Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 132: Rainbow Dash Edition

Read it Later story count: 494 (-1)

I'm not sure whether I've ever posted a PR concentrating on a specific character before – and I'm too lazy to go back and check – but that's what you're getting this week. All the stories reviewed today feature Rainbow in a starring role. I've quite enjoyed doing this, so I think there'll probably be a few more character spotlights in PR over the coming months.

Icarus by Tamar
Left Behind by Shrink Laureate
Rainbow Dash and her love by jbond
Colors by superpony55
Kaleidoscope by Winston
A Dusty Jail by Derpator

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Icarus by Tamar
Rainbow Dash, Twilight, Mane Six and Other [actually OC]
Adventure/Romance; 20k words; May 2012; Everyone
Icarus, the mayor of Cloudsdale, threatens to turn Rainbow against her friends in an evil plot.
Ah, a good old-fashioned "Mane Six v evil pony" adventure – except that, this time, Dash ends up on the wrong side. Considering how old this fic is, it holds up pretty well, aside from some rather tiresome "pegasus master race" monologuing (admittedly from the villain) and a generally fairly uninspiring epilogue. The romantic element to the plot is understated almost throughout, which I appreciate, although the fact that Twi and Dash apparently have feelings for each other from the start is... convenient. If you like fairly fast-paced, moderately involving adventure, you might give this a glance. ★★★

Left Behind by Shrink Laureate
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy
Drama/Slice of Life; 5k words; Sep 2016; Everyone
Fluttershy has been called away on an adventure. An adventure without Rainbow Dash.
A recent inductee to the Royal Canterlot Library, this instantly interested me, given that FlutterDash friendshipping may be my outright favourite sub-genre. Happily, it's good stuff, and crucially it gets its characterisation right. Not just of the principals, either: there's a lovely early scene involving Spike, for example. Just be prepared for an... unusual shipping pairing at one point. I don't like AJ's ah-speak, and on occasion it gets a little exposition-y, but the character moments and imagination are strong enough to overcome these niggles. Besides, the fic has a lovely, finely judged ending. If you're a FlutterDash friendshipper, this should be on your list. ★★★★

Rainbow Dash and her love by jbond
Rainbow Dash and Other
Drama/Human/Random/Romance/Slice of Life/Tragedy; 2k words; Nov 2016; Everyone
I tried to keep charm of original text, and I made up some words. I hope you’ll enjoy this masterpiece of humour.
This is a mess. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it is. The six genre tags act as a warning, and one which proves to be entirely justified. The writer is (I think) Russian, but seems to have run this through Google Translate and done no more before submitting. It's barely comprehensible in places: can you tell me what an "equal coitus quadrilaxar square of sixty" is? There's also an odd use of dashes instead of quotes for speech; I've seen this occasionally in English-language books (Nadine Gordimer's, for example) but it does look strange. More to the point, the actual story is completely ridiculous: Rainbow starts off crashing through a window into the human world, goes to college, meets a girl who apparently doesn't realise she's not human even though she has wings, and... you know what? Forget it. If this were the writer's debut, or even an out-and-out trollfic, I might be a little kinder, but they've been doing this for ten stories and four years without the tiniest sign of improvement. There's no excuse for that. Oh, and it shouldn't have an E rating, either. ★

Colors by superpony55
Rainbow Dash
Slice of Life; 1k words; Nov 2016; Everyone
Rainbow Dash lives for the loud. She craves the quiet. But most of all, Rainbow dreams of color.
This, on the other hoof, is an interesting short story. It doesn't contain any great revelations – even the "secret" we discover is one I've seen somewhere before – but I quite like it nevertheless. It's entirely dialogue-free, looking at Rainbow from the outside and without any other characters appearing. I think it would be a stronger fic without the very last para, but it's a pleasant diversion and gives us a nice insight into a rarely glimpsed side of Dash's character. ★★★

Kaleidoscope by Winston
Rainbow Dash and Rarity
Drama/Slice of Life; 6k words; Mar 2016; Everyone
Losing hold of the past can create a lot of uncertainty about the future. Sometimes only a true friend can help find it again.
Rainbow and Rarity talk, fall out horribly and make up again. What I like most while this (apparently S4-set) tale is happening is the dialogue, which is very nicely crafted, though a certain callback feels a bit forced. It's brief, at least. The use of the eponymous kaleidoscope is pleasing, too. My problem is that everything feels a little chilly – and I don't just mean during the argument. It's a nice story, with a satisfying conclusion; I'd just have preferred a tad more warmth. A high three. ★★★

A Dusty Jail by Derpator
Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust
Drama/Slice of Life; 4k words; May 2014; Everyone
When Rainbow Dash has to spend the night in a jail cell for a crime she claims she didn’t commit, she’s shocked to find out she has a neighbour she never thought she’d ever see.
Given the title and character tags, it's no secret who that is. This is a fairly simple two-hoofer between Dash and Dust, and I like the author's decision not to be distracted with the background to why they're in trouble with the law. The characterisation is okay, but doesn't really pop. The fic's also annoying in its tendency to remind us of things that happened in canon, though, and there are rather too many little errors (tense shifting, grammatical errors...) for comfort. Derpator once expressed a wish to rewrite this, which would probably have made it a three, but hasn't been on Fimf for four months now so I doubt it'll ever happen. A shame, since as it stands it doesn't quite fulfil its potential. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: fruit.


  1. Replies
    1. Well, "two-hander" seems a bit silly for ponies, and I enjoy winding up those people who can't stand words like "everypony" being used by humans. :P


    1. Actually... that's not a bad idea! I doubt it'll happen all that soon, but it would definitely be fun to have a look at characters away from the Mane Six/CMC/princesses.

    2. Dude. Two stories does not a round up make.

    3. Well, it is going to be a challenge, no doubt about that. For example, I'm not massively keen on reading the Carrot Top/Derpy clopfic that turned up in a quick search just now. But still. It may happen. Possibly. Eventually. Or thereabouts.

    4. Having read most of the non-porn CT fics on the site, I could point you to a few of my favorites, but maybe you'd rather find them on your own. It's not like there's a TON to sort through.

      Though still, @juggy: wow, rude.

    5. I'm always willing to listen to recommendations! No promises, but I'll at least consider anything you or anyone else suggests.

    6. I think the comment I left yesterday got eaten. Let me try again:

      Bitter Harvest is a hilarious look at CT coming out of the closet (mostly to herself), which avoids the most cliche notes of that plot and is just plain funny in any case.

      Shoots and Roots is a perfect mix of sad and SoL, showing Carrot Top and those around her healing from a tragedy without being overblown.

      All in the Presentation is the definition of cute family-friendliness.

      Happy Ending, on the other hand, is an absolute punch to the gut with Carrot Top painted in a terrible light, but still coming out as a tragic figure herself.

      Now, if you're looking for more classic/fandom-defining stuff... well, the obvious place to start is elosande's comic, but that's not a fanfic per se. Adventures in Cake-Making was a very popular story from the fandom's earlier days, and Shutdown is another old classic.

      There's also a lot of Lunaverse stuff (an AU where Celestia went crazy 1000 years ago instead of Luna, which (among other things) made Carrot Top become the Element of Honesty instead of AJ), and there are a number of Doctor Whooves stories in which she plays the stay-at-home role to Derpy's Companion.

      Read all that stuff, or none of it, or some of it, as you see fit!

    7. Well, I have a head start: I've already read Shutdown. It got three stars back in PR 78.