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  • 3 weeks
    SA Reviews #116

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


    Sitting on a rock surrounded by debris, Intern typed away furiously on a laptop lying on his lap. Being so engrossed in his work, he failed to see a figure march up to him. The figure cleared his throat, but didn’t get a response. Next, the figure lightly tapped Intern on the shoulder but still didn’t get a reaction.

    The figure finally settled on slapping Intern on the back of his head.

    “Hey!” Intern squawked indignantly. “I’m trying to work here.” Looking up, he found a man he didn’t recognize staring impatiently down at him. The man was dressed in a finely pressed suit and carried a briefcase. “Can I help you?”

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    7 comments · 3,203 views
  • 5 weeks
    SA Reviews #115

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


    Corejo stepped into Ferret’s office, hands clasping a manila folder behind his back.  “You wanted to see me?”

    Ferret sat at her desk beneath the light of a single overhead lamp.  She wore a see-through green visor and worked hell on a roller-print calculator.  The chu-chug of the calculator filled the air as it spit out what were probably forged tax return numbers.  Hard times were upon us now that the movie sucked away most of our reader base.

    She rolled her stogie from one side of her mouth to the other.  She didn’t bother looking up.  “Your reviews.  Don’t forget, I need them by tomorrow.”

    “You called me down here to remind me to do my reviews on time?”  Corejo smirked, taking slow, meaningful strides toward her desk.  He flopped a manila folder on her desk.

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    11 comments · 3,694 views
  • 7 weeks
    SA Reviews #114

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


    Intern burst open a door, startling the Angels gathered inside sitting next to a poker table, and causing many to drop their cards.

    “Hey, I was about to win that hand!” Cynewulf yelled.

    Intern ignored her. He cast a quick glance over their confused and concerned faces, scowled, then slammed the door shut. He stomped towards the next door and threw it open much the same way he did the first. Long past the point of caring, Intern once again looked over everybody inside the room. At last, sitting towards the back in a darkened corner, he found his target.

    Waltzing in and brushing past anyone in his way, Intern loomed over the figure that was furiously scribbling away on a piece of paper.

    Intern reached over and flicked the on switch for the light.

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    4 comments · 2,957 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA Reviews #113

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


    "What's that in your mouth?"

    "It's a pipe," said Cyne, and jabbed the briary thing at Archonix from her comfortable chair by the fire, that flickered low and dark, and smoked more than a thoughtful philosopher at three in the morning when the rain is scattering drops in careful patterns across dust-rimed windows.

    Archonix raised his eyebrows. "And it comes with all that prose for free, does it?"

    Cyne clomped her teeth around the pipe and glared at Archonix. "You smoke one as well, you donkey."

    "Only when I'm trying to write reviews," said Archonix. "And that's discrimination that is."

    Cyne didn't answer, preferring to stare into the fire and to think long thoughts, something entirely alien to Archonix on the best of days. They sighed in unison.

    ROUND 113

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    4 comments · 4,606 views
  • 11 weeks
    SA Reviews #112

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


    The low-lying fog obscured the two ponies’ hooves as they tramped through the ancient graveyard. Luna’s moon hung in the early autumn air, burning a sickly yellow.

    “I hate graveyards, Ferret,” Intern said as he tightened his rucksack. He spluttered as he walked through a dangling cobweb.

    Ferret chuckled, and hopped over some brambles. “Watch where you step, you never know when—”

    There was a click underhoof, and a grasping griffon claw burst from the loam beneath the pair. Intern leapt back, cursing. Ferret laughed, and plucked the padded foam prop from its spring.

    “Why are we even here, Ferret? That new kid, Novel-whoever, is pretty good. This is a waste of our time.”

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    6 comments · 4,684 views
  • 13 weeks
    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 · 4,037 views
  • 14 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 · 4,037 views
  • 20 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 · 4,520 views
  • 22 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 · 1,665 views
  • 24 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 · 1,995 views
Jun
11th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #106 · 2:03am June 11th

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.

Bravely, she climbed them, all one hundred and seven point four stairs, and behold--on a raised platform he sat, the End of the World, a Tired Old Man. The wind picked up. It whipped all around her, pulling at her coat and tearing her furred ushanka from her head, but she did not care.

“Sage!” she called, her voice ragged and all but drowned out. “Tired Old Man! What must I do to know the meaning of life? What is the greatest of all things?”

The Tired Old Man opened one eye and huffed.

“Well that’s easy. Always write your reviews BEFORE the deadline.”

“No, I mean like—”

But whatever she said next was drowned out. The storm picked up. The Tired Old Man shrugged, and then held out his hand. Nervous, the lone heroine pulled a roughly bound scroll from her bags.

“I have brought these scant tokens… that you might tell me your wisdom, Old Man. Here are my reviews. May the Gods find them favorable.”

ROUND 106


 
The Filly Guides believe in three basic tenets:
 
Love your fellow mare.
 
Do onto others as you would have them do to you.
 
No filly left behind.
 
And somewhere between those three would be the rule that any Filly Guide must have all their basic merit badges by the end of their first year. Then again, that rule may be written between the lines of the welcome pamphlet they hand out at orientation. Who can say?
 
What can be said is that out of all the little fillies of Troop Two-Oh-One, Tag-A-Long has just one scout short of just one simple badge. Easy-peasy.
 


One would think the act of selling Filly Scout cookies isn’t hard. You go door to door, recite a few practiced lines, trade cookies for bits, and even say “thank you” with an inordinate amount of childlike cheer.

But add a Crusader into the mix, and something’s guaranteed to spontaneously combust for no good reason, or otherwise go wrong in some spectacular fashion. Like Scootaloo. Especially when it’s Scootaloo.

The good news is this story is quite true to keeping to the spirit of the show. It reads simply, doesn’t get too involved in suspense, and I find it an enjoyable read that any good cookie monster can appreciate.

The bad news is I could use some cookies, and I think I have a box of thin mints stashed away in my freezer somewhere.

People still eat them frozen, right? I hope that’s not old-fashioned yet.

This story is one of the few stories that I feel absolutely safe referring to as episode-like. It’s short-ish, charming, and focuses on my second favorite filly in the Crusader trio--Scootaloo.
 
To be honest with you, Scootaloo scoota-scooting is basically good enough to be a fic by itself. But Flinx has a fun little story here that anyone who’s ever been charmed into buying way, way too many girl scout cookies can appreciate. 10/10 cute happy Scootaloos.


 
Sunset takes the bus from school out to Applejack's place. With a brief detour in between.


The title told me this was going to get surreal, yet the description made me default to the Magic School Bus. Sorry, but that’s the bus that knows how to take detours.

As for the story itself? It’s mostly the former, though it’s also got a bit of the latter.

I didn’t watch much of the Twilight Zone, but from what I recall of it this story follows the format fairly well. It won’t surprise you with its structure, but the substance inside is where the fascination lies. It’s warped and twisted and weird and…well, mesmerizing and deep-thinking as it takes a moment to discuss one of the most common phrases you’ll hear in the show.

In fact, you’ll hear it in the opening theme song five times, every time. Unless you skip it.

You shouldn’t skip it. Skippers listen to “The Wheels On The Bus” on a loop in Tartarus.

I love the Twilight Zone.

I’ve watched most of it and plan to watch all of it maybe eight dozen more times. (The original show, mind you, tho the reboot had great moments!) I love Rod Serling’s smooth voice and his firm grounding in the pulp stories of his youth. I love his ability to turn morality plays into legitimate modern art.

So this fic already has some things going for it, from my view. Firstly, as a sort of send up to the Twilight Zone of yesterday, this story is very firmly in its predecessor's storied tone. It is almost distant, in that sort of faint surprise and unease that marks Weird Fiction of the 30’s-50’s. Everything either starts or becomes a little suspicious. Can anything be trusted? Perhaps not. Like any good Twilight Zone episode, there’s a twist at the end here. I won’t spoil it, but it’s both chuckle-worthy and oddly very touching.

Which of course, is a perfect feeling to have at the end of a bus ride into the Twilight Zone.


Twilight wasn't one to sit alone in bars and stare at an empty glass. On the one rare occasion she found herself in that position, however, she thought to herself that though breaking up with somepony hurt, it was far worse when it didn't hurt at all.


Breakups are usually a mixed bag of emotions. Anger, sadness, joy, fear, and disgust all tend to play their part inside, but the worst is when one feels nothing after a breakup. Some try to fill that empty hole in the heart by being with other loved ones, while others will drown their sorrows in a brown-bagged forty or a bar.

But when the liquor doesn’t fill the hole in the heart, what’s left but to lament? For Twilight, that’s where this story hits hardest: reflecting on how time passed, the dwindling sparks of fleeting romance, and the end that seemed well and truly inevitable.

Everything here is conveyed with purpose, from the cloudy thoughts and clear speech to the regrets and memories. Read this tale with as much care and devotion that’s been put into the words, and prepare for an emotional roller coaster from a mostly emotionless mare.

I like Monochromatic’s writing a lot.

However, the main reason this story is worth a look is not my personal feelings about Monochromatic’s gallery but as an example of just how engaging dialogue can be. Dialogue is a very difficult thing to write. It is so hard to make it sound natural. What feels natural in the composition will often lose its organic sense in the reading. Good dialogue in stories can honestly be what makes the whole piece! Bad dialogue can almost destroy an otherwise good story--I’m lookin’ at you, H.P.--and it’s often the thing weakest in young writers. So whenever I find someone who can really, really write it, I pay attention. As should you! Rarity and Twilight’s back and forth works on multiple levels, and it manages to sound like exactly what I would imagine characters like this saying in such a time and place.

“Supernova” is a story about a relationship that has fallen apart. Why? That’s up to you--it genuinely isn’t important. What is important is that it has, and that by circumstance or design the fractured ends of it are here to have a candid-yet-coy talk about something very painful. It’s heartfelt. It will make you chuckle. It will make you very, very, very sad. But it’s worth a read.


When Discord begins drafting all unicorns to serve in the military, young Celestia and Luna are given no choice but to flee their Unicornian home as refugees. But when Celestia discovers that they don't have enough money to pay both their ways to safety aboard the ship, she is forced to make a decision: return home and risk losing her sister to their cruel kingdom...
 
... or pay Luna's ticket and walk the desert pass alone.
 


You want to know what a good way to build a world is? You forge it with blood, sweat and a will of iron. And once you’re done, leave a little signature to mark what you’ve crafted so others know who made it at a glance.

The mark left by LUNAUSESCAPS (my apologies, I couldn’t resist) on this world is one to recognize, as the craftsmanship of this dark, despairing land under the thumb of Discord is reflected heavily in how hard Celestia works to ensure survival for Luna and herself, the history told from Celestia’s perspective, and how things spiraled downward into the present situation. Each detail is as focused and deliberate as a precise strike of a hammer. Getting wrapped up in the weaved threads of imagery is all too easy before you’re ensnared and immersed into a world that’s cruel, unfair, and definitely suffering a shortage of cookies.

Surviving in a place that mercilessly drafts Unicorns young and old into military service is playing with more fire than the hottest iron smelter, and Celestia decides it’s now or never to save her sister from a gruesome fate that’s already claimed a keystone of her family. Saving herself from this fate, however, puts her at odds with a harsh desert passage comparable to that of a certain desert walker.

She shall fear no evil when all is said and done. What she does next remains uncertain, but whatever step she takes carries more purpose than when she started.

I am all too eager to imagine where those steps will take her.

“Ain’t no grave can hold my body down.”

That’s spoken in this story, and honestly it could be the tagline. I chuckled at it when I read it first, but it was hard to forget later on. Whether it’s fitting or not as a reference, it is definitely fitting as a summation of LunaUsesCaps’ portrayal of a young, hardened Celestia.

The world is harsh. Celestia and Luna live under a repressive regime, one that would snatch Luna away in a heartbeat to serve in the endless campaigns as a living weapon. Unicorns have their uses, after all! Celestia, fearing the coming of a new war, can only secure passage for her sister. For herself, she chooses to walk the long way around, through the desert.

There’s something mythic about this story. Something old, and something… well, almost biblical. In slightly different wording one could imagine reading a story like this transcribed from an ancient scroll in the library of Alexandria. Celestia’s journey is a journey as much into death as anything else, and it’s conclusion will perhaps surprise you. Or not! Either way, it is a good ride. What can I say? I’m a sucker for myth.


The Tired Old Man at the End of the World blinked at the scroll as he held it in his hands. The winds continued to howl, hungry and bitter, thirsty perhaps for the time they will be loosed.

“Well?” said Cyne after a moment, trying not to fall over in her exhaustion after having climbed all the way up the impossible cliffs at the edge of Morning to deliver her reviews.

There was no answer. The sage squinted and then turned the scroll over the other way.

She stared at him.

Finally, he shrugged and chunked the thing over his back. The scroll was caught immediately in the gale and was lost forever before Cyne could manage to even cry out in alarm.

“Eh, I can’t read it anyhow. Penmanship’s terrible,” the sage said, grunted, and then went back to his nap.


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

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