ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture

by Thedude3445

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

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 . . . 

The first story, The Social Media Killer, is posting now! Daily updates-- follow along!

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
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
Reviews

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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)

Arthicern
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A good series that's missing the first book

Atl stories is a series of 'episodes' or short books set in a PG/ PG-13 Cyberpunk world, while following the protagonist Morgan as he's dragged into a number of mysteries.

(At the time of this review only the Social Media killer is on Royal Roads, but for those who like the story, there are a few more 'episodes' on the story's main site.)

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Now while I do like this story, I feel I should point out what I consider to be the biggest issue of the story, something I think can be tied to roughly half my issues with this otherwise good story.

The first 'episode' feels like the second or third story in a series, which can make it a bit difficult for new readers to get into.

What I mean by this is that there are a number of points in this episode that make refrence to past events in the stories context, that seem to come out from nowhere. And whenever one of these moments pops up it feels like you skipped some important chapter that was supposed to tell what's going on. Such as why everyone keeps connecting Morgan to strange events, or why everyone expects him to get involved. 

(Note: Through story notes and Author comments, Morgan has been involved in the odd side of things for roughly a year, and has built something of a reputation.) 

Now on the note of the protagonist, in the beginning Morgan comes off as a bit apathetic with the way he complains about things and acts like things take too much effort, these things together made my first impression of him fairly negative.

That said his interactions with the other members of the main cast such as Karina and R8PR, do somewhat save him on this front. In all honesty I prefered the scenes that had them interacting with Morgan, to the ones where he was on his own or doing his own investigation, just because him came off a lot more sympathetic with them around. The only thing really missing in those interactions was the iconic refrence of R8PR refering to humans as meatbags. (Not Karina though, she doesn't deserve that. Morgan however is free game.)

As far as the story itself goes, it's good to a point, but occasionally it feels like it's trying too hard to fit the harder rating of some cyberpunk stories into the PG setting. For younger or high school level readers, this is an alright thing for introducing them to the genre without dumping them into the gritty deep-end, but it can cause a bit of dissonance for those used to rougher stuff, when a scene feels like it's is trying to be grittier than it actually is.

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Taking all of these things into account, I think atl stories from the retrofuture, is a good story for young adult readers, looking for a lighter cyberpunk story. And while the story itself isn't very newcomer friendly at times, it is at least worth giving a chance.

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Final score: 3.75 / 5

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!

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.