Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 78: Post-Convention Edition

Be honest: you knew this title was coming, didn't you? Anyway, before I begin: since Titanium Dragon dug his claws into We Who with Songs Beguile, I've had more upvotes (across my stories) than I have for ages. I already knew a TD NR was a badge of honour, but even so! :P As far as Ponyfic Roundup is concerned, it's a fairly short one this week as I haven't been in the best of health. Still, some interesting stories to look at. They are:

An Unepic Pony War in the Non-Distant Future by anowack
Shutdown by Cupcakes
Ice by alarajrogers
Ponies Debate Gun Control by PresentPerfect
Things Better Left Unseen by Take

An Unepic Pony War in the Non-Distant Future by anowack
Twilight, Celestia, Luna, Cadance and Mane Six
Comedy/Slice of Life; 10k words; May 2013; Teen
Ponyville hosts the 1003rd Summer Sun Celebration. Celestia and Luna are taking a vacation. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Well, except that Twilight and Cadance have to agree who gets to cover which job. If you can swallow a fair bit of convenient omission of important facts, this is a lot of fun. Actually, it's closer in feel to an episode than a lot of fics, which in this case enhances the appeal. A nice change of pace if you've had your fill of multiverse-shaking high drama for a while. ★★★★

Shutdown by Cupcakes
Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Lyra, Bon Bon and Carrot Top
Sad; 3k words; Apr 2012; Everyone
"Would you tell anypony if you knew the world was going to end, Twilight Sparkle?"
This RCL inductee does feel a little dated in its meta premise, but it does a better job of making that premise involving than most similar stories. It also helps that it lacks a lot of meta fics' over-the-top emotion. Interesting cast of characters, too – and yes, there is a reason. This story's RCL feature led, very indirectly, to my writing The Unbearable Lightness of Bucking, so feel free to deduct stars for that. :P ★★★

Ice by alarajrogers
Twilight, Discord and Spike
Dark/Comedy/Random/Adventure; 3k words; Dec 2013; Everyone
Three Equestrians wander Antarctica in search of the portal home.
This is a dialogue-only story with three participants, so it's a relief that it's always clear who's speaking – though Discord's voice doesn't quite work for me. As befits its setting, it starts out a little sluggishly, but the writer warms (hah) to her theme and the later exchanges are the best. I did find its repetitiveness a bit frustrating, hence the rating, but as a writing exercise it is at least a readable story too. ★★

Ponies Debate Gun Control by PresentPerfect
Mane Six
Comedy/Random; 2k words; May 2013; Everyone
Rainbow Dash's friends are having an argument, which means it's up to her to sort it out. Does Equestria really need stricter gun control laws?
I'm British, and so like most of my compatriots I look on the US gun control debate with utter bemusement. Thankfully, this fic isn't really about that at all: it's a silly piece of pony fanfiction. Huzzah! There's not much to this other than the twist (which is fun), and so I can't really give it a very high rating, but for once an A/N is actually worth reading and that has to count for something, right? ★★★

Things Better Left Unseen by Take
Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Mane Six
Comedy; 5k words; Jul 2015; Teen
Twilight creates a device that lets her and her friends see what's going on in alternate universes. Rainbow Dash is now scarred for life.
This spent ages in the Fimf feature box, but I imagine that's largely because it's full of shipping. Oh, and ancient references: one nods to a 2012 Dubs Rewatcher fic that itself nodded to an even earlier EQD post. We get some TwiLestia as well. Oh, and a Cupcakes reference. Yes, really. It's mildly amusing, and I get the feeling that the author may write something much better in due time – but this story it doesn't really stand as a great advert for the qualities of the feature box in picking out great ponyfic. Okay, we already knew that. ★★