Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 105: Living in Another World

I'm not really a football fan at all, but I was nevertheless pleased to see Leicester City win the Premier League. Even though they're not exactly poor (their squad cost £22 million), they're certainly not as mega-rich as the usual suspects. Also, and much more importantly, I went to the monthly Leicester ponymeet on Saturday and had a good time as usual. It was actually the rugby side who were playing that day (beating Worcester, regrettably). Nevertheless, the whole city centre, including the station, was decked out in blue and white in support of the football team, and it all looked rather impressive.

Back to ponyfic, and this week we have another half-dozen stories to chew over. The quality is as variable as usual, but there's some solid stuff in here, as a glance at the the star summary will show.

The Hoodie by Octavia Harmony
The Never-Was and Wouldn't-Be by Obselescence
Bronies Vs. Haters by TheOnly
Hurricane's Champron by billymorph
Horsefeathers by Fervidor
Give A Like - Feed A Changeling by Lise Eclaire

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

The Hoodie by Octavia Harmony
OCs
Dark; 2k words; Oct 2013; Teen
A detective finds the case that changes his life.
The long description for this mystery tells us that it started life as original fiction – and you can tell, as it doesn't have very much "ponyness" to it. I'm not sure where Canterlot would put a harbour, either. It's a reasonable story with few major problems beyond the focus character having fingers at one point, but there really isn't a lot to get excited about. The author is well respected as an editor, but this is their only story as an author so I can't tell whether it's representative. ★★

The Never-Was and Wouldn't-Be by Obselescence
Twilight and Discord
Dark/Slice of Life; 4k words; Dec 2013; Everyone
On the final day before Twilight becomes part of Harmony, Discord arrives to offer her a deal.
This dialogue-heavy story shows us a very interesting vision of the future – a future in which Twilight has perfected "The Harmony Project", in which all Equestrian intelligences will be merged into one great ball of friendship. (Well, something like that.) There are a few echoes of the later stages of Asimov's "The Last Question" in here, though it's a different type of story. It has the great advantage of a well written Discord, who is ultimately responsible for a clever, deeply unsettling twist. Actually, the whole concept is a bit unsettling if you ask me. Didn't quite blow my mind enough for a five-star rating, but it's a solid four and well recommended. ★★★★

Bronies Vs. Haters by TheOnly
Twilight and OCs
Alternate Universe/Comedy/Human/Random; 4k words; Apr 2012; Everyone
The bronies take on the haters in a war in Equestria.
No, I don't know why I read this sort of thing either. It starts out with some excruciating meta stuff, then keeps on that path, name-checking the likes of Sethisto, Knighty and Mic the Microphone (as military leaders, no less) along the way, until the two-thirds mark. The rest is taken up by the self-insert hero giving us a 1,500-word "I have a dream"-style speech. In the middle of a battlefield. (He has a magical shield, so only unimportant ponies will die while he's orating.) Good points? Um... there isn't a sequel. ★

Hurricane's Champron by billymorph
Lightning Dust
Adventure; 2k words; Sep 2015; Everyone
Legends tell of Hurricane's Champron, the mysterious helm that made him the mightiest Pegasus to ever live. In her search for revenge Lightning Dust found it. But, caught in a terrible blizzard, will she chose revenge or life?
I originally read the second word of this fic's title as "Champion", and was expecting some kind of gladiatorial storyline. (Someone write that now!) Ah well. It's still good to see Lightning Dust, a pony woefully underused in both canon and fanon, being featured in this enjoyable adventure yarn. It looks behind the "tale for foals" version of the Hearth's Warming story to reveal something altogether darker, and indeed I really enjoy its world-building. Lightning Dust herself is decently portrayed, though I'm not entirely sold on how she acts at the end. Even so, a worthwhile addition to the too-small ranks of Dusty fics. ★★★

Horsefeathers by Fervidor
Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo
Drama/Slice of Life; 8k words; May 2013; Everyone
Scootaloo is worried about her wings. What if there's something wrong with them? What if she'll never be able to fly? It's up to Rainbow Dash to cheer her up.
Yes, we're back in honorary-sister-bonding territory again. This was written in the wake of "Sleepless in Ponyville", and is a pretty nice fic (after a mildly annoying opening section) in which Rainbow shows that she really does care about Scoots. There's also nice use of another pegasus in a supporting role. My one significant complaint is that I'm really not keen on Fluttershy's characterisation. This is much a "feels" fic, so if those annoy you this probably will, too. A high three, one that could well have slipped into four-star territory without that Fluttershy problem. ★★★

Give A Like - Feed A Changeling by Lise Eclaire
Changelings
Equestria Girls/Slice of Life; 4k words; Feb 2016; Everyone
Being in Canterlot High isn't easy if you are a changeling. In order to survive you have to rethink everything!
This was an entry for EFNW Scribblefest 2016. It's something a little different: an Equestria Girls changeling fic – the changeling in question is the narrator. It pulls off the remarkable trick (even for the EqG universe) of making Tumblr significant to the plot and still having it work. The early part of the story is highly entertaining, though maybe not quite enough for a [Comedy] tag – but I do feel it loses something later on when the fun factor is diminished in favour of more serious dialogue. Even so, worth reading. ★★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: Logan considers awarding a rare five-star rating.

4 comments:

  1. Gosh, doesn't he realize Knighty would be supporting the "hater" side? :V

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    1. Shh! If he ever did, there might actually be a sequel! :S

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  2. Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: Logan considers awarding a rare five-star rating.

    xjuggerscrapsx finally gets its due!

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    1. Well, it is marked Complete... ;P

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