Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ponyfic Roundup 234: Potiphar Had Very Few Cares

Tenuously seguing from one of last week's fics, I watched a quite entertaining BBC documentary about Fleetwood Mac the other day. It was an hour long, so only had time for about 1% of the FM story, but what was unusual was that it played several full songs (from live performances) rather than the usual 30-second clips. Admittedly some of the talking heads were, er, talking over bits, but it was still refreshing.

Read it Later story count: 278 (-7)

This week, I have the following four fics for you to enjoy. Or not enjoy. Or not read at all. Or completely ignore and go out to buy some courgettes or something. Look, you make your own mind up. I'm not your mother. No puns in my reviews as terrible glorious as last week's, I'm afraid.

The Awfully Repetitive Vengeance of Ahuizotl the Terrible-ish by thesecret1
Hay Loft by Inky Swirl
My Friend by KnightMysterio
Them Bones by A Hoof-ful of Dust

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

The Awfully Repetitive Vengeance of Ahuizotl the Terrible-ish by thesecret1
Daring Do and Ahuizotl
Adventure/Comedy; 15k words; May 2014; Everyone
Daring Do, savior of the Tenochtitlan Valley for more than once, discovers a book. And not just any book. What would you do if the diary of your arch nemesis was suddenly in front of you?
The answer, as you may well expect, is "Read it and make slightly sarky comments as you go." This story gives us some insight into Daring's contacts with Ahuizotl from their first meeting right up to recent times. Those genre tags don't tell the whole story: there's a surprising amount of emotional investment here. The fic was featured by The Royal Guard (remember them?) and I agree with their assessment that this is a pleasant read. Enjoyable characterisation, too. I didn't find it all that funny, though; I appreciate it wasn't intended as knockabout slapstick, but I still would have preferred a few more chuckles. An upper-end three. ★★★

Hay Loft by Inky Swirl
Slice of Life; 3k words; Aug 2012; Everyone
Applejack keeps hearing a voice that won't leave her alone, and it's got some things to say.
The author of the very odd (and slightly disturbing) The Library Club (PR 101) returns. Not right now, as they've been gone from Fimfiction since 2013, but when they were here they wrote this. It's another slight oddity, though a less uncomfortable one. The voice in Applejack's head is most insistent, and at first you wonder whether this is going to be a hard-hitting story about mental illness. But... that E rating. And indeed, the reason is something quite different. I did feel a little underwhelmed at the reveal, but I quite enjoyed the characterisation of earlyish-series AJ. Another pleasant read, scoring high in the twos. ★★

My Friend by KnightMysterio
Angel, Winona, Gummy, Owlowiscious and Opal [yes, and Tank! Plus one other]
Slice of Life; 3k words; Mar 2013; Everyone
Seven pets relate seven opinions about their masters.
Here's a simple idea that seems to work fairly well. We go through the seven in turn, these being the six you'd expect and... well, I think that works better as a surprise. (No, it's not Spike!) KnightMysterio does a decent job of giving each animal its own personality, and barring a few oddities (they all seem to call their female owners "Master") it's a smooth read. This appeared before the EqD "Outside Insight" contest came along, but assuming multiple POVs were allowed (I can't recall) it might have made a good entry. ★★★

Them Bones by A Hoof-ful of Dust
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo
Dark; 2k words; Feb 2014; Teen
You can't see the forest...
We open at a school reunion, where it quickly becomes clear that one pony is absent and likely to remain so: Diamond Tiara. At least, unless you count the portrait of her that Silver Spoon carries around. (Bear in mind the publication date of this fic, incidentally.) Apple Bloom and Scootaloo catch up on old times and newer news, whether that's farm work or town gossip. This is a clever story, one of those where you get to the end, think, "Oh..!" and immediately go back and read it again. That genre tag gets more appropriate every time I think about this fic. ★★★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: stories reviewed should include Rainbow Dash and the Feather Flu Vaccine by JapaneseTeeth and Hoardsmiths by Skywriter.

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