Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 33

The latest changes to Fimfiction have caused a few ructions, but for the most part, I quite like them. I was a little concerned that I'd start seeing wildly NSFW fics in the "Related" box for my harmless little pieces, but thankfully the site's algorithm seems to avoid that. A shame we still don't have a less crude date-range filter, and the new search box is useless unless you use the exact fic title, but still. Anyway, it's time to play the music review five more pony fanfics. One of those weeks when the Pick pretty much chose itself.

Pick of the fics

Happily Ever After by Benman
Cadance and Shining Armor
Romance/Tragedy; 3K words; Oct 2012; Everyone
The royal couple's marriage is coming under strain; Shining thinks he knows what needs to be done. This is a brilliant illustration of how a sufficiently skilled writer can create a truly unsettling story within the confines of an Everyone rating. Uses the spelling "Cadence" throughout, if that bothers you. I can't say much more without spoilers, but this one is sure to leave its mark. 9/10

Other stories

Forgiveness by duvagr007
OC, Granny Smith, Big Mac and Apple Bloom
Tragedy/Sad/Slice of Life; 2K words; Aug 2012; Everyone
A Timberwolf POV story: the protagonist commits a terrible act, then explores his feelings about what he's done. This reminds me of some of the less accomplished entries in the EqD "Outside Insight" contest: the underlying idea is moderately interesting, but the execution is lacking: huge blocks of text, a strange POV shift late on, some capitalisation errors and a ridiculously rushed ending. 4/10

Lament of a Spoon by Zytheros
Silver Spoon
Slice of Life; 6K words; Jun 2012; Everyone
Silver Spoon wonders whether tagging along with Diamond Tiara's bullying is the best way to go. Quite an interesting concept, with decent characterisation – and SS's odd linguistic style is explained in-story. It's not believable that Rarity would show up "fashionably late" to a serious fire, though, and indeed that whole scene feels out of sync with the rest of the fic. A little gentle crush-style shipping here and there. 6.5/10

The Last Earth Pony by Palm Palette
Pinkie Pie
Slice of Life/Alternate Universe; 4K words; Jun 2014; Everyone
Poor Pinkie Pie: the only pony in Equestria never to have got wings, and her friends don't seem all that considerate. Pinkie stories are often bizarre, but this one tries a bit too hard and the charm is diminished as a result. Some clever wordplay (I like "aurora rainborealis") but also that scourge of ponyfic, Applejack's dreaded "Ah-speak". A few typos (eg "pegasai"*) but nothing terrible. A truly weird ending, but not the obvious one I thought I could see coming, so kudos for that. 5.5/10
* See the comments for a discussion of this specific word

Scotchtavia by 8_Bit
Vinyl Scratch and Octavia
Romance/Slice of Life; 3K words; Apr 2014; Teen
Unlike most of the fandom, I can take or leave this pairing, but this isn't a bad story at all. After a night on the town, an intoxicated Octavia tells Vinyl something really surprising. I haven't seen this idea treated seriously before, and the revelation was genuinely startling, though I'm not sure the explanation given entirely holds up. The interplay between the two ponies is nicely done, and it's a brisk read. A strange tense shift near the end. One of the very few ponyfics to capitalise words like "Unicorn". One very dodgy joke, included as a deliberate plot point. 7.5/10

5 comments:

  1. >implying there is any spelling other than "Cadence" :V

    Also, fyi, while I prefer "pegasi" myself, "pegasai" was long ago considered the appropriate Greek-root pluralization of "pegasus". Or else it was just one of many options (I think the REAL real one is "pegasudes") and happens to be the one that stuck.

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    1. "Long ago" being the operative phrase; I'm not going to start accepting "runne" as correct just because it was acceptable in the 16th century. :P Besides, "pegasi" is universally used in Hasbro-licensed literature,* so I think it's reasonable to consider "pegasai" as much an error as "Pinky Pie".

      * Okay, okay, the books and so on actually use "Pegasi" -- but that's a whole other can of worms!

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    2. I meant 'long ago' in terms of the fandom. :V In other words, it's not a random misspelling, there's a reason behind it.

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    4. Nope. The Greek is Πήγασος, which is (after removing diacritics) Pegasos. The Greek plural is therefore Pegasoi. It passed into Latin as Pegasus, and as a second-declension masculine noun, the plural is Pegasi. You can't have "Pegasai" either way!

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