Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 7

I wasn't sure whether I'd have the time to read five ponyfics this last week, but you're in luck: I've managed to do just that. I'm bringing you quite a varied selection this time round, including a representative of a genre we really don't see all that much of in the fandom any more. I'll stick with the layout I introduced last week, since it seems to work pretty well. As always, any comments you might have are very welcome!

Pick of the fics

No Quixote Here by RedSquirrel456
Blueblood, Celestia, Shining Armor, Fancy Pants and Twilight
Comedy/Slice of Life; 13,805 words; May 2013; Everyone
Remember "The Best Night Ever" back in PR1? The story in which Prince Blueblood was a rather sympathetic character? Well... this time, he isn't. He's absolutely awful – "a lazy, empty-headed ponce" as the author accurately says – though deliciously awful and you can occasionally see a spark of likability there. Here, Blueblood decides that to stop those blasted Elements overshadowing his greatness, he needs to have an adventure and become a hero. With help from his servants, of course. Things don't go well, but the fic does; recommended. 8.5/10

Other stories

First Aid by Maniac92
Scootaloo, Cheerilee, Fluttershy, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon
Slice of Life; 1,951 words; Nov 2013; Everyone
Scootaloo snaps after being bullied at school once too often and hits Diamond Tiara. Everyone cheers. One thing leads to another and she ends up talking to Fluttershy. This is a gentle, warm-hearted one-shot and it's nice to see 'Shy and Scoots together for a change. There's nothing particularly special about it, but it's a pleasant enough story to fill a few spare minutes. 7/10

Fly Away by ZAquanimus
Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash
Slice of Life; 2,566 words; Jul 2011; Everyone
Scootaloo again! This is one of the oldest stories on FIMFiction, so I was curious to see how well it stood up. The answers are mixed: I liked the setup, in which Scoots has been adopted... but by the Apples. Her cutie mark (it's set in the near future) is interesting, too. However, there isn't really a lot of conflict to hold the interest, and the later part of the story stretches credulity somewhat. Add an occasional stylistic jar and the best I can do is 5.5/10.

The Moonstone Cup by Cyanide
Twilight, Trixie, Luna and OC
Adventure; 61,073 words; Jul 2012; Everyone
This is the story I alluded to in my introduction: it's a shame the mid-length straight Adventure fic is relatively uncommon now. Twilight travels to Canterlot to compete in a magic-using competition. Lots of interesting world-building, impressively varied combat scenes and some nice OCs (not just ponies!) as well as perhaps the best use of Trixie I've ever seen in a fic. The excitement is nicely leavened with wit, and the late part of the story is unexpected. It could really have done with more proofreading, though: there are too many small errors dotted about, which dents its score very slightly. 8/10 

My Little Dashie by ROBCakeran53
Mane Six and Celestia
Sad/Human; 12,524 words; Oct 2011; Everyone
Oh yes, this story. First up, the character tags are misleading: this is overwhelmingly a story of Rainbow Dash and the unnamed human OC who tells the tale in the first person of what happened when he discovered a filly Dashie in a cardboard box. A lot of people think "MLD" is amazing; I don't. It's not the worst ponyfic I've ever read, and it does have occasional moments, but it pushes the emotion so hard that it becomes absurdly overdone. It's not very well written, either, and Celestia's portrayal (in a supporting role) is iffy. This story does not deserve to be considered a fandom classic. 4/10


  1. There was always something about the premise of MLD that I found off-putting, so I never read it. I can't shake of my discomfort with the idea of putting RD in a box, like a lost kitten, and making her some sort of adopted pet...

    1. I read it when I was very new to the fandom (and liked it a little more, though not spectacularly) but, in my case, it's having humans* in a pony story that puts me off more than anything else. You make a good point regarding the reason for your own discomfort, one I hadn't really given much thought to.

      * Whether or not the EqG characters count is a matter of interpretation!

  2. MLD just isn't very good, but I give the author a lot of credit for realizing that; it takes a level head to separate praise from quality. And at the end of the day, if a lot of people enjoyed it... well, that's good, isn't it? That said, I do wish this fandom had collectively picked something a little bit, well, better, as its feature short story.

    Also, agreed about Quixote. I don't know what it is about Blueblood and/or the people who write him, but there are so many good fics about that one-note, one-episode wonder!