Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 89: And Next Year's Words Await Another Voice

I'm back from my break, so welcome to the first Ponyfic Roundup of 2016. All things being well, I'll be doing PR 100 before too long, and I'm thinking about whether I'm going to make it a themed edition. Any suggestions for a theme would be welcome – though no, Project Horizons will not be read under any circumstances. :P As far as this week is concerned, I've reviewed five stories, including one of the most famous horror fics the fandom has produced.

Biblical Monsters by Horse Voice
The Trial of Fluttershy Flutters by Masterweaver
Wizards, Fools, and Foals by FanOfMostEverything
The Filly That Lives Under Ground by Not Worthy
A Glimmer in the Night by Himntor

Biblical Monsters by Horse Voice
Twilight and OCs
Dark/Horror/Human/Tragedy; 11k words; Mar 2013; Teen
"Put your boots on," Adams said. "There's a biblical monster in my house."
This is the author's RCL entry, and it's certainly a very fine story. For quite some way into this fic, in which Twilight appears at a remote lighthouse in (I think) Canada, I thought it was a satisfyingly solid, interesting piece of excellent writing, but nothing more than that. It's the last chapter, and especially the ending, that change that. That last part has force. It doesn't get a five for a similar reason to why xjuggernaughtx's The New Crop (PR 82) didn't: it's too hard for me to enjoy. It's just too bleak. But it has to be recommended nevertheless. Just be prepared to be forcibly thought-provoked. ★★★★

The Trial of Fluttershy Flutters by Masterweaver
Fluttershy, Celestia, Blueblood, Shining Armor and Changelings
Comedy/Thriller; 3k words; Dec 2015; Everyone
The long horn of the law finally catches up with Fluttershy... now if only it can actually maintain a grip on her!
As the cover art makes clear, this is a story where Fluttershy is a changeling. It's not a Does It Matter...? clone, though, and for that we must all be thankful. Blueblood is a good choice as prosecuting counsel, and it's always fun to see him get worked up, but I don't really find 'Shy herself that engaging in this. The various explanations for the outcome of each charge are, well, variously amusing. A small number of glaring, non-spellchecker typos (there's even one in the long description) don't help, but this holds together just about well enough for a three-star rating. ★★★

Wizards, Fools, and Foals by FanOfMostEverything
Luna and Other [why isn't there a Star Swirl tag, knighty?]
Comedy/Tragedy; 3k words; Feb 2015; Teen
Star Swirl the Bearded has several epiphanies.
Fresh from a recent Seattle's Angels feature, this is a tricky one to review, since its best feature would be spoilery to relate. What I can say is that it's a very good Star Swirl fic, set some time in the past, that succeeds on its excellent characterisation of the old wizard. Very pleasing prose, and some nice use of flashback that gives us an insight into Star Swirl's youth. That's all I'll say here, but this is certainly worth your time. ★★★★

The Filly That Lives Under Ground by Not Worthy
Dark; 1k words; Oct 2013; Teen
The time a filly has living underground.
Despite its boring short description, this story has an interesting premise – the thoughts of a cockatrice-stoned pony over time – but some uneven writing means that it doesn't quite pull it off. There are some canon references, which help to anchor it a bit, but sorry, author: 100,000 years isn't even one (a)eon! A curiosity only, but maybe still worth a quick look given its brevity. ★★

A Glimmer in the Night by Himntor
Luna and Starlight Glimmer
Slice of Life; 1k words; Dec 2015; Everyone
Starlight Glimmer understands now. There's so much more to Friendship than being equal, but is she ready to learn about it? After everything she had done, could she make a true friend? And did she deserve one? Luna intends to convince her she does.
Set in the aftermath of the S5 finale (but in the main timeline, for a change!), this is a pretty straightforward "pony talks to wise pony who helps her understand" tale. It's nice to have a fic that doesn't concentrate on the darker side of Starlight's character, but there's not a great deal to detain the reader here. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup, stories reviewed will include The Descendant's Our Gifts and xjuggernaughtx's Second Birthday.


  1. You guessed right about the setting of "Monsters." For some reason, Canadian stories in any medium often follow a similar structure: long, subdued sequences of dramatic buildup, punctuated by very brief, shocking scenes that dramatically recontextualize the story.

    Thanks for reading. : )

    1. It was a pleasure. (Okay, poor choice of word, but you know what I mean!) I couldn't really say why the setting felt Canadian rather than being in (say) Maine, but I had that feeling from quite early on.

    2. Funny thing--you're actually the first to notice that so soon. Obabscribbler's audiobook gave the humans Cockney and Welsh accents, respectively, and she didn't notice her mistake until it was too late. PresentPerfect only got it by looking up "Zeballos"--the only place name I didn't change.

      "Achievement Unlocked," I suppose. ^^

    3. I saw Scribbler simply understood that your story was meant to be English. It was your mistake all along! :V

    4. Aha! It's this bit, I think:

      ...I peripherally glimpsed the blinking points of the seven-kilometer and ten-kilometer beacons in the distance.

      I suspect the metric units were what suggested to me that Canada, rather than the US, was the setting.

    5. @PresentPerfect:! >:0

      Very sharp. I now imagine that you look and sound like Sherlock Holmes. ^^