The 2019 Sequel Solstice Story Share: The Sequel!

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Sue77

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Good to see you here. :hi:

We've had a blast with the Sequel Solstice and it will be great if you can join us next year.
 

Albedo

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If you haven't requested Part One of kjb's She's a Rainbow yet, you should. I'm not sure if I should steal the parade thing, but if I did I'd offer this one:

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Because '00s emo rock would fit perfectly into this stunning planetary romance's diegetic soundtrack. It's about the search for a rose cultivar that is quite possibly the most important organism in the universe. It's about the only Blue Heeler on Mars, Osiris, ancient aliens, and primordial goop. It's possibly a love story. It's possibly a horror story. Why not both?
 

Kjbartolotta

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Is that what it's about? :) Been waiting for someone to clear that up for me. But I am sorta proud I've invented Martian Mumblecore.
 
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SciSarahTops

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Eden - by lilywhite

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A sweet tale that edges into creepy - the lines between free will, passivity and being under control are lightly blurred. Everything feels sweet and innocent on the surface but there are tendrils of danger throughout. There is a dramatically beautiful, seemingly peaceful creature with the potential to threaten all of humanity - a humanity that may well be scarce, given the war that is referenced and the diversity and number of 'Others' that inhabit the story. Our protagonist surrenders to an intense transformation that was initiated against her will - but comes to terms with her new form, finding peace with her new self. In the end, she makes the ultimate surrender - willfully sharing her thoughts and control of her body with the mind that now inhabits hers.
A strange but peaceful read with a cleverly thorny underside.
 
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SciSarahTops

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Justica by Sue 77


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There's tension from the beginning as Justica quietly and gradually contravenes the rules and rituals of her highly -guarded society. There are hints of a dark world history, potentially involving other interplanetary invaders. Justica works against the childhood drills of reporting any outsiders, helping, healing and then bonding with the alien creature she stumbles across. She seems to be kind and loving in a world that has circumvented such behavior. I'd love to know more about the complex society in which Justica lives, where her department works to understand (guard against?) non-native languages, and there is a genetics (eugenics?) lab ready to haul in invaders. This is a tale of strength and resilience after horror and heartbreak. A dark and clever twist on a fairytale classic.
 

Kjbartolotta

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To return the favor for my no. 1 vulturebro...

The Parade of Stories!

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2 Space Operas by Albedo

*Psst*

Hey, do you like space opera? How about diamond hard space opera with an amazing, epic setting developed down to the finest detail. What if that space opera was not only grandiose and jaw-dropping, but also manages to suffuse wit and humor in just about every letter and also the spaces between the letters? Then this story is gonna be like a drug to you, cause it sure was for me.

I thought this story serves as an excellent intro to Albedo's universe, which I am seriously hoping get expanded into a 48-book series with at least four movie adaptations and tie-in merchandizing. I will not be satisfied until I see Conglong action figures.

If this story were a parade floating, it would naturally be a 30km starship piloted by a benevolent cockroach god, with intelligent dinosaurs and even a few human making jokes off to the side.
 
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SciSarahTops

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Dragonfly Dance - ajaye

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Ah I loved this from the get-go, already hooked by the epic name 'Pendula Butters' and hearing the word 'dander in an Aussie accent in my head. The girl is just as epic -in a quiet way- trying to keep her head down in a small town full of long distances. She carefully tests the boundaries of her newfound magic at school - it manifests as beautifully described sparkly dragonflies that gave this cosy story a sharp edge. Her kindness, and the want for a loving canine companion lead to her being tricked onto a crew ship. After a carefully planned but quick mutiny, Pendula is on her way. I hope ajaye writes more as I can imagine Pendula as a happy go lucky pirate, explorer of galaxies, looking for fun and friendship all the while.
 

Kjbartolotta

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(loving your gif game, Sarah)

THE PARADE OF STORIES!!!

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Truth in the Tongues of Perfidy (akaTitToP) by SSM

Darks Souls much? Actually, no, I'm unsure that's a fair comparison,but TitToP had a bit of a FROM Software vibe to it, dark and quiet and brooding with atmosphere, not afraid to take its time and get philosophical, rooted in the common experience of human pain and toying with concepts of memory and identity. All things I rather like.

The setting is astonishing, coming across in the myriad of smaller details and bits of texture that build upon themselves into something immersive and mysterious, you can never grasp the full breadth of the world these characters inhabit but know it intimately. Faith and transmission of knowledge are running themes here and there's this constant sense that it's building towards something,though what that something is is still obscured and maybe will continue to be in the second part. It's unclear where this story is going (though There Are Hints), but the depth and complexity has got me staring off into space trying to puzzle it out.

Plus, its got Raven People. Shades of China Mieville throughout,there's always a touch of the New Weird to SSM's stories, but mitigated by his usual restraint and careful attention to craft. I don't get envious of other writers much, but I gotta say I'm a little jelly.

If this story were a parade float, it would be a potted scene of a sullen monastery, pomegranate trees growing behind the abbey with some thing both sinister and munificent about them. There might be something more to them, like this fantasy scene is maybe more than just fantasy.
 
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Kjbartolotta

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Slowly but surely, we continue with the Parade of Stories


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Where is Bremen Stadt by Friendly Frog

I love space opera. I love humor. But most of all, I love writing that's able to bring out the character's personality and crackles with witty dialogue. FF is very good at this. Bremen Stadt plays on the concept of the ragtag crew of space misfits, which is a well-known trope but never gets old, for such a short work I was impressed with how much I got from each of the characters, they all felt unique, funny, slightly neurotic and all together lovable. Froggy has a real knack for dialogue, which is always one of the biggest things I value in a writer. Plus, she worked in all three prompts and this story features the origin of a certain character I'd love to see more of.

If this story were a parade float, it would be a lonely, neurotic starship crewed by wonky and lovable bunch. The search for identity will take them some weird places.
 

Friendly Frog

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:thankyou:You're too kind.

I thought I was actually being quite lazy when I re-used a character from last year's Sequel Sysiphus, so I could avoid making up a new one to get the required four from the fairy-tale, but it works better than I imagined.
 

Sue77

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Justica by Sue 77


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There's tension from the beginning as Justica quietly and gradually contravenes the rules and rituals of her highly -guarded society. There are hints of a dark world history, potentially involving other interplanetary invaders. Justica works against the childhood drills of reporting any outsiders, helping, healing and then bonding with the alien creature she stumbles across. She seems to be kind and loving in a world that has circumvented such behavior. I'd love to know more about the complex society in which Justica lives, where her department works to understand (guard against?) non-native languages, and there is a genetics (eugenics?) lab ready to haul in invaders. This is a tale of strength and resilience after horror and heartbreak. A dark and clever twist on a fairytale classic.

Thank you for the review SciSarahTops. I hope you enjoyed my take on the Grimm Brother's tale.

It was a hard call to know exactly how much to reveal of the background in this story as it's told from Justica's POV and she has no idea that such a level of technology exists beneath the surface of her simple existence. I did wonder if I needed to show more. Hmmm.....

Sorry to be quiet everyone, I found when I got home from hospital that I was not out of the woods and there's been a lot to process. I'm also back and forth to Manchester for very regular blood tests. Hopefully everything will settle down soon.
 

Sue77

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And now for...

THE PARADE OF STORIES

Red and Black by Ruby Road

This is an intriguing story about being a human scientific experiment in an environment where the rest of the students are alien hybrids. The hybrids have a natural affinity with magic whereas Yuma has been given a seed of magic as a child. What Ruby does beautifully is to make the reader aware of how 'other' Yuma is by being fully human. What results is an exploration of otherness, dark magic and hidden agendas. Red and Black is to be continued and I look forward to reading the rest when Ruby is ready.

If this story was a parade float, it would have a banner, standing high above the base, with the name of the Academy boldly stated. Students with lilac or blue skin, white hair and beautiful eyes would be demonstrating their skills as if they were magicians performing skilled tricks. In the centre would stand Yuma. Instead of performing tricks, she would swallow a long, shining sword. When she removes it from her mouth, it is alight, flickering with flames that arise from the centre of her being. Her tutor stands in the crowd, nodding his approval. He knows that this is no minor trick, for what Yuma can do is a game changer.
 
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SciSarahTops

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Hi guys. My computer died (second time this has happened now) and I haven’t had time to read and review stories because I simply can’t do it on my phone - too annoying.
Sue I hope you are recovering well, or if not, finding ways to cope. You’ve had such a tough run of it. I think you put in just enough world building and background. A lively deep umami to the story!
 

Friendly Frog

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I'm a little late (blame my tiny amphibian feet, I get nowhere fast) but I've finally read Iron Chests Can't be Broken by KJBartolotta and... I'm at a loss how to accurately describe this story. Guys, *inefficient handwaving* this story is WILD. Wild. Yes, that's about the closest I get.

I'm still not sure whether this story takes itself seriously or not, but either way it does so with absolute style. It's a fun read.

There are some conventional tropes that get taken so far out that conventions are at best distant ancestors. Dimensions and realities get crossed willynilly and internally the story still manages to make sense. That is not an easy thing to do. Vaguely reminded me of Douglas Adams, but somehow a little less absurd.

I am very intrigued/impressed by the choice of adverbs. May be a non-native-English-speaker-thing, but they fit the story like a well-tailored glove.

Very inventive way to include all the prompts. I didn't think it could be done, but Iron Chests does.

Also, it features a frog that [spoiler!] doesn't get killed. Always a good way to get on my good side.
 

Kjbartolotta

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I'm a little late (blame my tiny amphibian feet, I get nowhere fast) but I've finally read Iron Chests Can't be Broken by KJBartolotta and... I'm at a loss how to accurately describe this story. Guys, *inefficient handwaving* this story is WILD. Wild. Yes, that's about the closest I get.

I'm still not sure whether this story takes itself seriously or not, but either way it does so with absolute style. It's a fun read.

:) You absolutely don't have to take it seriously. I was particularly proud of how I got a minor character to say "Worship me and fart".

BTW, I based the story...rather loosely on the forgotten Iron Henry aspect of the Frog Prince story, which is a weird and often neglected addition to an already underrated story.
 

Friendly Frog

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I... almost don't dare to ask because this year has been Something.

But... any chance for or interest in a Sequel Soltice Story share 2020?
 

shortstorymachinist

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I... almost don't dare to ask because this year has been Something.

But... any chance for or interest in a Sequel Soltice Story share 2020?

I'd probably end up doing flash what with All the Things going on, but I'm down if anyone else is.
 

Kjbartolotta

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I mean, if we have four people then it's on.

Jay may or may not show up, as they are wont to do. In the meantime, I suppose one of us can start a thread and we can start listing prompt to vote on.
 

Kjbartolotta

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There might be a new, very WIP thread that's taking sign-ups. Just sayin'. :D
 

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