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Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! / The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! --Allen Ginsberg, "Footnote to Howl"
The NaNoWriMo project of troper Kriegsaffe No 9. The first book (of a planned three) is nearing completion. You can find it at his website here. He swears he'll stop adding tropes to this entry after this one... last... edit... and leave the thing to its own devices.
The story involves an ensemble cast as they inadvertently take part in a massive bid for power by an unknown force. Well, some of them do so inadvertently...
Among the characters are Shell, a holy woman who is 13 years old and 13 years pregnant; her bodyguard Pom, an awkward yet thoroughly badass wasp girl; Culex Nit, Pom's adoptive mother and the leader of their people; Casse Ulrich, a tragic lady with a dark secret; and Madeline Blueberry, a humble but skilled baker who is not who she seems.
Book 1, Leaving Hope, is complete and may be found here. It's currently undergoing a second draft, which involves some sweeping changes to the story. Book 2, A Fool's Devotion, is on hiatus, but scheduled for completion this NaNoWriMo.
This story provides examples of:
- The Abridged Series: Serves the dual purpose of recapping the story and taking the piss out of it.
- All There in the Manual: There's a prequel series, "Beginnings," which lays out some of the back story for the story. One earlier story is essentially a prototype for the novel and is currently non-canon.
- There are several other side stories which may be integrated into the novel at various points.
- And I Must Scream: The fate of spiders struck down by wasps.
- Asshole Victim: Fitz.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: The World Devourers, which are spiders big enough to crush buildings.
- Barrier Warrior: Shell, and other members of her lineage.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Incarnates are all female, each with their own method of reproduction, along with other genetic quirks and oddities which define their specie.
- Butch Lesbian: Pom is tall, athletic, and has short hair (though in this setting every woman has short hair unless they are mothers).
- Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Incarnates all look human despite being called cockroaches, wasps, etc. The actual insects and arachnids are called motes, e.g. cockroach motes, wasp motes, etc.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Razorborn cybernetics is most definitely impossible. It works anyway.
- Death By Origin Story: Casse's husband and daughter.
- Entry Pimp: (cough cough)
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Casse, in the first draft, before she was reassigned to protagonist in the coming revision.
- Fitz, too, colloquially known to fans and the author as Slutty Mc Slutslut and variants.
- Face Full of Alien Wingwong: How the wasps reproduce--it involves paralyzing a spider with a sting, then impregnating their still-living bodies with broodlings.
- Giant Spider: Were-spiders are the boogeymen of the setting, and not without cause.
- Girls Love: One of the themes of the novel.
- Gray and Gray Morality: Another theme.
- Important Haircut: Hair is an important social signifier in the setting, particularly for women. For example, only mothers may grow their hair long. Casse has very short hair, save for one long lock. In-setting, this is the haircut of a mother who's lost her children, shaving their heads save for one lock per lost child.
- Has Two Mommies: Most of the younger characters, due the One-Gender Race thing going on.
- Hollywood Cyborg: The Razorborn make no sense whatsoever, and they like it that way, thank you very much.
- Kick the Dog: Wasps kick the dog just to continue existing. Spiders kicked the dog one too many times.
- Kill It with Fire: IIRC, Pom gets ahold of a flamethrower-y thing towards the climax of the book. It's easily a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- That would be an actual flamethrower mounted for a cyborg's giant robot body. Fire in general is a good weapon to use against spiders, particularly when delivered by grenades.
- Luminescent Blush: Pom sports one near the end of Book 1 after being glomped by Shell.
- NaNoWriMo: Written during National Novel Writing Month. It's the author's first book. The sequel's getting finished up this November!
- One-Gender Race: One of the traits of Incarnates is that they are apparently all-female. It's a little more complicated than that, but not by much.
- One Head Taller: Pom is not only one head taller--by Book Two, Shell won't get much taller, but Pom will stabilize at around seven feet or so.
- Our Werewolves Are Different / Our Vampires Are Different: Spiders take on the role of both werewolf (animalistic combat-ready brawler) and vampire (suave, intelligent plotter with a supernatural edge). That's the stereotype, at least.
- Petting Zoo People: Used, played with, and averted. Cockroaches have no visual traits in common with cockroach motes (as they're called) beyond brown skin and hair, unless they're one of a handful that resemble human-sized normal ol' cockroaches. Wasps can sprout wings at will and wear color-coded armor based off of spider wasp color patterns, but otherwise look human. Spiders, scorpions, and mosquitoes look human until it's too late.
- Power Creep, Power Seep: For version 2, everyone goes up one level.
- Retcon: It's not technically a retcon if the story's not finished yet, is it? Still, some major details are going to be changed for the second version.
- Shapeshifting: Spiders, scorpions, and mosquitoes can transform into giant versions of regular arthropods. Mosquitoes turn into man-sized mosquitoes. Spiders, depending on their breed, on average turn into something the size of a horse. Scorpions turn into something the size of a small house.
- Stalker with a Crush: Hoo boy, Aren.
- Steampunk: Just a smidgen in the Razorborn. They're actually powered by a combination of tiny nuclear power plants and the desire to transcend physical limits. They're not the only ones who love nuclear power...
- Tear Jerker: Casse's backstory ohgod. This Troper has next to no maternal instinct, and yet... *sob*
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Shell is small and academic, Pom is tall and athletic.
- Troperiffic: I browse TV Tropes on my lunch breaks... and in class when there's not much going on... and at home... so you've all rubbed off on me quite a bit.
- The Unfavorite: Fitz is widely loathed by her teammates, while Culex is widely loathed by wasp society at large.
- Villain Protagonist: Depending on how you look at it, Casse may be the protagonist of the first book. Otherwise, the wasps do some pretty horrible stuff in the line of duty.
- Walking the Earth: The first book originally centered around a pilgrimage taken by the protagonists.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Shell is one of the few magic-users on the Bough. What's the one spell she's allowed to cast? Soul cage, which creates an orb of force around a human-sized target. And that's it.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: But that's all she'll need it to do...