Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 6

I'm going to change the layout of the Ponyfic Roundup very slightly from now on. Although I'll still aim to mention about five stories each time, I'll be singling out one that I feel is the pick of the lot. That doesn't mean all the others are bad, necessarily – and in any case, your tastes may not agree with mine – but simply that this was the fic I most enjoyed in the selection. Anyway, on we go!

Pick of the fics

Height by PoweredByTea
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy
Adventure; 10,382 words; Jan 2014; Teen
You've probably gathered by now that I'm a big fan of FlutterDash friendshipping, so here's some more of it! A lovely story, told in first person by Rainbow, in which Dash's attempts to convince her friend of the glories of high-altitude flight lead to an unlooked-for adventure. There's also a very amusing short epilogue in a radically different style. The Teen rating is a little cautious. 9/10

Other stories

End of the Rainbow by Deathscar
Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Twilight
Tragedy/Sad/Slice of Life; 5,324 words; Apr 2012; Teen
The title makes it fairly obvious what the premise of this story is: the death of Rainbow Dash and how her close friends deal with it. An okay story, though it's a shame it wasn't proof-read a little more as there's some irritating tense-mixing. The pacing is a bit strange, but the story is better later on. The (nearly) last line is the best thing about this one. 6/10

Never a Rainbow by NorsePony
Applejack and Fluttershy
Sad/Alternate Universe; 2,001 words; Jun 2012; Teen
This interesting little one-shot explores the consequences, not of Rainbow's death, but of her never having been born in the first place. Equestria has become a very different place without the colourful pegasus, and the ripples have affected everypony, including AJ and 'Shy, to a great extent. Pretty well written, and worth a look. 8/10

the rebellion! [sic] by tunderchaser
OC and Other
Romance/Sad/Adventure/Alternate Universe; 2,886 words; Jan 2012; Everyone
This is misclassified: it contains only OCs. More to the point, it's among the worst non-troll ponyfics I have ever read on Fimfiction. Full of misspellings, tense-mixing, exclamation marks, unexplained weirdness and bad pacing. A pony gets upset when another pony falls in love with her sister, so tries to take over the world and destroy "Pony Ville". Well, naturally. Gets a point for being (intermittently) amusingly terrible. 1/10

Sun Princess by Skywriter
Applejack and Winona
Sad/Slice of Life; 1,709 words; Jul 2013; Everyone
To end with this week, and to cleanse your brain if you're reading through these in order, we have a fascinating short. I don't think I've ever read a story told from Winona's point of view (though in third person) before, but Skywriter does a very good job of it. The partnership between Winona and Applejack has obvious parallels with another couple. A shame that the ending is a little bit forced, but otherwise it's a solid piece of work. 7.5/10


  1. How nice to read a Fluttershy fic that isn't emotionally traumatising!

    So after saying you don't have time to read longer fics, you proceed to review Fallout Equestria at 600,000 words :D I don't know when I'm going to get round to starting on that!

    1. I thought exactly that! While I find Fluttemotion (?) fascinating, "Height" proves that a sufficiently skilled writer can make her interesting without having to pull her apart.

      As for F:E, I certainly didn't read that one in a week! I think it took me about a month, and I could only do that by not reading much else for a while!

    2. I can think of two broad themes for Flutterstories. The first loosely follows the Break The Cutie trope, and has been done many times in the show itself (Putting Your Hoof Down, Hurricane Fluttershy, Filli Vanilli), where Fluttershy faces and eventually overcomes some challenge or trauma. I think a second pattern I would like to see more of is where Fluttershy's positive traits of kindness and selflessness are emphasised for their own sake, often in relation to Rainbow Dash (e.g. Rainbow Falls, Trade Ya, and Height to some extent).
      Fluttershy is certainly a likeable enough character to carry the story without having to resort to the more tragic backstories that have been imagined. I think we should bear in mind that aspects of her personality are probably exaggerated for comic effect, and it is easy to overreach when speculating upon her backstory. (But I know, over-speculation is what this fandom does...)

    3. Apologies for the very late reply! I agree with you in principle... but I can't help noticing that the episodes you gave as examples of the first type are generally regarded as better than those of the second type. I don't think Rainbow Falls is in the same class as Hurricane Fluttershy or Filli Vanilli. My own headcanon for 'Shy has evolved to be somewhat tragic, so perhaps that's skewing my perception.