Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 209: The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls

Title explanation: Manfred Mann song lyrics

Read it Later story count: 327 (nc)

It's still far too hot here in central England, so I've found it hard going to get anything at all done, let alone reading ponyfic. Still, I've managed to get through four stories, so let's see what's under the microscope this week. We have:

Rainbownomicon by Void Chicken
Minuette's Imaginary Friend Replacement Service by Ceffyl Dwr
Just Fine by ferret
Exes by Donraj

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

Rainbownomicon by Void Chicken
Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Mane Six
Dark/Comedy; 4k words; Jan 2014; Teen (Gore, Death)
Losing a friend is only tragic for those who don't know necromancy.
Rainbow Dash dies in a flying accident, but Twilight is remarkably happy – because she knows a spell to reverse death. She hasn't quite thought things through, though, and the resurrected Rainbow is indeed no longer dead. She's, well, undead. This causes some issues. A fic that melds silly fluff with very dark comedy, for the most part successfully. It's a little uneven in places, and the ending isn't quite as strong as some of the rest, but you'll certainly remember it. ★★★★

Minuette's Imaginary Friend Replacement Service by Ceffyl Dwr
Minuette, Other and Petunia
Slice of Life; 4k words; May 2017; Everyone
Helping find lost imaginary friends is hard work. Replacing them is even harder. Unless you're Minuette, that is. Then it's just foal's play.
Strawberry Parchment (a fanon name for this filly) is upset because her imaginary friend has gone missing. Minuette is determined to help out, and she does so in a gloriously Minuettey way. She's very much recognisable as the mare from "Amending Fences", and I loved the way she was portrayed here. She takes Strawberry entirely seriously, and that's what makes it work. It's also a very Equestrian story – for example, nopony bats an eyelid at an adult approaching foals she doesn't know. A very nice ending, too. The whole story is wonderfully sweet, but with a tiny tang of bittersweet to prevent it tipping into sickly sugariness. It reminded me of DawnFade's lovely Pirates for a Day (PR 85) and I'm delighted to have read it. Absolutely adorable. ★★★★★

Just Fine by ferret
Apple Bloom and OC
Sad/Slice of Life/Tragedy; 3k words; Oct 2015; Teen
Apple Bloom guides foals searching for their cutie marks, and that's just fine.
Now in her thirties and with the other CMCs long having left Ponyville, Apple Bloom works as a guidance counsellor for foals. Just occasionally she gets to tell one that she's destined for great things – but most of the time, she has to tell a more downbeat tale. I'm not sure whether this was intended, but it reminded me that Equestria is full of background ponies who never do anything special and presumably lead rather dull lives. More interesting, perhaps, is how AB herself is portrayed; it's hard to say much without giving things away, but if you're in the "Anyone can do anything if they want it enough" camp then this fic may not be to your liking. I'm not really of that persuasion, but the story was still a little too depressing for my taste. Worth noting that this was published a mere 11 days after "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" went out. ★★★

Exes by Donraj
Twilight and Rarity
Romance/Slice of Life; 1k words; Dec 2014; Everyone
Twilight and Rarity talk about old loves
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a short character piece focused entirely on a conversation between the two ponies. There's nothing really to object to here, unless you hate the whole concept of shipping (in which case why read this?), but it's rather insubstantial as there isn't much beyond the backstories. If elements of present-day Twilight and Rarity's characters had been put in a new light by this, I think I'd have enjoyed it rather more. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: stories reviewed should include PatchworkPoltergeist's With Your Shield Or On It.


  1. A five-star Minuette story? Now that I must read! :D

    1. I absolutely loved it, though I do have a well-known weakness for this particular kind of cutefic. :)