Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 51: In a Change to Our Published Programme...

I seem to be slowly on the mend now, but I've been thrown off course enough that I haven't been able to read the fics I was planning on reviewing this week. Instead, here are a few that I've read over the last couple of days. Since I was still feeling a bit unwell, I thought I'd read fics that seemed to have a decent chance of being enjoyable. I read four, and it worked out quite well. Here's the list, in the order I read the stories:

Customer Disservice by Estee
The Glass Blower by Cold in Gardez
Beneath your feet, what Treasures by TheJediMasterEd
Of Angels by PaulAsaran

Customer Disservice by Estee
Comedy/Slice of Life; 2K words; Oct 2014; Everyone
Princess Twilight Sparkle writes to Thaumaturgy Review in an attempt to get her postal address updated. We've all been there, I'm sure. The story is told entirely through the medium of the TR office's replies, and it's quite cleverly done and consistently amusing. This reminded me a lot of the old Infocom interactive fiction game, Bureaucracy, though Estee apparently hasn't played that. Good fun, with a satisfying ending. ★★★★

The Glass Blower by Cold In Gardez
Rarity and OCs
Romance/Dark; 10K words; Jan 2012; Teen
The eponymous (and nameless) protagonist attempts to impress Rarity with examples of his craft. I loved the writing style, while the detailed descriptions of the glass blower's craft were fascinating. The one thing that bothered me was Rarity's portrayal: the fact that she's rather unsympathetic I can take in context, but I almost feel she'd have been better as another OC. Nevertheless, a haunting and at times discomfiting tale that's well worth the read. ★★★★

Beneath your feet, what Treasures by TheJediMasterEd
Spike, Rarity, Maud and Big Mac
Romance/Sad/Slice of Life; 1K words; Mar 2015; Everyone
Spike has something he must do with his secret hoard. Unlike (it seems) most of Fimfiction, I'd barely heard of this guy before he produced this, his first published story. Odd title capitalisation, too. However, there's a lot packed into its 1,400 words, and I had to read it again after getting to the end to work it out fully. Suffice it to say that this is not just another Sparity shipfic. If you want excitement and adventure and really wild things, look elsewhere: if, on the other hand, carefully constructed character studies float your boat, this is one for you. I like them, so: ★★★★

Of Angels by PaulAsaran
Angel, Twilight and Fluttershy
Slice of Life; 4K words; Feb 2015; Everyone
Seen through the medium of journal entries, Angel takes writing lessons from Twilight, to enable him to say something very important. This is one of those rare stories where coloured text is actually worthwhile: the voicing is good enough that you don't actually need it, but it does the job well. There's one thing I felt was too much of a stumbling block for the reader, though. The story itself is lovely: some may find it sappy later on, but my heart was absolutely melted by the end. A hugely welcome addition to the small pile of stories that take Angel's character seriously. ★★★★

It had to happen at some point: all the stories I read this week are four-star fics! This is one reason I've stopped doing the Pick of the fics thing...


  1. That's probably the single most common response to The Glass Blower that I've seen.

  2. I've never liked The Glass Blower entirely because of Rarity's portrayal. I feel it's Gardez's one big failure.

    1. It only scraped a four, actually, largely because I liked the actual writing style so much. Without that, it would have been a three-star fic. I suppose for a CiG story that would count as a failure.