Literature / Unreal Estate

It was 13 o'clock on a typical day when the sky turned blue.
— The opening words of "Boy Meets Worlds", the first part of Unreal Estate.

A Web Original serial written from 2001 through 2003 by Twoflower, Unreal Estate tells the story of Mallory Heisenberg, a naive young man who wants to see the worlds!

See, in this setting, many, many worlds and realities are created by powerful "Reality Engines". The Engines allow a universe to be created to any specification you imagine - provided you can afford the vast fees demanded by RealWare, the massive corporation that builds the Engines.

Mallory's home reality is the quiet and backward "Cooking and Farming" community of Grunwald, but a series of unlikely events and comical misunderstandings lead to him becoming the "Houseboy" of an all-female group of transient troubleshooters.

And then things really get complicated.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Animesque: Like Sailor Nothing, Unreal Estate uses and plays with several tropes common to Anime and Manga — most obviously, the Harem Genre.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Mallory.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The "Quiet Apocalypse" that drove humanity into the artificial realities turned out to be this for the survivors. Although it was a combination of all of the most infamous potential Apocalypse How scenarios happening at once, they weren't enough to destroy human civilization. RealWare abandoning the real world was enough to drive the survivors left behind to actually save the Earth themselves.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Becomes a plot element. Although Unreal Estate is set In a World... where technology that allows pocket universes to be created to order is ubiquitous, it's mostly used to create a few Worlds of Hats. The most unusual world is the First-Person Shooter world that automatically respawns "players" after lethal wounds. The Big Bad, Multi, reveals that he has a Vision about using the technology to its full potential, and You Can't Make an Omelette......
  • Planet of Hats: Each artificial reality has a theme to it.
  • Supporting Harem: The general relationship dynamic between Mallory and the rest of Meiko's household. Although Lorelei enters a brief relationship with Mallory, it's made clear that the point was to make him learn how to act in a relationship before attempting a Relationship Upgrade with Meiko.
  • Reality Warper: Both Multi and Mallory are able to manipulate the realities created by Reality Engines at will, although Mallory can only do it by accident at first.