Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 202: Hark Don't You?

Before this edition, I'd reviewed 976 stories for PR, which means the big 1-0-0-0 is looming on the horizon. I'm not currently planning to do anything special to mark the occasion, but you never know. I've also managed to reduce my RiL list this week, albeit not by very much. Achievement unlocked! :P

Read it Later story count: 336 (-3)

Here's today's little selection of small horse stories. Yet again, five of them, so maybe – just maybe – things are getting back on an even keel. Probably I've jinxed it now, but oh well.

Krastos the Glue Maker by Horse Voice
The Cold, Unfeeling Moon by Forces of Darkness
Fire Side by TittySparkles
The Quiescence of the Crystal Empire by Aldrigold
Common Sense by All Art is Quite Useless

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

Krastos the Glue Maker by Horse Voice
Mane Six, CMC, Dr. Hooves, Zecora and OC
Horror/Thriller; 12k words; Oct–Nov 2016; Teen (Gore)
Beyond known reality, something awakes, called by the speaking of its name. It draws closer, closer, to the little town at the forest's edge. When night falls, its reign of terror shall begin.
For those who weren't around at the time, Krastos started life in a fun quiz from a Bill Clinton radio guest spot in 2011. Years later, Horse Voice turned this silly premise into a genuine chiller. Scootaloo and the other CMC decide that a Krastos costume would be a hit for Nightmare Night, but things rapidly spin out of control and the "Nightmare" bit becomes reality. There's plenty of psychological horror here, but don't go expecting easy "and it was all a dream" resolutions. This isn't cute fluff where everything's okay as soon as the Mane Six turn up, and I actually got rather annoyed with Twilight right at the end (for very spoilery reasons). What it is, is gripping. I was scared and upset at various times here, but I always needed to keep reading. ★★★★

The Cold, Unfeeling Moon by Forces of Darkness
Celestia and Luna
Slice of Life; 1k words; Aug 2016; Everyone
Over evening meal, Luna and Celestia discuss Nightmare Moon. Luna has only one question. How did Celestia avoid the same fate?
A very short, simple scene by the author of I Don't Hate Cutie Marks (PR 199), this actually provoked similar reactions in me. Here we have an interesting idea that's not really developed enough to judge whether it could have worked. Almost the entire story is dialogue, which doesn't bother me much but may annoy some readers. It was apparently inspired by the film Kubo and the Two Strings, which I haven't seen, so you may appreciate it more if you have. ★★

Fire Side by TittySparkles
Sweetie Belle and Rumble
Romance/Slice of Life; 2k words; Feb 2014; Everyone
Sweetie Belle and Rumble share hot chocolate by a fireplace
This long-departed author mostly wrote clop, but this was a rare all-ages bit of cute fluff. And really, there isn't much more than that to it: the main characters (aged up to teens) have a snowball fight, then go home to Rarity's to meet her and get to know each other in an age-appropriate way. Some awkward saidisms and a little LUS (hello, "alabaster unicorn"), but it's an unusual pairing and does have a reasonable warmth to it. ★★

The Quiescence of the Crystal Empire by Aldrigold
Cadance and Celestia
Sad; 3k words; Oct 2012; Everyone
Before Twilight and her friends saved the Crystal Empire, its ruler had to watch it die.
Note that publication date: this was published before S3 even aired, so everything here was written on the strength of the S2 finale and a few S3 teaser trailers. As such, don't expect it to mesh very well (or at all) with canon from S3 onwards, but it's still very worthwhile in its own way, not least in its idea about where alicorns come from. As FanOfMostEverything said, it's the sort of blank-slate speculation it's hard to do now, after seven and a bit seasons. Perhaps a bit too different from canon to be seen as more than a curiosity now, but it's a well-crafted curiosity. If you enjoy stories like Lost Cities (PR 76), then this will probably appeal. ★★★

Common Sense by All Art is Quite Useless
Rainbow Dash and OC
Comedy/Human; 1k words; Aug 2017; Teen (Sex)
Bob has to decide whether he wants to stay in Equestria or go back to his normal life.
Bob McEveryman sees a portal to you-know-where open in his bedroom. When he arrives in Equestria, he sees Rainbow Dash and is immensely attracted to her, something that bothers him. This fic does have the virtue of not taking itself too seriously, but the poking of fun at a certain part of our fandom is really too heavy-handed to be satisfying. ★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: stories reviewed will include DuncanR's Erase and Rewind.


  1. Glad I'm not the only one that got a "Lost Cities" vibe from "The Quiescence of the Crystal Empire"

    1. I think Present Perfect did as well, but I can't find the blog he reviewed it in.

    2. BUT I CAN :V