Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 38: I Like What You Like

Fimfiction's recently instituted "Also Liked" tab gave me the idea for this week's PR: I found all six fics via those tabs. I've mentioned above each one which of my stories it was listed with. I excluded stories that were a) also by me; b) ones I'd read before; c) incomplete or d) very long. I've also read no more than one fic by each author. Has it worked? Well, it's certainly been interesting, though I haven't turned up anything unmissable. Note that I am now using star ratings: one is poor; five is outstanding.

Pick of the fics

Also liked: This Fragment of Life
Hysteria by AlwaysDressesInStyle
Blueblood and Others
Comedy/Adventure; 5K words; Feb 2014; Everyone
Wysteria forms a band with Razzaroo and co, but an unguarded remark in front of Minty leads to the overthrow of the government. As these character names (and the author's) suggest, this is a fic that places G3 ponies in the G4 universe. It's worth reading even if (like me) you're not overly familiar with G3, though older-gen fans will doubtless get more out of it. I didn't really see the point of the very short last paragraph, but otherwise this is good fun all round. And yes, there are socks. Add a star if the very thought makes you squee. ★★★

Other stories

Also liked: It Doesn't Matter Now
Keeping the Keep by Smoker
OC and Mane Six
Comedy/Slice of Life; 9K words; Sep 2014; Teen
The story of a Royal Guard assigned to guard Princess Twilight's new castle. This is a very uneven fic: it's often entertaining and has some good lines ("Still, 'peaceful' is quite good friends with 'boring'") but also contains some irritations, such as a mid-fic YouTube link, then an A/N a few paras later telling the reader to stop the music! Characterisation is variable: it's never terrible, but often feels slightly off, while the ending is rushed. Featured by Twilight's Library, so some obviously like it more than me. Could probably have been a three-star fic with a bit of editing. ★★

Also liked: By the Seashore
Many Moons Ago by GrapeVino
Celestia and Luna
Sad/Slice of Life; 8K words; Oct 2013; Everyone
The first Summer Sun Celebration since Luna's return is imminent, but the princess has disappeared; Celestia seeks her out and discovers that Luna has something to say. This is quite readable, particularly while Luna tells her story and in the satisfying final scene. The prose is a little rough in places (this was GrapeVino's first and only ponyfic) but it's not terrible. Worth a look if you like stories with this setup. ★★★

Also liked: One Hell of a Party
The Shovel Store by Tennis Match Fan
Rainbow Dash, Lightning Dust, Twilight and OCs
Comedy/Random/Slice of Life; 1K words; Jul 2014; Everyone
Rainbow and two OCs have (unexplained) grudges against other ponies, so set up a shovel store. They use its products to smash said other ponies over the head. You know, as ponies do... not very well written, doesn't explain its setup, has Rainbow Dash acting weirdly OOC and at one point uses the word "plot-convenient" in-story. I'd be inclined to skip this one.

Also liked: We Who with Songs Beguile
Something Magical by Dark Avenger
Cranky and OC
Slice of Life; 6K words; Aug 2014; Everyone
A much older Cranky, no longer in Ponyville, is writing his memoirs and discusses things with his griffon companion/nurse/friend. One of the non-finalists from the EQD "Outside Insight" contest, but I wouldn't have been shocked if it had made that round. Cranky's voice seems off at first, but it does work in time. I wasn't entirely convinced that even a griffon like Liz wouldn't be aware of the Mane Six's exploits, though. A slightly downbeat ending, but the last line is perfect. ★★★

Also liked: The Light that Ignites in the Dark
Spirit of Generosity by Flint Sparks
Rarity, Mane Six and Spike
Slice of Life; 6K words; Dec 2013; Everyone
A Hearth's Warming tale in which Rarity finds herself forced to confront the nature of what generosity actually means. A great concept for a story and the first few pages are in good, readable prose... but then, for in-fic reasons, it spends several thousand words in verse. The whole thing, not just the dialogue. The trouble is that many of Flint's rhymes are forced and carry the scent of thesaurus abuse. ("[Spike] gave a shy wave, almost depraved" is typical.) It ended up a chore to read, feeling much longer than its 6,000 words; I even toyed with DNF-ing it. This story made Twilight's Library and has a +42/-1 thumbscore, but I'm afraid I'll be playing Scrooge here.


  1. >G3 fic
    >features Razzarroo

    I'm doing a similar thing with the "Similar" tab. Unfortunately, going with "stories I haven't reviewed that aren't sequels, are complete and look like something I'd actually want to read" has left me with well over a Fallout: Equestria to read. D:

    1. It's mostly Wysteria and Minty, really. And ooh, good point: I'd forgotten about the "Similar" tag. Another one for the to-do list, I guess.

    2. I'm three stories away from completing my Similar project.

      Unfortunately, one of those stories is 118k and written by Hoopy McGee (meaning I probably won't be quitting early on it).