Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 109: My Heart has Joined the Thousand

A themed edition this week: every single story reviewed is exactly 1,000 words long – the current lower limit for a standalone Fimfiction piece. Before anyone says it: yes, I am very well aware of one highly specific class of M-rated fics that are this length. They were excluded on the grounds that I didn't want to read them. :P Eight stories were reviewed, though, as follows:

Meaningless in Their Dreams by Briarpelt
I Love You Princess Luna by Pablomen123
They're Coming by Alchemicgree
Still Life by SugarPesticide
Cognac and Cuddling by Fission
One thousand by TwiwnB
Dead Silent by plumander
Pinkie Pie learns morse code. by AlmostLonely

★: 2 | ★★: 4 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Meaningless in Their Dreams by Briarpelt
Mane Six, CMC, Gummy, Zecora and Other
Sad/Slice of Life; 1k words; Jul 2015; Everyone
Over time, ponies have drifted apart. This is their silent lament as they regret the choices they've made and wish to have each other back. Oh, and Gummy knows everything and reflects on it all. (Written in verse, except for Gummy's bit.)
This is not only in verse, but in verse that mostly scans, a much rarer thing! There are some awkward bits, though ("songs of God"?), and Gummy's prose section is a blatant rip-off of his "Slice of Life" soliloquy. The overall theme reminds me vaguely of Aviators' classic song, "Friendship". In the end, this just tries to cram too much into 1,000 words, and can't manage more than a solid two. Nice title, though. ★★

I Love You Princess Luna by Pablomen123
Human/Romance; 1k words; Feb 2016; Everyone
My Own Thoughts About Princess Luna
Not to be confused with DontWannaKnow's almost identically-titled story (16/12/16: it's gone), this fic is... well, not really a fic at all. I'm actually surprised it passed moderation, as it's really just the author gushing about how much they love Luna. I suppose you could claim that the narrator is another human who just happens to share their views with the author. Most of the story is taken up with stream-of-consciousness splurges, with the occasional reference to the show and fandom productions. It is a first fic, but the author deleting a slew of negative comments doesn't bode well for their chances of learning and improving in future. ★

They're Coming by Alchemicgree
Rarity and Spike
Dark/Sad/Tragedy; 1k words; Oct 2014; Mature (Gore)
Spike and Rarity are trapped and either fight and die or stay and die.
This is a zombie apocalypse fic, so you already have a fair idea of what's going to happen. I'm not a fan of that genre, so this had an uphill struggle to win me over – and it didn't. It's a little more competently written than I expected, but it's mostly a catalogue of ponies being gruesomely murdered. (Okay, the gore isn't that bad, but it's worthy of the tag.) Scrapes a two-star rating for not being completely awful. ★★

Still Life by SugarPesticide
Bulk Biceps and Featherweight
Sad/Slice of Life; 1k words; Aug 2012; Everyone
A snapshot of the relationship between Featherweight and his father.
This dialogue-free short is the standout fic this week. From its lyrical opening to the proverb at the end, it all fits together nicely and manages to be moving and thoughtful within its mere thousand words without feeling rushed. Bulk as Featherweight's dad is a fascinating concept, one I don't think I've ever seen explored anywhere else. On the strength of this, that's a lost opportunity. ★★★★

Cognac and Cuddling by Fission
Rarity, Twilight and Mane Six
Romance; 1k words; Jan 2013; Teen
It's a night at the bar for the Elements of Harmony. Rarity tries to find a drink suitably classy for herself and ends up presenting Twilight with an interesting proposition.
An expansion of a Thirty Minute Ponies ficlet, this still isn't really much more than what the description says it is. More of a scene than a full story, though it's a readable one if you like this pairing. I also discovered that Americans don't mean what I do by "snifter". In BrEng, it means a small, casual drink, but in AmEng it's a balloon brandy glass. Who knew? ★★

One thousand by TwiwnB
Slice of Life; 1k words; Jan 2013; Teen
Celestia calls for two guards to confess she has murdered ponies and asks them to arrest her.
The princess has come to feel trapped by her situation and wants a way out. This is an interesting idea, and I appreciate the grey morality all round, but it can't really be explored properly in a story this short. Also, "pegasii" is a bit silly. A top-end two. There's a very detailed A/N, more than 400 words long in itself! ★★

Dead Silent by plumander
Fluttershy, Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Applejack
Dark; 1k words; Sep 2014; Teen
On a night made hazy by copious mugs of cider, Fluttershy remembers the words she hates to hear.
A pleasingly creepy Flutterfic, quite atmospheric thanks to some nice writing. The mystery of why Fluttershy is so scared is largely resolved by the end of the story, but you may well have to think about it. Unless you read the A/N, that is, which gives the whole game away – beware! If only plumander had addressed one serious weakness in the story, it could have been a four. Still worth reading, though. ★★★

Pinkie Pie learns morse code. by AlmostLonely
Pinkie Pie and Twilight
Comedy/Random; 1k words; Mar 2016; Everyone
Pinkie Pie learns morse code from Twilight. The end result is... meh, nobody's gonna read this anyways.
This author's debut, and it does show – there's blatant authorial intrusion about four lines in, and it's not the last time. The story itself is a bit of a mess, but I will give it credit for one thing: the sections in Morse code (oh yes) are correct. ★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: Logan makes himself miserable in the cause of ponyfic.


  1. Ah, are you speaking of "Masturbates" series? (And if you aren't, why was that the first thing that popped into my head? c.c) I found the first of those resoundingly disappointing as well.

    1. Yep, those. I had half a mind to read them just so that I could review the parodies thereof, but I couldn't really be bothered. I am actually reviewing a clopfic (of a sort) in the next few weeks, but it's considerably longer than those.