Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 75: Three-quarters of a Century!

Yeah, I've seen the EQD mascots. One particular irritation, which I may post about at some point if I can be bothered, but it's been quite a busy week for me (the steam trains were great, by the way) so I'll move on for now. I've managed to get in a reasonable amount of reading, so here we go with another Ponyfic Roundup. PR 75! Sooner or later I'll have to start thinking about what to do for PR 100, which should arrive sometime in the spring, but that's a good way off yet. Instead, here's the usual assortment of stories:

Would It Matter If I Was? by GaPJaxie
Yes, It Matters by RealityCheck
Resolution by xjuggernaughtx
Another Dragon's Quest by draconmannvlvs
Nothing. by Fonypan
Twilight Sparkle Makes a Cup of Tea by GhostOfHeraclitus

Would It Matter If I Was? by GaPJaxie
Fluttershy and Twilight
Slice of Life; 2k words; Sep 2015; Everyone
In the wake of the Canterlot Wedding, Fluttershy has to ask Twilight a very difficult question.
The key being whether Twilight would mind if 'Shy were actually a changeling. This fic became a bit of a phenomenon – all over the Featured box, almost 12k views in under a fortnight – and has inspired quite a few follow-ups. After reading this, I confess I'm not entirely sure why it took off so much; it can't only have been because Cold in Gardez recommended it! I found it interesting, thoughtful and well-written, but not extraordinarily so in any of those departments. Twilight's characterisation is good, though Fluttershy doesn't feel quite right. The (often faux) controversy it's provoked is boring as hay (see the next review...), but this story is worth a read on its own merits, as long as you don't expect to be blown away. It's good, just not that good. ★★★

Yes, It Matters by RealityCheck
Fluttershy and Twilight
Random/Slice of Life; 3k words; Sep 2015; Everyone
My [RC's] own spin on "Does it Really Matter?"
This is one of the follow-up fics I mentioned. Present Perfect told me not to read it, but I didn't listen. Silly me. This is a potentially interesting rebuttal of GaPJaxie's story's message, but one made almost unreadable by the inclusion of vast tracts of, well, author tract, of the sort a certain type of politician might come out with. Seriously, it goes on for ages. Fluttershy says things like "But they were just following orders" (yes, really), while Twilight comes across as... well, not Twilight. Her voice is way off, for one thing. There's even a spectacularly clunky Order of the Stick reference shoe-horned in near the end. This one apparently failed moderation, was then passed as an exceptional measure because of the interest, and now seems to have been unpublished again. As it's still public, I'll keep it in this PR – but I still hated it. ★
Note: RealityCheck has since deleted all his stories from Fimfiction after a row with the mods over this very story. Apparently it's now on AO3 somewhere, but I can't be bothered to look for it.

Resolution by xjuggernaughtx
Adagio Dazzle [and OCs, though they're not tagged]
Dark/Adventure; 17k words; Aug 2015; Teen
After subjecting herself to a secret ritual, Adagio enters into a dangerous new world where the line between friend and foe is blurred.
First up: you need italics for this one to work properly, so don't just download the EPUB or plaintext versions! Anyway, I have mixed feelings about Equestria Girls fics, since they often don't feel pony – in terms of heart, not simply body shape. This one doesn't, either, but it does provide an interesting and intriguing backstory for Adagio, and that I appreciate a lot. I can't say it really moved me, and at times it feels more like original fiction that happens to share characters with the MLP multiverse, but it all ties together nicely and at least gives a decent explanation for why she has "Dazzle" in her name. (Mind you, so do Daring Do and Diamond Tiara, on merch anyway...) A few minor typos apart, it's good technically, too. If you're really into EG, this might be worth an extra star. ★★★

Another Dragon's Quest by draconmannvlvs
Spike and Other
Random/Slice of Life; 1k words; Aug 2015; Everyone
Garble the Dragon seeks out Spike to explain the events of Dragon Quest
I don't think I've ever read a Garble fic before, so this was a new experience. It's interesting to see another side of that teenage dragon, and I do confess to warming to him a bit at times here. On the downside, the explanation for what was going on in the episode doesn't really feel right, and I've no idea why Garble suddenly calls Spike "mate" at one point, as though he were English or Australian. Finally, the ending is a bit dull, though it may be setting us up for a sequel. ★★

Nothing. by Fonypan
Twilight, Celestia, Luna and Mane Six
Dark/Comedy/Random; 2k words; Dec 2014; Teen
What happens when a pony dies?
(Yes, the full stop is part of the title.) Twilight awakes, dead – and tries to make sense of her surroundings. Judging by the ages of her (still living) friends, it's many years in the future. I was quite interested in the first half of this fic, but after that it takes a turn for the worse. There are some sloppy typos, a rather ham-fisted Pok√©mon reference and a truly ludicrous ending (even considering the Random tag). Manages a two-star rating thanks to its interesting beginning, but I'm not really a fan of this one. ★★

Twilight Sparkle Makes a Cup of Tea by GhostOfHeraclitus
Twilight and Celestia
Sad/Slice of Life; 2k words; Oct 2012; Everyone
Sometimes, a cup of tea is just a cup of tea. This is not one of those times.
Another Royal Canterlot Library inductee, and quite right too. This is a wonderful story, in which GoH's masterly use of language (pay close attention to exactly how things are written) combines with a superb piece of (unicorn) Twilight characterisation to produce an utterly memorable whole. This is the mundanity of the "Pony Does X" concept reworked into something magical. A perfect ending, too. I'm delighted to finish this week's PR with a fic of such rare quality. ★★★★★

18 comments:

  1. Why do the mascots irritate you? O.o

    Dear Princess Celestia, today Loganberry learned to always listen to me. :V

    A few minor typos apart
    I WILL CUT YOU FIND ME THESE TYPOS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spotlight Splash represents "News, Interviews, Editorials, and general EQD based journalistic things."
      Rocket Tier represents "Art, Music, Video editing, and The Creative side of EQD".

      Grrr. Buried deepin the comments is a note to the effect that SS covers fanfic as "she's the writer", but that just makes fanfic look like the poor relation of the fandom's other creative arts. Again. :S

      Typos? I didn't keep an exhaustive record. But two I did note down were "sweep by her in" in chapter one and "Here me, citizens!" in chapter three.

      Delete
    2. Damn typos! I swear those things breed in the night. Thanks for catching those. They've been corrected now.

      Three stars puts me in the same category with GaPJaxie, and that's nothing to complain about. I, too, puzzled over what all the fuss was about with his new story. It was okay, but not great.

      As for Resolution, it was perhaps the oddest story that I've written. I actually wrote the battle on the cliff first, but then kept feeling like I needed just a little more for context. Eventually, it swelled into what you read. I've never really written that way before. It's always been from the beginning to the end, not the middle out.

      Delete
    3. I think I'd probably put your story about level with GaPJaxie's (even within the three-star band) in terms of how much I personally enjoyed it. On the one hand, I think it's a more interesting story. On the other, there's my personal preference for ponies over non-ponies. That suggests that someone a bit more inclined towards EG fics would probably place it a little higher than GaPJaxie's fic.

      The battle on the cliff did feel like the place where "everything really began", if you see what I mean, but I can't say I could tell that you wrote it first.

      Delete
    4. Ahhh. I must admit, I hadn't paid that much attention. But I'm not surprised.

      Delete
  2. Heh. I've read two of GoH's works and found them both incredibly boring. At least on this one I have a comment with a bunch of downvotes :P

    I really need to get someone to explain tome what they see in some of these stories ones day. It would be an interesting exercise.

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    1. Well, don't look at me! I'm no good at explaining things. I actually rather liked your comment, though. Not that I feel the same way, but it was a perfectly reasonable opinion and it didn't deserve all those downvotes.

      Delete
  3. The "Nothing" fanfic honestly sounds stupid to me.

    One thing I do wanna let you know if you do "Parting Words," it's an "AU", but the author didn't tag it (and I actually do NOT have nice things to say about him, I'll explain once you read the fic).

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    1. Hmm. That story is on my RiL list, but it's by the same guy who did "Yes, It Matters" -- and you saw what I thought of that! So it may be quite a while.

      Delete
    2. RealityCheck did do that? Wow...

      Yeah I will warn you here: "Parting Words" does have Author Tract in it. Just read the first chapter, and you'll see what I mean. I honestly dunno what I'd give the fic, but I'd probably give it a 1 or a 2; probably mostly due to the author's behavior, plus I still don't think the fic was good as a whole (though I only read chapters 1 and 4, I was pessimistic).

      I've also heard Reality hates the concept of Twilight being a Princess.

      Found your message on FiMFiction, btw ^___^

      Delete
    3. That comic, "The Night the Magic Died" too, which I glimpsed at on TV Tropes, has Author Tract in it too.

      Delete
  4. Hmmm. That GoH story just didn't do it for me. It was okay, but it didn't get me into its emotional groove. I do hate tea, though. That might be part of it.

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    1. I love tea. But then I'm English; I'd probably be stripped of my citizenship if I didn't like it. :P

      Delete
  5. For some reason, "Yes it Matters" doesn't exist anymore...nor do any of other Realitycheck's stories, I've found this: http://static.fimfiction.net/images/missing_story.png

    I think he actually may have gotten banned!

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    Replies
    1. No, he DFE'd and ragequit last year.

      Delete
    2. Ragequit the fandom? Oh dear...hope it wasn't as bad as Tommy Oliver's departure...what does "DFE" mean also?

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    3. "Delete fucking everything" :V

      Delete
  6. Apparently he also said this: "But, after years of petty harassment, and the growing bias and poor treatment by the moderators, this site, for all its shiny bells and whistles, just isn't worth the hassle."

    How freaking ironic, as when I looked at one of his blogs a long while back and said in my opinion that I thought people sometimes look too deep in a children's show (not meaning to insult him), he insulted me claiming I was "new to Planet Earth" and harassed me, even though I did nothing bad to him. I told him it was uncalled for and he couldn't give a shit. Luckily I did report him and block him, and I'm guessing the moderators did their job, rather than "harassing him" like he's claiming <___<

    Oh well.

    Oh well.

    ReplyDelete