his victims. Anything from love or anger to pure terror and extreme horror is possible. Others are especially good at building gadgets, can teleport through fire, change how the dimensions of space work and much more.
What I really like about this story is that everything gets explained sooner or later. Even where the powers come from. I can‘t think of any loose ends that didn‘t get tied up at the end. Additionally the protagonist does not win every fight. She is still just human. She fails and suffers like everybody else.
I believe Twig to be Wildbows best work, because he excels at writing dialoges. The protagonist here is a social manipulator, which is part of a team. This means less fighting and more talking. Those are ideal conditions to let Wildbow shine.
Twig is set in a universe, where the Frankenstein experiment happend and succeded. From there on it developed lots of biotechnology at a really fast rate, but normal technology a bit slower. The year should be something around 1920. Houses are mostly grown, not build. Strange, interesting and dangerous experiments of the academy are everywhere and the crown constantly wages war to conquer other countries.
The protagonist, Sy, and his team are also experiments of the academy and are send on various missions as a form of stress test.
Twig’s strong points are definitely the manipulation done by Sy and the character building.
For anything else you better read the about page of Twig or even the story itself! 🙂
I will leave out a summary of Pact, because Twig and Worm are better starting points in my opinion.
I don‘t think I did Wildbows stories justice, so I really urge you to give at least one of his stories a chance. 🙂