Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 20

Well, whaddaya know? This is my 300th post for Louder Yay. A huge thank you to everyone who's read, commented, suggested, complained and otherwise contributed. You're pretty awesome.

Another plug before I get going, to another blog that mentioned this one. That's One Man's Pony Ramblings, written by the mononymic Chris – the author of "To Make a Spark" (recommended in PR 3). Chris has been terrifyingly prolific in his reviews: writing detailed comments on every six-star fic from EqD's old days is just a fraction of his total output. Anyway, back to my much shorter reviews, and I'm happy to say there's another absolute star this week.

Pick of the fics

In the Place the Wild Horses Sleep by Lucky Dreams
OCs, Luna and Mane Six
Adventure/Human; 3K words; Jul 2014; Everyone
Written for the "Most Dangerous Game" contest, in which authors had to take a horribly overused fandom trope – Human in Equestria, for example – and make it work. Lucky Dreams nailed it with a wonderful (and indeed wondrous) children's story, something this fandom really ought to have more of. This is not a flawless fic – the coloured text annoyed me and the middle section isn't quite as tight as the start and end – so why I am I giving it full marks? Quite simply, because I just plain loved it. It has atmosphere, warmth and heart to spare. I grew up with Puffin books of short stories; it's the highest compliment I can think of to say that this story reads as though it came from one of those. Never mind the MDG contest, this stands on its own merits as a modern ponyfic classic. 10/10

Other stories

I Wish I Had Met You Yesterday by 8686 [sic]
Daring Do, Twilight and OCs
Sad; 22K words; Feb 2014; Everyone
In some weeks, this would have walked Pick. It's a fascinating and touching tale about the pony who makes Daring Do's public appearances. ("Daring Don't" appeared while the fic was being written, but 8686 doesn't stutter in that regard.) It should probably have a Rainbow Dash character tag, too. The Sad tag is fair enough, but don't be afraid of this: it's not unremittingly bleak by any means. There is a bit of shipping (between OCs) if that bothers you. A good example of how tell-y stories can work. 9/10

Seashell by Winston (known as 'wdeleon' at time of review)
OCs, Rainbow Dash and Twilight
Romance/Slice of Life; 22K words; May 2014; Teen
Extracts from the diary of a military stallion from the nearish future, who (at first) is posted to a distant spot. Sounds dull? It's not. Some fantastic worldbuilding is allied to a nicely restrained storytelling style. A devastating war haunts the past of most characters, though we don't find out what happened to some of them. Some interesting symbolism as well. Would have benefited from more proofreading in the last few chapters, though. 8.5/10

View by ThunderChaserCreate
Mane Six and Spike
Sad/Dark; 2K words; Feb 2014; Everyone
The description for this short is simply "A creature watches the daily goings on of Ponyville from a small hole far above." The mystery, of course, is who or what it is. Since I can't give that away, I'll simply say that the story has a rather odd atmosphere and that it's probably not a tale you'll read again once you've worked out the mystery. That said, what is there is quite original. Feature-recced by Twilight's Library; I didn't like it that much, but it was still quite solid. 7/10

Winter of our Hatred by Joural
Dark; 1K words; Jan 2013; Everyone
More or less, the creation myth of the Windigos. (Or are they Windigoes? Argh.) This is simultaneously fascinating and frustrating: it would make a wonderful prologue to a really beefy Windigo-focused story, but as it stands, it feels a little lacking. The prose shades to purple at times, but that's not a huge problem with mythology. I still have mixed feelings about "foalishness", though. 6.5/10


  1. "Terrifyingly persistent" would be more accurate--I'm sneaking up on three years of doing this without significant interruption, and that adds up to a lot of reviews.

    Wild Horses is the only story I've read from this batch, but I absolutely agree; writing a children's story may be easy, but writing a good one is hard, and the author nails it.

    1. I suppose "terrifyingly persistent" becomes "terrifyingly prolific in the end" in any case!

      And still, probably because of that "Human" tag, it has only about 1,100 views. Criminal.