Bill_Ingersoll, The Novelist
I am the author, coauthor, and publisher of thirteen books that I will broadly categorize as "regional non-fiction." Despite being a published writer--or perhaps because of it--I am well aware that getting ahead in this genre is an uphill battle. Therefore, rather than letting some of my story ideas languish or become forgotten, this seems to be a good format to share them.
You are a young recruit in the Astral Navy, serving aboard a minor transport vessel making routine personnel transport runs to Star Base Ishtria. When a malfunction requires the captain to drop the ship out of hyperspace, you find yourself in orbit above Giri Minor--a deserted world with a dark history and circled by uncharted asteroid clouds.
This is a story told in the classical "gamebook" format. This means that it is more narrative-driven and less of a game, and roughly the same length as many printed books in this genre.
- 19 endings, including 4 "preferred" endings, and 1 epilogue
- 1 abandoned colony
- 1 alien with ambiguous motivations
- 16 passengers aboard the transport ship, 4 crew members, but only ??? survivors
- Thousands of sand-dwelling creatures with mind-altering properties
Can you survive Giri Minor?
(c) 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: tomswallpapers.com.
It's been four years since you were rescued from Giri Minor, and because of your heroic actions you have been commissioned as an officer in the Astral Navy. Your first assignment as a newly-promoted lieutenant aboard the Starship Orion: search for the noted xenoanthropologist Dr. Lori Munro and her husband Ander Dyo, who have gone missing on the planet Folvan. As you explore the so-called "Grass Planet," known for its expansive prairie environment and bronze-age civilization, you will find that not all is as it seems.
This is a story told in the classical "gamebook" format. This means that it is more narrative-driven and less of a game, with many unique storypaths resulting from the choices you make.
- 45 endings, with 1 epilogue, told in 105,000 words
- 5 people assigned to your expedition
- 4 missing researchers
- 3 hungry teek-teeks
- 2 Iib Ch'iib raids
- 1 closely-guarded secret... and only 1 way to learn it.
Will you unlock the secret of the Grass Planet?
(c) 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: tomswallpapers.com.
Previously in the Orion Chronicles:
Recent PostsImmortal means Immortal on 9/20/2019 5:41:12 PM
In the well-designed, very orderly Realm of the Architects, I am happy to report that the top three remain the same. I can't say the same for everyone else, though. For those whose commendations were based mostly on reviews, their value plummeted overnight by 33%.
Defeat my Students! on 9/19/2019 9:06:13 PM
These are hilarious:
"Cassie smiled as she clenched John's hand on the edge of an abandoned pier while the sun set gracefully over the water, and as the final rays of light disappeared into a star-filled sky she knew that there was only one thing left to do to finish off this wonderful evening, which was to throw his severed appendage into the ocean's depths so it could never be found again--and maybe get some custard after."
She was like my ex-girlfriend Ashley, who'd stolen my car, broken my heart, murdered my father, robbed a bank, and set off a pipe bomb in Central Park -- tall
Upon hearing he was to appear immediately before the Seturia Nebula's Supreme Council, where, in high ceremony, he would be unclothed, bathed in the sacred Waters of Torg Jas, and presented the uniform of a Qadon Shuu Guardian as reward for his courageous defense of the TH-174 Diijoss Collective against Gnar-al troops from the Xinon-Thur Horde, space adventurer Sunspot Carson could only think, "I picked a helluva Baldorian day to wear ladies panties."
Defeat my Students! on 9/19/2019 6:15:02 PM
I had to submit my own responses to this quiz, to see how I stack up. My problem, though, was that I saw multiple correct answers, depending in part on the context of the sentence.
Years ago I remember coming across this line in a Guiness book of world records, because it had won a contest for "worst sentence":
The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarian tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas roared, 'Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my steel through your last meal.'
The judging criteria were "anticlimax, wordiness, misplaced modifiers, overblown triteness and parody." Regrettably, I have seen this sentence's spawn multiple times in the nether regions of CYS... but I don't think those writers were intentionally trying to be bad.
CYS Book Club: Book Six on 9/19/2019 6:01:04 PM
I think there were two useful plot points in making the locals made out of paper-mache:
- The protag was automatically the strongest person in town, and
- It made the undesirables vulnerable to fire.
There were the scenes where "you" are enlisted in one rebellion or another simply because of your ability to set things on fire. So I think the point jster02 was trying to make was that this was a world full of piñatas, where an ordinary human could be a "lone hero." Yeah, sure, more world-building would be cool, but sometimes an idea is so preposterous that it just falls apart if you take it too seriously.
What I had a problem with was the frequent use of parenthetical asides. I tend to see that as a lack of confidence on the part of the writer, to constantly explain something to make sure the reader gets the intended meaning. I used to do similar things myself... a long time ago.
But what I admire the most was the use of the branching. I don't know how many endings there are in this story, but there were quite a few, with little or no re-combining of branches. One thing I've learned during my time on CYS is that writing a branching story does NOT come naturally to many people, but this storygame was fun to explore — precisely because there was no one branch that answered all questions. Each branch was its own segment of the larger story. If there had been a single branch with an uber-win for an ending, I would have stopped reading right then and there. But since there were multiple good endings, and multiple not-so-good endings — many of them no better or worse than the next — I kept reading until I had explored every branch. Even many of the CYOA books never accomplished that.
On the other hand, a few of the choices could have been set up better. For instance, early in the story there is an option to either help someone or not help. This is kind of a moral choice, and of course we're going to help unless the peril is just too great. As it was executed in the story, choosing not to help in that one case led to a whole lot of other interesting things, and that was a non-sequitur for me.
All in all, though, none of these criticisms are intended to mean that this was a weak story, or that Jster02 is a bad writer. On the contrary, I think the writing will get better with experience. So @jster02: keep on doing what you're doing.
Hopefully some of the others will chime in on this thread too.
CYS Book Club: Book Six on 9/19/2019 12:06:17 AM
Right / Left / Center Paragraph Alignment on 9/18/2019 1:22:26 AM
I just noticed... the ability to align a paragraph to the left, right, or center of a page is missing from the new RTE...
Top/Newly Created category filter features on 9/17/2019 7:05:58 AM
My 2 cents:
For the listing of new games, I would think the ability to filter and sort would add an element of bias. One person reads a new story and rates it a 3, so everybody else filters it out and never sees it. Or everybody just gravitates to their favorite writers.
Which is not to say these things don't happen already. But the new story list is the one time all stories are presented equally, so the emphasis should be in letting people find these stories and coming to their own conclusion, before we're filtering them out of our views because of someone else's ranking.
On the other hand, and option to find games created so far this year might be useful.
Again, just my thoughts. This and a couple bucks will get you a cup of coffee.
CYS Book Club: Book Six on 9/17/2019 6:58:12 AM
Easy choice. I want to recommend Paper-Mache as this week's selection. This was one of the new stories that emerged from Mizal's lone hero contest, and as one of the judges this was my pick for 2nd place. It is certainly a noob's story, and the writing style could use some polish, but I was impressed by both the story and the amount of branching. It made good use of the "Cave of Time" format, and no one branch reveals the entire story.
As a word of caution: Everybody seems to make the same string of decisions on their first read-through, and lands at the same set of somewhat unsatisfactory endings. Be sure to go back and explore the other options. It's rare to see a new writer embrace the branching format so readily, and so I am recommending this story not because it's the best, but because this has been an underappreciated story that as of this morning still only has 9 ratings.
I'm guessing a week should be sufficient for this one.
Several of us have already read/reviewed Paper-Mache already. If you're bored and looking for a few minutes' diversion, I also want to give a shout-out to The Quick Dating Game, a fun and easy little storygame that needs to be rescued from a depressed rating of 4.88.
Hello! on 9/17/2019 6:39:22 AM
Hey there! You get points by being a positive contributor to the community:
- When you read a story on this site, be sure to click on that "End Game" link on the last page and give a rating. That's worth one point. There are hundreds of stories here, so you can earn hundreds of points just by reading.
- If you also leave a quality review of the story, you may get a commendation for it. That's worth a few additional points.
- Noteworthy forum posts (often story fragments that people are working on) might also get commended and earn a few points.
- Publishing a story is worth 10 points. If that story is really good... and this is a high bar... it may get featured, which is worth 100 points.
There are other more incidental ways to earn points as well, but the ones I listed above are the main ones.
CYS Book Club: Book Five on 9/16/2019 7:01:11 PM
It's been a while since this post has seen any activity...
Only a few of us have shared our thoughts on the story. Even if you looked at The Daemonologists and decided it wasn't your cup of tea, that's still a valid comment. Just take a few moments to tell us why!