End Book 3

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This book turned out a bit different from what I first planned.  The end of it sort of grew into something a lot more mental than I thought I would want to write.  I had fun with it though, and it certainly served to answer lots of questions.

Where do I plan on going from here?

As I’ve mentioned in a few places, the purpose of these first books is world building.  Partly for myself, partly for other people.

Bob, from this point on, believe it or not, will not have a huge advantage over others.  There are forces at work that aren’t going to let Bob be a demigod to humanity.  More about that in the beginning of the next book 🙂

I’d really like people’s opinions about what they liked and what they didn’t.

Favorite chapters?

Chapters that you would prefer I simply burn and rewrite, or simply burn?

I will say that I’m planning on pulling Bill and Kirk in for the next book.  Several people commented that they were enjoyable characters, and I’m going to need to start somewhere 🙂

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  1. underwhelmingforce

    My favorite part, all-time, is the pool tournament, because there’s some really nice interpersonal interaction, followed by the holocaust reenactment, because that shows the ramifications of what Bob had done up to that point, and Bob can’t stop it. It’s one of the first times he faces something like that, and it has a really strong impact because if that.

    Book two stuff… I’ll have to think about.

  2. George Maddux

    I’ve enjoyed the world building. I hope you don’t mind some constructive criticism; generally, I think you should focus on character development more than you are and specifically I don’t think skipping years in the middle of a chapter is a good idea.

    • farmerbob1

      I definitely plan to do more character development as opposed to world building as I move forward. I think that part of the reason why people liked Bill and Kirk as much as they did was because I put some time into character development there. Most of the rest of the side characters didn’t get much development. Mouse and Jason got some development, which is why I introduced them. I wanted to have something more than a couple introductions. Ayva, at the end, got some development, but I had some reservations about what I did with her. I was expecting at least a few comments on how I portrayed her and her relationship with Bob.

      As for the time skip mid-chapter, I assume you mean 3.23 with the one year jump. I understand that it is irritating to skip time like that, but at the same time, the point was that Frank literally spent centuries of subjective time studying that chip, because Bob said it had important data in it. I didn’t put much else in the chapter other than Frank, because that’s what this chapter was all about.

      Bob, while setting this up, knew that all he needed to do was leave a piece of the superconductive material on the bed and Frank would find it with his DNA on it, setting up Frank to dig into the past a bit and try to make everything make sense, knowing it wouldn’t all make sense. That was the biggest reason for it, to force Frank to think.

      The braille message inside was simply too good of an opportunity to zing Frank. Maybe it wasn’t ‘his’ Frank, but close enough. Same thing with the message. Providing useful information, and pushing Frank’s curiosity buttons at the same time.

      Frank won’t fall for that again, even if the opportunity presents itself, so it had to be really good the first time.

      Age means very little to Symbiotes, other than giving an indication of what era the human half originated in, they are effectively immortal unless involved in an accident or foul play. That doesn’t mean I’ll skip time in substantial chunks regularly, but I won’t hide from a bit of time skipping now and then.

  3. Eric

    My favorite parts? Bob being a demigod. Seriously, when he’s just a regular guy that takes out most of the fun, even if it’s a world where regular guys are superhuman. So that was pretty disappointing, where you took away his return to demigod status (which was about the same as when he was the only person with an unlocked symbiote in the world) using deus ex, then led us to believe he was getting it back, and now say, nope, he’ll just be joe schmoe for the rest of the story. Granted, I guess that’s better than making me read the rest of the story to find that through some convoluted plot workings he’s never anything special ever again. I’ve mostly enjoyed this and all, but I think I’ll move onto something else now. I tend to like stories where the protagonist is extraordinary in his own world, and faces extraordinary challanges, as opposed to the other kind. If you want stories of ordinary protagonists facing ordinary or even playing a part in extraordinary challenges, you can just read regular realistic fiction or thrillers and get that generally with a lot better writing and character development and world building and all that jazz than you get in sci-fi/fantasy because its a larger and more competitive market.

    • farmerbob1

      Bob’s never going to be a regular guy, but he’s also never going to appreciate being so different he can’t relate to others. At least not until he figures out how to handle a few things. He does get the abilities back. Sortof. Heh.

      I can’t make everyone enjoy what I write. I’m fine with that.
      I also recognize that my writing has lots of room for improvement. I’m fine with that too.

      Thanks for reading and giving me some comments that I can consider!

    • dalek955

      Personally, the demigod thing was actually the part I liked LEAST. I love a good story about super-weight characters, and I’m fine with revolutionizing the world based on them if it’s well done and tells a good story (which you did). However, deus-weight characters like Demigod Bob or Argoen (who comes close to author-weight, and she’s one of many!) tend to strike me as more scary than interesting, as they become less like characters and more like massive weights on the world.

  4. Elaborate

    Just read the first three books today. The story was entertaining, and made me think a bit, which I appreciate.
    I liked the way the backstory info evolved gradually, with the right timing to answer my realizations of “Wait, that can’t be right, what about X?”, sometimes precluding them.
    I particularly liked the “badass grandpa” bit, and the run-down-a-mountain bit was fun.
    Occasionally, I felt that you should “show, don’t tell” more, or exposit slightly less to get better pacing, or switch things up a bit to make things more dynamic. For example, in the hacking+president-talk part in book 3, maybe cutting the chapter after “I didn’t have to do a damn thing!” and making the next one be from the perspective of Mr. Donner, would’ve let Donner summarize a lot of info without mentioning it out loud.
    But then again, I read three books in one day, so clearly it was gripping enough 😉

    As someone who has studied molecular biology, the only thing that really bothered me, technobabble-wise, was the explanation of “Juice”.
    Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a hormone/neurotransmitter; a message molecule which in big doses says basically “Red alert! Engines to 110% and hang the maintenance budget!”. It’s not really useful as a fuel source – though it could be metabolized, simpler-built molecules like fatty acids or glycogen would be better since they require fewer steps to break down. The hyperoxygenized part is right though; oxygen supply is the main limiting factor in excertion – we get lactic acid buildup in our muscles when we run out of oxygen and the muscles switch to emergency oxygen-less processes.
    Also, if dogs started targeting Juice, I’d expect it would be simple to switch the recognized compounds around to something with 90% of the effect. (Probably, they’d be recognizing a particular metabolite, though, which makes things harder.)
    Having the juice store oxygen in the form of ozone linked to some kind of carrier molecule, in order to save space might give a recognizable smell, though. The ozone would disappear quickly, but a carrier or some kind of ozone-stabilizing compound might remain long enough for dogs to pick it up days afterwards.

    • farmerbob1

      Thanks for the comments, and Thanks for reading!

      If I do end up coming back and doing a rewrite from scratch after all I’ve learned writing, I’ll probably change the “Juice” to be hyperoxygenated glycogen rather than adrenaline. It does make more sense, and it will allow Bob to actually experience adrenaline which Frank typically does not allow because it would be a waste of energy.

  5. Mian

    Story’s strong, though I confess I found myself skipping some of the technobabble to get to the rest of the story. Not sure if you’ll like that or not — reading this straight through made that much more likely than portion by portion (ha! jewish joke).

    I think this reads a lot stronger than Reject Hero, particularly in the beginning. It’s not that there’s no motivation in Reject Hero — it’s that the main character seems to be getting the best of everyone for too long.

    • farmerbob1

      It would be foolish of me to expect everyone to appreciate my technobabble 🙂

      To be honest, I painted myself into a corner with Reject Hero. Making him into a interesting character can be very hard at times, because of the lack of ability to interact when he’s a super.

      Bob and Frank, to me, seemed to have an even bigger issue with being too powerful. Most of the meaningful conflict in the books is against the environment or against themselves. I always intended that Bob and Frank would be very powerful in their world, but as I started to explore the limits of power, it got a bit out of hand. Reject Hero is an exercise for me to have a powerful character who does not grow substantially more powerful.

      What I am considering for my next writing project is either a complete rewrite of Symbiote, or a story with no superhuman powers. The most important part of the next project is that I’m going to try to create a story framework, rather than just writing with a vague goal.

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