Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Ponyfic Roundup 244: Freeway Fighter

It's happening! As promised last week, I have no fewer than five ponyfics to talk about here today. Okay, so they're all short – in most cases, very short – but they're all here nevertheless. In honour of this remarkable occasion, I should like to say that... er... hey, look! Ponies!

Read it Later story count: 260 (-6)

Having hyped this up a minute ago, I'm now going to have to... um... unhype it down? Dunno. Not that these fics aren't worth talking about in their own right, of course. There's actually little I enjoy more on PR than discovering a hidden gem. Let's see if there are any today.

Time-Out Tuesday by Majin Syeekoh
The Fall of Discord by Blackbelt
Applejack Is Full of Squirrels by shortskirtsandexplosions
Scabs by 4EverFreeBrony
Morning Light by RadiantBeam

★: 0 | ★★: 3 | ★★★: 2 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0
Note: I use a skewed rating system. A fic I find average scores two stars.

Time-Out Tuesday by Majin Syeekoh
Twilight, Chrysalis, Starlight Glimmer and Spike
Random/Slice of Life; 1k words; Nov 2016; Everyone
Starlight walks in on a most curious tradition.
Glimmy is pretty yikes-y when she realises that her closest friend and her worst enemy are palling up over cakes and biccies. Twi and Chryssie attempt to explain, with occasional interludes to remind everyone (including us) that no way are they friends. That's pretty much the story, though there are some nice (if very 2016-era) digs at Starlight's S6 character and the fandom's reaction to the New Shmoo Changelings. Insubstantial, but funny with it, so a three from me. ★★★

The Fall of Discord by Blackbelt
Discord and Twilight
Dark; 1k words; Jan 2013; Everyone
The Final Day in the reign of Discord
We start here with Discord triumphant, having turned Twilight's five friends into statues – still wearing their Element necklaces. Twi herself is braced for a final confrontation with the draconequus – who is represented rather more brutally than in canon. Twilight chooses to go to the extreme to defeat Discord. It's quite an interesting idea, and I didn't actually see the end coming, so kudos for that. Feels much too short to really do the idea full justice, though, and it definitely needs an [Alternate Universe] tag. ★★

Applejack Is Full of Squirrels by shortskirtsandexplosions
Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Other
Comedy/Random; 7k words; May 2013; Teen
Most of the time, Applejack is honest. A lot of the time, she's faithful and strong. Then, sometimes, she's full of squirrels piloting her in a war with the Chipmunk Confederacy over a sacred acorn.
Oh, good grief, what have I let myself in for this time? The answer is total weirdness – and yes, it's silly even by this author's standards, which is saying something. There are explosions, there are pauses for exposition, there's even the odd bit of pointless pony death. The running gag about a sub-Google-level auto-translator is getting very threadbare by the end, and having Luna say "thou wisheth" tries my patience a bit. However, this story can't help but get a point from me for one thing: that title is absolutely accurate. That's impressive enough to bump it into the threes. ★★★

Scabs by 4EverFreeBrony
Trixie, Pie Sisters and Other
Comedy/Slice of Life; 2k words; Dec 2013; Everyone
Trixie believes and knows that she would easily be able to contain herself while living on the farm with the Pies. What she doesn't know is that bubbling up on the inside for so long can create regretful living on the outside.
Yes, it's this guy in writing mode again! (Previously: The Very Literal Rise and Fall of Pinkie Pie, PR 192.) We see things from Trixie's perspective, and her thoughts are fairly involving, though the humour only comes in flashes. As you'd expect from a 2013 fic, the rock farm has no mention of the now-canon sisters (not even Maud), but it seems a quiet, serious place. This is where Trixie went after her defeat in "Magic Duel", so it does seem to have done her some good. A shame this story wasn't given a little more space to roam, but it's still a fairly solid scene and gets a highish two as a result. ★★

Morning Light by RadiantBeam
Twilight and Sunset Shimmer
Equestria Girls/Romance; 2k words; Jan 2016; Everyone
It's morning in the human world, and Sunset wants to show Twilight something before the sun comes up.
Unashamed EqG shipping fluff here, and it's a perfectly respectable effort when judged on that score. This is the Equestrian Twilight, not Sci-Twi, something which is important to the plot. It's set after Friendship Games, and a lot of it is simply little details of the pair's relationship; it's rather sweet if you're in the mood. There's one apparent mistake (this Twi walks past two sleeping Twilights) and a bit of LUS, but for an undemanding bit of SunPrinLight (or whatever) this has its attractions. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: The first PR of the last season! What will it bring? Well... it'll certainly bring something. Definitely something. Something's my favourite.

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