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YMMV / Orion's Arm

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  • Acceptable Targets: Tylansia is basically North Korea IN SPACE!; an incredibly despotic, anti-intellectual, and racist tinpot dictatorship that is mocked by the rest of civilization.
  • Archive Panic: It can be difficult to get into Orion's Arm at first due the sheer amount of World Building, backstory, technical information, and massive amounts of factions and races, all of which have their own lengthy backgrounds.
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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A couple. The setting is just so plain weird compared to most sci-fi that some people are put off by it, especially since "plucky baseline" stories are explicitly forbidden. Among futurists, there's a stronger critique that toposophics act like a Hand Wave to allow extremely hypothetical technologies to dominate, rather than examining a future based on the limitations of known science.
  • Funny Moments: This exchange between the godling Eye In The Sky and his latest creation.
    Multipod: What am I?
    Eye: Patience, my child.
    Multipod: What are YOU?
    Eye: It's a bit early to establish religion right now.
    Multipod: What am I? What am I what am I WHAT AM I?
    Eye: Oh... Look, here's another obstacle trail. Are you hungry?
  • Inferred Holocaust: The Terragen Sphere and other civilizations continuously find the remains of prior civilizations, some of which spanned massive distances before simply disappearing. Something keeps wiping out all those galactic empires. Naturally this has gotten quite a few scientists worried about how long it will be before said mysterious force shows up to put down the Terragen Sphere...
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  • Jerkass Woobie: The Bitenic Squids. They're all borderline sociopathic at best, but only because they're a horribly failed attempt at creating a clade that wouldn't be restrained by bias or solipsism.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • Science Marches On: Deliberately averted. The worldbuilding group updates constantly based on cutting-edge science, and would probably rewrite the entire established canon if something happened in theoretical physics that made a major part of the series either impossible or implausible. The distributed, constantly evolving nature of the project allows it to keep marching on with science.
  • Spiritual Licensee: In terms of style, setting, and tone, the project has a lot of similarities to The Culture novels. Since there will doubtlessly be no further Culture books thanks to Author Existence Failure, this means that the series could be treated as a spiritual continuation of sorts.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In-Universe, Glarion: The Glorious Conqueror, a propaganda movie of Tylansia (a fascistic, racist, anti-ai, anti tech, communistic planet), is watched for laughs everywhere else and has reached Memetic Mutation status.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The fate of Supermundane. His final work was a piece of perfect art that brought happiness and enlightenment to an entire planet, that was promptly eliminated four years after completion along with Supermundane for fear of blight.
    • The destruction of the Eye of the Solar Needle, a symbol of Mercurian civilisation since its dawn, in an act of vandalism.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: See Xenofiction on the main page. The setting is so bloody bizarre compared to more popular science fiction like Star Wars or Star Trek.
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