- Traumatising content
Eight Thousand Years after the Glassing of Earth, Terran Descent Humanity has largely become a post-scarcity society based on consent and enjoying life. With the discovery of another ancient race beyond the "Great Gulf", events and history collide to draw the Terran Confederacy into war against an hundred million year old empire that has always won and believes it always will. With allies and enemies of multiple species, the Orion Galactic Arm Spur will be wracked by warfare the likes of which have not been seen. Cracked, harried, wounded, and damaged, Terran Descent Humanity willfully throws itself against the universe itself.
"The universe hates you and will take away everything you love, laughing while it does so." - Terran belief.
A wiki is available (although under construction) at: https://fcgestalt.fandom.com/wiki/First_Contact_Gestalt_Archive_Wiki
Told largely from the viewpoint of other species, the story is currently ongoing. It involves graphic depictions of violence, war, adult language and situations, drug use, and other mature topics.
The story will be updated on weekdays, so keep an eye on this page for more chapters.
The story is 400+ chapters, and repeating characters do not start appearing until the Vuxten chapters. If you're in a hurry for repeating characters then this story will not be enjoyable to you. The interwoven plot is not based on a single person but the entire war, with its effects upon multiple people.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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This story is amazing! It conveys so much emotion and I can really feel like I'm there in the trenches with the troops. It has great humor and wit, fantastic characters, and the potential of this story is seemingly endless.
Having said that, there are a couple drawbacks. In regards to grammar, this author is simply amazing for the vast majority of the time. I can't remember a single their, there, they're or two, to, too mistake. However, most chapters have at least one word that is simply the wrong one. Several chapters have multiple. Considering the authors grasp of the English language, it's incredibly jarring and immediately breaks the immersion.
The style of how this story is written is definetly something I can see as being a negative to some people. It often jumps around and there will be multiple POV switches within a chapter without any line break to let you know. You'll go from fighting dangerous flora on foot to suddenly being inside a tank in the next sentence.
Additionally, the author frequently writes as if we are already supposed to know his thoughts. This is extremely frustrating as there is no possible way we can read his mind and know what he intended, but didn't write. Most times, the various alien species are barely described beyond having fur, muzzles, brief descriptions of claws, and having tails/wings. The broodmothers, for example, have only been described as having very fluffy tails that podlings can hide in, they have fur, are very meek, and they sing. That's it. How tall are they? How many arms/legs do they have? Body shape? Weight? Color scheme? Number of eyes/ears?
In addition to that, the author wrote multiple chapters about a horror space station, had literally 2 sentences about a face in a star, and then claimed that we should have known it was a Dweller Spawn. This is despite the fact that up to that point, we have had zero descriptions of what a Dweller Spawn is, does, or looks like. Dweller Spawn had only been mentioned in passing in a bare handful of senteces in the previous ~150 chapters and then it was in the tone of: "We don't want to have the dweller spawn attack again." OK, but how does that equate to a face in a sun? Plus, the word Dweller Spawn never once came up in those specific chapters, so how someone could connect those dots is beyond me.
In spite of my gripes about the story, this is an amazing one. Despite them, this story is fantasticly done and is well worth your time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
A quick note, I've been reading this series since the very first short was posted on the r/hfy subreddit, Every evening I feel the whispers give me a heads up just before the story gets updated (it's a thing, see the reddit posts for details).
Now, this story has a special place in my heart and such I am completely biased. I normally try to be objective in my reviews but I love this one too damn much. Disclaimer out of the way, lets begin.
Ralts writes in a way that invokes humor and powerful emotion in nearly equal parts. Nothing is shown or told without relevance to the universe, the history, and characters. Every moment is either amusing or suspenseful, his mastery of properly timed comic relief, and powerful emotional writing shines throughout the series, with the Second Telkan War being a fantastic example of this.
Imagine human history became a jumbled mess of ideas, history, fiction, memes, and records all lumped together in a shattered amalgam of information. In the world of First Contact, humanity has been traveling the stars for thousands of years, dark secrets and forgotten history a hallmark of their mad civilization. We have friends in the form of other races, and our descendants such as the Clone Worlds, the Digital Sentience Systems, and more. At first glance the universe seems to be a random bunch of pop culture references and slapdash humor, but as you read on you discover more and more of the terrible history, you learn WHY things are the way they are, and begin to understand it on a level that is hard to describe without a massive dissertation. Suffice it to say, its epic.
The story itself follows a collection of people, one person per arc typically, and shows you the universe from their perspective. This allows the tone of the story to drastically alter itself based on the subject matter and viewpoint, allowing for fascinating, complex stories to be told in a (relatively) short format.
Ralts has impeccable grammar, and in the event of a mistake being pointed out it is quickly fixed, as rare as they are.
There is not a single character in First Contact without a deep backstory that you only get hints of through their conversations and actions. Every character introduced has a purpose, every character feels rich and developed, the Show Don't Tell method used with exacting detail. There a quite a few characters, as this is more of an anthology than a traditional adventure story, but it flows together to create a single over-arching narrative that will keep you hooked from the moment a strange little bug takes a lick of ice cream.
So your 'TLDR' is that this is REALLY good. If you have even the slightest inkling that you want to read epic science fiction, give this a try.
The story has a massive scope, entire stellar empires getting wiped out massive. There are a lot of POVs which at times can be good, but at times is a distraction. I know that some of the story arcs feel like throw aways that I scim past because I just don't care. That said, when it works (most of hte time) it WORKS. The chapters skim past quickly and it's hard to put down.
Overall good, but I noticed the occasional missing word that threw me off. Not enough to really disrupt my enjoyment, but I noticed it.
Yeah, the story is amazing. Post scarcity humanity in all its unfocused and manic glory replicating the science fiction from old while fighting ancient enemies. There are plenty of pop culture references, but it's literally references to a half forgotten and legendary pop-culture so it works.
The good characters are REALLY good. I found myself enthralled in and getting emotional over the struggles, failures and triumphs of aliens. Moreover, the aliens were ALIEN. Not just a person in a bog monsters skin.
Ralts Bloodthorne is an awesome writer and is telling one Awesome Tale. It is a must read, funny, terrifying and thought provoking. The characters in this story are well thought out and great. The style is very good with very good pacing. Grammar and some mispelling needs a little work but done mostly well.
This story hits you like a TON of bricks!!!
:D CHEERS (c)
Overall, it's a great story! There are few recurring characters that show up for more than a single arc focused on them, but those that do, like Daxin and Dreams, are awesome and hilarious.
Typically there are a few minor grammatical and spelling errors in each chapter, but not so many nor so serious as to break immersion. The few that are present are almost always pointed out in the comments section.
The story is phenomenally well done, with a galactic arm spanning conflict by humanity and it's local allies against ancient self-aware warmachines. All the while, Terra has to deal with a mind-blowingly stupid and corrupt race of cattle that are useless at defending themselves against the warmachines yet believe themselves to be the greatest civilization ever. The cows are incredibly slow to advance and have built a bureaucracy that is so massive and labyrinthine that it is a wonder that anything gets done.
I really enjoy the writing style, which is action-packed and humorous. The frequent comm logs that end the chapters are absolutely hilarious and never fail to crack me up. Within the funny and action-packed story are also chapters that are incredibly heartwarming and heartbreaking.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is an incredible story with only minor flaws.
Impossibly well written, novel and nostalgic, Ralts Bloodthorne weaves a tale of the far future, humanity beset on all sides by ancient and hostile civilizations, making friends and breaking things in either order. Told from the shifting perspectives of the universe as a whole rather than a small main cast, when humanity achieves sufficiently advanced technology, why not theme your own personal starship after your favorite story? Serious and silly, hard sci fi and tech that might as well be magic, find out what happens when someone declares war against a culture that cracked immortality and uses it to full-contact larp your favorite game of choice. One way or another, everyone's in for a ride!
For those unfamiliar with the term HFY, "Humanity, f*** yeah!" focuses on the strengths of what it means to be human. The best parts. The monkey brain that is always trying to figure out how to do something new, or see patterns that even supercomputers struggle with, or develops concepts like mercy, love, or compassion.
Oh, and illogical, manic determination not to give up, even when any rational sentient would understand the only thing left is to make peace with nonexistence, go into shock and quietly die. That too.
First Contact is primarily told from dozens of non-human POVs that get chapters just long enough to tell their unique story (although some get to come back in multiple chapters). It starts off light and amusing before the plot drops like a dinosaur-killer asteroid.
Edit: Turns out the occasional spelling and grammar issues were because Ralts has been pumping out up to three large chapters a day for months. Ralts makes the keyboard go BRRRT and if a few letters get switched by accident, it doesn't detract from a truly epic universe that began with an ice cream cone standalone short story.
Simply marvelous, witty and just plain genius. Consider me your fan, the sheer amount of work and imagination blows my mind, I love this story.
This is a masterpiece.
This is quite a unique style...
We don't follow the story of a character in a world; we follow the story of the world told by a lot of characters with each their own vision of what is happening, there is no main character, only a main story line, in the same way than "Foundation".
Furthermore, the author is really good at merging different styles, some chapters are funny, other sad, other are horrific.
As said above, there is no main character, but each character really feel alive, have their own motivation and are very interesting.
The main problem with this type of story is that often some characters are boring, but not on this one !! In addition to that, very few characters stay present during all the story, and we are constantly presented with new original characters who show us the events of the world by their eyes.
Not once I found the character boring and they often make me cry (or laugh).
You may have noticed, I'm not english, so I can't really tell anything.
This story is a sci-fi one about the interaction of different species with humanity. Their struggle, their discoveries, their wars, etc... Humanity is shown as a really (I mean really) war species but still a really good species helping other; and honestly, it feels very good to see for once if sci-fi story, humanity really trying (and managing) to help. BUT still while suffering struggle.
I can't even talk without spoiling of some side-story that deserve their own novels due to their originality and how well crafted they are.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST : World building
Due to his style, the world building is very dense. There is a lot of species, and each one has their particularities, their belief, their way of living, etc... Each one seems believable and alive.
We often see in this kind a world with very few past events, maybe one or two things with a 10000 years gap with nothing, but not in this one, we know and we learn about the past events and their result, and by doing that, we know that the world is really alive.
Sometimes silly to outright looney. Light-hearted to heart-wrenching. Poetic to purposely gibberish. Philosophical to crass and so much more. Every trope and fantasy sci-fi dream mixed into one story. I haven't seen any RPG elements yet but I am only on chapter 61. One of the funniest reads I have had in a long time and it is done mostly from the POV of the aliens they encounter. The amount of thought put into this to make it mesh together is mind-boggling.