Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ponyfic Roundup Extra: Outside Insight entries: top ten and final thoughts

Frankly, my first thought is one of admiration crossed with "What were they thinking?" for those who slogged through all 100+ stories that were entered into this competition. The 22 tales that I read were quite enough for me, and those were the good entries! Anyway, although this certainly isn't something I'd like to do very often, I did find some very enjoyable fics in my four-week journey. So here, after a little consideration to break some ties, is my personal top ten:

1. Moonlight Palaver by Carabas
2. Queen of Queens by JawJoe
3. Changeling: The Movie by Obselescence
4. Rise by Blueshift
5. Veni, Vidi, Verti by thesecret1
6. Cranky Doodle Donkey's Bad Asssssss Day by Einhander
7. An Outsider's Perspective by Kavonde
8. The Last Trumpet's Call by Cold in Gardez
9. I Am Demon by Aquaman
10. Pride by InquisitorM

Let me stress that this is a top 10 based on enjoyability, not strict adherence to the contest prompt. A few of those fics, including the winner, sailed quite close to the wind in terms of keeping to that prompt, and might have scored lower had I been focusing on that criterion. But Moonlight Palaver wins by virtue of being immensely enjoyable all round. I don't think it necessarily has the broadest appeal, but I liked its style and that's what matters around here.

Someone's bound to ask, so... where would I have placed my own We Who with Songs Beguile, had it been written by someone else? I'm not much good at rating my own stories, but I like to think it would have got good marks for originality of POV species choice, narrative voice, avian vocabulary and general enjoyability. However, it would have lost out in terms of its limited complexity and depth, as well as one embarrassing typo that went unspotted for weeks. ("Pink-Yellow" instead of "Yellow-Pink": significant in context.)

All that being so, I think WWwSB might have crept into the lower reaches of my top ten, though it would have struggled to have got any higher than that. Actually, I think I'm justified in feeling a little bit disappointed that it wasn't one of the 15 stories with some sort of mention in the actual contest's results. It did follow the prompt considerably better than some fics here, after all. There! For those of you who've stuck with me all this way, a little controversy right at the end!

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