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ATL: STORIES FROM THE RETROFUTURE

Satisfying end, but should I continue?

By sunflowerofice, author of Technically Abroad

Aug 26, 2020: So I’m not going to claim to be the best reviewer, but I got to the end of arc one and since it had a proper conclusion I feel I can do a proper review.

Anyway this story takes place in a world that seems to have both better and worse technology depending on what aspects of it you are looking it. That includes robots, but a lot of tech that barely functions so its actually an overall bigger hinderance than what it would be with what we have etc etc.

Now for the characters lets start with the MC named morgan. One thing about this MC is that it’s never been verified up to this point of we have a male or female one. At first I thought he was a guy then later I thought that she was a girl now I am leaning towards him being a guy, but I still could see her as a girl . . . It doesn’t take away from the story so far, but it is a tickle in my mind that wants to be answered.

The bestie of the mc Karina is a very happy out there girl who works hard and tries to do what she can to get what she wants, in her case becoming an actress. It’s a fun contracts to morgan and hey yin and yang characters work for me so to speak. If you have someone that pulls someone who sometimes weights them down you can get both directions so to speak moving of "lets run down plot line" and "wait we gotta check before we run down plot line" and having both options works.

Last of the main cast is a robot named R8PR that you would pronounce like on star wars. He is a robot that shouldn’t exist because it was made against certain rules or something like that, I forget the exact wording to explain it. Because of that the robot hides in abandoned places (a common thing where they live) and surfs the net a lot to look at things.

On to the plot. This next bit might have spoilers so i’ll use the at symbol as a barrier between here and the last part in case you want to avoid spoilers.

You learn about the social media killer. Basically someone who does cancel culture on a big scale by pulling out all sorts of private personal information and ruining their life. From political figures down to school students and the cast tries to find the killer. R8PR helps a lot there and they eventually find the killer and hunt them down and get mistaken for them and a lot of pinball stuff that still works and fits while the robot does research and the people do the foot work, sometimes resulting in one of them being harmed bad enough for a hospital visit.

@@@@

I will say that the story arc had, to me, a good conclusion. It felt like a good ending point for Morgans story, but it turns out it isn’t the end of the story. For some reason this is odd to me and makes me unsure if I will continue. I want to, but at the same time the ending was very well done in a way I dont want to risk losing that feeling of closure by reading more if that makes sense.

Sort of reminds me of when an in person friend published a book and I read the whole thing on a car ride with her to a convention to sell her products and at the end I said something like "I like how it had a proper conclusion so you don’t have any thoughts on a sequel" only to be told it was the first of a trilogy.

A great ending can be great, but at the same time if it’s to good and not the full ending it, to me, leaves me unsure if I want to continue while wanting to. I’ve had other stories where I loved the first in a series but the rest sort of fell fast and hard.

So I will say this the first arc was something I really enjoyed. It’s not series enough to be a pure comedy not to comedic to be a proper drama in a way that works. It has good characters a fun and interesting story and a really good ending, but since it works like a multi book series there will be a new conflict in arc two and likely three four etc.

I will say that’s the only reason I haven’t started arc 2 yet. Because I’m not sure if I want to risk the good feeling of arc 1s end and move on to arc 2. I know it might prevent me from a great second arc, but for now at least I’ll leave it be.

although to be honest I’ll probably read it at some point, but for now it’s a more of will i read it now or later.

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ATL: STORIES FROM THE RETROFUTURE

Hilarious and Wonderful

By ElliottThomasStaude, author of Mourners, Abednego, Persistence

Jun 8, 2019: The thing which shall be called ATL from here on in (and sadly the meaning of that acronym presently cannot be brought to mind) is a wonderful alternate history story set in Atlanta. It bounces all over the place, from the ambiguously-sexed protagonist Morgan’s residence during a shakedown straight from a Coen brothers movie to an old church which is the lair of a robot hiding out like a celebrity in rehab. It’s apt in its adoption of the descriptive setting of the “retrofuture” – some advances which are surprising, some regressions (or perhaps “failures to innovate” is more accurate”) that depict a strange world. For one, that world’s modern de-facto cultural Zion is Atlanta. However, these stories are very much worth your investigation, and have a lighthanded touch that’s also suggestive of the Coen brothers. It’s a tad difficult to adequately pigeonhole the genre of the franchise, but an enterprising mind might place it as action-intrigue – something that’s not entirely without flaws, and which has many elements that the reader may recognize from other works, but that buoys the audience along with its direction and care of crafting. It’s funny, it’s grounded, it knows exactly what it wants, and it’s got the knife skills to handle a fugu fish of a plot without poisoning its customer. The subject matter could have been a terrible slog, and the presentation of its actors and what it is makes it a joy instead.

Thus far, following the adventures of the Social Media Killer, ATL’s is a kind of bleak society, where the planet’s axial spin seems to have slowed down to a slumped everyday continuity and change is remarkable for its rarity. It’s the sort of place where, if not for the characters, it’d probably be a real downer to try and get through any of the described tales. However, Morgan and Morgan’s friend Karina are absolutely wonderful tugboats leading the beholder from meal to deed to ideology to crime scene. Morgan is wonderful, being a person who really tries to keep a hoodie or a suitable substitute between head and rest of the world and who genuinely just wants to be done with it . . . the it in this case being just about anything to do with Atlanta or secretarial work for a less-than-formidable financial entity. Like all good adventures, the chiefest puppets get dragged in by their strings with a minimum of consent or desire. Morgan say “no” and universe say “OH YES.” Karina, a girl whose agenda for a single day is more populated than that of a normal person’s week, forms a perfect counterpoint to Morgan’s not-quite-apathetic disdain for navigating the behemoth of ATL’s deliciously gray scenery. The rest of the cast is just as colorful, weird, perhaps a few teacups short of a full china set, and the sort of people who’ll probably get plushies sold of their likenesses if this is ever adapted to cinema. A few too many people of high school age, perhaps, but high school is of course the source of more drama per capita than virtually anything else in the world.

When you embark on the journey of ATL, you’re jumping into something of quality with a faint whiff of self-parody about it. At the risk of being repetitive and even more pretentious than usual, the cast and artistry of the story’s telling truly make the experience something a cut above the expected, and there’s something about even the grimness of a corporate-run universe in this case that brings a smile to the face which not even profusions of teenage angst can ruin. You don’t need to enjoy sci-fi to get a kick out of this.

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JUST YOUR NORMAL TOURNAMENT

If you like anime you will maybe like this

By GriKit, member

Mar 29, 2019: The writing is simple and easy to read, perhaps too easy, which makes it confusing because you don’t know who is saying or doing what. Let me tell you this isn’t really my genre, so that influences my review. The dialogue is kinda clunky and doesn’t sound very natural either.

I guess if you like anime you will like this.

I don’t hate anime I promise.

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