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CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Okey dokey, @mizal @castorgreatpoetguy @ninjapitka @TurnipBandit @Bill_Ingersoll

I call the first CYS Book Club meeting to order! (If anybody else wants to join along the way, feel free. I'm just kind of making this up as I go along.)

So, since I'm the founding member and all, I'm going to take first pick of which game we're going to be reading. (And then I guess it'll go in order of who joined next until it comes full circle.)

First game we're going to be reading is Inseparable by Mizal. I've been meaning to make my way through the Mizal collection for awhile, and the only game I've read by her so far is "Don't Get Date Raped"... (Which I found extremely useful, though perhaps a bit too serious for a book club.) ^_^

The game only has a play length of 4/8, so I'm going to give everyone a week maximum to read the game and give feedback. But if we've all read the game and shared our thoughts on it before the end of the week, then we can start the next game early.

For anyone who's already played the game before, you can just share your thoughts on what you remember (or just read the game again, I doubt it'll take long) and as for Mizal... Well, you can just bask in our praises and add your own thoughts to our comments on the game... Have fun! ^_^

http://chooseyourstory.com/story/inseparable

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
ah fuck

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Good choice. I did read this one a while back and will read it again. The first time I got a little distracted by the Mork and Mindy reference. I think I was aware of the premise going into the story, so I wasn't shocked by any of it. And as I recall, I was pleased that the actual nature of the relationship was never overtly explained.

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
I won't argue with this but for real though, if you WISH to pick a game by absolutely anyone else feel free to, and just let me get back to you when I have one I want people reading closely.

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Too late! cheeky

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Thank you for the recommendation. I'll start reading it tonight. 

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/9/2019 10:08:03 PM

Here, I analyzed this story a long time ago, just going to repost this from The End Times: 4th Write Edition.

Never did bother with a proper comment on this story, but might as well post one now to take up space for this portion of the issue.

Now I know there’s been more than a few different interpretations of this story. Like for example, for some reason some people thought Mondy was a doll, but those people are retards.

The basic premise of course is Mirk and Mondy were gay lovers, which the village accepted because it obviously was filled with CoGites, but later when the plague hit Mondy died Mirk continued fucking him even in death which is what caused the townsfolk to disapprove.

So it was the necrophilia that was being disapproved of not the sodomy and of course the big reveal is that Mondy’s been dead the whole time.

Some people said that the reveal was obvious which sort of took out some of the major impact of the story, however I see another interpretation of the story.

Basically Mirk and Mondy’s gay love brought doom upon the village, which was complicit in accepting their degeneracy.

The village was fine and then all of a sudden they got the beginnings of a gay nightclub being set up. The plague is representative of the sort of decay of normal civilization when it begins to accept the unnatural as normal.

Now of course Mirk fucking his dead lover shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, I mean he was already a degenerate. What are the boundaries of decency at that point?

While the townsfolk were horrified by this, it was already too late. They had already failed by not being vigilant in keeping their community clean. Even the new priest they had openly condemning the actions wasn’t enough, because words were not enough at that point. Only actions like burning at the stake would have been suitable, but the villagers were too slothful and thus deserved their fate of getting the SUPER AIDS plague.

Anyway, while the story doesn’t have much traditional branching, it’s still very good because it teaches an important lesson on morality and the dangers of being tolerant of degeneracy. Definitely deserving of being featured due to its social importance.

Also it’s pretty much a given that Mirk was Pedo Mod Kiel, and Mondy was Con Mod Seth, so that was a clever use of an in-joke as well.

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
Beautiful as ever. I hope other peeps can manage even a fifth of this quality.
Also, I love this, and will join in next week definitely.

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Why don't you join in this week? There's no deadline (plus I think the whole book club thing was your idea. Correct me if I'm wrong). ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
I have limited and sporadic tine online for the next few days, and since I don't think I have anything to say about "Inseperable" that I didn't say in my review of it, taking off this week is pretty good timing.
I look forward to next week though.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
Fair enough. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

So...do we wait until tea time to share our thoughts or do we just share them whenever? I'm a bit confused on that. I will say that I thought the story was fantastic though.

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Just share them whenever. It's always tea time here! ... Like Wonderland. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago

Ah ok. Didn't know if we were waiting until a set time to avoid spoilers or anything. Thank you for the clarification.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

We're all in different time zones I imagine anyway. So to paraphrase a popular American saying: "It's 5 o'clock tea time somewhere."

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/9/2019 10:08:18 PM

Think I'm just going to copy/paste my review here, since it pretty much sums up everything I thought:

I can just imagine the angry puritans from the church, all gathering outside the poor men's house with torches and pitch forks, chanting, "It's Mork and Mindy, not Mirk and Mondy!" 

Got to say, I was very surprised by the twist at the end. I congratulate you for giving End a run for his money in terms of edginess... Still, I found the relationship between the two men to be very sweet, and for some reason I couldn't really think badly of Mirk, even at the end. Poor little bugger. :( 

Also, incredibly impressed with Mirk's stamina, since at the beginning, you have the option to just repeatedly make love to Mondy as many times as you like in a row without stopping... I guess when you love someone that much, your passion just goes on forever. (Also, very impressed with how well he was... "preserved"... Both inside and out. They must be some potent embalming oils.) ^_^ 

I think my favourite part what the abandoned building in the woods... By the third time I had to click on it, I was practically ripping my hair out with anticipation. I was like... "What? What's in there? What happened? This had better be fucking good!" ... And it was. I definitely didn't see that coming. 

Reading through the comments has got me having second thoughts about the whole story now. I mean originally, I assumed the church and the mother turned against Mirk and Mondy's relationship because "God hates fags" and all that... But now I'm wondering what order everything happened in... I mean, after your son brings his recently embalmed lover over for Sunday dinner, even the most understanding mother is going to raise an eyebrow. :p 

Any way, to sum up... Not exactly sure if it's what you intended, but this was a really sweet love story... I mean, yeah, it was incredibly fucked up, yet still, while the relationship wasn't described in a massive amount of detail, it came across very nicely just how happy the two of them were together... And I'm sure Mondy would have appreciated knowing that their love was strong enough to transcended even death itself. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

14 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/9/2019 10:11:23 PM

So I wasn't a huge fan of the first sentence being a gay sex scene, but that was really my only complaint. I felt really bad for Mirk. The man lost literally everything trying to save the person he loved, and in the end he couldn't save him. It completely shattered the poor man's mind. I mean, yeah, he was dragging around and having sex with a dead body, but its still sad. I mean, that is some serious delusion.

Now, as for how the townspeople treated them, I was under the assumption that Mork was already dead. Notice how the women at the communal house were specifically saying not to come with Mork? That they looked at Mork with unfriendly gazes? And that your mother who was always so supportive of you begged you to leave Mork with her dying words. Mork got sick before your mother. I think that Mirk was dragging around Mork's dead body and that was why the townspeople turned on them. After all, they were all very supportive beforehand. Now, I'm sure you could argue that when something like a plague hits, people often attributed it to God's wrath. They could have thought that God was punishing the town for the relationship. But I just don't think so. I mean, even the priest was fairly supportive of it. I would love to hear other people's interpretations however.

I also really enjoyed the ending to it. It was really sad but it was compelling. I also really love the last sentence as Mirk hangs himself.

"Wherever Mondy has gone, you will find him."

It's just so...messed up. But it just shows that even at the very end Mirk was devoted to Mondy. Obsessively and sickly devoted. I just found that sentence to be very powerful, and very sad.

Thank you for the fantastic story Mizal, and thank you for the fantastic recommendation Avery. I look forward to hearing what the rest of you guys thought of it.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
... And now, suddenly, picturing this poor guy dragging his gay lover's dead body with him everywhere he goes whilst everybody else just gives them weird looks and politely asks if he can please leave his dead boyfriend outside suddenly turns the game into a delightful dark comedy. So many different angles to consider. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
The story was intended to go from sweet and sad to either hilarious or disgusting depending on the reaction to the twist. But the range of interpretations people have had of it have always been so interesting to me. I'd like to do another story like this sometime with things are implied but not outright said because I love reading the responses, I'm just not sure if it's a balancing act I could pull off twice.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
Well, I found it incredibly romantic. Truly, is there really any purer love than the love between a man and his taxidermied, gay, human body pillow? <3

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

For me it went pretty much from sweet, to sad, to sadder. I mean, yeah, him having sex with his deceased gay lover is revolting but we saw inside their mind. They truly deluded themselves into thinking he was alive. I pity the man. Loss can break even the strongest people.

Not saying I wouldn't have had him locked in the oubliette however.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
Well I couldn't very well leave gay necrophilia as merely *optional*, now could I?

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

Well that would be crazy. 

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

Well, reading that was an experience.

I was writing an elaborate review, too, but I clicked submit halfway through sad

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/9/2019 10:08:44 PM

I went into the story knowing the twist, as I think were forum members teasing some poor noob at the time by recommending this as a good "romance." But I have to say, I found it hard to review seriously because I wasn't entirely positive how seriously it was intended by mizal (my Mork and Mindy distraction aside).

I'm not saying I didn't like the story; there was just a level of implausibility that kept me from getting deeply involved in the characters. In some ways, it reminded me of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" in that it was an enthralling read, but it existed beyond the known realm of modern human behavior as I understand it, therefore I was fully aware throughout that I was just reading a story, not a possibility.

I did appreciate that the actual situation was never completely explained--unless there was another, more explicit ending that I missed. I interpret the story to be that the community was tolerant of the gay romance, but when things turned to necrophilia that was a step too far. But then everybody died and there was no one left to judge.

I don't buy the whole "vengeful God" argument one bit, as that is so Old Testament, and not the kinder, gentler God of the New Testament (in which Jesus cavorts with lepers and prostitutes, and then gets himself executed beside a couple common thieves). And at any rate, it is very unlike even the Old Testament God to have such poor aim: in his wrath over the sodomy, he manages to kill everybody but the individual committing the act; that person ultimately has to smite himself.

As I was reading the story, I was unable to place it both geographically and in terms of era. Was this some kind of old-fashioned American setting? If so, even in the nineteenth century there were health departments that would have intervened when the disease started to spread. Is this intended to be some fable set in a mythical Anywhere? This felt more right to me, because as engaging as the writing is, the whole episode seemed to exist within a bubble.

Which is not to say I'm so naive to think that necrophilia doesn't happen; Wikipedia says it's true, therefore it must be.

"Rosman and Resnick (1989) reviewed information from 34 cases of necrophilia describing the individuals' motivations for their behaviors: these individuals reported the desire to possess a non-resisting and non-rejecting partner (68%), reunions with a romantic partner (21%), sexual attraction to corpses (15%), comfort or overcoming feelings of isolation (15%), or seeking self-esteem by expressing power over a homicide victim (12%)."

If this were a question for Family Feud--survey says!--then I would have expected the "rapey" aspects of the first and last categories to be the primary motivations (taking advantage of a fresh corpse that can't say no or report you to the police, or taking advantage of the person whom you just killed yourself). The case of Mirk and Mondy would seem to fall into that 21% category of desiring a reunion with a partner, or that 15% of cases where someone is trying to overcome a sense of isolation. So I guess these things do happen; it's just that I struggle with the concept of it happening so openly without someone coming along to put an end to it.

And so with that layer of incredibility, I read the story with interest, but I couldn't tell where mizal was going with it. Mirk and Mondy are carefully contained within their story, but they are not people I would expect to encounter in the real world.

As for mizal stories with a twist ending, I liked "Agent of Order" much better... although I rushed through my initial reading of that story, and need to go back and give it more attention someday.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

I imagined the setting was more of a fictional town with perhaps a 16th or early 17th century level of technology. Actually, it reminds me a lot of pre-Peter the Great Russia. The churches were still the main form of medical care, towns were left to essentially fend for themselves despite there being well learned doctors in the cities, things like iron stoves were around but very expensive, communal houses, cottages, etc. It felt like it could have been a real place, just in a fairly niche period of time. The only thing that would make it fictional is the whole "Its okay to be gay" thing. 

As for the whole vengeful God thing, yeah I didn't really subscribe to that either. But then again, the God from the Old Testament and New Testament are essentially two different entities (at least in my religion). So perhaps these people worshipped the wrong God? But I was of the impression that it was a fantasy religion. Not sure why, but I kind of got that in my head.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
Think I'm going to hold off until the end of the week to go into my explanations or thoughts on the story in more detail. I'm enjoying reading these posts and I don't want to kill any discussion by going 'no this is what it's ACTUALLY about' before anyone interested gets a chance to read it themselves. And I'm a big believer in the whole death of the author approach to interpreting things anyway.

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago
I think I'll probably start the next Book Club meeting early, since almost everyone's read the game and shared their thoughts on it already... Maybe give it till the end of Wednesday. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

13 days ago

I think I'll join this. I'll be sure to post my thoughts after I read it. Of course I'll do that before Wednesday 

CYS Book Club: Book One

12 days ago
Okey doke, since everyone's read and reviewed the game already, I think I'll make a start on the next one. Of course, if anyone's late to the show, feel free to still read and share your thoughts on the game. It's a fun one to talk about. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book One

11 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/9/2019 10:09:27 PM
You guys move fast. Some of us are busy during the week *cough* don't check my "Last played" in Discord. I actually rated Inseparable super high my first time around. I gave it a 7. Don't worry your little lowercased m, mizal, I kept it a seven during this play through. Here are my thoughts rereading Inseparable:

It’s hard (no pun intended) not to comment on the opening scene of Inseparable. I find the whole idea of startling birds by having sex hilarious, although maybe my maturity level is just at a six year old's. I remember the first time I heard about “hooking your reader” (not to be confused with 'hooking up with your reader') was in fifth grade. The teacher gave us a list of potential hooks: questions, action, dialogue, etc., which Inseparable definitely utilizes. She should have included “sex” on that list because I was thrust into the story from the first page (pun intended). Actually the first time I read this, it didn’t even strike me that the lovers were two doods. I must have skimmed by the second page because it’s obvious when your mother is calling you “her dear boy, Mirk”. I must have missed the LGTBTQKYS tag and the countless other tells as well (i.e. is that a stick of firewood in your pocket or just regular wood?). Maybe I just forgot the story was about gay boys. It explains the circumstance they're in, but didn't add or detract from the story much in my opinion.

Anyway, the overall theme is quite grim. From Mondy’s health, the lonely feelings, even your maple tree has a dead, decaying feel to it. I mean, the story opens with background of forsaking your family and entire village for Mondy… then your mom dies…. then Mondy is about to die... what’s next? Your dick falls off? Plus, when you’re rolling search checks in the village, it’s empty. Everyone’s either gone or died. It’s like the reverse of Sodom and Gomorrah. I forget what people commented about the lack of branching, but I don’t mind the linear story. The link choices aren’t really choices since you’re forced to basically click them all until you reach the end. The false choice style doesn’t really bother me either because it doesn’t take away anything from the story. You also don’t usually notice it’s a false choice until you replay the story. The story is mostly driven through past events. I guess it sort of makes sense as you’re pretty much the only character that can walk in the story. It’s a bit circular as the basic format is: Go to X. Have a memory (roll for search check). Go back. Go to Y. Have a memory (search). Go back. I don’t have any complaints about the cyclical story nature. After the first two links you just expect what’s about to happen next.

It’s a short, simple storygame with a higher level of writing than most of the site. The theme is very consistent throughout. There weren’t many characters, but from the memories everyone seemed to act within their character arc. The characters were essentially the lovers and the haters aka the whole town. The character’s seemed rather generic. I didn’t read any quirks or characteristics that cemented them as unique in my mind. The most unique thing about them is probably their names. For a short storygame, that didn’t really take away from anything. It’s short, simple, and engaging to read.

Best line in the whole story: “Hell, wood is wood. I can use this”. Ha! Gaaaaay!

CYS Book Club: Book One

10 days ago
Avery got double commendations for the featured comment and then for copying her post over, whoops. So I did the same for Turnip to to be fair. But I can see I'm going to have to keep better track of this stuff and also probably shouldn't try to on mobile...

CYS Book Club: Book One

10 days ago

Actually, everything I wrote in this thread has been unique to this thread. I did just copy and paste my review on this weeks book club (Dolls Quest one), but that's mostly because I am pretty ill right now and typing is kind of difficult. I will however attempt to write a unique review for CYS Book Club: Book Two if that is preferable. 

Edit: Rewrote it. I feel a lot better about it now too. 

CYS Book Club: Book One

10 days ago
My post is unique as well. I think the whole Book Club thing should be more discussion based rather than simply copying down your comment, but I get it. You're spending lots of time dissecting the story, so why not post it for those who stumble on the storygame and don't read the Book Club thread.

CYS Book Club: Book One

10 days ago
I don't see any real issue with copying a review if it's one that was just written and it covers everything you would have said anyway, just I wouldn't feature a review PLUS commend the post that says the same if I'm paying attention.

Anyway, hope you feel better soon.

CYS Book Club: Book One

8 days ago

I understand. And thank you for the well wishes. I really appreciate that.

CYS Book Club: Book One

10 days ago
Lol. I'll take it. ^_^