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  #4981  
Old 04-20-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
The entire(?) thing dropped. It's a long novella in two parts. I've read half, and probably will read the other half tomorrow. I think it's... good?
I look forward to reading it on my phone over the next few days.
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  #4982  
Old 04-21-2019, 05:32 AM
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I just finished both halves and my brain is still pounding. I think Meat was more enjoyable and satisfying than Candy at first brush, although they were obviously impossible to tease out from each other, despite the illusion of choice presented at the start. Meat had far and away the more, uh, visceral narrative conceit of the two, I think. Honestly I can't imagine having read Candy before Meat so I'd love to hear from anyone who did.

From a personal representation standpoint I was also a little sad to see Roxy jettison a gender non-binary identity by the end of Meat, even though I bet some folks are jazzed as heck about him embracing male pronouns and I'm really happy for them. But for a bit there it felt really good to have a character who had come to identify as something beyond or outside a male-female dichotomy, particularly in a way that, if only briefly, appeared to treat it as something more than a waypost or intermediate phase on the way from one option to the other.

But in the end I think these will be harder to revisit simply because they were a goddamn book, no two ways about it. By the last half of the second volume I read my noodle was simply crying out for a slightly animated top image to break up the walls of text and dialogue.
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  #4983  
Old 04-21-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by locit View Post
Honestly I can't imagine having read Candy before Meat so I'd love to hear from anyone who did.
Hi! I did this, (spoilers for the entire thing here) and boy do I wish I hadn't. Without the initial context of Meat, Candy reads like a very long, very slow burn reprise of the Trickster Mode bits of Act 6. Which was obviously the point: Rose, in the Meat path, mentions that both paths feel like a single idea taken to its unhealthy extreme, and Candy is the "coffeeshop AU" version of Homestuck's ending, where there's no real conflict and everyone pairs off into stable relationships and we just follow how nice a time everyone's having. (Up until all of that stops being true, even in Candy.) The one bit that works really well by reading Candy first is getting to the part in Meat where Dirk takes over and getting the realization of what Calliope's story to Aradia was about over in Candy.

But while I get the broader thematic point both paths are making...Candy, in particular, barely felt like a Homestuck story and I found myself restless and bored with it well before it was over. Jane seemed wildly out of character in both paths but especially in Candy, where the timeline advanced far enough for her to become a different character altogether. Getting to Meat afterward was almost a relief; even though this version of Dirk still doesn't bear much resemblance to the one we knew from the main story, you can at least see how he'd get here from there, unlike Jane's abrupt slide into bigoted fascism.

I want to reiterate that I get it, and I understand the point they're making by presenting all of this through an AO3 lens. None of this is supposed to feel "satisfying" by design, and if you're unhappy (as I was) with the direction some or most of the characters go*, you're invited to read it as fanfic that's literally "outside of canon." But as an actual epilogue hosted on the actual Homestuck website, I sort of wish I hadn't bothered spending hours reading either of them.

*Not talking about Roxy here, that part was cool and fine. More talking about how weird it was for both paths to present Dave and Karkat as being unable to admit their feelings for each other, and for Jane and Dirk both becoming out-and-out evil, and whatever the hell is going on with Jake in either path.
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  #4984  
Old 04-21-2019, 02:22 PM
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I read the whole thing over the last 24 hours. It was good. Not like, feel-good good, or catharsis good, but just... Homestuck good. I got what I expected to get. Which is to say, more time with characters I've grown attached to and an engaging story for them to inhabit that messes with my expectations exactly enough for me to be unable to know where we're headed until we're already there.

I started in Meat and switched over to Candy. actually, (spoilers for the whole goddamn thing do not click if you haven't finished) at the very moment the narrative hints that it might be an interesting idea, which is to say, midway through Meat 25. I think it reads as the most Complete version of the story, to be honest? Might be coloured by the fact that it's how I first experienced it, but hey, I'll never know. I do think the John-Terezi interactions are far more satisfying this way, and alt-Calli's arrival in Meat becomes a smooth segue rather than an abrupt cut after Dirk.
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  #4985  
Old 04-21-2019, 08:36 PM
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I alternated between candy and meat chapters and found that to be an extraordinarily satisfying experience, except near the very end when candy is a few chapters shorter than meat. The obvious WEIGHT and GRISTLE of meat counterbalancing the more insubstantial but intriguing levels of "Sweetness" that provided.
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  #4986  
Old 04-21-2019, 09:46 PM
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So yeah, all those content warnings are accurate.

I have to say I appreciate how metafictional it gets. A character in the story achieving an apotheosis that lets them become the narrator, exerting influence on the characters' minds because their inner monologue is narrated, contending for narrative influence with another ascended character, and growing into an increasingly antagonistic role as he lashes out in narcissistic rage is so very, very MSPA. Really dark, too.
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  #4987  
Old 04-22-2019, 04:20 PM
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I hate to be that kind of person, but for myself... no degree of metanarrative bullshit and classical character voices make up for the textually-horrifically-sexualized mess, erasure of queer relationships, and the mocking deliberately-bad drivel running half of the piece. The co-authors saying "we need conflict to move forward" just papering over such is disgusting, and this being official material that people praise (even if "canon" is nonsense) makes me wish I never read webcomics.
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  #4988  
Old 04-22-2019, 05:15 PM
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Erasure of queer relationships? What?
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  #4989  
Old 04-22-2019, 07:34 PM
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Man.

That sucked
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  #4990  
Old Yesterday, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Erasure of queer relationships? What?
Yo for real, that shit was queer as the dickens.

Still digesting but I think it pretty much works on the whole, even if I'm not eager to revisit any time soon. The further I read the more it resonated with current events and projected them forward in a way that was frankly pretty unsettling while also remaining narratively self-contained and (from my reading) entirely consistent with the personalities and motivations of every pro/antagonist featured to a really admirable degree.
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