ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture

by Thedude3445

Original ONGOING Action Comedy Mystery Sci-fi Cyberpunk Martial Arts Slice of Life Strong Lead Super Heroes

All the cool kids are reading it... How about you?

In the future of decades past, a world of robots and CRTs, Atlanta is the most powerful city in the world. And in that city, one twentysomething slacker named Morgan Harding dreams of being able to live a normal, peaceful life, but . . . that’s not happening. Together with a mysterious sentient robot and an overworked college student, Morgan must keep Atlanta safe from the technological threats that arise . . . pretty much constantly . . . Sigh . . . 

ATL is divided into several novel or novella-sized stories, the first two of which, The Social Media Killer and Trials of the Cybermancer!, are fully online on Royal Road. Read those and you know you'll get into the story.

And if you're itching for more, always know you can read the story at its official website where it updates Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

 

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Thedude3445

Thedude3445

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
ATL Story Index ago
THE SOCIAL MEDIA KILLER - Chapter 1: The Killer Strikes ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 2: Back at Peach Towers ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 3: Our Ally ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 4: Dinner and a Movie, Technically ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 5: Hoodie ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 6: An Assignment ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 7: Omae ni Tetsudatte Yarouka? ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 8: The Old Tour-Around ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 9: Making a Marcucci ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 10: Deductions ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 11: Bein' Friends ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 12: Eureka! ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 13: He's Done a Lot of Research on His Own ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 14: Killing Time ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 15: The Burrows ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 16: Nice Meeting You ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 17-1: Piecing Me Together ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 17-2: Back Again ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 18: Middlebridge Abridged ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 19: Lies & Trudeau ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 20: The Shoot ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 21: A Quiet Conversation ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 22: Quite a Conversation ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 23: I Can't Believe I'm Doing This ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 24: Meeting's On ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 25: Take Me Home, Atlanta Roads ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 26: A Truce ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 27: The Truth Behind Everything ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 28: The Killer and the Robot ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 29: Sunny-Side Up ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 30: Showdown in Downtown ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 31: Welp ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 32: Judgment Call ago
The Social Media Killer - Chapter 33: The Aftermath of All of It ago
TRIALS OF THE CYBERMANCER! - Chapter 1: Trials and Trivialities ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 2: An Afternoon Dust-Up ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 3: May the Fourth Be with Us ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 4: K-Store Shenanigans ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 5: Genesis Crushed ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 6: The Morning After ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 7: Enter Chuck ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 8: My Life with Rocket Boots ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 9: Moonslash ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 10: Enter Chuck... Again ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 11: Enduring the Trials ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 12: The Long Stay ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 13: Sneak ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 14: Let's Go Down to the Data Farm ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 15: Challenge of the Cybermancer! ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 16: What a View! ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 17: The Longer Stay ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 18: Enroute ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 19: Good Exercise Time ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 20: Uhhhhhh..... ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 21: The Hoard and the Horde ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 22: Retrofuture Team-Up ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 23-1: Chief Chat ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 23-2: Robot Chat ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 24: All's Well That... ago
Trials of the Cybermancer - Chapter 25: Epilogue: Genesis Crush: The Unlimited Brawl ago
TABLE MANNERS - 01 ago
Table Manners - 02 ago
Table Manners - 03 ago
Table Manners - 04 ago
Table Manners - 06 ago
Table Manners - 07 ago
Table Manners - 08 ago
Table Manners - 09 ago
Table Manners - Epilogue ago
03 - EMBED - Chapter 1: Morning Hike ago
Embed - Chapter 2: Operating at the Hospital ago
Embed - Chapter 3: Subway ago
Embed - Chapter 4: Meeting Kobi Gibson ago
Embed - Chapter 5: Yuuuuuuum Mart! ago
Embed - Chapter 6-1: A Couple Cold Ones ago
Embed - Chapter 6-2: Morgan's Hungover, What a Surprise ago
Embed - Chapter 7: The Manhunt ago
Embed - Chapter 8: The War Against Giygas ago
Embed - Chapter 9: Maybe This Time ago
Embed - Chapter 10: Return of the Queen ago
04 - CROSSWORD CONUNDRUM - Chapter 1: Goodbye, Kobi ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 2: The Magazine Aisle ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 3: Some May Love It ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 4: O'Conner's ago
ATL's One-Year Anniversary ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 5: The Robot, Finally ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 6: The Robot & I ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 7: The Walk to the Art Store ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 8: It Couldn't Have Been Anyone Else ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 9: Shenanigans ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 10-1: AR73's Reckoning ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 10-2: And R8PR Solves It ago
Crossword Conundrum - Chapter 11: The Mystery Prize ago
05 - THE WORST MYSTERY - Chapter 1: Running ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 2: Some Soda ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 3: Random Patterns ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 4: On the Way, She Complained ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 5: Getting Off ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 6: Analyzing Algorithms Always, and an Aidea ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 7: A Whole Thing ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 8: Chip ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 9: Reunited and It Feels So Good ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 10: Bait ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 11: Facility ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 12: The Church and the Robot ago
The Worst Mystery - Chapter 13: Despite Everything... ago
Mirage ago
Next story preview: Chocolate Insomnia ago
06 CHOCOLATE INSOMNIA - Chapter 1: That's When We Stepped In ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 2: Fifteen Bucks An Hour ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 3: I Shouldn't Do This, But... ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 4: Sky Rail Against the Setting Sun ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 5: Robot Sitcoms ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 6: Rooftop ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 7: Currency Exchange and Sleep Deprivation ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 8: Getting the Hang of It ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 9: Telling the Trudeau ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 10: It Gets Figured Out ago
Chocolate Insomnia - Chapter 11: Gonna Be Friends ago
07 THE NEW KNIGHTS - Chapter 1: Gang War ago
The New Knights - Chapter 2: Perfect Slumbers ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3: The Atlanta Annual Tech Expo (Not the chapter, please read) ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-1 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-2 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-3 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-4 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-5 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-6 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-8 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-7 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-9 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-10 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-11 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-12 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-14 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-15 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-16 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-17 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-18 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-19 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-20 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-21 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 3-22 ago
The New Knights - Chapter 4: On the Way Out ago
The New Knights - Chapter 5: Le Pecher ago
The New Knights - Chapter 6: Me and Karina ago
The New Knights - Chapter 7: Day Two ago
The New Knights - Chapter 8: Coop Yates in Plainclothes ago
The New Knights - Chapter 9: Telling R8PR ago
The New Knights - Chapter 10: Dinner at Neddrick's with Ms. Hawthorne ago
The New Knights - Chapter 11: The Quarantine Zone ago
The New Knights - Chapter 12: Street Light Fight ago
The New Knights - Chapter 13: Squealing ago
The New Knights - Chapter 14: An Old Neighborhood at Night ago
The New Knights - Chapter 15: Day Three ago
The New Knights - Chapter 16: The Sakaguchi Conference ago
The New Knights - Chapter 17: Planning Against Plans ago
The New Knights - Chapter 18: Convention Chaos ago
The New Knights - Chapter 19: The Knights' Plan ago
The New Knights - Chapter 20: What Happens Next ago
The New Knights - Chapter 21: An Epilogue...? ago
08 - INTO THE RETROFUTURE - Chapter 1: Paying Respects ago
Into the Retrofuture - Chapter 2: There's a Plan to All This ago
Into the Retrofuture - Chapter 3: Do I Really Still Have to Go to Work...? ago

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kgy121
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Robots, Punching, and Investigation

Reviewed at: The New Knights - Chapter 3-20

Robots. Check.

Punching. Check.

Unraveling conspiracies that threaten to incite riots, discovering villain hidouts, and tracking down corporate espionage. Check.

Set in Atlanta. Also Check.

Stories from the Retrofuture takes the cultural astetic of the 90s and puts robots into it. Mad Science, not run amock, but instead bent to the whims of corporate overlords. 

Not that it's all earthshattering plots constantly. No, instead the story follows Morgan, a bank teller with unspecified cybernetic augementations, good enough for him to fight an army of robots but not good enough to win. Definitely good enough to get the living crap beat out of him though. He doesn't get paid for this, he doesn't even want to do it really, but robots keep punching him in the face so he has to track down the hacker who hates him or whatever.

Day to day, Morgan makes excuses to call out from work, attempts to keep friendships intact under a barrage of Atlanta going haywire, and does entirely too much walking for someone who gets lost the moment he looks away from a map.

Mayors with guns, a villain who doesn't do anything but publish what people are actually doing on social media, a child robot that is terrible at painting, ATL has a varied cast of characters who all have their own quirks. With a glaring lack of errors, caused by the author being attentive to comments drawing said errors to his attention, it's a fun, easy read.

uiytt
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A first book is not needed ^^

Just a little recommendation to anyone that want a really good cyberpunk story.

At the end of the first arc, I must say that I don't find anything bad, the plot is very good and is progressing rapidely. I didn't feel bored at all and was always looking for the next chapter (and there is only one or two cliffhanger). Peoples and company are each working for they one goal. But making a conspiracy is never easy in this world ^^ Our character is traped between the company and the peoples that threaten them.

And for the character, we're well served, each one is unique and intersting, even for the side-side-character :D And furthermore we see a real growth in the MC.

And in opposite of @ARTHICERN, I really liked the idea of a character that already exist before. He had lived amazing thing and when we discover some bits, we start to imagine what could have happened before, and each time, the author puts an additional info we start to get a more precise picture of what happened. We discover their relation and the event that happened before; the story dosn't star at the first chapter, but way before.

The world itself is well builded and the story talk about really important topics like the online privacy, and how each human has some little secret and what is the result when you show it to evryone, the effect on your life. And with that come a real interogation about the ethics as for each character have his own view about the privacy.

 

Anyway, I really push anyone to start reading this story, really glad i've read it.

(Since i'm not english, I can't really tell for the grammar)

abdirahman
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From the first chapter you could see that the author put a lot of work into this novel. (I am talking about the commissioned artwork) And you know that you will be getting the best of the best, not some half-assed work just written on the weekends. 

This web novel is really for anyone who loves futuristic stories, it has a funny and witty main lead, great political intrigue which makes you want to learn more and a setting that is well fleshed out. 

 

Mejiro
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Well written, cyberpunk action-thiller

This is a well-written, fairly solid teen cyberpunk story, set in a near-future Seattle.  It’s less gritty and full-on noir than the genre can get, but still has the street finding its own use for things, the social upheaval caused by technology and the divisions between the haves and have-nots.  While the main character may not be a chain-smoking private eye that gets in trouble thanks to a dame, he does have his own mysterious background, backstory and contacts, as well as getting in a lot of trouble even if he could walk away!

There are a few minor errors typing and grammar errors, but it’s pretty well written and easy to read, and delivers the story well, working through itself without falling apart, becoming overly vague or drifting into pointless side-stories.

The politics of the setting are interestingly fleshed out, although the importation of the English education system seems a bit strange (complete with the distinction between school sixth form and college). 

In summary, if you’re looking for well-written, YA-ish cyberpunk with a decent hook and a fun main character, then this is probably worth your time!

Rustle Roots
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ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture is quite a wonderful work of the Author that I definitely urge you to read!

I consider myself as a fantasy-reader and tend to graviate away from sci-fi stories but this story has got me hooked with its captivating world and characters.

The vivid storytelling and the fun perspective of the characters certainly gives the narrative its own charm that flows smoothly. Each character from major to minor has their own desires, goals and needs that is portrayed in the chapters and intrincally weaved together. In Social Media Killer, the story starts with a rather normal protagonist but we soon see that there's more to them than meets the eye. 

Perhaps some would like to see how our protagonist became not-so-normal but there is certainly enjoyment as we learn more of the protagonist's history. There's this air of mystery around it that we get to discover as we continue to read. It definitely seems that we've started in media res but it's also the start of an inciting event so I leave the others to decide for themselves what to think of it. It's a fresh take for me to have a character that's already been through one adventure and is onto another chapter of their life.

I've only read Social Media Killer so far, but I only have the highest expectations that the other stories are as good, or even better than this one. 

I'm looking forward to reading more of ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture! 

Elliott Staude
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Hilarious and Wonderful

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.

J P Koenig
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This story is a rare gem on RR, with interesting characters, a fully fleshed out techno-punk world, unique style and great story.  This review was written after finishing "The Social Media Killer".  I haven't finished "Trials of the Cybermancer" yet.

So the cyberpunk world of ATL reminds me of BioShock:Infinite, a place that was polished and posh, with the grit and dirt starting to wear off the shine.  The worldbuilding is well done, and the background characters consistent and colorful.

In addition, the grammar and writing style spot on.  I didn't notice any glaring errors in spelling or grammar, and the writing is descriptive without getting too wordy, and the style is practiced and engaging.

The real shining point, for me, is the characters.  The MC, Morgan, is an unreliable narrator.  This was a neat surprise a few chapters in, and has made for a fascinating dynamic as the story goes along.  He mostly lies about himself, which leaves you wondering what, and why, he is lying even when it has little to do with the current story arc.  His two friends, Karinna and R8PR, are also fully fleshed out and multi-dimensional, and have their own strengths and weaknesses that add depth and flavor to the story as it progresses.

Finally, with the story itself - the episode that I have finished so far was well plotted, perfectly paced and engaging.  It is a mystery that runs at the pace of an action/thriller, and the author did a great job of keeping the tension going even when the MC, who is very much an antihero (his motivation is to watch tv and eventually leave town), has to be forced into doing something by circumstances.  Despite the MC's initial apathy, the story never lost focus and never stumbled, keeping the reader going along while the MC got his feet under him and started moving.

All told, I think this is the highest I've rated any story I've reviewed to date, because I couldn't think of a single thing to critique in the negative category.  The author hit all the right notes and has been consistent throughout.  I'm looking forward to finishing the next episode, and following along with what comes after!

Overall, 5 out of 5, would read again.

Zachary Dugas
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So, I am a big cyberpunk fan, I mean I have like all the classics from do androids dream of electric sheep to altered carbon and snow crash and many many more.  hell my favorite manga is Appleseed and I wear a blade runner shirt almost once a week so this is right up my alley, my dark gritty alley filled with stun cigs and the corpses of electronics, sacrificed to the god known as progress,  I sigh and light up, breathing in the neon smoke and holding it in my lungs until the burn inside my chest mirrors the one in my hea-

Sorry, got carried away lol, what we have here is a really well wtritten cyberpunk book(s?) that is broke up into chapter that sort of seem like episodes of a tv show, each one is self contained and this feels like a compilation, almost like how the first Witcher book was just a bunch of short stories tied together by the mc.  It makes me wonder if the author will eventually make a story in this world that is a full novel.  

As it stands it is a really well written cyberpunk work, and on the lighter side of the spectrum, I would say these are just somewhere between a pg movie and a pg-13 movie, we never get to the truly grissly scenes most cyberpunk stories show, though I think that is because this one is less bleak and more focused on humor and fun, and scenes like that wouldn’t have fit, seeing as those movies and books all have characters so used to violence that they are hardly fazed by it.

 

Well worth a read.

Rachel-Ruth
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This story is something one can look for a lighthearted, action-paced and enjoyable read!

But one can also appreciate how well-thought out the story can be.

The Author has written a fitting story for our times, with a story that delves into a futuristic world that may be not too far off from us. The worldbuilding done in this is quite developed enough to have a picture of what our world can be like when filled with AIs, robots, and other technological advancements. It's interesting to see that it's not completely farfetched and that it even tackled the struggles of reaching an impasse in terms of technological development.

The protagonist in Social Media Killer has a rather interesting point of view, a bit snarky and with troubles that rings true for the society that he lives in. The other characters, also make for good and developed characters but certainly helps focus the attention to the protagonist.

There's certainly more to this, as one would delve in and think more about it, and it clearly has gotten me thinking about it... but whether or not you do, it's clearly written for a good and fun collection of stories to read!

Have an enjoyable read!

sleeplessbanter
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I have seen the author chatting a lot in Discord so I decide to check out his story and man was it a surprise. it's witty, funny and well written. I not really into cyberpunk type story, but this story got me hooked. If you are on the fence about this one, go and head and jump it, it's worth the read.