Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ponyfic Roundup no. 1

After not having read much ponyfic for quite some while, I've really got back into it recently. I've written some as well (more on that in a future post) but here I'm going to be concentrating on what I've read. I'm hoping to make this a semi-regular feature, hence the number in the title, and I expect there'll be more posts once we get into the off-season of the show itself. Inevitably most of them will be positive reviews, since there's a limit to how much really bad fanfic I can stomach!

I hope way I've done the formatting here is obvious; months given are those of completion. Links are always to FIMFiction. All comments are welcome, as usual, and that includes any suggestions you may have for what I should read next. I won't read incomplete or non-public fics, and I'm very unlikely to read clop or grimdark stories. Dark is fine; just not full of gore. I'll also probably mostly stick to shorter pieces, though I don't rule out something longer if it really grabs me.

All right: here's my first selection. Marks are out of 10 as usual.

The Best Night Ever by Capn_Chryssalid
Blueblood, Rarity, Celestia and Luna
Romance/Comedy/Adventure; 53,935 words; Sep 2012; Teen
This is something you really don't see a lot of, especially these days: a Prince Blueblood story. Even more unusually, it's a story where Blueblood is painted in a largely sympathetic light. In essence, it's a retelling of Groundhog Day, but it's not really a crossover as the ponyisation is complete. The middle is stronger than the end, but none of it is bad. There's a sequel, "This Platinum Crown", but as that's closing in on 700,000 words and still isn't finished, I really doubt I'm ever going to read it! 8.5/10
The Games We Play by AbsoluteAnonymous
Rainbow Dash, Mare Do Well and Mane Six
Romance/Sad/Dark/Slice of Life; 137,602 words; Jul 2012; Teen
Yes, it's shipping. Novel-length shipping at that. Not at all a genre I'd usually read, but this was recommended to me. It's actually pretty good, and Rainbow's character is particularly well drawn, although the central mystery – just who is it under Mare Do Well's mask? – is rather easy to work out from a relatively early stage if you're paying attention. Worth a look even if you're not much into shipfics. 8/10

A New Perspective by ArgonMatrix
Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash
Slice of Life; 4,097 words; Oct 2013; Everyone
A short, simple but well told one-shot in which Rainbow Dash learns something about Fluttershy. In truth, it's something I'd expect such a close and long-standing friend already to know about her, and that means this doesn't get an exceptional score, but it doesn't really harm the story itself. This is a good fic to read if you have a little while to spare and want a well written one-shot that isn't going to stretch you too much. 7.5/10

The Numbers Don't Lie by shortskirtsandexplosions
Mane Six, CMC, Spike, Celestia and Cheerilee
Slice of Life; 20,101 words; Mar 2013; Everyone
Although this story is by one of the best known writers on FIMFiction, I don't think it's one of the great ponyfics. It's enjoyable, certainly, and there's one particular scene in a bar that could easily grow into a story of its own. Rarity fans will enjoy it, too. But the tale of the appearance of a mysterious "lie counter" above everypony's head suffers a little bit from a slightly unconvincing portrayal of Twilight. 7/10

On the Importance of Spelling by Softy8088
Cadance and Shining Armor
Romance/Comedy; 4,099 words; Dec 2012; Teen
Here we have a very funny short playing on the real-life confusion about how the Crystal Princess's name should be spelt. She and Shining play off each other very nicely, and they're entirely convincing as a couple who've just about settled down into marriage. The Teen rating comes from one f-bomb and the odd reference to the pair's sex life, neither of which feels gratuitous. A small nudge down in the grade for one slightly annoying stylistic decision. 8.5/10


  1. I've read The Best Night Ever as well. Blueblood's character redemption was very well done, I thought.
    I haven't read that many fics (so many fics, so little time!), but one I would definitely recommend is Friendship is Optimal, especially if you like sci-fi or stories about AI.
    Also I've read Shipping and Handling after Bronycurious mentioned it. It's a very heartwarming fanon interpretation of Ditzy Doo and her daughter, Dinky.
    Princess Celestia Hates Tea is a quick blast of ludicrous fun.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I'm pretty sure I have read "PCHT", but it was so long ago that I'd need to read it again before reviewing. "Shipping and Handling" is one of those stories I chickened out of reading because of its length; I might be braver these days! "Friendship is Optimal", though... I generally like to keep humans completely away from "my" ponies, so I'm not sure about that one. Maybe eventually, though.

    2. FiO is set entirely in the "real" world, so rest assured there's no fourth-wall breaking My Little Dashie style crossovers.
      And Naked Singularity is looking like a must-read :P

    3. And now I realise that I'll probably end up reading and reviewing "My Little Dashie" at some point. It's short enough that I could probably stand it.

      "Naked Singularity" is the best story I've read in these first ten. It's just so horribly plausible that Twilight would do... that.