|Reviews for The Biomass|
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 35 . 7/11
Interesting the subtle difference of this character, that he seems to center this story around himself and his pride in a way that other characters do not. I think I would see things in a similar way.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 33 . 6/26
I like the really subtle world building stuff like how it’s not rude to ask if someone has a brain, and answering the question would be considered giving a clue of your identity.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 32 . 6/16
I wonder if the Biomass is learning how to use reason - and manipulate it to its own end. Or if this has always been how it worked but no one noticed before.
| Ckh chapter 8 . 6/12
I would gladly favourite this and leave a end review. The thing is, I'm nowhere near as done reading this and it's against my personal principle to favourite a story before reading the whole review. I'm just chipping in to say that the biomass is still consistently it, if my opinion means anything. Keep up the work and maybe I'll binge the whole after my end of year finals. I don't know.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 31 . 6/12
So I’ve been reading this for a while now. I’m not a great reviewer and I’m sorry I probably won’t be able to leave you the same kind of quality review you left me a while back, but here are some thoughts...
First, the format is probably what sticks out about this story from the beginning. At first, I was interested. Then, as I read on, my mind went “Oh no, it’s like World War Z!” I’ll admit my own prejudice here in that I started expecting this book to have some of the flaws from that book, which had a similar premise to this. When I read that book I immediately decided the format of that book (a collection of interviews with a bunch of unrelated people) wasn’t an appropriate way to tell a story - that book was too edgy, it would talk about some tragic thing that happened for two pages to horrify the reader and then abruptly switch to the next interview so the author didn’t have to bother with narrative structure or consequences of plot points or character development or getting characters into problems and then solving them. I started to expect those problems in this story.
As of yet, I haven’t found them. When I read the letters between Khyarokk and her lover, I braced myself - okay, here’s peak tragedy, there’s going to be a bunch of other short stories like this and I’m not going to be able to care about them. Instead, I saw how this developed. I saw how the universe reacted to this SPIRE attack. I saw how it shaped Khyarrokk’s character. She’s never outright said it, but I can sense that, although I’m sure she’s convinced of her position when she advocates for further SPIRES, I can almost hear her inner voice coming at peace with the tragedy - “They killed him to end the biomass. If they don’t end the Biomass it was all for nothing.” Maybe even more deeply there’s a hint of “The SPIRES killed the person I care about most. Why not everyone else?” So that, chapters later, in the debate scene, the short exchange - “Have you ever known any uninfected person killed by a SPIRE attack?” “Yes.” - had an emotional impact, and it hit HARD.
As the story progresses I see more continuity. Like the POV of the infected person which later became the Biomass ship - we saw the genuine desire from that POV to reach out to a fellow being, to help. Then we saw what the biomass ship was capable of and it was more than just a horror story of a creepy super-ship killing likeable people - it killed likeable people and it was horrible and sad but also knew the ship as a character.
The question of sentience is an interesting one. It brings to mind some earthly parallels of people making arbitrary decisions that other people don’t count as people and fighting each other rather than working together for the benefit of all. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. Pointing fingers at another group and saying “you’re wrong” is easy. Deciding who counts as a person and who doesn’t, who can be trusted and who can’t, is more complicated when we’re talking about different species from different planets. Who has the right to decide? It’s interesting.
I’m less capable of commenting on workdbuilding. I’m not inclined to pay so much attention to that stuff on such a scale as this. I know you’ve said you e provided enough info to piece together the time system but... I’m not inclined to read closely enough to do that. I don’t keep track of which species live on which planets and whatnot. I’m sure that means I miss some things but I don’t feel like it hinders my ability to appreciate the story.
Another thing I appreciate about this story is that I don’t know how it ends. It’s not a frame story set after the biomass is gone or life as we know it is gone. I don’t know what will happen next. Seems simple but it really helps keep my interest.
Overall it is a story of tragedy, but I’m not seeing the cynicism, borderline nihilism I’ve come to expect from apocalyptic fiction - this story has heart, and I appreciate it.
| Ckh chapter 7 . 5/3
I like how we get to see the events of the story unfold through seperate perspectives that feel uniquely individual. Each narrator has their own intepretation of the biomass - some use science to try to explain it, others try to explain it with whatever they can. I like that the narrator in this chapter has a different fomatting style. Little things like these add character to each narrator, like they do have authentic personalities.
Your narrators really contribute to the vast scope of the story and if we were trying to go for an epic overlapping kind of story, well, you got that down.
| Ckh chapter 1 . 4/30
I read till chapter six to seven, and I must say this is prettyyyy good. There is a real sense of a world expanding here and I do like your biological take on the zombie virus. In your story's iteration, they strangely feel all the more otherworldly despite how tangible the virus is in universe. Wonderful stuff. I look forward to reading more of this tomorrow maybe.
| LeagionFear chapter 14 . 4/27
Very well writen, aside from a few words you get the child's vocabulary and speech pretty spot on
| LeagionFear chapter 13 . 4/27
You should watch 'Life' I think you'd like it.
| LeagionFear chapter 10 . 4/27
Having such similar names for the planets is really confusing. Even if they are all from the same star system, the names do not need to all be practically the same, take our own solar system for example. I'm only saying this cause I am getting quite overwhelmed and confused, however, that could also be because I am reading it very fast and I have an awful memory.
| LeagionFear chapter 9 . 4/27
You know what I would like? In depth character sheats for each species. That would both be really helpful to the story, since the taxonomy of each creature seems to relate quite a bit to the plague, and it would give me a greater understanding of each creature you reference. Just a thought. XD
| LeagionFear chapter 8 . 4/26
I must admit with only a little shame at I am disregarding all of the names and species. It is too hard to keep track of. But this style of writing is cool, I get a pretty comprehensive picture without all of the dialogue, but again, why didn't the omniscient-not-person give all of the information?
| LeagionFear chapter 7 . 4/26
MMMM, This is still cool, I like it
| LeagionFear chapter 6 . 4/26
Yes! I like this bit. Though, with a topic such as this one, each and every angle of story telling will have to be covered. I guess I'm just picky.
| LeagionFear chapter 5 . 4/26
I am liking this less, perhaps the science and philology will return, but it is kinda playing out like a zombie flick atm. Still mildly interesting tho