When you post a question to Reddit’s largest polling hub, AskReddit, you never know what kind of responses to expect: erudition, teasing, bad one-liners, and the occasional witty comeback.
What you don’t expect: An epic work of sci-fi mixed with HBO’s series Rome.
That's what Reddit user The_Quiet_Earth discovered when asking this innocently entertaining question: “Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?”
In a flurry of creative, caffeinated talent, redditor Prufrock451 responded with prose.
Seven chapters, in fact, detailing the experience of a fictional marine unit mysteriously transported to first century BC Rome. There, the marines enter into martial conflict with the imperial forces of Augustus Caesar.
On Reddit, it’s a huge hit—a late summer blockbuster of the comment sort.
“This has been like watching someone write a book at warp speed,” wrote redditor machton. “And the story is PHENOMENAL.“
Prufrock451’s first chapter received nearly 3,000 points (upvotes minus downvotes) and was featured in Reddit's r/bestof section, where redditors highlight the site’s best comments.
That drew sitewide fame, and redditors rushed into the comments section, urging him to finish the story.
“QUIT JOB ENTERTAIN ME,” wrote distracting_hysteria.
“Continue, for the love of all things holy, continue later,” wrote redditor lolxcorezorz. “Please.”
All that prodding worked. Prufrock451 has apparently heeded the call of the masses.
“Thank you all, thank you so damn much,” he wrote. “I do not want to get stabbed by angry nerd-hordes, so I hereby pledge to keep this rolling.”
And now, thanks to the help of some other redditors, his story has its own home on Reddit: r/RomeSweetRome. That section already has nearly 6,000 subscribers.
Prufrock451 said he plans to write three to seven entries a week.
Reddit, along with other news aggregators, is replacing the newspaper as a place where the news gets packaged up and distributed. Could it also be, like newspapers of yore, a new home for serialized fiction?
Photo by mauricedb
Homeless man plays best cover of Styx's 'Come Sail Away' you've ever heard
Are we sure this isn't really Dennis DeYoung?35k
Husky scarfs down pot-laced Rice Krispie treats, trips balls
It's both a funny and pitiful sight.9.6k
Kids reacting to the gay marriage decision is everything
We could all learn something from this video.5.9k
German magazine files criminal complaint after revealing NSA targeted reporters
Der Spiegel's government source was allegedly outed by a U.S. embassy official.
The 3 biggest questions heading into the ESL ESEA final
The first edition of the ESL ESEA Pro League is coming to a head this weekend with $250,000 on the line.29