Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 163: In my Plastic Aeroplane

Read it Later story count: 421 (-8)

Well, would you look at that? For the first time in quite a few weeks, I actually have more than four stories in a PR! That's right: this time round, there are five. I'm hoping to get a themed edition or two done once I'm back on an even keel, but for now I hope you'll find this week's selection to be a reasonably varied bunch. Here's what you'll find reviewed after the break:

A Clever Pony by Drax99
Red Satin Sheets by Holy
My Brother, The Tooth by Georg
The Destruction of the Self by Cold in Gardez
Silence by ThatOneWriter

★: 0 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 2 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 1

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Season 7A – the UK of Equestria rankings

As for the last few seasons, over on UK of Equestria we've recently asked people to rank season 7's episodes up to the hiatus. We chose to make the cutoff episode 11, to avoid potential problems relating to Australian spoilers. I did wonder whether anyone would bother given all the scheduling confusion, but we had 12 lists submitted, enough to get an idea.

I'll pick out a few details at the end of the post, but first here's what the UK of E folks came up with – my own rankings are in brackets:

1. "A Royal Problem" (1)

2. "All Bottled Up" (4)
3. "Parental Glideance" (2)
4. "Rock Solid Friendship" (3)

5. "Celestial Advice" (5)

6. "Hard to Say Anything" (9)
7. "A Flurry of Emotions" (7)
8. "Forever Filly" (10)
9. "Honest Apple" (6)

10. "Not Asking for Trouble" (11)
11. "Fluttershy Leans In" (8)

Number of times each episode placed first
9: "A Royal Problem"
2: "Parental Glideance"
1: "All Bottled Up"

Number of times each episode placed last
6: "Not Asking for Trouble"
3: "Fluttershy Leans In"
1: "A Flurry of Emotions"
1: "Forever Filly"
1: "Honest Apple"

Most controversial (highest standard deviation)
1. "Forever Filly"
2. "Hard to Say Anything"
3. "Not Asking for Trouble"

Least controversial
1. "Fluttershy Leans In"
2. "A Royal Problem"
3. "All Bottled Up"

It wasn't remotely close at the top of the list: "A Royal Problem" was the easiest winner since we started doing these rankings during S4, with a massive lead over the rest of the field. As well as those nine top spots, the episode garnered two seconds and a single fifth place. "All Bottled Up" had only one no. 1 ranking, but everyone placed it in their top five.

At the bottom, the highest "Fluttershy Leans In" was placed was eighth (yes, yes, I was indeed one of those...) but "Not Asking for Trouble" only avoided the wooden spoon because of a solitary fourth place. Those two trailed the rest by a considerable distance. "Forever Filly", the most divisive episode by some margin, was placed as high as second and as low as last.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Episode review: S7E12: "Discordant Harmony"

Some Discords get ready to "fix" Discord's house
Wreaking anarchy and all that it brings. Or not
Although Canada and the US have entered a hiatus after episode 11, Australian television has now shown episodes 12 and 13 as well. That being so, I've decided to review them straight(ish) away. I should warn you in advance that E13 in particular is not one you want to know about before viewing. This ep is more ordinary, so you won't be spoiling yourself on any earth-shaking revelations if you do decide to read it. Beyond the break, a shortish look at "Discordant Harmony".

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Can you help support the Big Master Review List?

I'm hoping to get episode 12's review posted before the next Ponyfic Roundup on Wednesday. It's taken me a little longer than I'd hoped, for which apologies, but it is in the works! Now, back to the main subject of this post...

What's the Big Master Review List? Only the most useful ponyfic reviews database (well, spreadsheet) in existence. It's maintained by Singularity Dream, aka the City of Doors guy – who wonders whether anyone would be prepared to make a little financial donation to support his work. If only I weren't stupidly tight for cash right now, I'd be doing so. (More hefty bills coming up, sadly.) However, I can at least give SD and the BMRL a signal boost here. So, if you're willing and able to help, here's the blog post where you'll find more information.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Fimfiction now has a Patreon

And here's the proof. There are four levels of patronage (Patreonage?) available, which are as follows, along with their minimum monthly cost:

  • Fimfictioneer ($1)
  • Bronze ($5)
  • Silver ($10)
  • Gold ($20)

All the above tiers get you "access to special Discord channel" and a badge beneath your name on Fimfiction comments, while Bronze and above also remove ads from the site. The Silver and Gold tiers don't get you any further benefits beyond a more expensively coloured badge – and a feeling of intense smugness, I suppose. :P

It's no secret that I really dislike auto-recurring subscriptions and try to avoid them whenever possible. "Only a little per month" can mount up rather terrifyingly if you support a few things at once, and given my cashflow situation right now, I'm not going to rush into this one. I don't have the tiniest interest in Discord channels either. That said, Fimfiction is one of the very few fandom causes I might consider supporting in this way.

What I'll probably do is see how things go for a bit first. What matters most is that the site doesn't start discriminating against free users, either explicitly or in a more insidious way. I've seen that happen on other sites and it's very often the beginning of the end for a decent community.* I'm hopeful Fimfiction won't go down that road, though.

As I type this (late Friday evening UK time) a little over 100 people have signed up. The Bronze tier is by some distance the most popular, followed by Fimfictioneer, Gold and Silver in that order. It'll be interesting to see whether that number keeps going up, or whether most of those who'd be most enthusiastic have already signed up.

Also: couldn't you guys have done this when a pound was worth $2.00 rather than $1.27? :P

* On this note: I will never select stories for Ponyfic Roundup review based on their authors' Fimfiction Patreon status. This is a promise.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Staying at the Bristol Parkway Holiday Inn for UK PonyCon? READ THIS NOW

This is important

 If you are going to UK PonyCon and have booked a room at the Holiday Inn at Bristol Parkway (I think this is the Express hotel) then please check your bank records immediately. According to sarahthrel, a member of the con committee, a member of staff there has been arrested on suspicion of stealing credit/debit card details and using them fraudulently.

If you find suspicious activity on your bank statements, first of all report it to your bank. Then, please get in touch privately with the con committee (contact details here) to help the police investigation and get your case logged. The hotel management have dealt with their end of things, so you shouldn't need to contact them specifically.

It appears that no other hotels are involved, and that this only applies to bookings made before 10th June.

Please help to spread the word, so that anyone who may be affected knows as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 162: It Really Doesn't Matter if it's Raining or it's Fine

I'll be reviewing episodes 12 and (if it airs) 13 in the near future, but I can't currently give a firm date. Anyway, as I type this, southern Britain is in the grip of its longest June heatwave since 1995, so please excuse me if I make more mistakes than usual. As ever, I'd be grateful for them to be pointed out!

Read it Later story count: 429 (-11)

I said last week there'd be both a story and an author with "Horse" in their names. Well, I got the story. However, a fic I thought was written by Pale Horse turns out be by Ruirik. Apologies to both authors! An error on my part when I was updating my Calibre ponyfic database, I suppose. I managed to get through a small number of fics this week, and these are they:

The Skin Horse by Obselescence
The Regular by Ruirik
Opinions by All Art Is Quite Useless
Mother's Day by MajesticPoniesEverywhere

★: 0 | ★★: 3 | ★★★: 0 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0