Hybrid Theory

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You know the story of the typical self-insert?
This is not that story.

Blade: If we died tomorrow, this 1.2 million word self-insert multicrossover fanfiction would be, collectively, our greatest accomplishment on this planet. I’d like now to focus on the positive implications of that fact rather than the soul-crushingly terrible ones.

Epsilon: In a way, Hybrid Theory is our love letter to fanfiction. Despite not being as prolific or as recognised as many in the community, we have been with the internet anime fanfiction world for almost as long as it existed, going all the way back to when it was newsgroups and mailing lists.

Blade: So what is it, other than really long, and why should anyone want to read it? Well, we could say it’s a deconstruction of two of most popular and maligned fanfiction genres, and that’s true, or that it’s a examination of many different sorts of fanfiction tropes and how they can play out straight or be subverted, and that’s true too, but that would be a dumb way to try and get anyone to read it, not just because it’s pretentious and self-aggrandising (though that’s true!), but because nobody wakes up in the morning and declares “I want to read 1.2 million words of some guys deconstructing fanfiction genres.”

So, what is Hybrid Theory? It’s a story. It’s a story with a beginning, a middle, and a definite end. It’s a story with twists and turns, with both angst and humour in ready supply. It’s rough in bits, especially near the beginning as we stuck closer to our fanfiction roots in formatting and scenes, but much of it holds up as pretty good in our biased opinions, and should we ever go on to succeed at writing something people pay for, it will be in no small part due to how much we learned and grew as writers through this story. It has some pretty damn great fight scenes, a lot of characters being awesome from a lot of series (and don’t worry, we don’t expect you’ve seen them all, though a basic familiarity with Ranma 1/2 and Sailor Moon will help) and lesbian stripper ninjas, if you’re into that sort of thing. It gets very dark in places, and if that bothers you in fiction then you may want to be cautious, though I do not believe there is anything that requires a trigger warning. It’s a story that said a lot of things we wanted to say as writers, and we’re pretty proud of it. Some people liked it a great deal, and hopefully you might like it too.

Epsilon: Also, like the above, it is verbose. I guess, when you get down to it, Hybrid Theory is a story about stories, and about how we tell stories and make stories out of our lives and about how stories alter the way we view ourselves and each other. But mostly it’s about Punching People In The Face, with philosophy!

Blade: Finally, as a special bonus to the many people who have trouble reading vast amounts of text on a computer screen, we also present (through the courtesy of Blade’s wife Rebecca) a kindle-friendly version for your non-eye-strain-inducing reading pleasure. Enjoy!

  1. High On Emotion (Download MOBI / EPUB)
    Chapter 1: With You
    Chapter 2: Numb
    Chapter 3: Foreword
    Chapter 4: Lying From You
    Chapter 5: Session
    Chapter 6: Breaking The Habit
    Chapter 7: Carousel
    Chapter 8: Pushing Me Away
    Chapter 9: Hit The Floor
    Chapter 10: One Step Closer (April Fool’s Version)
  2. Spark to a Flame
    Chapter 11: Papercut
    Chapter 12: High Voltage
    Chapter 13: Points of Authority
    Chapter 14: Don’t Stay
    Chapter 15: Easier To Run
    Chapter 16: Step Up

For those of you lost and confused and unable to figure out who any of the characters in Hybrid Theory are… why are you reading it? Besides, the characters are being introduced as if you don’t know them anyway, and if you’re confused still, either you suck or we do. But if you want to find out a little bit more about them, and see wonderful wonderful pictures worth a thousand words (or about 1/25… uh, make that 1/40 of the average Hybrid Theory chapter), go check out the Hybrid Theory Character Guide!

Note: this guide contains spoilers for later chapters of Hybrid Theory, chiefly in the form of telling you who’s going to be appearing. Be sure you’ve read all of the released chapters before going there. Or don’t. But you will have to live with yourself afterwards.

Hang on! Where’s the rest of it?

Blade (and Rebecca!) are currently reediting Hybrid Theory as well as putting it in this new, more readable format. More chapters will be released here as they are completed. Once an entire book is completed, the E-Reader versions will also be put up for download.

Oh, and yeah, of course the first line is kind of a funny aneurysm now, as the ol’ TV Tropes would put it. But that’s what we wrote when we were redoing the website, so go figure!

All content unless stated otherwise is ©2021 Chris McNeil. He can be contacted here. The banner picture is courtesy of Jason Heavensrun. You can find more of his stuff at Checkmate Studios.