Wanderer D 5,519 followers · 65 stories

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  • 1 week
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCCLIX

    Hello, FIMFiction! It’s time for another round of reviews.

    Over the last two weeks I have been pondering what I could use this introductory segment for. I always seem to have something to talk about, but I don’t know if the public at large is interested in most of those things. Do I bring up my own attempts at writing, at the risk of it looking like self-promotion? I’d discuss writing in general, but there are plenty of places that already do that. I used to talk about things going on in my own life, but that feels inappropriate. I am, at least for the moment, at a loss. Suggestions would be welcome!

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    56 comments · 1,994 views
  • 3 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCCLVIII - It's Showtime Edition

    I've always wanted to start a blog with that.

    Good evening, FIMFiction!

    Those of you unfamiliar with my sleepy avatar, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Who is this weirdo and why is he suddenly invading the site-wide news feed? Allow me to illuminate you.

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    50 comments · 3,492 views
  • 125 weeks
    SA: The Last Round

    "So, what do you think, Corejo?" Wanderer D asked, politely showing off the stack of papers in his claw.

    The burlap sack with the printed (in color!) face of Corejo remained silent.

    "I see, yes, yes!" Wanderer D cackled. "Ahahaha! Yes! I agree! This story should do fine! So, who's reviewing it? RT?"

    The sack that had the picture of RTStephens on it tilted just enough for a single potato to roll onto the table.

    "And we have two! Alright, team, I expect you all to figure out who's doing the next one, okay? Let's not keep the readers waiting!" He glanced expectantly at the several sacks with pictures around him. "Alright! Dismissed."

    "Sir?"

    "Ah, intern. Is that my coffee?" Wanderer D took the proffered mug and downed the contents in one go. "Excellent! No time to rest! We have to edit what the guys just handed to me."

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    110 comments · 9,323 views
  • 147 weeks
    SA: Round 186

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


    The Dodge Junction train ramp was not where Floydien expected to be part of a reunion.

    He especially didn’t expect it to happen four times in a row.

    “Wait, Winter? What are you doing here?”

    Winter’s eyebrows raised. “On Summer vacation. What about you?”

    “Uh, same.”

    “Guys!”

    The two Angels looked to where the voice came from. Cynewulf came running up to them, a wide brimmed sunhat and sunglasses adorning her head. “Fancy meeting you two here!”

    Floydien scratched his head. “Same. Are you on vacation too?”

    “Yep! Had a blast down on the Horseshoe Bay coast.”

    “Well, ain’t this something!”

    All turned to the fourth voice. Knight strode up, his body decked out in fishing gear, complete with a fishing pole balanced over his shoulder. “Haven’t seen so many of us in one spot since vacation started.”

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    12 comments · 5,069 views
  • 162 weeks
    SA: Round 185

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


    Winter and Knight stared out at the bleak townscape. All around them, the fires raged unchecked as Ponyville's former occupants stumbled mindlessly about, their undead faces ravaged by rot and decay as they moaned for sustenance. Knight turned to Winter.

    "Ready to go?"

    Winter nodded and shifted a backpack. "Got everything with me. I guess it's now or never."

    Knight gave a wry smile. "That's the spirit. You do have your reviews, right?"

    "Of course!" he said, patting his chest. "Right here."

    Knight nodded and said, "Alright, here's the plan: we stick to the shadows as much as possible. From what I can tell, their eyesight isn't that good, but their sense of smell is excellent. We just have to stay upwind."

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    10 comments · 4,653 views
  • 169 weeks
    SA: Round 184

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


    “I see. Alright, I’ll let him know.”

    Intern twisted a dial on the small mechanical piece attached to his ear, retracting a blue, see-through visor from across his face. He turned to Floydien, crossing his arms. “It’s confirmed. Generation 5 is on its way. Season 2 of Pony Life is just around the corner. And the series finale of Equestria Girls was scrapped for a holiday special.”

    Floydien lifted an eyebrow. “And, what does that mean for us?”

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    10 comments · 4,805 views
  • 173 weeks
    SA: Round 183

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


    Over their heads the flak guns peppered the sky. The planes roared and sputtered. The clouds were dark, heavy with the child that was war. It was all noise.


    Cynewulf looked around the bend. “You know, I’ve been reading old fics. Remember Arrow 18?”


    Floydien slipped—a Floydien slipped—One Floydien came through the fractured time in the lower levels of the Sprawling Complex. “Uh, human in Equestria?”


    “Yeah. You know, we were probably too mean about those.”


    “They were terrible. I mean some of them. I guess a lot of everything is terrible.”


    “Well, yes. But anyway, I was reading it, and it occurred to me that what I liked about it was that it felt optimistic in the way that Star Trek was optimistic. It felt naive, but in a way one wanted to emulate. To regress back into it.”


    “Uh, that sounds nice?”

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    7 comments · 6,014 views
  • 178 weeks
    SA: Round 182

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


    “Okay, Winter, hit it!”

    Winter pulled a lever that ignited a rocket placed underneath the communal Christmas Tree. The tree blasted through a cylindrical hole and out into the skies beyond. It only took seconds for the tree to become a tiny red dot against the blue sky.

    Winter stepped away from the control panel and down to where Intern was standing behind a fifty-five millimeter thick glass wall. “We could have just picked up the base and tossed it in the garbage bin outside, you know.”

    Intern scoffed. “Yeah, we could, or we can go over the top in a comedic and entertaining manner that leads into our reviews.”

    “You’re getting all meta, now.”

    “Exactly! On to the reviews!”

    ROUND 182

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    6 comments · 8,041 views
  • 183 weeks
    SA: Round 181

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


    For the first time in the year that he worked there, FanficFan finally experienced quiet in the Seattle’s Angels Compound. All the other reviewers had gone home for the holidays, leaving him and Intern to submit the last round of reviews of the year. However, with Intern off on an errand, FanficFan was left alone.

    With stories ready to be read by his partner, all the reviewer could really do was wander around the empty building, taking in all the holiday decorations left behind from the Office Christmas Party a few days prior, like office space holiday knick-knacks, lights strown about the ceiling and wreaths on nearly every door. Plus, there was some leftover cookies and egg nog, so that was nice. 

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    8 comments · 6,457 views
  • 191 weeks
    SA: Round 179

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


    Winter peered cautiously out the corner of the broken window, surveying the damage outside. He turned to his companion.

    "Looks like we're trapped in here," he said quietly.

    Intern grunted and adjusted the bandage on his arm. "Nothing we haven't gone through before." He looked up at Winter. "Got your reviews?"

    Winter nodded and patted his chest pocket. "Right here, where they're safe." He turned and looked once more out the window. "Now, it's simply a matter of getting through all those ponies." Winter shuddered as he took in the horrors before him.

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    10 comments · 5,301 views
Nov
23rd
2020

Story Reviews » SA: Round 180 · 7:42am Nov 23rd, 2020

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


Cynewulf lay in a grassy field. This was a curious occurrence, as the Seattle Angel’s Dyson Sphere-esque compound basement labyrinth did not usually have grass. 


But like she had many times before, she’d been teleported here, and whether or not the sky above her was real or not, she didn’t mind. The grass was nice, and the wind was nice, and whatever happened happened.
f

There was a great crash and Corejo stumbled into the grass to her right.

“Oh, god, are we out? How did—”

“No clue. I suspect that it’ll just take us back anyhow. Did you have the reviews? The machine came for me a few days ago, so I’ve got mine.”


“I… Uh, I was late. I mean, we both are, unless you’ve been here for days.”


“Nope, only a few hours, so we finished about the same time.” Cynewulf shrugged. “That’s alright. It happens when it happens.”


Corejo handed over the reviews, and Cynewulf sat up to receive them. Together, they read through and felt the machine listen to more stories.

ROUND 180


Wherein unreasonably well-groomed Vikings crash a wedding.


This one here is the silly pick of the round. A short and simple joke about hygiene based off real history, as referenced in the Author's Notes. There isn't much to it outside of Rarity being Rarity and the smidge of RariTwi that happens, but it'll surely get a giggle out of you.

Honestly, I think my comment and Carabas' reply sum it up pretty well:

I often end up writing about fics of a predictable dour air. It’s just kind of my thing. But I do read other things too, and I adore when a writer can just make me smile. It’s kind of obvious what the joke here is, but reading this story reminded me of an earlier time, laughing over a google doc with friends. I miss those times. If you want that kind of humor, this is a good place to find it.


Tavi is gone. One day, she packed up all her things and left. Now I'm all alone, and I don't know what to do with myself. There's an ad in the newspaper promoting an experimental program called Project Rita. It says that it allows ponies to see the future of their relationships in alternate realities. Perhaps I could use it to see Tavi again?


Something something alternate realities and doohickey helmet machines. TaviScratch on the surface, self-discovery underneath.

The premise of "experience the life you could have lived" gave me some End of Ponies vibes, and I went into this one expecting it to get a lot darker than it did. (I can thank the fact I failed to look at the tags for that.) It actually didn't really get that dark at all, just… melancholic? That's not a bad thing; I know I'm in the minority when it comes to dark stories, but with the eventual direction the story took, I think that was the right choice.

It's worth noting when it comes to using dream logic in stories (especially shorter stories, I've found), many authors have trouble keeping the narrative understandable—which I get, cause brain bending and logical inconsistency rely on a certain amount of "this makes no sense." Project Rita never fell into this trap. The inconsistencies and time skips flow smoothly and never muddy what's happening in the moment.

It's fair to say this may come down to the fact this story wasn't meant as a thriller/mystery and as such only barely dipped its toes into the realm of gaslighting, but Muggonny handled its execution professionally regardless.

There's a lot of great relationship wisdom stuffed in here, too. The epilogue hit me pretty hard, and I'm sure I won't be alone in that. It's one hell of a moral everyone should take the time to read.

I also got the End of Ponies vibe here, and that is definitely a good thing. Honestly one of the tropes I love most in science fiction is that of the second chance through time travel. The temptation--to think that given perfect knowledge we could have done better--is hard to ignore. We’ve all wanted to go back and make different  choices, lived different lives. This story really scratched the itch that pushes me to pick up Phillip K. Dick, my go-to for a story that can take sci fi ideas and turn them towards the inner self.


Not long after her and Luna's retirement, Celestia receives a visit from an old...friend? Comrade-at-arms? Fellow immortal? Hopeless crush of her distant youth?

After everything that's happened over the centuries, Celestia's not at all sure what Scorpan is to her any more. The almost-forgotten stirrings in her chest, though, tell her quite clearly what she'd like him to be...


Here's a great one for all you filthy shippers out there. (Yes, I am included in that list, shush.) CelePan? Scorlestia? Idk what to call this ship, but I like it. Honestly, it sounds more like a crackship until you stop and think about it. Then you read this story and go, "wow, that really does work."

The story itself doesn't do anything crazy. In a sentence, it's two old maybe-more-than friends meeting each other again after a millennium, wrapped up in a neat little bow called AugieDog's amazing way with words. No earth-shattering revelations or white-knuckle thriller rides for the adrenaline junkies here, but what it does do, it does so right and so thoroughly. 

Every word out of Celesta's mouth and those that never leave her head are so genuinely Celestia. The measured wordplay and subtle innuendo on display are no small feat and add so much to the story if you take the time to absorb it.

Some readers might find Cele's lovey-dovey narration a little over the top if they aren't the biggest shipping fanatics, but where this is probably the fic's biggest issue for those readers, it remains the cornerstone of what makes it so damn good for those that aren't put off by it. 

I love worldbuilding, and I especially love when people are willing to do it in short form fiction, imagining dynamics and history and giving us a good impression of them in a compact form. It helps when the narration is just really fun and rich too.

Celestia is really on point here. She’s hard not to warp slightly into being something she’s not, and this story really nailed that presentation of a great character.


Old things die to make room for the new. That is the way of the world. But me? I watch the world grow old.


And the tree was happy…

I absolutely adore this story.

This one here is far and beyond the top contender for the sticks-with-you award. There's so much to love about the unique perspective and simplicity of the narration, and the shortness of the chapters gives it a diary-esque feel, which plays in its favor with the vast time skips that take place throughout.

It isn't hard to see where this story is going about a third of the way through, and despite our foresight as the readers into the inevitability of canon, it rings with a sincerity most stories only tangentially grasp.

It says so much with so little. I felt like I had gone the paces of an entire novel by the end. At only 7k words, that's a feat and a half.

So I just have to ask: Yo, Hap, can you just make it big already so I don't have to feel so obligated to shill your amazing stories? Not that I wouldn't anyway, but like damn.

Experimental fiction is always a gamble, always a tightrope walk. This story more than not manages to navigate that tricky journey with grace, and even approaches the poetic in places. It has a wide-eye view, letting you really sort of climb in and inhabit the headspace of something beyond you in scope and years. I love fiction that encourages me to think in new ways, and try to imagine what it might be like to experience the world in a way radically different from how I do now. If you like that kind of thing, this story is definitely going to do it for you.


“I can’t believe we’re still here,” Corejo said for the third time that hour. “I mean like, outside. Not in the maze.”


“Yeah, kinda nice. Think it’ll last?”


Corejo shrugged and dug into the fries.


They’d discovered the field was somewhere near an Arby’s, and apparently they still had money. Cynewulf just sort of accepted it all. There was no reason to be surprised. The evergrowing labyrinth had always taken care of their needs and provided sights to see. Some days she wondered if the outside world was just a immanation of the maze. The reviews were just the monad’s way of knowing itself.

Corejo blinked at her.


“Oh, that was outloud, huh?”

He nodded. “Yeah. What are you talking about?”


“Just, uh.”


“We all need to get out more, I think.”


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



http://www.fimfiction.net/group/1734/seattles-angels
http://www.fimfiction.net/group/1734/seattles-angels/thread/5830/fic-recommendation-thread

Report Wanderer D · 8,209 views ·
Comments ( 9 )

I'm glad to see Hap's The Only Tree in the Forest here. I keep a fond memory of getting a sneak peek of the story during EFNW 2019, as well as participating in the proofreading process. It's worthy of a read and fits right and well in the SA's list.

“We all need to get out more, I think.”

Ah yes, the message we all need in these times of pandemic crisis :trollestia:

Another day, another dollar

For those browsing the comments:

I’ve read The Only Tree In the Forest, and it’s one of the best stories I’ve read. Take a look at that one, at least.

That Muggonny guy sure can write

Huh, I've read all these but the first one. That's pretty unusual for me. And agreed, they're all worth reading.

OFF TO VIKING RARITY I GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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