Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anyone Want to Be a Guest Contributor?

Hey, you!  Yes you, the one reading this post!  Have you ever wanted your opinions to appear on a blog visited by literally dozens of people every day?  Well, now's your chance!

As you presumably already know, I've been writing reviews of all the 6-star stories on Equestria Daily, starting with the oldest and working my way forward.  Assuming nothing interrupts my posting schedule, come Friday I'll be 'due' to review The Purloined Pony.  So what's the problem?  Well, I'm the one who wrote that story.  For reasons that should be obvious, I wouldn't feel comfortable or competent to review it myself, but I don't really want to skip over it altogether.  So, I'm looking for someone to do my dirty work for me!  Here's the deal:

If you want to help me out, read my story (linked here) and write a review.  I ask that you use the same format I do for my 6-star reviews (Impressions before reading, Star rating, etc.), and that you do your best to provide an honest, accurate, and spoiler-free review of the story geared towards potential readers.  Send your review to before 12:00 am on January 6th (US central time), and I'll put it up on the blog.  That's all there is to it!

If no-one submits a review, I'll just skip over my story.  If two people decide to review it, I'll post both.  To be clear, I won't edit or censor anyone's review, so long as they follow the format I've laid out.  Whether you give it five stars or one, I only ask that you make your reasoning clear, and do your best to give potential readers some idea of whether or not they'd enjoy the story.

A bit of fair warning: it's a choose-your-own-adventure, which I'm guessing will make reviewing it a pain in the butt.  Hopefully someone answers the call.  If you have the time and inclination, happy reviewing!

Friday, December 30, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 24: Ah Ain't Got No Ack-cent!

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

It's kind of interesting to look at the stats this blog has generated.  For example, about two-thirds of the traffic to this site is from the US, and most of the rest is from Canada, Australia, and the UK.  Alright, nothing too surprising there.  But what nationality do you suppose represents the next most visits?  Luxembourg.  If you are reading this post and are a native Luxembourger, I only have one thing to say to you: do you think you could get me Frank Schleck's autograph?  I'm kind of a big cycling fan, and he's one of my favorite riders.  I assume that, given the tiny size of your nation, every citizen knows the Schleck brothers personally.

...On that note, and apropos to nothing, my review of Conner Cogwork's Ah Ain't Got No Ack-cent!  Below the break, as always.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 23: Storm

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

It's funny; when I started doing these reviews, I assumed that I'd learn to do them more quickly as I found my groove.  Instead, I find myself spending more and more time evaluating each passing story.  No doubt my inability to streamline the read/analyze/review process is the result of some deep-seated mental defect.

So it is that I present my I-spent-entirely-too-long-on-this look at Kits' Storm, after the break.

Monday, December 26, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 22: Incomplete Edition: Fair Feather Friend

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Time for that most frustrating of events: the abandoned fic.  Who among us hasn't invested several hours (or more) reading a story told in updates, only to discover too late that it would never be completed?  Not fun times.

There are obvious limits to what kind of review I can give an incomplete story, but I wanted to do a post about it in any case (thanks for the warning anyway, anonymous poster).  So, everything I've got about Bobcat's Fair Feather Friend is after the break.

Friday, December 23, 2011

And Now, Some Non-Denominational Holiday Stuff

This post has nothing to do with My Little Pony.  Sorry about that; I promise it won't happen again.

What it is about is the holiday season, which we are now in the midst of.  I hope you'll read it, even if you don't celebrate anything this time of year.  If you're just here for ponies and want to skip this post, that's fine too; I completely understand.  But if you're willing to indulge me, everything's below the break.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 21: Jack and the Ponies

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Since I began this blog, I've done 21 reviews of 6-star stories.  In that same stretch of time, EqD has given 21 new stories the 6-star tag.

...Ugh.  Well, at least I'm in no danger of running out of material!  Below the break, my review of Moabite's Jack and the Ponies.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Episode Talk: S2E11, Hearth's Warming Eve

You know, it's the darnedest thing.  Traffic to this site is mostly pretty steady from day to day, but it always seems to take a nosedive around Saturday morning (US time).  It's almost as if all the pony fans have something better to do right then...

Anyway, thoughts and commentary on the latest episode, after the break.

Friday, December 16, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 20: Better Living Through Science and Ponies

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Pen Stroke and Batty Gloom?  Now where have I heard of those two before... ah, never mind, it'll come to me.  In the meantime, feel free to peruse my review of their VERY long Portal crossover fic, Better Living Through Science and Ponies, tastefully stowed behind the break.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And then the blog exploded

Pageviews on December 10th: 53

December 11th: 84

December 12th: 42

December 13th: 4,399 and counting

Holy crap.  Hello there, Equestria Daily.

6-Star Reviews Part 19: Party of None

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

This marks the first time I've reviewed a grimdark story on this blog.  Although every now and then one catches my eye, I must say I read very few fanfics of this genre.  Ponies and violent death, in principle, aren't things I particularly want to see mixed together.  But if there's one thing I'm willing to make an exception for, it's quality.  Is Sparkler and Quill's Party of None such an exception?  Read below the break to find out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 18: The Truth About Pinkie Pie

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Many people have tried to explain Pinkie's "Pinkie sense" and 4th-wall-breaking tendencies with some combination of science, magic, and asspullery.  Here, we have a story that purports to give us the long-sought answer at last!  After the break, my review of Batty Gloom's The Truth About Pinkie Pie.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mixed-Quality Writing: Why It Frustrates Me to No End

Once more, I'm going to take advantage of this blog to blow off a little steam.  If you're just here for reviews, they'll be back next week as normal.  But if you do want to know what's eating me (fic-wise, anyway), I've buried my thoughts beneath the page break.  See you there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 17: Forever

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Today I'm reviewing the first of an impressive four 6-star stories by Bobcat.  My take on Forever, after the break.

Monday, December 5, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 16: Rainbows and Sunsets

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

How many readers remember the Scootabuse meme?  Well, here's a story written as a "take that" to the idea that Dash gets her jollies from viciously beating Scootaloo.  So, happy pegasi ahead!  Everything's after the break.

Friday, December 2, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 15: Sunny Skies All Day Long

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

I have nothing interesting to say up here.  Below the break, my review of PhantomFox's Sunny Skies All Day Long.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 14: Catching Rainbows

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

More Phoe!  This story is a direct sequel to Chasing Rainbows, which you can read here (or you can read my review of it here).  Everything's after the break.

Monday, November 28, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 13: Timelords and Terror

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Crossovers!  We mark our entry into the topsy-turvy world of pony mash-ups with what is perhaps the most commonly done crossover in this fandom, My Little Pony + Doctor Who.  Specifically, we'll be looking at Hephestus' Timelords and Terror. Everything worth reading is below the break.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stories You Haven't Read (But Should Have)

Today we're trying something new.  Below the break I've compiled a list of three very different short stories which have for the most part been overlooked by fanfic readers.  I'm not saying any of them are the best thing ever written, but they deserve a lot more attention than they've gotten.  Each of these stories left me glad to have read it, and I hope by sharing them here that I can help give them their moment in the sun.

Anyway, below the break are links to the stories, brief descriptions of what's so good about them, and a recommendation.  Enjoy, and I hope you find something here you haven't seen before.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 12: A Summer Twilight

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

If it seems to you like all the stories I review are sad, let me put your mind at ease.  Out of the 116 (as of this writing) 6-star stories on Equestria Daily, only 18 carry the [sad] tag.  Since we've already done Today, Tomorrow, and Forever, Memorial, Bubbles, and now this one, that means that only 14/108ths of the remaining stories are sad.  That's a mere 13%!  Plenty of happy ponies on the horizon.

In the meantime, however, we have a story that not only isn't about happy ponies, it isn't about ponies at all.  Yes, it's time for a Spike story!  Below the break, my review of Larathin Bradely's A Summer Twilight.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Episode Talk: S2E7, May the Best Pet Win

Hey, it's this thing again!  I didn't do an episode-based post the last few weeks because honestly, I didn't really have anything to say about them (at least, nothing worth taking the trouble to type out).  But this one, and the fan reaction to it, have given me plenty to kvetch about, and kvetching's what I do best.  So without further adieu, unless you count a page break as "adieu," my opinions and observations about May the Best Pet Win.

Friday, November 18, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 11: Twilight Sky Over Canterlot

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

First-person story time! I'm always wary of first-person stories; it isn't that there's any reason they can't be good, but they do seem to be terrible a disproportionate amount of the time. But since this got 6-starred, I'm going to go ahead and assume that it is neither so aneurysm-inducingly full of grammar errors that it makes one's eyes bleed, nor a blatant go at authorial wish-fulfillment. Nor, God help us, both at once.

Nope, this definitely isn't one of those, right? Below the break, my review of Foxxy's Twilight Sky Over Canterlot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 10: The Circle of Friends

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

As the number of 6-star reviews enters double digits...actually, I've got nothing.  Reading ten stories in a month isn't something I see as particularly noteworthy, you know?  It's true that I spend a fair bit of time thinking about what to write in these reviews (and a lot more time thinking about how to write it), but I just can't get too worked up over this particular milestone.  If I get to 50, that might be something worth celebrating.

Below the break, my review of Kiyyik's The Circle of Friends.

Monday, November 14, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 9: Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

In case Bubbles and Memorial weren't enough, today's review features yet another tearjerker about Derpy.  Can't this poor mare ever catch a break?

Speaking of breaks, look below for the full review of Today, Tomorrow, and Forever, by Chopper's Top Hat.

Friday, November 11, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 8: Memories of Those Friends Who've Gone Before Us

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Today's installment of freshly-written reviewership (spellcheck doesn't think that's a word.  Shocking, I know) brings us Memories of Those Friends Who've Gone Before Us, by the interestingly-named WTFHIW.

...What are you still dinking around up here for?  All the good stuff's after the break!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Days at, or: Why I Rarely Critique People's Stories

According to this blog's stats, I've somehow managed to accumulate a couple dozen regular visitors over the course of the less than one month which I've been doing this.  So...hi!  Welcome, make yourselves at home, etc.

That said, if you're just here for the reviews, today's your unlucky day.  They'll be back on Friday, but I want to take a minute to rant.  After all, what's the point of having your own blog if you can't use it as a vehicle to express your petty frustrations with the world around you?  Lots and lots of IMO after the break.

Monday, November 7, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 7: Singing to the Moon

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Sweetie Belle time!  The least-written about of the CMC gets her moment in the spotlight with uSea's Singing to the Moon.  Also Luna, in case the picture and title didn't make that clear enough already.  Not the most intuitive pairing of ponies (no, not that kind of pairing!); will the story, as Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work?"  Find out after the break.

Friday, November 4, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 6: Constellations

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

I don't know about you, but I've had enough tearjerkers for the time being.  Let's move on to Constellations, a Luna-centric story written by RPGenius.  Since it was written something like 8 months ago, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that there won't be a lot of TRADITIONAL ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE in this fic.  Still, I love me some Luna; hopefully this portrayal will knock me on my back with its expert writing, if not its sheer volume.  All the good stuff after the page break!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 5: Memorial

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

What better followup to my review of Bubbles could there be than another sad story about Derpy?  This time it's Buxton's Memorial.  Despite being written at around the same time as Bubbles, this fic hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as that one has.  Has it been unfairly overlooked?  Or is there a gap in quality between the two?  Or to take a third option, is it unfair to compare two stories based solely on the fact that they have the same protagonist and genre label?

As always, look after the break for more.

Monday, October 31, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 4: Bubbles

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Today we have the anonymously-authored Bubbles, widely considered one of the saddest stories in the fandom.  Yes, someone looked at the wall-eyed background pony from a little girls' cartoon and thought to himself, "You know, I bet I can make that really depressing."  Was he right?  We'll see after the page break.

Friday, October 28, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 3: Chasing Rainbows

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Today's installment of my ongoing 6-star reviews series brings us Chasing Rainbows courtesy of Phoe, ponyfic author and EqD blog editor.  Unlike the previous two entries, I'm going into this one blind.  That's right, I've never read this fic, in whole or part.  Below the break, surprises!  Hopefully, the good kind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 2: Ponies Discover /co/

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Another blast from the past!  This time, it's the tantalizingly named Ponies Discover /co/, courtesy of Slywit.  I remember reading this story when it was still being posted piecemeal over on /co/.  At the time, it seemed like a veritable fountain of hilarity.  Will it hold up as well as the also-ancient Jr. Speedsters Forever!?  More importantly, is that the proper way to punctuate the previous sentence?  I mean, the title ends with an exclamation point, but I'm still asking a question, so I need a question mark at the end.  But I can't leave the exclamation point off because it's part of the title, so I have to use both.  Right?

One of these questions will be answered after the page break.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Episode Talk: S2E4, Luna Eclipsed

Well, it's been a couple of days, and we've all had a chance to digest the latest episode.  Now that things have calmed down, there are a few things I want to voice my opinion on.  I don't know if I'll make a habit of commenting on episodes after they air or not; it depends on whether I have much to say in the aftermath, I suppose.  But as a rule, I've never been short on opinions.  Below the page break, some observations about Luna Eclipsed:

Friday, October 21, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 1: Junior Speedsters Forever!

To read the story, click on the picture or follow this link

Woohoo, my first review!  We're starting with the earliest-written story to ever get 6-starred by Equestria Daily, Pacce's Junior Speedsters Forever!  Check it out after the break.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

6-Star Reviews Part 0: An Explanation

Okay, I know what the first thing I'm going to use this blog for is: an excuse to read all the 6-star stories on Equestria Daily.

I've probably read at least a quarter of them already, but many more I've skipped over for one reason or another.  Maybe the premise didn't interest me, maybe I was busy the night the story was posted and didn't have time to read it, maybe I just missed the post altogether.  Either way, I'm going to start going back and reading every one of the 106 and counting 6-star stories.

Of course, just reading a bunch of stories does not a series of entertaining posts make.  Something of interest to any potential readers must be included as well.  After all, somebody might stumble across this blog someday--can't have them getting bored, can I?  So I'll be discussing each of the stories in a few different ways.  I'm going to drop a tl;dr version below the page break, explaining exactly how I'll conduct my reviews.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Well, here we are.  After almost a year in the MLP fandom, and all which that entails, I've decided to start a pony-themed blog.  Why?  To be honest, I don't know.  I'm not doing it for the attention--I have no intention of going out and publicizing this thing (though if you're here, welcome!).  I'm not exactly flush with free time either, as my work keeps me pretty busy.  But nevertheless, I'm doing this.  Call it practice: practice writing, practice blogging, and a valiant attempt at sticking to a schedule.

So...what IS this?  Well, it is (or will be, rather) several things.  It will contain my commentary on those aspects of the pony community which impact me.  As a fanfiction author, that mostly includes fanworks of various sorts.  It will deal with canon stuff as well, but don't get confused: this blog won't be much more than my opinion.  You want pony news, sites like Equestria Daily and already fill that niche much better than I could, even if I wanted to.  If you like to read opinions, reviews, and the like, then maybe you'll find this worth reading. If not, I totally understand.  Honestly, I doubt I'd read a blog like this.  Heh, now THERE'S an endorsement.  But hey, the worst that can happen is that I get bored and give up after a couple weeks.

Well, here goes nothing.