Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 151: Ooh, I Could Crush a Grape

I stumbled across an odd conversation on Twitter the other day: two non-native English speakers were discussing English usage, and one stated that British English speakers usually made a distinction between "toward" (used adverbially) and "towards" (used adjectivally). This is not the case, at least not in anything resembling the real world. Both forms are correct in BrEng, but in practice we use "towards" most of the time. Thrilling, eh?

Read it Later story count: 458 (-8)

It's mixed bag time again this week, and all the five stories are short as I haven't had a great deal of spare time. Yes, I am aware that I don't have to post a PR every single Wednesday! I just like to if I possibly can. A bit of a mixed experience for me this week, but with luck some of you will have your interest piqued by something you read here. To the starting blocks!

Conscientious Objector by Inspector Brown
An Apple Comes Our of the Cellar by Seether00
Final Say by Glen Gorewood
Just Give Me a Reason by SleepIsForTheWeak
The Path I Tread by Smaug the golden

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

Conscientious Objector by Inspector Brown
Pinkie Pie and Starlight Glimmer
Slice of Life; 2k words; Aug 2016; Everyone
A short story written to answer the following question: Why wasn't Starlight Glimmer included in the episode "28 Pranks Later"?
In this, the author's first story on Fimfiction, Pinkie explains to Starlight about the rainbow cookies prank. Starlight herself gets very worked up in return, partly because of her own history. Pinkie's fairly amusing but her voice doesn't always feel right; Starlight gets excessively worked up at times in a way that might work better in a comedy. It's a wordy fic and could maybe have done with some pruning, but its worst feature is a very clumsy ending. ★★

An Apple Comes Our of the Cellar by Seether00
Applejack, Apple Bloom, Big Mac and Granny Smith
Comedy/Slice of Life; 4k words; Aug 2013; Teen
Applejack finally comes out of the closet to her family. Their reaction isn't quite what she expected.
This is a very stupid story, and "Mane Sixer is a lesbian" wasn't exactly a new idea even in 2013. But for much of its length it manages to be funny-stupid, and that makes all the difference. It doesn't quite keep up the hilarity until the end, which is a shame and stops this getting a four-star rating, but I still laughed quite a few times. Just don't go expecting highbrow wit here and you'll be in clover. ★★★

Final Say by Glen Gorewood
Roseluck and Other
Dark/Sad/Tragedy; 2k words; Oct 2016; Teen
When a mare can't take much more, and everything has been taken from her hooves, so little left she can control. As those close to her continue to rip her apart, she makes her final say.
This story has a spoilered trigger warning on the front page, and uncovering its text reveals the (admittedly predictable) outcome to this tale. Despite her successful floristry business, Rose is continually belittled by her parents and compared unfavourably to her Royal Guard brother. We follow her thoughts after a particularly unpleasant dinner, but they're more depressing than interesting. Late in the story, there's a rather long and frankly pretty bad poem. The end A/N says that this is intended as "the start of a depressing series", but I have little real desire to see whether any sequels exist. ★

Just Give Me a Reason by SleepIsForTheWeak
Rainbow Dash and Rarity
Romance/Sad/Slice of Life; 4k words; Mar 2014; Teen (Sex)
A bittersweet story about trying to rekindle the flames of a dying romance.
An excellent RCL-inducted story on an interesting and little-used topic: the downslope of a relationship, but not its actual breakup. I'm not a huge fan of shipfics as a rule, but I haven't seen anything quite like this from the fandom before. What I like most about it is its characterisation: if you're in a relationship for any length of time, you're subtly changed by your partner, and that's clearly the case here: this is not quite the show Rainbow Dash, but after several years with Rarity why would she be? I also like the fact that the space left by the lessening of love doesn't get filled by hate; most people don't hate those with whom they gently fall out of love, after all. This fic is by no means happy and sunshiney, but nor is it pointlessly grim. It's a very human story, despite being about magical talking ponies. ★★★★★

The Path I Tread by Smaug the golden
Dark/Sad; 3k words; May 2014; Everyone
A lone being walks through the land that had once been his home. Was it all worth it?
Discord's internal monologue in an (apparently deliberately) vague post-apocalyptic world – and not the one from the S5 finale, as this was written before that. The appearance of another character later on in the story suggests one obvious setup, though that would require the [AU] tag that this fic does not have. There are a couple of other options, and that openness did appeal to me. It has the problem so many Discord fics have, though: his narration just doesn't sound like him. Plus I did feel as though I was being hit repeatedly over the head with a big book entitled Woe, Woe and Thrice Woe. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: colours.

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