Saturday, 19 August 2017

UK PonyCon update: only Saturday tickets left now!

Things are moving pretty fast in the UK PonyCon world, it seems, and the Weekend and Sunday tickets are now completely sold out. Saturday tickets are still available, but who knows how long that will be the case? You probably know by now, but here's the ticket store. As before, linking directly as it has up-to-date info, but if you want more general information about the convention then go here.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Text Review Roundup: "Fame and Misfortune"

Yes, it's back! Now that everyone's on the same page again, it seemed to be worth giving TRR a go once more. There aren't as many text-based reviews as I'd like, perhaps because some of the usual suspects were at BronyCon when the episode went out, but never mind. I may continue to do TRR for the rest of the season, but that depends on the schedulers around the world.

This episode was generally fairly well received by the usual Fimfiction reviewers, with the notable exception of Bad Horse, who really disliked it. Here's how reviewers on other sites reacted:

Batbrony Reviews – mixed ("Certainly not bad [but] quite odd to watch to say the least")

Cuddlepug – negative (graded C-; "would have been far more timely three years ago")

Darke Raven – mostly positive (rated 4/5; "an overall good episode that just needs more done with it")

Derpy News – fairly positive (graded B; "lessons for all of us [but] pretty harsh")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "tremendously entertaining")

TheDragonWarlock – mixed (graded C; "okay at best"; some jokes have dated)

Thrond Media Pony Corner – rather negative (rated 45%; "I just don't find this kind of story especially fun")

Thursday, 17 August 2017

UK PonyCon news: Final wave of tickets, promo video

With little more than two months to go until UK PonyCon 2017, things seem to be ramping up at their HQ. I'll get to the big ticket news in a minute, but first there's a small promo video out, which you can see above. It's certainly not over the top – in fact, I think it slightly undersells the convention, which after all had an attendance of 750 last year – but it does get across that this isn't like the usual run of brony cons around the world.

This year, the con is heading to be the largest ever, with attendance topping the 800 mark. Extra space in the venue has been arranged, and the third and final wave of tickets has gone on sale. Notably, these see an extra tranche of Saturday-only tickets, which had previously been marked as sold out. Sunday-only and the all-important Weekend passes are also still available, as are Stallholder tickets. Update 18/8: only Saturday tickets now remain!

At the time of writing, the Tickets page had not been fully updated and still said that Saturday tickets were unavailable. This is not the case! If you go straight to the ticket store, you'll see the correct information, along with the information that stocks of all tickets are now running low. They seem to have reached the point at which "When they're gone, they're gone" – so if you fancy joining the fun in Bristol, buy your tickets now!

The UKPC folks have said that more announcements are on the way, so I'll talk about the more significant ones here as they happen. Yes, the convention does have its own social media accounts, but I'll try to make my posts less promotional in nature – and yes, if there's something that disappoints me, I'll say so. I truly do love this event, though, so don't expect me to lay into it because of some minor nitpick. :)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 169: Let the Sky Fall

I note that iisaw has finished The Skyla Pseudonym. That means I can read it! And yes, I intend to give it a spotlight here in due course. I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Read it Later story count: 404 (+2)

I'm still awfully busy with stuff not related to this blog, so it's been a struggle to find time to read. I know I don't have to do this at all, but I enjoy it! At least I've managed a slight increase over the story count from last week. Here's this time's selection:

What's In The Box? by naturalbornderpy
Voyage's End by The DM
To Love the Sun by Magello
Numberography by ph00tbag
Daring Do and the Curse of Ahuizotl by horizon

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

Monday, 14 August 2017

Episode review: S7E14: "Fame and Misfortune"

Ponies arguing about who the Best Pony is
Not having the internet, Equestrians have to live the EqD comments section
Aaaand we're back! Everyone's back on the same page as far as schedule is concerned, and we're returning with a bang in the shape of an episode written by none other than M. A. Larson. Well, sort of. Maybe. The man himself seems distinctly unhappy about being credited, though I do wonder how much of that is because of this episode and how much other experiences. As far as this blog is concerned, the name on the screen is the name that gets tagged, so Larson it is. Beyond the cut!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Fair warning

Anyone who tells me to "go and see the movie right now" or whatever just after 6th October when it's not even out in the UK for another fortnight, I will track you down and I will take your cider. All of it!

Friday, 11 August 2017

I'm a stranger here myself

There's a new S7 episode out tomorrow – as in new for all of us. I'm really looking forward to everyone being able to watch on the same day again, and I might even go so far as to revive Text Review Roundup next week. That's not a promise, as it depends on how many text-based reviewers are still in the game after the mess of the last few months' scheduling. (I'll still review it!)

To the main point of this post. I've been active in this fandom for more than five years now, and I'm comfortable with my place in it. I've been writing here since late 2012. Yet I still feel something of an outsider, and that goes especially for the fanfic/writing part of the game. You might think that odd, given how much time I spend on it these days, but it's very much the case.

Possibly part of this is that a lot of you guys are Americans who get to socialise together at the large conventions you have over there – cons which sometimes have multiple writing-based events. I can count the people I've met who have strong name recognition within the international ponyfic community on the fingers of one hand – and the most famous one of those (Blueshift) isn't really active any more.

My relatively late and low-key entry into being an active Fimfictioner might be a factor, too. I spent much of 2013 semi-absent from Fimf after a major personal upset – it's no accident that I didn't start Ponyfic Roundup until 2014. That also meant that in 2013 I barely even looked at EqD, didn't really participate in the (then) still very active writers' training grounds and the like, etc.

Possibly another aspect is that so many people around the ponyfic world seem terrifyingly clever. I've mentioned Bad Horse's scary blogs before, and the equally scary comments thereon, but that's far from being the only example. I read a blog in which someone lightly references the Riemann hypothesis or the Christianisation of Lithuania or whatever, and I can feel my brain heating up.

Please don't get the idea I worry about this. I'm more than comfortable with keeping on in my own small way, writing occasionally, going to smaller-scale social events and cons, and shoving out these rambly blogs. Largely for health reasons, I'm unlikely to be able to travel thousands of miles for a con anyway, and I have zero interest in loud, alcohol-or-other-drug-of-choice-fuelled parties.

I do wonder, though, whether all this helps to explain why I choose the stories I do to review. Right from the start, I've made a conscious effort to read plenty of fics that aren't among the acknowledged classics, or even at all well known. I think that, as something of an outsider here myself, I find myself sympathetic to other outsiders and drawn to give time to what they've produced.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 168: The Beard that's Feared

Read it Later story count: 403 (-1)

A very small edition today, because I've been both very busy and very tired lately. Also distracted by Moeen Ali's heroics for England in the cricket. What a player he's become in the last couple of years; he should be among the first names on the Ashes team-sheet. Anyway, returning to ponyfic, here is this week's meagre selection of stories:

I Shall Please by FanOfMostEverything
The Temple by DeraNged CupCak3
The Music Is Where I'll Be by statoose

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

Monday, 7 August 2017

Tips for UK PonyCon-goers 4: Social and antisocial media

It's BloodyMassiveCon USA next weekend, and I hope everyone who's going has a great time. :) But for those of us who are preparing for UK PonyCon instead (or as well!) another thrilling tip:

Tip 4: Use your phone – a bit

There are several official UK PonyCon social media accounts, which are listed here, on their page. Although they're currently rather infrequently updated, they should be busier during the convention and can be a good way of finding out what's happening, especially if something unexpected happens – as it often does!

I believe there will be free WiFi at the UWE, so you can also stay in touch with other attendees that way, not to mention making inane tweets about the colour of the stage curtains. (What? Is that just me? Okay then.) Back at BUCK 2014, some of us resorted to tweeting to people six feet away as the Summer Sun Celebration was too loud to talk/shout over, but that's unlikely to be the case at UKPC.

However, try not to overdo the phone use. You don't want to end up in a situation where you might as well have spent the weekend at home, spending a lot less money! I know it's hard to resist, but try to keep your mobile in your pocket for much of the time. This is an event where seeing, hearing and speaking for yourself works best.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Pony Music Library 45: "Best Friends Until the End of Time (JTH Remix)"

What? "Best Friends Until the End of Time (JTH Remix)"

Who? JoinedTheHerd

Which? Show song remix

When? April 2017

Why? Yeah, I know this is a bit recent by PML standards, but I just can't get it out of my head. The little repeated instrumental theme that plays multiple times during the song is one of the catchiest things I've heard in ages. The show version itself is growing on me a bit, but JTH's version really lifts it to another level. Nice ending, too. Also, cute cover art, though I can't help feeling this remix needs an animation with pixellated ponies bouncing along to the beat, a little like a 16-bit version of the way they do in "La Da Dee".

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

My Little Pony: The Movie rated PG in the US

No Ponyfic Roundup this week, as I'm away. There'll be a scheduled Pony Music Library post on Friday, but otherwise nothing until Monday. Enjoy the silence!

For "Mild Action Scenes", apparently – the S4 and S5 finales were both TV-Y, but oh well. I saw this news on Chevistian C's Twitter, and he's a pretty reliable source regarding such things. A warning to spoiler-avoiders that the relevant tweet contains a large picture of a character we haven't seen in the know – but if you're not bothered about that, you can see it here.

People who know about US ratings say the MLP movie was always likely to be PG. It does seem that, on this score at least, the Americans are fussier than we are over here. For example, Inside Out was rated U (=G) in the UK, but was given a PG certificate in the States. I think this is therefore the first ever MLP work with a PG rating, but I stand to be corrected on that.