Wanderer D 4,995 followers · 55 stories

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News Archive

  • 2 weeks
    SA: Round 166

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


    Drake marched back and forth in front of the desk, hands clasped behind his back. “So, you think you have what it takes to be a Seattle’s Angel reviewer, do ya?”

    Winter_Solstice darted his eyes to the side. “Well, I applied and you guys accepted me, so…”

    They accepted you!” Drake thrust a finger at Winter. “I haven’t yet! I need to make sure you’re up to snuff!”

    “Aren’t we just reviewing fanfics?” Winter shrugged. “I’ve got experience with that, shouldn’t be a problem?”

    “Is that so?” Drake glared and crossed his arms. “What have you done for reviewing before?”

    “I was a reviewer for Twilight’s Library.”

    Drake lowered his arms a bit and his glare softened. “Really?”

    “And then Tag-a-long’s Bookclub, Rage Reviews! and The Goodfic Bin.”

    Read More

    13 comments · 5,634 views
  • 6 weeks
    SA: Round 164

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


    Chris walked down the corridors of Seattle’s Angels HQ, sipping a cup of coffee as he went. 

    “Did Matthew really have to have everyone come in today? I know it’s the first meeting of the year, but this is ridiculous,” he said as he took another sip. 

    As he made his way into the conference room, he took notice that the table seemed…. Bigger… than it was when he left for the holidays. 

    He plopped to his seat next to EbonQuill. “Does the table seem bigger to you, or is it just me?”

    “Didn’t you get the email?” EbonQuill questioned. “Matthew said he was bringing on the newbies to start off the new year. ‘New Year, New Blood,’ I think he called it.”

    Not in the right frame of mind to be caught by surprise, Chris took another sip of his coffee, his visage one of exasperation. 

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    11 comments · 7,115 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA: Round 164

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


    Matthew walked the quiet halls of the Seattle’s Angels compound, taking in this brief moment of peace and tranquillity. Many of the staff had taken off for the holidays, leaving just a few stragglers behind to finish up the year’s work. Next year’s posts still loomed large, but Matthew could ignore it for now and enjoy the—

    A crash came from the Angels’ office area, interrupting Matthew’s inner exposition. Sighing, he headed into the large work area so see Intern struggle to get a small flying drone under control. The drone crashed into Corejo’s desk, splintering the wooden structure into kindling before taking off again. Straight for Matthew.

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    3 comments · 5,802 views
  • 13 weeks
    SA: Round 163

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


    Heartshine sat by the fireplace, waiting. She had everything laid out, just like Cynewolf had said. Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin spice latté, and of all things, Ugg boots. Heartshine was skeptical when Cynewulf said that the boots were necessary for the ritual, but who was she to question the wisdom of human traditions?

    Slowly, the clock on the wall ticked, and yet nothing happened.

    The door behind her swung open, and Intern poked his head in.

    “Uh, what are you doing?”

    “I’m waiting for the Great Pumpkin!” Heartshine cheerfully replied, pointing at her offerings to the human nature spirit. “Cynewulf said that humans celebrate Thank and Giving with pumpkins to appease the Great Pumpkin. She said if you’re good, you get presents and a good harvest!”

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    14 comments · 6,533 views
  • 15 weeks
    SA: Round 162

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


    Matthew slung his arm over the top of the office divider. “Hey, Drake. I heard you wanted to talk to someone?”

    Drake turned around from his deck, looking at a piece of paper in his hands. “I was just looking at my schedule here. According to this, I’m on the crew for reviews this week?”

    Matthew nodded. “That’s right.”

    “But, I was on the review crew last time, too. And I just started here.” Drake scratched his head. “How come I’ve been assigned a double on my first month?”

    “Well, all the review spots are assigned on a volunteer basis.”

    Drake shifted his eyes from side to side. “I didn’t volunteer for this week.”

    “No, but everyone else didn’t not not volunteer before you, so, yeah.” Matthew shrugged. “It happens.”

    Drake slumped in his chair. “So I’m doing a double shift on my first month here.”

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    3 comments · 3,366 views
  • 17 weeks
    SA: Round 161

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


    Intern sighed, looking at his clock built into his heads up display for the dozenth time. He tapped his foot impatiently, arms crossed, and passing the time by whistling a formless tune. No wonder no one else wanted to invite the new guy in when it was going to be this boring.

    His clock beeped. At precisely that moment, the mirror Intern stood in front of began to glow and churn. The sound of an engine revving up could be heard somewhere beyond the swirl of space/time.

    Intern scratched his head. “I could of sworn we’ve done this bit before…”

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    6 comments · 3,034 views
  • 18 weeks
    SA: Round 160

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


    “Who was the intern again?”

    Chris turned with a baffled look. “What? And also, what the heck?”

    Cyne held his hand as he swayed back and forth over the endless abyss. The bridge linking the Infinite Archives with the District of a Thousand Delicatessens had given out as it did every 20 hours or so, because the ever growing labyrinth that made up the Seattle’s Angels HQ bunker. They’d just messed up the timing by a hair.

    “Yeah, who was the intern?” Cynewulf asked again, regardless of the dire circumstances. “I keep forgetting and by rights at some point it should have been me?”


    “For pony’s sake please pull me up right th—“


    “Furthermore,” she continued, her lupine claws digging in as she pulled him up but by bit, “why do we have interns? And how did we come to be here?”

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    6 comments · 3,278 views
  • 22 weeks
    SA: Round 159

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


    If there was one thing Intern had learned during his time with Seattle’s Angels, it was that the reviewers really valued their downtime. Scouring for new stories to feature was exhausting work, not to mention the time it took to write perfect posts week in and week out. A chance to get away from that, even for a few fleeting minutes, was more precious than Zap Apple jam spread over a slice of apple pie on a cool evening overlooking the picturesque view of the compound’s vast corn syrup fields.

    “Want to tone it down on the metaphor, there?”

    Intern started at hearing Matthew’s voice right behind him. He whirled around, slapping his laptop shut, and holding it protectively against his chest. “Mine!”

    Matthew cocked his head. “Have you been getting into our supply of poison joke again?”

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    4 comments · 2,923 views
  • 24 weeks
    SA: Round 158

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


    Heartshine flew just a couple inches over Paul’s shoulder, rubbing her hooves together anxiously. “Are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have to if you don’t want to, y’know.”

    Paul glanced over his shoulder at her, eyebrow raised. “For the last time, yes. I don’t see any reason not to.”

    She flitted about his head like an agitated bird, her voice gaining a slightly higher pitch. “B-but, what if somepony finds out what we’re doing? You have a reputation. A good one! I don’t want to ruin that.”

    He rolled his eyes, hand on the doorknob to his office. “If I’m okay with everyone knowing I’m a brony, then I’m okay with this. So relax! What we’ve got together is special, Heartshine, and I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.”

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    6 comments · 2,119 views
  • 26 weeks
    SA: Round 157

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


    Matthew walked into Corejo’s broom closet office. “Hey Cor, all my reviews are done, we just need yours and an intro/outro and we should be good.”

    Corejo looked up from his chalkboard computer. “Just got one left, but all my others are done. I’ll hand ‘em in once it’s done.”

    “Alright, cool. Any ideas for the intro stuff?”

    “Not really.” Corejo shrugged. “Unless you wanna transcribe this conversation. People will think it’s funny. Until they’re like, ‘you’re not funny.’ And then we’ll be had.”

    ROUND 157

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    10 comments · 2,180 views
Jan
26th
2020

Story Reviews » SA: Round 165 · 4:02am January 26th

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


The Wolf in Black fled across the desert, and the Floydien followed.


It was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky in what looked like all directions. From the abandoned Office Badlands to the Lost Gyro Food Trucks of Level 17 it stretched its sandy claws, white and blinding and thirsty and featureless, save for the distant hazed-cloud mirage of the brutalist architecture that marked much of the lower depths of the Seattle’s Angel’s Inifini-plex.


He had experienced a momentary dizziness along the way, a brief unmooring of his ego from the trail. For a moment, the whole world had seemed ephemeral, see through, a hollow expanse which one might ascend to the top of and touch the roof of the sky with outstretched hand. But the moment was gone. What was left was desert, a desert named peace, himself and the Wolf, ranging infinite.


His mission was simple; reviews--long or short it didn’t matter, they need only be reviews--they needed doing, and by Gan he’d see them done. But his reviews could not go alone. The machinations of the Angels’ Infiniplex, in their mysterious and perhaps not altogether-benevolent wisdom, demanded that there always be two reviewers. One chasing another until finally the reviews were written. Thus had it been since the first god-bomb-beginnin’, say true.


But, even as he considered the half-drunk canteen at his side, he saw in the distance a way station, and knew he must investigate. Signs of the Wolf’s passing there may be yet to salvage.


And so in the dusty wooden waystation the Floydien found a stack of papers with a red ribbon tying them together and an odd note in the King’s tongue. “Just missed me, wordslinger!”

ROUND 165



STORY 1
The Murder of Elrod Jameson, by Unwhole Hole

Investigation of a peculiar murder in the decaying supercity of Bridgeport, Connecticut.


It’s not usual for us to highlight stories this long, but in this case making an exception is warranted.

Unwhole Hole is a fascinating figure, and the story they’ve created is also fascinating. It’s a dark world, a slightly paranoid one where the very air feels hostile. There are points where it feels like Neuromancer, but substitutes Gibson’s occasionally more poetic prose for something that’s closer to a clinically cold voice-over of an unsettling casefile… which is appropriate, because the first few chapters of this just scream noir.

The world of Elrod Jameson is one where innocence is chewed up and where people (and maybe ponies too) can die without the last words and long emotionality of lighter series. In this particular Connecticut, the quick know to watch their heads and the dead became so in the blink of an eye. Absolutely recommend checking out not only this story, but also the rest of this gallery (even their blog posts are pretty fun).

A word of warning: this story is not tagged Mature lightly. There are several very dark and potentially upsetting scenes. Please take a moment to review the story’s tags before reading. 

I have a weakness for worldbuilding stories, and The Murder of Elrod Jameson is worldbuilding at its peak: not presented as a wall of text, but deftly woven into the plot and conversations between the quirky characters. It takes place in a dystopian cyberpunk version of Connecticut, where the titular character is brutally murdered in the first chapter. If you think that this is starting in medias res, though, prepare yourself for twist after twist after twist.

While the worldbuilding really does make this worth the read by itself, the character interactions are a lot of fun and genuinely engaging, not bogging down the pace of the story at all. Speaking of, don’t be put off the wordcount; I read the whole thing in two days and it sure didn’t feel like it took that long. It was incredibly gripping and difficult to put down.

There is a lot more I can touch on, especially regarding the themes that this fic explores (the pursuit of knowledge, the loss of innocence, and the moral grayness of corporations, among others), but Unwhole Hole does a much better job. If worldbuilding and science fiction are up your alley, do yourself a favor and read this.


A mason's construction of Canterlot takes a turn for the odd when Celestia insists on assisting with the castle.


There’s a lot to like in this story, but honestly my favorite part is how funny it can be--less in the outrageous laughter way but more in the constant barrage of character moments and light authorial play that just make you chuckle to yourself as you scroll down the page.

That’s possible mostly because the prose here is tight, really tight. The characters feel real, their clipped speech and broad set pieces alike feel controlled and don’t overstay their welcome. While not as adventurous as the story above, the draw here is in the dynamics that Rambling creates between Celestia and the master builder Gabion. 

Two clever characters, clever in their own rather different ways, with very different perspectives and backgrounds and values and modes of communication. Gabion very early on has the thought--both with some irony and some seriousness, that Celestia does not fit into his world. And he isn’t wrong, not entirely. Built into this world is the reality that reality itself isn’t monolithic. It is a pieced together amalgam of fractured images that don’t always mix together comfortably. 

More worldbuilding! I always love reading stories here that focus on small details from the show and, as the title implies, this particular fic focuses on the actual construction of Canterlot Castle, something I’m not sure I’ve seen before.

Ultimately, it’s a very strong character piece between Princess Celestia and Gabion, the master builder. Rambling Writer explores the dynamic between the two, first and foremost acknowledging their backgrounds and, subsequently, how they influence each other over the course of this massive project and beyond.

The prose is wonderful, and while the story itself feels somewhat small in scope, it touches on a wide variety of themes that flesh out the characters and their relationship. In an alternate universe, this could very easily be a canon episode of the show, or at least an extended flashback. For fans of Celestia, worldbuilding, or friendship, give this a read.


Twilight is taking tea, just like she used to with the princess. She's the princess' faithful student actually. Did you know that?


A frightening truth: we are fragile beings, held together with glue and love and spit and miracles. Our brains are powerful glass cannons. For every instance of our resilience there are a dozen examples of our powerlessness. Taken in aggregation, we must conclude that we are not straight lined-readable beings. Our nature is random. Our bodies and minds are always a shuffle away from ruin. 


That ruin comes in so many ways, and those ways warp the mind the more you think of them. The Seer is presenting one of those ways in this story, and it will leave you feeling a little warped. The idea that our perception of time, permanence, self might in fact be easily taken away from us feels wrong, but it isn’t. It’s not even uncommon. This is only a slight exageration of the ruin built into our physical forms.


The sad tag could easily be a horror tag. This story is sad because it is Twilight Sparkle. It is horrifying because it isn’t just Twilight Sparkle.

Major props to The Seer; this accomplishes a lot in not very many words at all.

This story earns the Sad tag in spades. Without giving too much away, it is a simple and heartbreaking look at a part of life that no one really likes to acknowledge or discuss. Sparse as they are, the details that are included make this fic come to life just enough to feel real and not fall into clichéd territory.

It’s just over a thousand words, but you should especially check this out if you like Sad or Slice or Life (and if you don’t cry at the end, you’re a monster).


When a fearsome group of dragons arrive over Canterlot with no warning, ponies begin to panic. Faced with an uncertain threat, the Princesses call on their trusted friend Spike for advice. Good choice, right?


The idea of Spike getting a letter shouldn’t be that strange, and yet it sort of is. He is the carrier of letters from Celestia. The idea that she might be writing him directly is… a little weird.

And I love that she does, because any story that can do something fun and readable with Spike is good. And what about? Dragons. It’s odd to think that Celestia would need help with dragons, but the more you think about it the more it makes sense. After all, its not as if we have any indication that she interacts with them that much--and furthermore, who better to ask advice of then a dragon?

This one is fun, and it’s a nice example of someone constructing a story by asking questions and following the thread of answers to their logical conclusions.

Dragons play a very interesting role in the context of the show. Sure, you have Spike, but then you have that one from “Dragonshy,” Garble, Ember, Smolder, and Crackle’s cousin so on. If we ignore Smolder for the time being, as this fic takes place between seasons 6 and 7, we see a largely isolated species that is, at best, ignorant of ponies and, at worst, outright hostile.

So what if, all of a sudden, there were a group of these dragons loitering near Canterlot, not attacking, just… there? That’s what the princesses want to know, and who better to help than Ponyville’s resident dragon expert, Spike?

This is one of those stories that really dives into and thoroughly explores multiple themes (one example, in this case, is the importance of communication), but does so by further elaborating on what the show has directly presented. As with so many of this author’s works, it could feasibly fit into the canon of the show without feeling out of place. It’s funny, it’s serious, but most of it all, it’s thoughtful. Give this a shot if you like Slice of Life, Spike, or dragons in general.


The Floydien rested at the waystation for the night, not bothering to light a fire for fear of alerting the beasts of the vast desert.


His search would continue tomorrow, but for now he lay in his bedroll and just… let his mind wander.


What was the point of this? It wasn’t a question he often asked out on the path because it was dangerous to let his mind wander too far. But it was a valid question. Since finding himself in the bowels of the Seattle’s Angels sprawling ever-growing lair, he had been following the road in front of him, one foot after another. The reviews, the following, all of it.


Truly, he’d only followed the Wulf because he’d been told to, by notes scrawled on the walls days ago. What had been the purpose of it all--


“Oh, that was just window dressing for a cool set up! The intro is gonna be great.”


He leapt up, six gun in hand, and found her grinning in the station’s doorway.


“You!”


“Me!”


“How are you--why are you--who are you--”


“Got any water? Drank the last of mine,” she said calmly, still smiling. “Oh, you’re not mad about the whole Dark Tower thing, right? I forget how new folks take a bit to get used to the Shenanigans. Anyway, I was thinking next time we might try going for like, some kind of play on Asimov… Oh, maybe The Wall…”


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 ( 11 )

More Unwhole Hole, yaaas. :twilightsmile:

Like neruomancer you say? Interesting.

5192204
yeah specifically in how fucked up the world can feel at a few points. ymmv there but that was what came to mind

A Spike fic in Seattle's Angels? That's a must-read.

Ah, it's by 8686. Why aren't the views for all his fics too high to qualify them for SA? They should be.

Thank you for the very kind reviews, I really appreciate it :twilightsmile:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Ooh, Elrod Jameson making the rounds now! :3 Good, good.

5192358
I was a little hesitant to recommend it, due to its M rating, but it really is a fantastic story that deserves a lot more attention

These all look like winners

Who wrote the intro? I compared it to the original. There are some subtle changes, all surprisingly good ones. Not often I see a parody that improves on the original.

5192480
Our resident Wulf!

What is 8686 still doing in these? You'd think people would've caught on by now :trixieshiftleft:

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