Wanderer D 4,780 followers · 49 stories

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  • 1 week
    SA Round: 147

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


    The Intern wandered the endless mazes alone.

    It is Right that Interns brave the darkness of the maze alone, if you think about it, for is not the intern but a redshirt, writ large and brave? Is the Intern not a kind of mythic creature, which cannot be stopped, which endures weather, unpaid labor, coffee runs, and endless work and comes out on the other side technically alive?

    Yes, all of that, but it didn’t really matter because he hadn’t seen coffee in weeks, there wasn’t any work, and also the Reviews were Due.

    The reviews were a kind of mystery, really. Where did they go? Where did they come from? Who wrote the stories that they read and who supplied the typewriters that they wrote upon? Intern does not know, and he does not ask. The asking is done by the narrator, narrating his--

    “Are you done yet?” he asked.

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    9 comments · 938 views
  • 7 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 145

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


    “Hey Cor,” Matthew began, “what would happen if we didn’t have an intro?”

    Corejo thought for a moment. “I have no idea,” he said.

    “Should we… should we try it?”

    “Eh, why the hell not?” Corejo laughed.

    ROUND 145

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    9 comments · 1,497 views
  • 10 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 144

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


    “I don’t get paid enough for this.”

    “Last I heard, you don’t get paid at all.”

    “My point exactly.”

    Cynewulf huffed and reached a little higher. Her high heels perched precariously on Intern’s shoulders, the Seattle’s Angle strained to unscrew a bolt from a metal panel. Intern clenched his teeth, threatening to wear down his molars. A small silver screw dropped past his face.

    “Got one. Three to go.”

    Intern bit back a curse. “Speaking of things that come in fours, did you get your reviews in yet?”

    “Ugh, not now. I need to concentrate.” Another bolt came loose and fell.

    “Why didn’t you just get a ladder? Why use me?”

    Even though he couldn’t see it, Intern could feel the smirk as Cynewulf said, “As if you don’t already know.” A third screw came tumbling down.

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    4 comments · 1,846 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 143

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


    The Endless Labyrinths of the SA Compound are host to a lot of strange things. Monsters, ghosts, office cubicles that go on for a mile, strip malls. And of course, the omnipresent Reviews, which must be places in the Questing Box which appears randomly to haunt you like that skull from Diaries of Spaceport Janitor. It also sometimes goes NYEH in your face like that skull.


    NYEH said the Box.


    “Um.” Heartshine nervously fussed with her mane. “Um, uh. Shouldn’t we, ah, do the thing? You know? The reviewing? The thing with the words?”


    Inside of the changing booth, Cynewulf was incredibly busy. A skirt went flying like a beleagured parachute over the top of the door and fell like an awkwardly shaped leaf down in front of poor Heartshine.


    “BUSY!” Cynewulf yelled, not really needing to yell but deciding to.

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    11 comments · 1,696 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 142

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


    Heartshine stared at the doorknob that sat on the door labelled ‘custodian’. Cyne had asked for her help in decorating the facility for Hearth’s Warming, and, in her enthusiasm to pitch in, Heartshine had forgotten one minor detail about the facility that occasionally made it difficult to get around the vast complex.

    Doorknobs were not made for pony hooves. Or mouths, for that matter.

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    10 comments · 1,622 views
  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 141

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


    Matthew would have jumped at his door slamming open, but big bangs were practically an hourly occurrence at the SA compound. He looked up to find PaulAsaran in his door. The man’s eye was twitching and his sweating was not what someone might call pleasant. He’d only ever seen Paul like this when they were late, which they clearly were not.

    Matthew ventured to ask, “Is there a problem?”

    “I’m reading a bunch of big stories all at once.” Paul’s twitching was starting to alternate from eye to eye. “I haven’t written a review in over a week. Please tell me the next SA blog has an opening.”

    Matthew smiled in relief and raised a collection of papers. “Why, yes! I have the stories right—” Paul snatched the papers from his hand, sat down on the floor, and began pouring over the material. Literally. “—here?”

    ROUND 141

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    8 comments · 2,378 views
  • 19 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 140

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


    PaulAsaran sat in his office, Intern seated across from him. A stack of completed review papers lay between them on Paul’s desk. The two stared at the pile as though expecting it to get up and walk on its own at any moment.

    Given the things the two had already experienced working for the Angels, that possibility wasn’t being ruled out.

    “So… we going to just sit here and wait until it’s time to hand these in?”

    Paul flicked his gaze briefly from the reviews to Intern, then right back again. “If that’s what it takes.”

    Groaning and pinching his nose, Intern said, “You know, we could be doing anything else. Hang gliding, playing games, getting outside, explore the terminal. Not all review posts are eventful.”

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    7 comments · 2,323 views
  • 20 weeks
    SA Reviews: Round 139

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


    Cyne swallowed nervously as the nurse talked on.


    She hated needles, but it was just one of the many hoops one jumped through in staying healthy. Besides, the place felt so calm, and finding a clinic in the non-euclidian sacred geometry of the vast SA compound had been so difficult and taken so long--

    Wait.


    How had she found this place? Where was this? When did she arrive?


    Before any questions or further insight into the baffling nature of the endless labyrinths the Seattle’s Angel’s inhabit could be answered, Chris burst through the wall.


    “Come with me if you want to live!” he bellowed at a sputtering Cyne.


    “Wait, what?”

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    8 comments · 2,514 views
  • 23 weeks
    SA Reviews Round 138

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


    “Here’s the cafeteria, there’s the offices, down there’s the jet propulsion lab—”

    “Question!”

    Intern jerked from the sudden squeak coming from the light green pegasus pony standing next to him. “Yeah?”

    “Why do you have a jet propulsion lab?”

    Intern stared at the newest member of the Angels, Heartshine, as though unable to process the question. “Why wouldn’t we have a jet propulsion lab?”

    Heartshine giggled. “Good point. Carry on!”

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    12 comments · 2,162 views
  • 25 weeks
    Seattle's Angels Round 137

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


    “Um… watcha doing?” asked Matthew. “And why am I tied to a chair?”

    Archonix looked at him and smiled. “Don’t you get it? It’s a conspiracy! All of it!”

    “Uhh… ok. Mind explaining?”

    “You don’t believe me do you?” Arch screamed at the ceiling. “They’ve already gotten to you! It’s too late, I’m the only one left.”

    “Yeah, ok…” Matthew looked around the room. “Mind having a breakdown later? We gotta get some reviews done…”

    ROUND 137

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    5 comments · 1,721 views
Feb
16th
2019

Story Reviews » SA Reviews: Round 146 · 5:52pm February 16th

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


It was a call to action. It was a call for adventure. It was a call to right the wrongs of all those that had come before and secure the future for all that would come after.

These were not the calls Intern wanted to take while cramming in reviews the day before a deadline. Slamming the phone down for what felt like the hundredth time, Intern continued to furiously type away. Seriously, what type of hyper-techno, sudo-magical organization still used rotary phones anyway?

At least he wasn’t suffering alone.

“How much time do we have left?” Chris asked, himself typing at a dizzying pace.

“Not much, and all these robo-calls are stealing what’s left,” Intern replied. “I knew it was a bad idea when Matthew said he had signed us up for that Hero’s Weekly newsletter. We’re Angels, not the Avengers.”

Chris grunted in agreement, as talking distracted him from work.

The phone began to ring.

ROUND 146


For the past few months, the newspapers and literary magazines of Equestria have been dominated by a hot new fiction fad: tales of friendship temporarily -- or permanently -- torn asunder by a thorny hypothetical question about Changelings.

Enter Rainbow Dash, the fearless high-flier whose past crimes against the written word were so awful Princess Twilight considered making them actual crimes simply to get out of proofreading them. On one unassuming night, Dash gathers her friends together to be the audience for her latest literary masterpiece, a short story about friendship and Changelings, written with all of her usual panache. She's absolutely convinced they'll fall to their knees in awe of her superb writing skills.

Her terrified friends get ready to fall to their knees and beg her to stop reading.


Those of you who were around back in 2015 (which, as recent as it feels to me, turns out to have been four years ago.  When did that happen?) might remember a GaPJaxie story by the name of Would it Matter if I Was?  The basic premise of that story was that, in the aftermath of A Canterlot Wedding, Twilight and Fluttershy had a conversation centering around the possibility that Fluttershy was, herself, a changeling.  The reason you might remember this particular fic is because it proved extremely controversial, with plenty of fix-fics, counter-fics, counter-counter-fics, and what have you getting thrown around.

But even if you weren’t here for that, you should read this story.  Even if you’re leary of fix-fics, counter-fics, and counter-counter-fics, you should read this story.  And you should read it for the simple reason that it isn’t any of those things. See, it’s not a story about Would it Matter If I Was at all.  No, it’s a story about the reaction to Would it Matter If I Was? It’s a piece of metafictional comedy about recursive writing in general.  And it’s absolutely hilarious.

A big chunk of this story is taken up by a retelling Rainbow Dash's story, and the reactions of the other ponies to it are consistently hilarious.  Their asides, pleas, and snark give the story a delightful buoyancy. And although her self-insert tale is (deliberately) awful, even it has its moments; amid her various homophone mixups and malapropisms, I was as puzzled as the rest of her friends were by her use of the phrase "A few goo mansion," but Twilight eventually figuring out what she actually meant was the highlight of the fic for me.  What can I say, I love stupid punnery.

But the appeal here is broader than just “people who like stupid puns.”  Fans of gentle, friendly fandom commentary--and of (for me, at least) literal laugh-out-loud reactions or horror and dismay--will want to check it out.

Ever have that friend who thought their creative work was the best thing that was ever produced in the history of ever? And of course it sucked harder than a black hole trapped in an industrial vacuum pulling in Sour Patch Kids?

That’s Rainbow Dash, and her latest masterpiece is too good to not let her friends gush all over it. They gush all right, just so long as Applejack keeps passing the hard cider around.

The appeal here is seeing all the reactions that the group has as Rainbow Dash narrates a meme started by a particular story that birthed dozens of imitators. Going both meta on the community itself and the ridiculousness of chasing a trend, we get to experience it all through Dashie’s enthusiastic lense.

If you like the type of so-bad-it’s-good storytelling and the riffing the girls do to it, this is your story.


Quietus is a secretive town, hidden away to protect it's spectral clientele. When Trixie discovers the town, she tries to help the unhappy residents unbind their contract. But what can a low-powered conjurer of cheap tricks do against wealthy ghosts?


I’m not a fan of ghost stories, particularly.  It’s nothing personal, but I find they get a little too… same-y.  The same’s true of that whole corner of the horror genre for me, really; once you start to recognize the classic beats of the tale, then I feel like a bit of the polish comes of the apple.

Which is what makes it such a treat when an author manages to come at such a story from a different angle.  As in this case, where the story is nominally about a town visited once a year by the restless spirits of its deceased ancestors, but is actually a tale of that one annoying relative who won’t take a hint and let you live your life the way you want to.  You know, the mom who’s always passive-aggressively observing how you could’ve been a doctor if you hadn’t insisted on getting that BA in comparative eschatology, or the grandfather who thinks you’re a pansy because your generation didn’t get drafted, or the aunt who keeps trying to set you up with that nice young lady in the apartment next door.

Now imagine that those relatives were all granted spectral immortality.

Anyway, it makes for an enjoyable variation, and the framing device of Trixie and Starlight chatting sets it up nicely.  If you’re tired of the same old ghost stories, good news! This isn’t one.

One of the things that draws me to Trixie is how her roaming around the country looking to entertain the locals sometimes leads her to places she shouldn’t step into. You just never know what might be round the bend, and Equestria proves that it could be anything. Even g-g-g-ghosts!

This time, she ends up in a place called Quietus and quickly gets tangled up in the town’s paranormal problems. Of course, this is Trixie and she’s always got the best plans to help those in need! And if that doesn’t work, then hey, there’s still running.

I don’t know if this story is inspired by Lovecraft but it sure feels like it. Specifically, The Shadow over Innsmouth. If you’re familiar with that one, you’ll have a good idea what you’re getting into here. A little spooky, a little insanity, but all great and powerful!


Pathfinder has a gift and a curse. He can, at times, fly between worlds. The first world he discovered was filled with love. The second world was filled with poison. In all of Equestria, in all of the Realm Undying, is there no safe place for him?


There are a lot of edgy stories in this fandom, but it’s worth taking a moment to think about what “edgy” actually means.  It’s not just having dark or violent material; some of the best stories on FiMFic have that. It’s not a bleak tone or a downer ending; the entire tragedy genre is built around those.  Rather, it’s using those kinds of elements callously. Edginess is having the good guys win and/or get graphically eviscerated not because that communicates something meaningful to the reader, but because it’s cool, or for shock value.  It’s wallowing in shallow stylistic and content decisions, without giving more than passing thought to what those events imply for the story, and the world in which it is set.

Today I Am A Monster embraces these less candy-cane and gumdrop implications, exemplified nowhere better than where Steven Magnet mediates a dispute between a manticore and a turtle over whether the former can kill the latter and feed it to her babies.  It's a dark scene, yet it's tackled head-on, and the story doesn't shy away from the issues it raises. It all adds up to a very emotionally honest story, where it's easy to believe the protagonist's PTSD not because it's realistically portrayed--I feel it is, but that's not why it feels honest--but because those feelings aren't presented just for the sake of drama, or so that he can be quickly, easily, and permanently "fixed."  They simply are, and acceptance is the theme of the day here. Derpy's simple profundity frames his struggles nicely, and the whole story ends up feeling a lot more real than any stealth crossover with a certain ponyfic goliath by rights ought to.

If "emotionally honest" is something you look for in fiction, then this is well worth your while.  But whether you read it or not, please don't mistake this for some edgy gorefic; the stakes here are fantasy through-and-through, but they're also wonderfully resonant.

Ever have one of those days where you’re going about your business and then step into a doorway into another dimension? No? Just me?

Well, Pathfinder ends up doing it, and the toll it’s taken on his psyche is pretty startling. There’s some clever buildup to how he’s gotten to be the way he is and how he’s constantly on alert to keep himself from lashing out. Happiness doesn’t come easy, especially when he considers himself unworthy of it.

It may come across as angsty and edgelordy, but I still felt for the guy.

Also, there’s an obvious reference to a well-known fic that might make you roll your eyes or nod at how well it integrates into Pathfinder’s journey. Your mileage may vary.

If delving into the depths of a pony mind struggling to find its place sounds appealing, have a go at it.


Twelve scenes from the many lives of Rainbow Dash, inspired by the songs from Baths' Cerulean. Best enjoyed while listening along to the album.


Word porn!  Sometimes it gets a bad rap, and for good reason: it can all too easily come off as pretentious fluff, devoid of any value other than showing off the author’s vocabulary.  

But dangit, words are fun.  That’s why we’re all here, right? Because we love words.  And Cherax uses these twelve unconnected vignettes to take us on a linguistic tour de force.

Beyond that… well, there’s not much.  The vignettes are too short to have much individual meaning, and they don’t add up to anything larger than the sum of their parts.  Individual “chapters” will probably feel stronger to some readers than others. But looking for a solid narrative or through-line is missing the point.  Let the text wash over you, and enjoy this word porn on its own merits.

This one is a series of small vignettes that involve Rainbow Dash is some way. Some are romantic, some are adventurous, but all are AWESOME. At least according to Rainbow Dash.

There’s not too much to talk about here as these are not connected narratively. Sometimes the author likes to play coy with identifying the pony Rainbow Dash is interacting with until the end, so there’s a little bit of mystique for those that like to guess the ending. All-in-all, a pretty solid group of scenes that showcase the best and worst of Ponyville’s top flier.

Apparently listening to the music listed in the description above helps the experience, but I’ve never heard that group before (maybe I have but I don’t recognize the name), so your enjoyment may hinge on that. I liked it well enough even without the music, so there’s that for my plug!


The phone rang again.

Chris and Intern tried to ignore it. Answering it would only cause more distractions… but the constant ringing had drilled into their ears and was meeting in the middle. Minutes mattered at this point, but their sanity was wearing.

For a few blissful seconds the ringing would stop, only to start again. Minds filled with bells chiming and gongs roaring, they were convinced they had died and were sitting in their personal Hell. They forced themselves to work through it, unwilling to quit as the deadline grew closer. At last they both hit the submit button, sending their hard fought post to the queue. As one they fell back in their chairs, bodies spent and brains drained.

“Did… it…” Intern managed to groan out. The ringing drowned him out.

Matthew burst into the room, finding the two comatose reviewers staring off into space. “Are you guys going to answer that? It’s really annoying.”


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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Comments ( 4 )
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

About time Cerulean made it here, that thing's great. :D

It's crazy to me that people are still making/reading/discovering would it matter if I was spinoffs
That's legendary. I remember when the original story was in the featured box, and then someone made a joke fic about it, and then 50+ more were made.

Could you possibly consider taking a look at this story? For the sake of transparency, I am a co-author in this fic.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/267629/mlp-xenoverse

Professor Plum
Story Approver

5014594
1) SA suggestions should be in the SA suggestion thread.
2) No self-promotion.
3) That story is too successful to fit SA's criteria.

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