Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 207: It does mean changing the bulb

Title explanation: Red Dwarf line

Read it Later story count: 327 (-4)

Hey everyone, look how many stories I have for you this week! That's right: five! Yay! And I'm even going to begin with the fic I trailed last week. (You do read those footnote sections, don't you? Of course you do.) Oh, and the final review this time is my 999th on Ponyfic Roundup. Just saying.

Six Months in July by Fiddlebottoms
Sleeping Habits by Redric Carrun
Banned by Summer Dancer
Bad Decisions Make Better Stories by Sporktacles
Mrs. Robinson's Stand by WishyWish

★: 0 | ★★: 0 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 2 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

UK PonyCon tickets selling out fast!

Before I get on to UK PonyCon, a quick update on my schedule here. I plan to have Ponyfic Roundup up on Wednesday as usual, then (at last!) my review of "The Mean 6" on Thursday. This will be followed by that episode's Text Review Roundup on Friday, plus something else I keep forgetting about at the weekend. (Wait and see! Nothing thrilling, though.)

On Sunday, UK PonyCon announced that less than 10% of Saturday capacity remains. Unlike last year, there will not be a second tranche of tickets released for UKPC 2018, since capacity is fixed. That means that if you want either a Weekend ticket or a Saturday-only ticket, you need to get your skates on!

Sunday tickets, as you might expect, are a bit further from running out, and these will remain on sale after Saturday/Weekend ticket sales end. In line with UK PonyCon practice for the last few years, tickets will not be sold on the door. In other words, please don't delay and risk missing out on the convention!

The announcement also mentioned that UKPC has "sold more tickets than previous years, meaning this will be the largest UK PonyCon ever." Considering that last year it was already about twice the size of the 2014 event, that's quite something! Under four months to go, and it's getting exciting.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Brief audio thoughts on S8A, with text transcript here


I felt like making a short audio review of the first half of Season 8, so here it is. The whole thing is less than eight minutes long, so don't expect in-depth analysis. It's quite deliberately just a brief summary. For those who prefer to read reviews, a full transcript follows.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Text Review Roundup: "Marks for Effort"

Time to get TRR off the ground again. This episode had a mixed reception, with some reviewers loving it but others being distinctly unimpressed – and indeed, we're starting the list with one of the latter. Unfortunately, Dark Qiviut hasn't uploaded a review of episode 12 (or 13, for that matter), so has had to be left out.

Cuddlepug – negative (graded D+; "I would advise other prospective students look [...s]omewhere less corrupt, with teachers who don't hand out degrees to their little sisters. ")

Derpy News – very positive (graded A; "[Starlight] quickly became the funniest and best part of this episode.")

JDPrime22 – fairly positive (rated 7/10; "pretty fun episode")

Louder Yay – positive (3/5; "Lots of nice dialogue and humour [but] Twilight didn't behave very well")

Mega Sean 45 – no review up yet. Comments suggest one may be coming eventually, but I'm already late with this TRR! Placeholder left here as I know they've written an E13 review.

MLEEP Reviews – positive (8.5/10; "while it does have a few flaws here and there, the effort that was put into 'Marks For Effort' really does show")

The Railfan Brony – mixed (rated Okay; "a thin plot and predictable outcome")

Rainbine – very negative ("3/10; "Before we got to the Starlight scene, the episode felt slow, dull, and boring [...] This was a Very Bad Episode.")

ShutterflyEQD – very positive ("this episode was very enjoyable the whole way through!")

TheDragonWarlock – mixed (graded C+; "just doesn't have anything really special")

Friday, 15 June 2018

UK PonyCon news: Distance Supporter Membership and tram ticket offer

Text Review Roundup has been delayed until tomorrow as I have some convention news to report. It's been a little while since I wrote about UK PonyCon here, but that's going to change now. For one thing, I've booked my hotel, so yay for that. In this post, though, I'm going to mention two things:

1) Distance Supporter Membership

If you're familiar with the concept of "spirit badges" then this idea won't be new to you, but it is new to UKPC. It's a way of showing support for the convention even if you can't actually make it to Nottingham. It costs £20 and for that you get:
  • A weekend pass on the premium lanyard – not valid for actual con entry!
  • The UKPC 2018 con book
  • The UKPC Supporter button badge
  • A £5 donation to long-time con charity the RDA
The physical items will be sent to you shortly after the convention has closed, so expect to receive them in late October or early November. When you buy (from the webstore) you can specify whether you'd prefer an Adult, Child or Family ticket.

2) Discounted tram travel

Nottingham's tram network offers discounted travel to attendees of certain events, and the committee have managed to get this offer for people going to UK PonyCon. This will allow you a special £2 day return fare, rather than the usual £4 price. The procedure is slightly fiddly, so here's a summary:
  1. Print out and fill in this voucher (PDF).
  2. At the tram stop, buy an "Event Ticket" from the machine.
  3. Keep both voucher and ticket with you while travelling, as staff may ask to see them.
Note that this is a day return ticket, so if you're attending for the full weekend you'll need two vouchers and to buy a second ticket at the tram stop on Sunday morning.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Episode review: S8E12: "Marks for Effort"

Starlight Glimmer attempting to look serious as she drinks cocoa
This would make a great caption competition, so naturally I can't think of anything!
It really is about time I caught up with Season 8's episodes. Thank goodness for hiatuses! (Hiati? No, spellchecker, not "Haiti".) There'll be a Text Review Roundup of this ep next, then I'll get going with E13's review. Going back to "Marks for Effort", though: this one was written by Nicole Dubuc, previously seen on the season premiere. I was cautiously optimistic as I tend to like CMC episodes. Past the break, a look at whether I liked this one. It's quite short, since I really do need to get these things done.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 206: The Piper o' Dundee

Title explanation: Scottish folk song

Right! I'm back from Scotland, as you'll already know if you read yesterday's Pony Music Library post. Time to ease myself back into the wonderful world of My Little Pony fanfiction.

Read it Later story count: 331 (+1)

Just three stories once again this week, but I have plans. I can't promise anything, but I've rejigged one or two things in my schedule that should let me get back up to the traditional five from next week onwards. We shall see. Anyway, today's reviews are:

Bloomberg by ROBCakeran53
Zero Sum by TailsIsNotAlone
Spreading Your Wings by darkstone57

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

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Pony Music Library 54: "Kindness" (4EverfreeBrony cover)


I'm back from my holiday in Scotland (which was fantastic, apart from the ~100 midge bites) and ready to ease myself back into Pony stuff. There'll be a small Ponyfic Roundup tomorrow, but I'll start off with another PML induction.

What? "Kindness"

Who? 4EverfreeBrony

Which? Cover

When? March 2018

Why? A song that isn't even three months old wouldn't normally be considered for the Pony Music Library – but this one is special, so much so that I bought it on Bandcamp without hesitation. It's a cover of the AcoustiMandoBrony classic "Kindness" from January 2013, a song I've always liked but somehow never quite loved, despite it being about Fluttershy. This version, though, was an instant favourite right from the jangly guitar intro. 4EverfreeBrony's voice fits so well, the guitar solo is perfect, the drums add to the melody but aren't too intrusive... yeah, I do love this version. I've listened to it dozens of times already, and as such it's going straight into the PML. :)

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 205: Beelzebub has a devil for a sideboard

Title explanation: current weather is thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening

Here we go: the final PR before my break. Strictly speaking, not even that, as I'll be off before this post goes live. I hope there'll be one a week on Wednesday, after which I'll try to get back to the usual weekly schedule. I hope you lot behave yourself around here while I'm gone. :P

Read it Later story count: 330 (-3)

Yes, another tiny selection this time. Was that run of five-fic weeks a flash in the pan? I don't know. I hope not. But hey, one of the fics this week is 46,000 words, much longer than those I usually read. Anyway, I've got a little list:

White Demure by Heitomos
Weight by Regidar
Apple Shampoo by Titanium Dragon

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