Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 167: No Churns, No Porter, No Cat on a Seat

I now have a "new" PC, so yay for that. It's nothing very thrilling (an ex-corporate Dell i3) but it's a huge improvement on the previous computer simply because it can go more than a few hours without crashing. :P

Read it Later story count: 404 (nc)

I've ended up reviewing five E-rated stories this time round. I don't think that really qualifies as an Edition, since I didn't set out to do it, but still. Admittedly, some of these rather stretch the E rating, which officially is supposed to mean "stuff you might see in the show", but I don't think it's a huge deal. I'd be annoyed to see an E-rated story with hard swearing in, but nothing like that's happened this week. We have:

Bonafide by Sharp Spark
Drug by RarityEQM
Words Failed Her by Nonsanity
Selling Out by Kaorin
I'll See You to Shore by Educated Guess

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

Bonafide by Sharp Spark
Lyra, Bon Bon, OCs and Changelings
Romance; 11k words; Jan 2014; Everyone
Bon Bon and Lyra's life together in Ponyville was perfect - and then Bon Bon showed up.
And the "new" Bon Bon – Lyra's ex – is very far from being a sympathetic character: she insults Derpy, for a start. She appears because Lyra has finally made a breakthrough as a musician – and Lyra's ex has seen the resulting magazine feature and headed for Ponyville. It's mildly irritating that Changelings are tagged in this story, as it would have been interesting had the possibility of one Bon Bon simply being an impersonator of the equine variety existed. There are enough clues in the story to have caught on, anyway. The reasons for what's happened are interesting enough to gain this fic a three, though. Oh, and nice title. ★★★

Drug by RarityEQM
Romance/Slice of Life; 1k words; Feb 2015; Everyone
Trixie shares what it's like to be on stage
The author describes this as a poem, but I don't see it. It's really an inner monologue, in a way a kind of love letter to... well, that would be telling. Trixie talks in first person throughout, which is initially unsettling but generally works as an indication that we're reading her unvarnished thoughts and not her usual stage act. It wasn't something I personally found very interesting, but then I'm not much of a shipper. If you're into gentle Trixie shipping, you might want to give it a glance. ★★

Words Failed Her by Nonsanity
Twilight and Spike
Adventure/Slice of Life; 71k words; Jun 2012; Everyone
A mind-altering "curse" threatens Ponyville and Twilight has to stop it... by giving up reading.
The plague in question is seeping into books all over Ponyville, and anyone who reads an infected book ends up unable to do anything but follow what it says. (Pre-echoes of Pinkie's cookbook in "Every Little Thing She Does" there!) Twilight realises that she is at great risk from a spell like this – so takes a huge risk and casts an Illiteracy Spell on herself. But how can she research the cure now? The answer comes in a slightly weird way that I'm still not sure whether I like. The big draw for me is Twilight's characterisation, which is consistently satisfying and believable. Spike gets a reasonable look-in, too. A promised sequel never appeared – rather a shame. ★★★

Selling Out by Kaorin
Slice of Life; 2k words; Jul 2013; Everyone
When the time of monarchs and royals ends, what becomes of Princesses who live on?
A real oddity now. Far in the future, the Mane Six are gone. Luna is now honoured and respected – but also expected to work for a living, which she seems to do by lending her celebrity name to TV adverts. She narrates, which is what will make or break this for most readers, as her voice is very distinctive. The prose is really purple at times, with phrases like "under the weight of the amaranthine onus that is Equestria" all over the place. This, Kaorin's only published story, is in the RCL, so clearly the style has its fans. I, however, found it intensely irritating – a shame, as the background to the world Luna now inhabits is interestingly drawn and a reveal late on that adds historical context is very nice. If you can stomach the voicing, this could be an easy three, perhaps even a four, but it's close to being a deal-breaker for me. ★★

I'll See You to Shore by Educated Guess
Romance/Slice of Life; 5k words; Feb 2013; Everyone
After 500 years with not a single sighting, a wounded sea-pony washes ashore in Tall Tale, and changes the town and its citizens - one, in particular - forever.
The author says this started life as a comedy, and bits of that genre do cling to it here and there: the sea-ponies' language is called Shoobedoo. Still, I'm more interested in the world-building for Tall Tale, a place we know almost nothing about in canon, and about the sea-pony lore that the unexpected visitor reveals. The actual romance is okay, and gets points for not being InstaLust like so many ships, but it definitely takes second place to the wider canvas that's gradually revealed. I'm not sure how well the history-book infodump at the end really works, but that's the only real negative. Read this for the world-building first and foremost. ★★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: There will be no PR next week, as I'll be on holiday. Ponyfic Roundup 168 will appear on Wednesday 9th August.

No comments:

Post a Comment