Utopia Planitia

Player Rating5.02/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 19 ratings since 05/22/2020
played 492 times (finished 24)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

UP TitleBetha Willamon is a citizen of the city of Utopia Planitia, a former American colony on Mars and an important shipyard for the production of deep-space exploration vessels. In its heyday it was a thriving city, built under the Martian surface. But ever since the despot known as Colonel Green took control, living conditions in U.P. have become soul crushing… and no one is allowed to leave.

When Betha hears a rumor of a U.S. Space Force expedition that has recently landed nearby on the surface of Mars, she dreams of fleeing to a place where trees grow tall and people swim in fresh water. But is it even possible to escape Utopia?

Choose from two versions of this story:

  • Tiny 'Topias Jam Version: 2250 words, 15 pages, 6 endings
  • Expanded Version: 11,434 words, 31 pages, 10 endings


© 2020 Bill Ingersoll

Image source: goodfon.com

Player Comments

Utopia Planitia is certainly good. It was quite an experience to read the full version after the "Tiny 'Topia" version and get an idea of what Ingersoll may have been unsatisfied by in his original writeup of this story.

2250 words is a painful limiter, especially for a writer whose works exceed 50k routinely, and I believe your expository style made this even more difficult a challenge, frontloading the beginning pages and then rushing a few endings. (Not to say that I don't understand. I exceeded the limit myself because of this issue.)

For all of the difficulties mounted against you here, the shorter version is good. I would've prefered, however, to have seen a departure from your usual style. Something that could've really enhanced the feeling of paranoia that this plot revolves around, while also decreasing your word count, giving you more wiggle room.

The expanded version adds a bit more information to some of the endings and another fairly extensive route that takes place of one of the former endings. I will say that I like the decision to not give a definitive "good ending", keeping things rather ambiguous. Always an acceptable decision, kind of like having a first choice death link if it adds to the story.

Weirdly enough nearly every ending has something added onto it in the expanded version, aside from the Shop ending. I agree with Mara's assessment. It's just downright odd, she goes into a shop, gets put in a headlock, and then rape is insinuated. I chalked it up to another rushed ending in the short version, but then it's the same in the expanded version? I mean you already put so much effort into expanding it, might as well give more information for that ending, right?

I gave it a 5/8. I liked it overall but there was definitely room for improvement.
-- TheChef on 5/23/2020 12:02:50 AM with a score of 102
Nice story but just a little too short. I wanted this to be complex and a much deeper story.
-- Yandeleon on 6/16/2020 11:49:54 PM with a score of 105

I really liked Utopia Planitia. Truth be told, it's one of the shortest books I've read on the site but that takes nothing away from it. The grammar and punctuation are almost immaculate and the amount of description given is sufficient to paint an immersive picture of the protagonist's feelings, fears, hopes and surroundings. The story progresses in a way that feels natural, which is very good, and the endings don't feel forced or rushed. In my opinion the book does a very good job of giving an accurate feel of life under a tyrant. It's science fiction, but also has genuine struggles and feelings that real people have every day.

I don't really have anything negative to say about this book - just suggestions. It would be nice if the author maybe made a spinoff that takes place during the time Green took over the government. It would also have been nice to have had more of her backstory and family in the story as well. That would have helped me sympathize more with the protagonist. Why did Gideon betray her? How did she and Axelia become friends? Who exactly were those shady revolutionaries? These are questions I would love to be answered.

THE VERDICT? 7/8. Very good book. Would definitely recommend.
-- Ytterbius on 6/5/2020 8:06:03 PM with a score of 106
Beware the spoilers that are below.

I stumbled upon the writing jam by accident so I decided to give a look to one of the stories and see if I might join in. Still unsure of that, but I will give you a rating and a little review.

The story was made quite well according to the given length. The very short number of words did take away clearly from the depth of the characters and the plot, but i did enjoy the short read none the less.
I take it the missing of an ending where you succeed in the escape is also because of the lack of words. It makes it a bit sad that you technically loose at every ending, but it was a good approach to creating a false utopia.
-- LJacko on 5/11/2020 2:45:54 AM with a score of 2
Your quality of writing is there same as you solid level of edition. However, and due to the limit of word account The main character, is shallow, even stupid and the plot predictable. I didn't like the gratuitous rape allusions in the Shop ending, it doesn't add anything of value and is just there as cheap shock. You are a far better writer than this.
-- poison_mara on 5/11/2020 1:26:40 AM with a score of 3
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