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  • 1 week
    SA Reviews #111

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “You do the honors.” Ferret’s eyes glittered in the darkness of the ancient laboratory. The ancient portal glowed with unholy violet energy, illuminating only the barest hints of her figure and the shaking person beside her.

    “Me?” Chris protested, stepping back from the portal and glancing at the giant hourglass festooned with twinkling geodes, flashing bulbs and enough copper wire to build a Faraday cage. “I’m not touching that thing! It looks like something Lovecraft and Jules Verne made on a bet! A very drunk bet!”

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    25 comments · 1,095 views
  • 3 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Methodical fingers fell on the keyboard. Ticks and clacks and tacks echoed through the dreary cubicle halls of the corporate office space. Bleary-eyed and coffee-deprived, Matthew sat in front of the screen with the lethargic determination of the recently dead. The computer monitor, though searingly bright, was comparatively dim to the fluorescent lights that flickered on the ceiling.

    Then Red showed up holding a squirrel-sized newspaper and a human-sized coffee mug, which was full of assorted nuts. He slugged a mouthful down and barely chewed.

    “Ha ha ha!” the squirrel said. “Turns out Pontchartrain really did track mud in the house! I love that comic.”

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    18 comments · 1,247 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA Reviews #109

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Matthew stood next to a metal door labeled “The Cool Room”. He had never seen this door before; not surprising since the Seattle’s Angels compound tended to lose and gain random rooms with astonishing frequency. He made a mental note to complain to the guys running the relativity lab to dial it back a bit.

    Pushing back those thoughts for later, Matthew grabbed hold of the handle to the door, turned, and pulled the door open. A rush of cold air blasted him, almost knocking him back. Matthew, now wishing he had brought a coat, braced himself and entered.

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    13 comments · 1,800 views
  • 10 weeks
    SA Reviews #108

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Archonix strolled through the second floor hallway of the Seattle’s Angels Secret Underground Base and Treefort.  He licked his thumb as he leafed through a stack of papers, humming Winter Wrap Up in a most Scottish manner.  Without looking up from his work, he stopped and rapped his knuckles on Corejo’s bedroom door.

    “Hey, Core, you in there?  We need your reviews.”  No answer.  Archonix looked up at the dozens of Luna pictures taped haphazardly to the door.  ‘No Celestias allowed!’ read a small poster board stuck in the middle in glued macaroni and glitter.  The light of a computer monitor escaped through the crack beneath the door.  “Core?”

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    6 comments · 1,484 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA Reviews #107

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


     
    Briefcase in hand, Chris nervously entered the room.  It was bare except for an imposing desk and a high-backed office chair, the latter with its back to him.  “Um, hello?  I’m here about the interview.  Ah, about becoming a Seattle’s Angels reviewer?”
     
    “So, you’re the new guy, eh?” The voice came from the chair.  Chris watched as it slowly swiveled to face him, revealing a diminutive rodent perched upon it.
     
    “Um, yeah, pleased to meet you.”  Chris held out his hand, a gesture met with an arched eyebrow.  “Right, squirrel, sorry.” He awkwardly brought it back to his side.  “So… you must be RedSquirrel, right?”  The rodent’s other eyebrow joined the first.  “Oh, uh, I guess that’s a silly question.”
     

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    13 comments · 1,801 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA Reviews #106

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


    A lone figure wrapped in furs lay flat, exhausted, at the world’s jagged edge.

    She had done it. She had traversed numerous kingdoms and broken empires, fought immeasurable hordes, raised kings and humbled the proud, become a legend. She had seen things you people wouldn’t believe--attack ships off the shoulders of Orion, C-Beams glittering in the dark ‘round the Tannhauser Gate, the Walls of Morning and the Wailing Plains of Night. All these things, now so infinitesimally small with her final goal in sight. Just a few more stairs. Just… just a few more.

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    0 comments · 2,067 views
  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews #105

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Of the many things Scarlet Weather anticipated on seeing when she entered the Angels’ breakroom, seeing a beet red Intern splayed all over the couch, face down, wasn’t too far off from the ordinary. Extraordinary required extra-dimensional mirror portal travel, demon invasion, and Ferret shenanigans. And with the advances being done with Scarlet’s compact, the first one would soon be bumped down the list.

    So it was that Scarlet walked past Intern, opened the fridge, grabbed a fruit drink, and headed back towards the exit.

    “Aren’t you going to ask what happened?” Intern’s muffled voice called after her.

    “No. I can come up with a few things myself, thank you.”

    Intern somehow sank lower into the couch cushions. “You’re all so cruel…”

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    9 comments · 1,341 views
  • 19 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Just inside the Seattle’s Angels prison compound, the new guy burst through Ferret’s bedroom door.

    “FERRET!” he yelled with a crazed look in his eye. “I just realized, we don’t have an introduction, let alone a conclusion!”

    “You know, Matthew, you aren’t technically the new guy anymore... we have Chris now.”

    “True... but still, what do we do for the intro?”

    “I don’t know, you should make something up. Just make sure it’s funny.”

    “But that’s the problem, Ferret. I’ve been thinking about it for a week and I’ve got nothing. Pretty soon, Scarlet over there is gonna start hounding me about deadlines.”

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    7 comments · 1,058 views
  • 22 weeks
    SA Reviews #102

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Deep in the Seattle's Angel's secret combination treehouse lair and sauna, Cynewulf finished placing the last touches on an elaborately painted miniature, blew on it gently, and set it down before making her way to take a long-awaited rest.

    It is predictably at this point that something in the distance exploded.

    "CYNE!"

    Scarlet burst into the room, a crazed look in her eyes. "Come with me if you want to live!"

    Cynewulf's eyes darted back and forth. "What is it? What's wrong?"

    "No time to explain! They're already upon us!" Grabbing her compatriot's hand, Scarlet dragged her deep into the bowels of the treehouse's safe room.

    One trip into the bowels of the lair later, Cyne collapsed beside Scarlet, breathing heavily. "What is it? Who's after us? Are we being bombed?"

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    8 comments · 1,407 views
  • 24 weeks
    SA Reviews #101

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Giving a long, satisfied sigh of a job well done, Intern powered down his workstation. For the last time.

    “What are you doing?”

    Intern started and whirled around, finding Corejo standing nearby with an eyebrow raised.

    “What’s it look like I’m doing?” Intern reached down to pick up his work satchel and slung it over his shoulder. “This is it. We’re done. The Angels have reached one hundred and I’m heading home!” He gave a jaunty wave and turned for the exit.

    “You do know there are numbers after one hundred, right?”

    Corejo’s voice stopped Intern in his tracks. “What’s that suppose to mean?”

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    12 comments · 1,389 views
May
1st
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #103 · 2:42am May 1st

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Deep down in the confines of a cavern, the tink tink of a pickaxe echoed along the walls as dim lamplight lit up a long hall.

TOM set the pickaxe down, grinning as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Well? What do ya think? Do we dig deeper?”

Archonix kneeled down, grabbing a small patch of soil from the ground. After a deep sniff, he shook his head. “Not close enough. We need to go deeper.”

“Aw, seriously?! We’re like six feet under right now!”

“Two. Two feet,” Arch corrected.

“And we’d be four feet more if you grabbed another pickaxe.”

“Less talking, more swinging!” Arch declared as he held up the lantern.

TOM sighed, readied his hands, and held the pickaxe aloft.

“What is going on down here?!” A ferret-y voice echoed from the stairway, followed shortly by Ferret herself. “Why is there an excavation in our basement?!”

“We’re diggin for gold! Real gold!” TOM answered, resuming the dig with a “Hi-ho!”

“Fool’s gold, more like!” Ferret fumed, holding a stack of papers. Setting them down with a hefty thud, she put on a cross expression. “You two need to get reviews done!”

TOM regarded the stack of papers. “Is there gold in there?”

“Or gems?” Arch added. “There should be an underground tropical utopia, at least!”

Ferret threw her hands up in the air. “I don’t know! Start digging through these and find out!”

TOM quickly threw down the pickaxe. “Beats digging for crude oil any day.”

ROUND 103



STORY 1
[site_url=/story/360585/a-survey-of-the-work-of-vinyl-scratch-abbreviated
]A Survey of the Work of Vinyl Scratch (Abbreviated), by Meta Four

Vinyl Scratch, the mare behind DJ PON-3’s purple shades, is boldly exploring new frontiers of electronic dance music. Meanwhile, Spilt Ink, music critic for Sound on Sound magazine, is just as boldly exploring how far he can stick his head up his own rectum.

Trace the trajectory of one mare’s career—and one stallion’s sanity—through this peek into the music world’s sordid underbelly: the album reviews.


I was going to run with a joke where I spent most of the review talking about entirely unrelated things, but that would probably ruin something or other. Instead, let me introduce Spilt Ink, reviewer, failure, success, critic and envious writer. He is every niche journalist you ever met, complete with wannabe gonzo moments and the habit of scattering linguistic sophistication far beyond the needs of the text.

Survey is epistolary after a fashion; it is a pastiche, a satire of expectations and stereotypes. A loving homage to the music magazines that somehow still just about manage to cling to life on the fridges of a world that is increasingly leaving paper behind, and an exploration of the different, yet familiar lives of ponies that fandom created. It might also be tweaking at that same fandom just a little bit.

Worth a read for Ink's madness and Luna's letter, if nothing else.

And don't forget the annotations.

The life of a writing critic sometimes isn’t easy. However, I can certainly say it’s never driven me to insanity.

The life of a music critic, following the critiques of one Spilt Ink, is apparently a life that requires a monthly pain prescription, a weekly therapist, and daily doses of music that can send you both to the highest heavens and the deepest depths of Tartarus. I do not envy this kind of tumultuous life that puts incredible stress on the mind.

Yet the results of such scathing critiques are something not to ignore. The complete verbal destruction evoked from this critic is so outstandingly cruel, it feels like I’m viewing a different kind of art. The art of salt.

If I gave Spilt Ink a chisel and a huge chunk of rock salt, he would carve a perfectly proportioned replication of Vinyl Scratch, comment this was a more productive use of his time than listen to another one of Vinyl’s sets, and promptly smash it to make a statement somehow more ridiculous than what I just described. It’s crazy, but it has its moments.

If I’m honest, I’d happily read more from Spilt Ink. Dude’s got a crazy silver tongue for shaming, even if I will take many of his insults with a grain of salt.

...What? All this discussion about salt, and I can’t even use one salt pun?


Ember wants to see the rise of a smarter, friendlier dragon society in the future. For her dragon subjects, this presents quite a steep learning curve.


This one poses an interesting question that was never quite raised by the show: how do friendships work across differing perceptions of time?

Or perhaps that's not the best way to look at it.

Dragons see the world differently to ponies, but just how different is their view of things? What do they really know about pony culture? This fic - which builds on their views without being an infodump, as all the best worldbuilding should be - explores how dragons might make friends with ponies when asked to do so on their own terms.

I laughed.

Eventually.

Friendship is hard to foster when you’re awkward at making contact with people. It’s twice as hard when you’re a dragon, and trip... tripeel hard when your brain’s got the comprehensive capabilities of a donut.

But what this story lacks in wit it makes up for in character, and the three dragons here have plenty of it. Observing their mental gymnastics is a treat, and it only gets better as they comment on what they observe as ‘oddities’ in pony culture compared to theirs. You can even hear the gears grind in one dragon’s head as he tries to recall some of the fancier words Ember used, and it’s a wonderful sound.

The miscommunication—or in this case, misinterpretation—of Ember’s orders might make their venture into the world of friendship a far longer journey than it should be, but I can’t fault them. They made a sign, for Ember’s sake!

A crude misspelled sign, but a sign nonetheless. Points for effort!


All Vapor Trail wanted to do was ask Sky Stinger on a date. But as it turns out, Sky Stinger has a reason why the two of them can't go out.


I so desperately wanted to make an academy record joke here, but I fail, because the fic didn't set me up for one. Instead we're diving into unspecified peril in an arbitrarily defined zone: The Friend Zone.

Or not.

Ok this fic does suffer a couple of dialogue quirks, but it tickled me by playing around with the double-meaning of "wingman" - or wing pony I suppose - and exploiting Vapor Trail and Sky Stinger's established relationship to work with the joke.

Okay, so we have a story about a jerk, and a story about a few idiots. How do we balance this out?

What about a story featuring a jerk that could have been an incredible idiot?

That’s what you’ll find here as Sky Stinger decides his wingpony isn’t really marefriend material for a reason that’s so shallow, day-old rainwater puddles have more depth. But if you’ve ever seen videos of people jumping in rain puddles that turned out to be way deeper than they thought, you might be pleased to discover there’s more depth to Sky than what you see at first glance.

He’s still a jerk though, let me make that clear. But he’s a jerk that’s at least aware of his jerkiness, which is a… good thing?? Well, it’s better than him not being aware. That counts for something.

However, if he acts like this on an anniversary, he deserves a gut punch. Just saying.


Sometimes ponies just have a bad day. They spill their cereal, trip in the mud, have their checks bounce, and get attacked by an extradimensional geometrical entity. Villain Cube knows what that's like. He understands what they're going through. He's there for them, to listen as they bare their troubled hearts, and also to set them on fire.


At this point it's safe to say that today's theme is silliness, and what better way to round that off than with Pinkie Pie from another universe attempting to communicate with a villain in the shape of a cube through the medium of explosives?

I understand your confusion at this. Come closer so we may discuss it and then perhaps I shall set you on fire.

With so many jerk and/or idiot stories all gathered in one place, what’s left to bring together? At least they didn’t combine jerks and idiots into one story.

Wait wait WAIT no please don’t—aaaaand here we go. Well, this one does add EqG Pinkie to the mix, and she’s the sane pony-person in the Mane Six here. Think about that for a minute…or don’t. After all, we’ve seen what happened when they tried to handle Parasprites.

However, instead of a bunch of self-replicating hairballs we have a large, philosophic Villain Cube that sets things on fire because he’s Villain Cube, and a Villain Cube is as a Villain Cube does. Which is to set things on fire.

Villain Cube is so rock-simple, I kind of admire him. He’s a straight-shooting, no-fuss arsonist with one job to do, and he does it! Why no one thinks to grab a bag of marshmallows escapes me—this guy would be the hot topic at a camping ground, assuming the surrounding forest isn’t reduced to a pile of ash. And the tents… and the campers.

The point is, Villain Cube has eight corners, eight edges, six faces, and a whole lot of charisma. So stick around for a bit of depth, a fair amount of length, and some respectable width.

It’ll be a blast. I promise.


"I'm telling you, this is a much better idea than the whole gold quest thing."

"I'm not sure," Archonix said slowly, pacing back forth around the perimeter of TOM's now substantial—and increasingly wet—excavations. "I thought I was managing it rather well."

"Right, but even you have to admit that digging for gold in loam and clay is a terrible idea." TOM adjusted the hose at his side and leaned back, or at least rolled a little. "This is a much easier way to get rich."

"I—" was all Archonix said before RedSquirrel and Ferret landed on each of his shoulders.

"Hey guys," Red yelled. "What's with the pool?"

"And why are you putting it underground?"

"Is it for swimming?"

"Ooh! Do I get to wear little floaties and paddle around?"

"Are we going to have swim meets in tiny little trunks and be all sleek and shiny and glitter a lot in sudden beams of sunlight whenever something exciting happens?"

Everyone turned to look at Red, who may or may not have started to blush. It was difficult to know for sure.

"Nnnnooo," TOM replied slowly, nodding toward the pool. "We're going to farm clams and those clams are going to present us with delicious pearls."

The others were silent, until Red slowly raised a paw. "I question the wisdom of your plan."

"Yeah, well, it was this or go with Archonix's idea and turn it into a pig pen."

Red and Ferret looked at one another around Archonix's beard (a not inconsiderable feat) and sighed.

"That's a terrible idea," said Red.

"You're right," Ferret added. "Better pearls before swine."


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 1,312 views ·
Comments ( 7 )
Rinnaul #1 · May 1st · · ·

The point is, Villain Cube has eight corners, eight edges, six faces, and a whole lot of charisma.

But a cube has twelve edges.

"You're right," Ferret added. "Better pearls before swine."

Okay, I was wondering what your intro and conclusion would be... and you did it all for this joke, didn't you?


4515350
Oy, don't use your fancy mathematics to muddle the issue! You're right, though.

I put social site posts pff. TWICE now. Fix your goddamned site!

Damn that's a good writeup for A Survey of the Work of Vinyl Scratch. Would you guys be interested in writing for Sound on Sound? I hear they're hiring.

I also liked Friends of the Ponies, so I'll definitely have to check out the other two spotlighted stories.

4515350

And here I thought a cube was two squares with eight edges separated by four lines. My mistake.

An egg is still a sphere though, right? A sphere with a bunch of dimples? Because I found like a hundred of those things at a golf course this Easter, and they're already hard-boiled!

knighty
Site Owner

4515429 It's because you're following WD so you're getting it in there as you would any of WDs other posts.

edit: Seems you're not. I'll look into it.

edit2: It seems what most likely is happening is your browser is storing something odd for the cookie. What browser are you using? Could also be extension related.

Hey, cool. I'm viewed rarely enough to get a third look-in from the highly esteemed Seattle's Angels! That's, uh... good. I think...

:scootangel: Thank you, Archonix and Tired Old Man! Two different and entertaining styles used to dissect the same story, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading both reviews. Capital work! :twilightsmile:

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