Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 32

Like an idiot, a feature I would really love to be added to FimFiction slipped my mind when Knighty asked for suggestions the other day. To wit: I'd like to have a small memo space (50 characters would be enough) by each story on my "Read Later" list, so I can remind myself of why I added it. For example, noting the identity of the person who'd recommended it. I do have a "Notes" column in Calibre, but this would be much more straightforward.

But back to the task in hoof. This week, as usual, there are five stories under consideration. It's not the most exciting edition of PR for those who like to see either astounding brilliance or astounding incompetence in their reading, but I'd imagine at least one or two of these will suit most tastes.

Pick of the fics

A Teacher with No Class by Kavonde
Blueblood, Cheerilee, CMC, Diamond Tiara and Dinky
Comedy/Slice of Life; 5K words; Aug 2012; Everyone
The author of An Outsider's Perspective (PR 27) had a hit with this Blueblood comedy in 2012. A special guest speaker comes to talk about government to Cheerilee's class... and it's the Royal Pain himself. This is lots of fun for most of its length, but with a twist near the end into a very different type of story. A few small quibbles (even in a 2012 fic, do we really need a description of the CMC?) but certainly worth a tea break. 8/10

Other stories

Dictated, Not Read by device heretic
Twilight, Celestia and Others
Sad/Slice of Life; 3K words; Jun 2012; Everyone
The author has apparently long since departed FimFic after some before-my-time drama, but at least they left us this. (Yes, and Eternal, I know...) Twilight's latest letter to Celestia is a little out of the ordinary, as she discusses a disliked Hearth's Warming gift from long ago. Really rather affecting. The only reason this doesn't score higher is that Twi's bitterness towards her parents seems a little over-the-top for her, especially in the circumstances of the story (vague because spoilers). 8/10

The Light in the Darkness by zaptiftun
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Mane Six
Slice of Life; 5K words; Mar 2012; Everyone
A RainPie hurt/comfort friendshipping story. Dash comes home of an evening to find Pinkie in a dreadful state after a nightmare – one which bears a (deliberately) close resemblance to a certain infamous Pinkiefic of yore. A few typos and overlong paragraphs, while an our-world reference feels odd, even for a Pinkie story, but it's not disastrous. Does show its age, but not always in a bad way. 6.5/10

That Familiar Pain by Nightroad
Fluttershy and Twilight
Sad; 2K words; May 2013; Everyone
Fluttershy is always sad when Mother's Day rolls around – but this year, she's going to tell her wife (unicorn Twilight) just why. That's actually my main problem: it doesn't convince that Fluttershy, seven years into that relationship, would not have told Twi something as important as this. A comment about Rarity's mother is also unbelievable. Deliberately written without any direct speech, which mostly works but does feel forced at times. Still, quite readable on its own terms, so 5/10.

A True, True Friend? by Blazewing
Spike, Luna and Mane Six
Sad/Slice of Life; 9K words; Apr 2014; Everyone
Spike has finally had enough of not being invited when the Mane Six go to have fun, and ends up talking over his feelings with Princess Luna before confronting Twilight. It's a little sledgehammer with the "Spike deserves better" message in places, while the resolution is awfully convenient and drags on slightly, but it's still worth a look, especially for fans of the little dragon. 7/10


  1. I've always read the bitterness in Dictated, Not Read as less intense bitterness towards her parents, but directed at herself for spending so much of her life thinking poorly of them when she didn't need to.

    1. Oh yes, that's certainly there -- but that doesn't feel off to me, so I didn't mention it. I may be out of the mainstream here, but I do get at least a bit of a feeling of secondary bitterness towards her parents.

    2. Right. What I meant was that what we see about the bitterness towards her parents is magnified by the circumstances of the story. As in, if you had talked to her about it before this story the bitterness wouldn't be nearly so over-the-top.

    3. It's a fair point. I didn't find it that bad, otherwise it wouldn't have scored 8/10, but it still didn't quite gel for me. YMMV, as they say. :)