Monday, January 30, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 32: The Purple Menace(s)

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

Chris 1, minor illness 0.  Go me!

Unfortunately, the fact that I'm now playing catchup after being useless for a few days means I haven't had time to watch the latest episode yet, so I've got nothing to say about it.  I do, however, have plenty to say about uSea's The Purple Menace(s).  Look after the break to find out if that's a good thing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sorry guys...

...but there's no new post today.  Well, unless you count this, I guess.  I've been sick the last few days--nothing serious or life-threatening or any such, but it feels like somebody keeps tapping my temples with balpin hammers 24/7, and looking at a computer screen just makes it worse.  Obviously, not a situation conducive to reading/reviewing fanfiction.  I'll be back to my normal schedule on Monday.

To help you pass the weekend, here's a conversation topic: what character or characters did you hate when you first saw them in an episode, but came to appreciate (or at least, hate less) later on?  For full credit, explain what caused the shift: was it further in-show development, a fanfic, a comic, fan art, or just the passage of time that made him or her more palatable to you?

Now I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 31: Beyond Forever

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

I'm in a really good mood right now, because I just found a box of thin mints in the back of the freezer.  I thought I'd eaten the last of them months ago.  Score!

Will Bobcat's Beyond Forever complement their chocolate-minty goodness, or will it leave a sour taste in my mouth?  Find out after the break.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Episode Talk: S2E14, The Last Roundup

So... Derpy.  

Now that the furor over the latest episode has died down somewhat, let's take a look at it, shall we?  Anyway, here are a few things that stuck out to me, all after the break.

Friday, January 20, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 31: Luna's Excellent Adventure

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

Because it's important that one have something to complain about at all times, I did a little math this morning.  Assuming that the average weight of the snow I've shoveled this winter was about 10 lbs per cubic foot (which is just a guess, but it sounds reasonable enough), I've shoveled more than 12,000 lbs of snow off my driveway and sidewalk so far this year.  Every year I tell myself I should just get a snowblower, but my masculine pride insists that to do so would be an intolerable admission of weakness.

Strangely, that same sense of masculine pride has no trouble with the fact that I have a blog dedicated to My Little Pony fanfiction.

Below, my review of Luna's Excellent Adventure, by Blueshift.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Stories You Haven't Read (But Should Have)

Back by popular demand, it's little-known short stories!  A number of people have asked me to do this again, and I would have made another post sooner if it hadn't been for one tiny detail: putting this together is a lot of work.  There are only so many diamonds in the rough, after all, and I just don't have the time to go digging for them.  If this post goes over well, maybe someday I'll manage to find some more stories and make a third entry in the series--just don't expect it to be anytime soon.

As before, I've assembled three very different short stories.  While I don't necessarily claim that any of them are the best works ever to grace a digital page, I think all of them deserve more attention than they've received to date.  Check them out below the break.

Monday, January 16, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 30: Getting Lucky

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

I thought about writing a post about the latest episode, Baby Cakes, but there's only one thing I really want to say: those baby ponies are creepy as hell.  Those beady eyes, those bulbous heads... I hope we don't see too much of them in the future, because they seriously weird me right out.

Also, Pinkie's letter to the Princess at the end is much funnier if you imagine that she's talking about teen pregnancy and not babysitting.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, on to my review of Chicken Vortex's Getting Lucky.  You know where!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Authorial Context of Fanfiction, and the Perils of Reviewership Therefrom

Opinion time!  Reviewing Tomorrow got me thinking about a few things concerning the way I and others react to what we read, and I'd like to address one facet of that now: the impact of knowing about the author's motivations, personality, or private life, as it relates to one's ability to evaluate what one has read.

Oh, and if you're wondering, the title is mostly because I just found out that "therefrom" is, in fact, proper English, and I've been looking for a chance to use it.  Fun with vocabulary!

My thoughts, after the break.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 29: Tomorrow

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

Do you remember the holiday post that I put up back around Christmas?  The one with the recorder chart on it?  Well somehow, that post has become the first site linked to when you perform a variety of Google image searches relating to recorder fingering charts.  It's bumped up site traffic a fair bit, but I imagine that a lot of those visitors are coming away very, very confused.

Anyway, it's been a while since I reviewed something sad for this blog.  Today, we rectify that oversight with Jera's Tomorrow.  After the break, etc.

Monday, January 9, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 28: The Logical Option

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

I really stink at contract bridge.

Just thought you all should know that.  I've been playing for more than a year, but I'm still just awful.  If there was such a thing as strip contract bridge, I'd be typing this naked.  Luckily, my slightly less incompetent partner was a good sport about all the games I cost us over the weekend.

Anyway, my review of ADriftingThought's The Logical Option, which has nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of card game, is after the break.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 27 Part 2: The Purloined Pony (cont.)

To read the story, click the image or follow OH GOD WHY DID I THINK INVERTING THE COLORS WAS A GOOD IDEA

Yesterday I posted three of the six guest reviews I received for my CYOA fanfic, The Purloined Pony.  Today, I'm posting the rest.  These three reviews all have something in common: the person who wrote them doesn't like CYOAs.  Despite this, each came up with a unique take on the story, its strengths and weaknesses, and its potential appeal.  Below the break, find the final three reviews.

Friday, January 6, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 27 Part 1: The Purloined Pony

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

Six people sent in reviews of this story!  Six!  Here I thought I'd be lucky to get one, and instead it's a half dozen.  Clearly, I underestimated the siren call of anonymous unpaid internet labor.

Of course, this raises the question of how best to post six complete story reviews.  I want to post them in a format that encourages visitors to read them all, or failing that, at least in a format that doesn't actually reward people for reading one and skipping the rest.  And I want the presentation to be interesting to read in its own right.  To that end, I've decided to split this up into two posts.

Interestingly, half of the people who wrote a review started their introduction with some variation of "I hated these stories when I was a kid, but I'll give this a try."  I say it's interesting because I have always found CYOAs to be a great way to get kids, especially boys, to read.  A lot of children who "hate reading" will nevertheless dive right into these kinds of stories, and show genuine interest in the fate of their alter-ego.  So I'm a little surprised that so many folks seem to have had such bad experiences with them growing up.

In any case, I've decided to save those three for the moment, and begin with the reviews by people who had a more positive/neutral attitude towards the genre.  The three CYOA skeptics I'll put in post that's going up tomorrow, so make sure you check what they have to say as well.  I split them up this way because I think it's interesting to compare how the different attitudes towards the genre influenced their impressions.

Speaking of comparing, I'm going to present the three reviews that are being posted today by section, rather than by author:  I'll give everyone's Impressions before reading, then summary, etc.  I'm doing it this way rather than just tossing up each author's review in order for two reasons: first, I think it's interesting to compare side-by-side what each of the reviewers had to say, and to see what similarities (and differences) of opinion they had.  Second, I hope it will encourage people to read the entire post, rather than just getting one reviewer's take and skipping the rest.  It's not manipulative if I tell you why I'm doing it, right?

So, without further ado, the first three reviews of The Purloined Pony.  All after the break, as always.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 26: Twilight October

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

This was originally scheduled to be a review of Sunshine Smiles' as-yet-incomplete Spacegirl, but a look at his/her (at a guess, let's go with his) profile on fimfiction reveals that he still has plans to finish that story.  Updating after almost a year?  I'll believe it when I see it, but for now I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.  If he ever finishes (or gives up altogether), I'll post a review then.

In the meantime, we're moving on to uSea's Twilight October, together with its sequel/continuation, October 2nd.  You know where to find it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 25: Crimps and Prance

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

The first 6-star review of the new year, and the second story in a row by Conner Cogwork!  My thoughts about the Cheerilee-centric Crimps and Prance, after the break.