Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 69: Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all

First up, I had a message from someone (I didn't recognise the name) who thought I'd been harsh on Story Time with Whiteout (PR 61). As it's short, I read it again. They're right: it's not great, but it's not awful either, and the fic is hereby upgraded from one star to two.

Back to the usual fare of shorter fics this week. Although things are still fairly busy in the real world, they've at least settled down enough for me to get some ponyfic time. I managed to get through five fics, and I think there's a reasonable variety in here. The stories you'll find reviewed past the break are:

Dust by Pearple Prose
Derplicity by Skywriter
Apples Don't Fall Far from the Tree by BronyDad
Shine by The Descendant
Pony Poets by teamidris

Dust by Pearple Prose
Nightmare Moon
Slice of Life; 2K words; Dec 2013; Teen
Nightmare Moon wanders the moon, and finds only dust.
In this story, Nightmare Moon is literally on the Moon. If you find that concept unbearable, you won't like this fic, which was written for the very first write-off. If you can deal with that, and rather too many mentions of how frozen things can burn, this is a solid fic dealing with the relationship between NM and Luna and looking at that in a different way from usual. ★★★

Derplicity by Skywriter
Derpy, Chrysalis and Changelings
Comedy; 8K words; Mar 2013; Teen
Derpy Hooves is secretly a changeling. Nopony particularly notices, or cares.
This is good fun. Not the utter laugh-fest you might imagine from the Comedy tag -- there's actually some argument for a secondary Dark tag -- but fun nevertheless. Chrysalis is easily the best character here, though the other changelings are fine and there's also a clever use of Pinkie Pie. I'm not entirely sold on Twilight's speech patterns, though she's not in it much. On the line between three and four stars; in the end, it gets four because the Pinkie thing amused me a lot. ★★★★

Apples Don't Fall Far from the Tree by BronyDad
Applejack and CMC
Sad/Adventure; 44K words; Apr–Jun 2014; Teen
Applejack is lost deep within the Everfree and must find her way home, even as something unspeakably evil hunts her.
This follows on from Love Your Difference (PR 17), but isn't a direct sequel. An unusual combination of genre tags, but I think it works. The AJ survival section reminds me a bit of zaponator's Mother of Invention (PR 52). Rather too much exposition at times, and one or two minor scenes aren't so well done, but it's good at exploring Applejack's character, as well as Apple Bloom's conflict between her family and her CMC friends. A lovely scene involving the zap apple harvest. Better than its predecessor; a very solid three. ★★★

Shine by The Descendant
Rainbow Dash and OCs
Sad/Slice of Life; 8K words; May 2012; Teen
Why was this filly, this Rainbow Dash, wasting her Celestia-given gifts? Would the letters tell me?
Gosh, nobody's reviewed this before? In continuity with DeadParrot's Tiny Wings (PR 18), and it helps a lot to have read that first. This is largely a character piece, and that plays to TD's biggest strength. The narrator is Thunder Clap, Firefly's partner, and he's great, his flaws bringing him to life. Firefly is good as well, if less strongly developed. Rainbow Dash? She's mostly off-screen, but still very much in-mind. I suspect the ending will divide opinions, but it worked for me. Recommended despite its age, and essential if you loved Tiny Wings. ★★★★

Pony Poets by teamidris
[none given, but they're all OCs]
Romance/Slice of Life; 1K words; Apr 2015; Everyone
Two young earth ponies consider their unborn foal while on holiday. As a legacy to their offspring, they write a short poem.
A nice way to get around Fimfiction's awkwardness for poets: make writing the poem an integral part of the story! This, the first in a series, was the author's first story to be published on Fimf. A few things betray his inexperience, such as some awkwardness in the poem itself, but it's certainly above average for a first fic. Neither main character is named, which is a bit odd. Still, it's a cute little thing. ★★★


  1. I'd go so far as to say that people should read "Tiny Wings" just so that they can read "Shine".

    1. Possibly so. Allowing for my more generous marking in those days, I think I probably enjoyed the two stories about the same amount. TD's is perhaps the more accomplished, but then that's not how I rate! ;)

      I did briefly think about a five for Shine, actually. It didn't quite blow me away enough for that, but it's a high four. I'm very pleased to have read it, certainly.