Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions & their answers.
Q1: Can you spoil me?
Q2: Who is Wildbow?
Q3: White text on black hurts my eyes, what can I do?
Q4: Can I have an Ebook?
Q4b: What if I made one just for myself/a friend/a family member?
Q4c: I really want an ebook, can I have a copy if I pay you?
Q5: How okay are you with fanart, fanfiction, and other fan-created media?
Q6: IRC Chat?
Q7: What’s PRT Quest?
Q8: What’s Weaverdice?
Q8b: What’s WD_Lausanne?
Q1: Can you spoil me? Alternately: any question re: future events & possibilities
A1: I don’t like spoilers or spoiling people. I often just say ‘Q1A1’ in chats and the like, referring back to this question. I’m inevitably going to say ‘not answering’, but the intended implication isn’t ‘because you’re close to the truth’ or anything like that. It’s just a flat ‘no’. Read on, speculate, and infer from the text.
Q2: Who is Wildbow?
A2: Wildbow, also going by J.C. McCrae or John McCrae in real life (the former professionally, the latter casually), was born in 1984, and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. He became hard of hearing three days after being born, and was raised with hearing aids, attending regular schools. He doesn’t sign any better than a three year old speaks. The disability plus the fact he’s a scatterbrain and a daydreamer made for a bit of a rocky time in school. He didn’t go to class for two straight years in high school, then got caught. He wound up going to a self-study Alternative school, getting three years of high school done in eight months, winning some awards and shit. He spent a lot of time writing from middle school onward, as a means of venting and escaping.
Wildbow spent far too long in University, first studying English with a minor in Linguistics, later switching into Applied Languages & Discourse Studies (ALDS). The ALDS classes helped him figure out what he was doing wrong in his creative writing, and he started writing a web serial to address those problems. It kind of worked; he started writing Worm in mid-2011 and he hasn’t stopped writing since, with at least two updates a week for six years. He made the move to writing as a sole source of income in 2014.
Q3: White text on black hurts my eyes, what can I do?
A3: We had a theme switcher but we ran into some headaches. Options include built-in browser addons that alter color schemes, or you could try Mle1’s solution in this reddit post.
More thoughts & info in a tech post by Yew here.
Q4: Ebook? Can I have a copy? Is there going to be one? What about Worm?
A4: Ebooks and the like are just about inevitable – Wildbow is in talks with an agent and has talked to some major publishers. The current plan is to get the editing done and shop it around – with the established fanbase being what it is, Wildbow has a lot of freedom. He’d really like to do stuff like keep the website up and keep the integrity of his work, and the fact that the works are getting reads, money, reviews, fanart, and such really help with negotiating that.
Unfortunately, dissemination of ebooks sort of muddies the waters and hampers those negotiations, whether it’s Wildbow doing it or others. For the time being, ebooks are not being distributed, and Wildbow would ask that people don’t set up sites, share scrapers or otherwise mass-distribute them. There’s just too many questions of rights and ownership (who is the actual creator/distributor? Who was first?), whether the author really has control over their own property, and if the publisher feels it is worthwhile to get the rights to distribute the ebook if it’s already being put out there.
There’s lots of really easy and obvious answers to all of these points, but in reality, publishers are skittish. Wildbow has already missed out on one opportunity to get Worm out there because the other party got scared off by the mass-distribution via. one scraper. If you guys see such a site or person out in the wild, maybe send them a message, point them here/copy paste all this, or ask them politely to quit it, and if they don’t, let Wildbow know so he can figure it out.
Q4b: Ebooks… what if I made one for personal use, or to share with a best friend or family member?
A4b: If it’s not obvious to the publishers and not known to Wildbow, then no problem arises.
Q4c: Ebooks… Okay, but I don’t want to bother figuring that out. What if you sent me a preliminary ebook and I sent you money? I can be discreet about this.
A4c: Wildbow gets this a lot. The short answer is it still carries all of the problems above, and if Wildbow starts distributing a product rather than just a service, even just a few digital copies of his works, it could well mean he has to spend twice as long doing his taxes and covering his ass businesswise. He’s doing things by the books, and that means not hiding things from the CRA (the Canadian IRS).
Q5: I want to create fanfic, fanart, an audiobook, a radio play, a video game, a fan-translation to another language or something. How cool are you with this?
A5: I have a few rules. You need to mention where the work in question comes from (refer back to this site in a clear & obvious way) & mention that you don’t claim the characters/setting/ideas of Worm, Ward, Pact, or Twig as your own. If you want to make money off of it, talk to me first – that’s where things get particularly muddy, and my answer may well be a ‘please don’t’.
If you’re advertising it or pushing it out there in a more major sense, or if you’re going outside the usual fanfiction/fanart box, again, please talk to me first.
Q6: IRC Chat?
A6: The IRC chat is where Wildbow hangs out most of the time alongside a contingent of readers & fans, when he’s online & not distracted by a game or his work. Type /rules for the rules, which will appear in the channel window you’re in or on the main server page. Essentially: don’t do anything illegal, don’t be a jerk, don’t be racist, keep chat safe for work in the main #Parahumans channel (and maybe lean that way in general), and keep politics and controversial subjects in the #Politics channel.
Those wanting to visit can click the Mibbit link below to visit easily, but anyone wanting to stick around would be advised to go with a dedicated client (such as the IRCcloud link below, or something like Hexchat) to log in, for a better or customized user interface and better tools including the ability to keep records of past chats.
IRC can be pretty daunting in that it’s fairly old-school. I (Wildbow speaking in first person now) know that when I initially got into it, I took a bit to just sit back, get acclimatized and get used to how people chatted and who people were. That said, there are some damn cool people there and participation in chat has led to meet-ups and hanging out with readers. It’s liable to get chaotic for a while if we get a big influx of users (pre-Ward, we sit at around 100 on a good day, with 20-50 active to some degree and the rest lurking/asleep) but in an ideal world, we’ll have things settle down into some great ongoing conversations about Ward and about other media & interests. With that in mind, brownie points for those who help us get to that destination instead of perpetuating the chaos/wackiness. I’m kind of not a fan of memes, spam, and shitposting, and moderators may step in if it persists too much or disrupts civil discussions.
If there are any questions or concerns, reach out to the moderators in the #Moderation channel (type /join #Moderation). Try not to directly pester Wildbow too much (that includes typing out ‘wildbow’ in full, which will alert him – most use Wildbo, Wibbles, Wheelbarrow, Wubwub, etc) – he’s happy to talk to fans but it gets a little crazy when there’s a new private conversation or direct ping every few minutes.
Q6: What is PRT Quest?
A6: PRT Quest was a forum-based game on the Spacebattles forums, where Wildbow put up story installments and players voted on the decisions the protagonist would make. The story featured the nascent PRT Department 64 in Anchorage Alaska, with players taking the role of the PRT Director.
It is not true canon. Some of the core cast of characters can be considered ‘true’ Wormverse characters, but it’s best not to consider it as Parahumans history.
A sub-page with more information can be found here.
Q7: What is Weaverdice?
A7: Weaverdice is a pen & paper (like Dungeons and Dragons) game meant to simulate life as a cape in the Wormverse. Weaverdice games have been ongoing since 2014 in the IRC chatroom, with Wildbow periodically updating and adding to the documents, and multiple playgroups playing on a daily basis. Development is generally on a ‘when Wildbow has time and inclination’ basis but players often patch up gaps in the system with ‘homebrew’ (unofficial) stuff. There’s a great deal of additional information about the Wormverse in the supplementary material, particularly the classification handbooks.
Those wanting to join or look in can check in by way of the IRC. The channel is #Weaverdice. Be sure to read the Welcome readme in the topic (it should pop up as you first join, and will appear at the top of most clients).
Q7b: What is Lausanne, Weaverdice:Lausanne or WD_Lausanne?
A7b: WD_Lausanne was and is Wildbow’s RP campaign in Weaverdice. The sessions are solo or two-player and cover the cape scene in Lausanne leading up to and including the Simurgh’s first appearance.
It is not true canon. Some of the core cast of characters can be considered ‘true’ Wormverse characters, but it’s best not to consider it as exact Parahumans history.
The campaign document is here.