Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 112: 'Cause When we Vote Together, we get Imprisoned for Fraud

The EU referendum is tomorrow, and as anyone who knows me will already know, I'll be voting Remain. Whether that wins or loses, though, I'll have to put up with the result. The only certainty is that a lot of people will be upset. So here's a mixed bag of ponyfic to cheer everyone up. Possibly. Only four stories today, I'm afraid, as I'm still getting back up to speed after my little break.

My Little A.I. by teamidris
Proofreading Clopfics Sucks by Idiotcornball
Hypothesis of Collusion by Noble Cause
Crusading for Eternity by TooShyShy

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

My Little A.I. by teamidris
no character tags given
Alternate Universe/Dark/Human/Sci-Fi; 8k words; May 2015; Teen
What if the first life to form on the internet was Twilight Sparkle? What would she be like if she was made up of data from the show and the fanfics?
I'm glad I read Friendship is Optimal (PR 80) before this, since it shares some of that story's feel. I really like the setup, which is not one I've seen before and certainly kept me reading. I also like the way that Data!Twilight's personality doesn't fit with how the human world works. There are some pretty disturbing implications in what happens here, though the one that fascinated me the most – the influence of fanfics on this Twilight – is not explored in much depth. That's actually the story's most frustrating aspect: there isn't enough of it. Some of the chapters are only 500 words long, and the ending feels a bit hurried. Technically it's a little iffy, with considerable overuse of exclamation marks, but it's not so bad as to ruin the story. With a bit more meat on the bones, this could have been a four-star fic. It's still recommended if the concept appeals, though. ★★★

Proofreading Clopfics Sucks by Idiotcornball
Twilight, Mane Six and Spike
Comedy/Slice of Life; 23k words; Feb–Jul 2013; Mature (Sex)
Twilight proofreads her friends' fanfics. Little does she know that they're all self-insert dreck.
I'm technically breaking my "complete stories only" rule here, but this one has been on hiatus for three years and doesn't actually feel unfinished, by virtue of its structure. The level of comedy is a little bit variable, and occasionally it does feel a little more like a human ponyfic editor talking than Twilight. At its best, though, this is utterly hilarious – and that makes it easy to recommend. Just a warning, though: Pinkie's chapter especially is probably not a good one to read in public places. ★★★★

Hypothesis of Collusion by Noble Cause
Mane Six, Mr Cake and Mrs Cake
Comedy/Romance/Slice of Life; 3k words; Jun 2012; Everyone
Twilight's hiding something from Pinkie while she's sick. But what is it?
The short description is ambiguous, but it's no spoiler to say that it's Pinkie who's sick. This slight little thing meanders for a while before getting to the real meat of the story, such as it is. TwiPie is an accomplished fact from the start, and an unusual method of communication between those two is key to the fic. Pinkie's bedridden boredom is the best thing about the story, which as a whole is rather disjointed. Perhaps worth a quick look if you're in an uncritical mood. ★★

Crusading for Eternity by TooShyShy
Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Twist
Sad/Slice of Life; 4k words; Jul 2014; Everyone
As an adult, Apple Bloom begins studying the science behind ponies who never get their Cutie Marks.
Apple Bloom, the only one of the CMC to remain a blank flank into adulthood, has become an expert in "blankology", but she's finding her enthusiasm waning. This is an interesting idea, and I like the way the Crusaders have changed – to varying degrees – as mares. It's rather telly, but as you know I have a high tolerance for that. A small invention of Apple Bloom's is also a good one. I do have some niggles, though, most notably that AB herself doesn't quite shine through; it's all very detached, even allowing for the third-person omniscient narration. The pacing is a bit uneven, too, there's a tad too much LUS and the ending probably had more impact when it was written. Only just misses a three, even so. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: Logan reads some stories about ponies and writes a load of rubbish about them. That's right: normal service is being resumed.

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