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I was listening to some Gordon Lightfoot earlier, and I suddenly realized that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody's ever made PMV of The Pony Man. Normally I let the non-fanfiction portion of the pony fandom do its thing without my commentary, but somebody needs to step up to the plate here; we don't need more hip-hop and dubstep stuff! Give us some Lightfoot! While we're talking folk music, I wouldn't mind seeing an Alice's Restaurant PMV, either.
After the break, my review of WTFHIW's Eso Si Que Es.
Impressions before reading: As with the other happy Luna winners, I've read this story. I remember that I liked it well enough, but didn't much care for the ending (spoiler alert: there's two blank pages, then a meme/joke unrelated to the story in any way). I do have a weak spot for punnery though, so I admit that I'm partial to the title (even if I didn't much care for the "Luna in socks" meme).
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Luna and Celestia spend a night chatting, catching up on some letter-writing, and just enjoying each other's company.
Thoughts after reading: This story occupies what I found to be a slightly uncomfortable middle ground: there's no driving force behind it, yet it isn't exactly a character study. Honestly, reading it is an experience akin to watching one of the more archetypal Seinfeld episodes: it's a story about nothing.
That doesn't mean that nothing literally happens, or even that the story isn't enjoyable in its own right. But it doesn't have any sort of plot worth mentioning, relatively little of what does happen develops the characters, and lengthy asides whose only function within the story is to be entertaining in their own right fill this already short piece.
The biggest selling point for this story is clearly the writing. On a technical level, I have no complaints regarding the piece (okay, when I converted it to put it on my e-reader, some of the paragraphing got messed up. That's not a complaint aimed at the author of course, but it is a complaint nonetheless). The vocabulary is not particularly advanced, but it's clear that the language used was chosen deliberately, and the linguistic precision which pervades the story make it a pleasure to read, even when the content does not rise to the same lofty standards.
Sadly, the content was often a comparatively weak point. To put it bluntly, the story consists of a whole bunch of disparate elements that never combine into a cohesive whole. The princesses chat about some ponies Luna has met recently, then do some stuff, and none of it ever connects to anything else. A loose and sprawling story is a difficult beast to tame, and here it comes off muddled and unfocused.
That said, there were some individual highlights. The ending of the piece (not the meme, but the end of the story) is sweet, but is subtle enough not to draw attention to itself. WTFHIW manages in only a few words to convey an impression of the state of Celestia and Luna's bond, and the ongoing work to mend the rift formed a thousand years ago, which is made more powerful by his apparent trust in the reader to understand the implications of the thoughts and words he uses without resorting to heavy-handed aesoping or flat-out telling the reader how they should interpret the sisters' interactions. A few other scenes were entertaining in their own right (though Luna's description of two bickering siblings didn't really work for me; joking about sexual innuendo/accusations has its place, but it didn't fit the tone set in the rest of the story), but in the end they were just that: scenes. There's not much of a story here, no matter how one looks at it.
Star rating: ★★☆☆☆ (what does this mean?)
While the excellent writing ensured that I never felt like I was wasting my time with this story, there's not much to recommend it beyond the quality of the prose. The entire piece is a rambling, disjointed muddle. That might be forgivable if it accomplished some larger purpose, such as developing one or more characters or setting events within the larger world in which the fic takes place, but neither occurs here.
Recommendation: The story is enjoyable enough to read thanks to the writing quality, but there's not much to it. I'd recommend it only to readers willing to tolerate a story without any larger point or purpose, but for those I suspect it will be found perfectly adequate for what it is.
Next time: The Sock Swap, by ProBono