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Fanfic / Calliope's Update Girl

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No, the second fic is not "Calliope's Update Girl - Book Two".

The life of a Homestuck character, within the bounds of Homestuck, is hard. The life of a Homestuck character, taken entirely outside of the context of Homestuck and placed in a universe where Homestuck exists, is somehow even harder. It doesn't help that, whenever you go anywhere, people are always insisting you are a roleplayer and/or a cosplayer, but yet, somehow things become even worse when a madman, one who calls himself Andrew Hussie, makes you read about the adventures you never had.

Little do you know, though, that you're literally entering an epic of space and time, of joy and sorrow, of hilarity and sobriety, and that it'll change your lives. Is it for the better? Is it for the worse? You will have to decide for yourselves.

Calliope and Caliborn are your average Innocent Aliens who are pretty much hospitalized on Earth. Lately, however, people keep referring to them as "cosplayers" of "Homestuck". The weird goes up when four close friends move into the same town as them, and are identified as more "cosplayers", and the six immediately get the attention of Andrew Hussie, who formally introduces them to Homestuck...

Described by the author as "an open love letter to the Homestuck fandom", Calliope's Update Girl featured a rather impressive scope of topics, ranging from Andrew Hussie's daily life to the interaction between him and the fandom, as well as the characters, and the prospect of both the characters encountering Homestuck and the fandom encountering the characters. It also has spawned a series of related fanfics that, even though they're not quite in the same universe, share themes.

This series includes:

  • Calliope's Update Girl - Book One (FF.Net, AO3), the first fic, which follows the premise in the most straightforward way. Roughly half of its text comes from NaNoWriMo 2014. It has been released as an e-book with at least an author's note on every page; the download links are here.
  • The Homestuck Character Support Group (Volume 2) (FF.Net, AO3), the second fic. The characters have largely abandoned the goal of reading Homestuck, as Her Imperious Condescension and company are planning to do something.
  • Calliope and the Final Update (FF.Net, AO3), to which Calliope's Update Girl is a Spiritual Successor. Here, Hussie organizes a Charlie and the Chocolate Parody tour to read all of Homestuck after the infamous "Gigapause".
  • Inception of a Masterpiece (FF.Net, AO3), another Spiritual Successor to Calliope and the Final Update. Hussie is looking to continue his webcomic career after Problem Sleuth when he is messaged by a 12 year old fan on a chat client that no one uses.
  • The Trials and Tribulations of Homestuck (AO3 only), a spinoff told in the MSPA style, intended to focus on the production history of Homestuck and the lives surrounding it, using MSPA Reader and Sans from Undertale as the main characters.
  • Calliope's Update Girl - Unreleased Stuff (AO3 only), which announces Update Girl as a Dead Fic and showcases the many What Could Have Beens and work-in-progress chapters (up to and including a whole game based on the verse) related to it.
  • An in-universe blog, run (mainly) by Rose Lalonde. The same blog was also used by ASBusinessMagnet in our world to talk about Calliope's Update Girl and announce updates. However, it was eventually deleted by the author, with some writing being rescued in the form of Calliope's Update Girl - Musings from the Tumblr Blog (AO3 only).


  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba - Two different statements of this kind:
    • "If that's Calliope, then I'm Her Imperious Condescension." - commenting to Calliope that Your Costume Needs Work. The line, interestingly enough, is picked up stages later by the characters and discussed once it turns out that the Condesce is really out there.
    • "Yeah, and I'm AnnaSophia Robb" - by ASBusinessMagnet, once he first meets the Homestuck characters and doesn't believe them. They, of course, think that's really AnnaSophia.
  • Argument of Contradictions - Known as "the Equius way of settling arguments" in-universe (due to its use in Homestuck), Karkat attempts to be Genre Savvy about it and cut Equius off after a single "D —> No", but ends up doing it anyway. Hussie and Eridan also partake in this.
  • Character Blog - Rose begins one for her "support group". Here are all the in-character posts.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody - The original idea for the story, Calliope and the Update Factory, was to be this. Though later fics moved away from the premise, and by the fifth (apparently) story idea there are little to no Chocolate Factory elements left.
    In it, Hussie's role would have been exagerrated [sic] to feature an "Update Factory" where Homestuck is produced... and you can already see where this is going. John falls down into a river of cake, Rose becomes a "grimberry", Jade is teleported to a landfill by Bec and Dave is shrunk via spacebending powers, etc.
    • One of the last remnants of the parody is the title itself: "Charlie's Chocolate Boy" was the name of an early draft for Chocolate Factory, and "Čarlis šokolado rojuje" (Charlie in the Chocolate Heaven) was the name of an early Lithuanian translation.
  • Creator Provincialism - All the trolls reside somewhere in the United States, while the kids (plus Calliope and Caliborn) have all moved in much closer together to Easthampton, Massachusetts, where Andrew Hussie lives in Real Life. It is easy to forget that the author of Calliope's Update Girl is actually from Lithuania.
    • The fans of Homestuck (and, by extension, Calliope on the Update Gravestone), on the other hand, come from all over.
      Andrew Hussie: Homestuck is more popular than you think. People would still find out [if we were in a foreign country].
    • A retcon has been announced, which is a consequence of another Failed Future Forecast: as Homestuck is actually ending on April 13, 2016, the setting of the story has been pushed one year forward to 2017.
  • Different World, Different Movies - This fic's counterpart in the fic itself is Calliope on the Update Gravestone, apparently set in an universe where Homestuck never gained popularity.
  • Distant Prologue - The first chapter doesn't have a specified date, but deals with the main characters' backstory. The second chapter is set in the summer of 2012, and only from the third chapter on the plot moves on to 2017.
    • There is no indication that we're in 2017, though, until the very last chapter of Stage 1. It was a deliberate choice, used to invoke a distinct "when Homestuck is done" future, until ASBusinessMagnet realized that it wouldn't work.
  • Eldritch Abomination - It isn't particularly clear what Andrew Hussie is, but he's obviously not human.
    • For the sake of posterity: he has space-manipulating powers allowing him to create additional floors to houses, make arrow candies that are glued with air and never run out, spies on private conversations (altough, the ability isn't unique to him) and apparently built the Frog Temple all by himself, also implying that he really is at least 413 million years old. note  That, and there's hinting that he's the cancer that Karkat gave to the universe. note 
    • Oh, and it turns out "Andrew Hussie" is actually not the name of whatever entity this is, but rather just a name it began claiming as its own (despite also, via Demonic Possession, also being Randall Munroe and, in the past, Roald Dahl).
  • Failed Future Forecast - It seems that ASBusinessMagnet's favorite pastime is writing something 20 Minutes into the Future, and then getting it wrong. From the author's notes:
    My prediction for the future: You will be able to say "Jailbreak" without anyone thinking that you're talking about the Steven Universe episode.
    Prediction status: Xnote 
    • Among other things, ASBusinessMagnet didn't foresee herself coming out as Transgender.* Fan Dumb - The Homestuck fandom, at times. Most notably, they insist that Homestuck is all about the trolls, and even infect the actual characters with the thought. invoked
    Even when a cherub cosplayer is right in front of this guy, he still thinks that the trolls are more memorable, to the point where he thinks that the cherubim aren’t even worth mentioning.
  • Foreshadowing - ASBusinessMagnet either loves this trope, or otherwise only uses the fic itself as inspiration. If you look carefully (or read the comments for Book One), there's foreshadowing for Andrew Hussie and Randall Munroe being the same "person" in the second fic, in chapter two of the first fic.
  • Godwin's Law - Hussie, the Condesce and Karkat are all, at some point, compared to Hitler.
    Wasn't there a Godwin's Law which posited that whoever mentions Hitler or the Nazis first loses the argument?
    • This doesn't even mention that ASBusinessMagnet used to make Hitler Rants parodies sometime prior to the events of Calliope's Update Girl.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures - MeAndMyReflection is from Indonesia, while davespritenotdave is from the Philippines. Nevertheless, Dave is convinced that they both are Japanese.
  • No Name Given - None of the Homestuck fans in Easthampton and vicinity (other than other webcomic artists, such as Jeffrey Rowland) are ever identified.
  • Real Dreams are Weirder - Calliope's dream between April 14 and 15, posted as a chapter separate from the fics, outright switches to the style of writing of MarissaTheWriter to emphasize how weird it is.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin - Non-native English speakers, such as MeAndMyReflection and davespritenotdave, speak in broken English. Regular ASBusinessMagnet is rather impartial towards that, but Crockertier ASBusinessMagnet instantly gives them a hard time, especially when they misspell the name of Her Imperious Condescension, his superior.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now? - Neither John nor Dave got into college, and Rose finished her second year early. Jade, as an island native, has been largely homeschooled by her grandpa. Calliope and Caliborn used to go to school, but don't have the need for higher education, as both are supported by commissions that Calliope does.
    • It is heavily implied, though, that Karkat is actually skipping school to meet up with Hussie. It is also humorously implied that despite his age, he is actually in the eighth grade.
  • Significant Monogram - The suspect who shot Rose's mother in 1998 is only known as "L. E.", as an allusion to Lord English.
    • The Dave roleplayer whom John messages in 2010 only refers to themself as "SH", a reversal of "HS" (Homestuck).
  • Spiritual Successor - Besides Calliope's Update Girl and Inception of a Masterpiece, Calliope and the Final Update has also spawned Caliborn's Stories, a series in which Caliborn comments on everything from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Back to the Future to Kerbal Space Program to Inside Out, in the familiar Homosuck style.
  • Trademark Favorite Food - Arrow candies, for the Homestuck read at Hussie's home. He even advertises them as if they were merchandise:
    Self-replenishing Homestuck arrow candy. Should be keeping you good for all the time when you'll be reading Homestuck, and all the time after that. [...] Also come in green, red and purple. Guaranteed to be a hit when I release them. Though, I do not guarantee they will self-replenish in your home.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous - Thoroughly averted with the Homestuck Character Support Group, which is nothing like an actual support group in the traditional sense. Or a group which is supposed to read Homestuck. Or a group, for that matter. Mostly, it's just a girl with a blog.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future - The only noticeable difference between the present and the future is that Homestuck is done. They even discuss years-old memes.
    • Parodied with Future Karkat Vantas, a whopping hour into the future. This is what he has to say on the future:
  • Tyop on the Cover - All the Homestuck characters' chumhandles are not what they are in canon, though for varying reasons:
    • The beta kids vary between different chumhandles (though, Rose prefers to just add numbers to hers), ostensibly because those keep getting taken by different people.
    • The trolls each have their own misspelling, which they stick to consistently; as Kanaya has figured out, a roleplayer with a particular misspelling will stick to it, and therefore there's no need to constantly switch around.
    • Calliope and Caliborn have come up with entirely distinct chumhandles fitting the UU pattern.
    • Then there's MeAndMyReflection, who misspells her chumhandle because she is not a native English speaker.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers - One of ASBusinessMagnet's favorite tropes. The chapters of Calliope's Update Girl and, after some rearranging, The Homestuck Character Support Group (Volume 2) are grouped to "stages" with 14 chapters each, and the chapter number is typically given as "stage.chapter", with two exceptions: Loading Screens 1 and 2 (Loading Screen 1 is in Calliope's Update Girl, between Stages 2 and 3, and Loading Screen 2 is at the beginning of The Homestuck Character Support Group (Volume 2)), for which the Roman numerals are used, and Stage 3, which only has 7 chapters.
    Of course, if I establish a pattern, I must break it at some point.