Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Ponyfic Roundup 232: God Save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety

In case anyone's reading who submitted a story for it, I haven't forgotten about the "Newcomers' Edition" Ponyfic Roundup that I mentioned in the autumn I was planning. I said then that early 2019 was the most likely date, and so it remains. Right now I'd expect it to come along some time in February, as I have (from memory) seven or eight fics to get through for it.

Read it Later story count: 284 (-1)

A second successive five-fic week! Yay! Shall we get started? Yes, let's get started.

Deep Cover by GaPJaxie
A Sparkle of Hope by TheSillyDuck
Numbers by Pastel Pony
Taco Sonata to the moon, baby. by Moosetasm
Giant Enemy Carb by Ponydora Prancypants

★: 1 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 2 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0
Note: I use a skewed rating system. A fic I find average scores two stars.

Deep Cover by GaPJaxie
Applejack (sort of) and OCs
Slice of Life/Alternate Universe; 6k words; Jan 2015; Everyone
Deep Cover isn't Applejack -- but she does play her on TV.
Almost three years ago in PR 91, I reviewed GaPJaxie's Dressing Room. This is the first of several sequels to that fic. The setup is similar: the backstage lives of the actors who play our favourite ponies on telly. This time, Deep Cover talks to Star Power (Twilight's actor, who we met in Dressing Room) about the nature of family, relationships in general and racial politics – but, mostly, power – over a game of Go. Be prepared to get annoyed with one (or maybe both) of the main characters here – and I strongly advise reading Dressing Room first, to appreciate Star Power's personality. I suspect a reference to "the Confederacy" may not have quite the same resonance for non-American readers like me, but it is nice to see the whole "sapient sheep" thing addressed in a fic for once. Maybe a little heavy on Board Game Symbolism for my personal liking, hence the (high) three, but if you're a sucker for that sort of thing it may rate higher for you. ★★★

A Sparkle of Hope by TheSillyDuck
Twilight, Spike, Celestia, Twilight Velvet and Night Light [and Shining Armor]
Drama/Slice of Life/Human/Alternative Universe; 20k words; Dec 2015; Everyone
A young boy, a little girl, a chance encounter, and a big heart. All of these things will lead to changes in the Sparkle household that no one is prepared for, but will enhance their lives in ways that no one expects.
Here's a setup I hadn't seen before: a human (but not EqG) version of how Spike came to be part of Twilight's family. I have a vague feeling that The Descendant may have mentioned this fic at some point, but I can't find evidence for that now. Anyway, things I like here include Twilight's open-heartedness and curiosity, and Spike's love of geology; it's a nice equivalent of his Pony gem fixation. Night Light's joshing of Shining Armor is a lot of fun, too. On the downside, Twi is supposed to be around ten, yet she doesn't sound it at all. It's interesting seeing Celestia as an effective foster-mother to Spike, though it doesn't make much sense that her fellow teachers – including Cheerilee – seem to treat this as some big secret. And whatever the universe, getting adoption approved in a relative jiffy simply because a cute kid (Twilight) wants it simply doesn't convince. The pace is also very slow at times. Eye-catching premise, execution a little lacking. ★★

Numbers by Pastel Pony
Diamond Tiara, Cheerilee and Other [Filthy Rich]
Slice of Life; 2k words; Mar 2014; Everyone
Filthy Rich has always considered himself to be a good parent. But when Miss Cheerilee requests a meeting with him, he may have to face the fact that his darling daughter isn't as perfect as she seems.
The description above pretty much sums up the story. It doesn't try to be any more than a simple vignette, and that counts in its favour. Some family history has been overtaken by canon, but Filthy himself (who narrates) seems reasonably close to his show character, if a little on the dense side when it comes to noticing how his daughter behaves. This probably isn't going to stick in your memory very long, but it's a reasonable tea-break story. ★★

Taco Sonata to the moon, baby. by Moosetasm
OCs, Other, Luna, Sonata Dusk and Starlight Glimmer
Adventure/Comedy/Random/Alternate Universe; 3k words; Sep 2015; Everyone
This story stars Moosetasm, the OC while they fight the incessant communist threat of Starlight Glimmer while forging an alliance with the changelings based on shared love in an effort to give a moonbound Luna hugs. Take seriously at your own risk.
This is one of those stories where a perfectly good author writes ridiculous weirdness because lol. Or something. It's full of alliteration, which I generally enjoy, and there's no doubting the writer's intention to make it utterly absurd is fulfilled. Also "somepony is wearing diapers. Just because." (No, this isn't in any way an ABDL fic.) The snag? I didn't find the story funny. At all. I think I smiled once, and that was near the end. It doesn't help that fair chunks of it read like extended in-jokes, and that sort of thing just puts me into a "What About Discord?" bad mood. I'm not sure whether this is truly a trollfic, but if it is then it confirms how little I like them. My rating has to be seen in that light; clearly some readers loved this. I didn't. ★

Giant Enemy Carb by Ponydora Prancypants
Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Rarity
Comedy; 2k words; Feb 2015; Everyone
Tasty pastries threaten massive damage to Rarity's figure and Ponyville
For reasons I struggle to remember, there was once a fandom meme featuring Rarity fighting giant crabs. This story enjoys a little nice wordplay with that concept. Here, the enemies are the dreaded phenomnomenons. Yes, sic. These are super-tasty pastries, and are mentioned in the IDW Friends Forever #12 comic. The fic doesn't really need you to have read that, but it may add extra enjoyment if you have. This is another story with plenty of alliteration, plus several silly references: I particularly like Fluttershy saying, "Nature finds a way". There's even an unexpected twist late on. Light-hearted silliness, but it made me chuckle, so a very solid three. ★★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: stories reviewed should include Georg's The One Who Got Away.


  1. Taco Sonata is great, what are you talking about? XD

    1. I have a vague feeling seeing the title on one of your review posts may be the reason I read it at all. :P