Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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

And now, the third entry in my so-infrequent-and-irregular-it-practically-redefines-sporadic series!  As always, I'll be highlighting three short pony stories that aren't particularly well-known.  I don't claim that any of them are the best thing ever written, but I think they each merit more attention than they've gotten to date.  Look below to see what underrated writing I've managed to dig up:

     1. Whisper Sun, Silent Moon, by Redsquirrel456

How overlooked is it?:  This was posted on Equestria Daily about a month and a half ago, yet the FIMFic page says it still has less than 300 views.  For comparison's sake, most stories can get 50-150 views on FIMFic just by existing.

Why it deserves better:  This story does an absolutely superb job of creating a wider world in which to exist.  There's a fine line between filling one's story with irrelevant, unexplained details and developing an atmosphere of mystery, a sense of knowledge lost to the inexorable passage of time.  This story walks that line deftly, and its history feels more alive and engaging to me than any other fanfic I can think of.

Recommendation:  The actual story here isn't bad by any stretch either (if it were, it wouldn't be on this list), but I think the biggest draw with this piece is the atmosphere it sets.  Any readers who love hinted-at depths in their fiction will probably enjoy this story.

     2.    Trixies™ ,  by WaxTomCruise

How overlooked is it?:  It was a submission for one of the EqD friend-offs (remember when the fandom was small enough that that could be a thing?), and as far as I know has never been linked to outside of that compilation post.

Why it deserves better:  Look, this isn't a great or game-changing story, by any meaningful metric.  What it is, however, is a story that makes a stupid (but still pretty amusing, really) joke, then ends before that joke gets stale.  Why do so many authors of one-note stories have trouble wrapping up before the comedy turns sour?  I don't know, but the least I can do is recognize someone who didn't go in for needless padding.  Also, for resisting the urge to tack on some wholly irrelevant aside about how tragic Trixie's backstory is--seriously, why do people write comic short-shorts and then try to squeeze a bunch of angst and drama into them?

Recommendation:  Look, if a few hundred words about Trixie playing the role of the Trix bunny sounds funny to you, it probably will be.  If not, it probably won't.  Personally I thought it was pretty entertaining, and hey: it's like 300 words.  If you read it and hate it, at least you didn't waste much time on it.

     3.  Ties, by Take Flight

How overlooked is it?:  This is one that I found a couple months ago while digging through FIMFic's front page.  Looks like that was about as much attention as it ever received.

Why it deserves better:  To be honest, I just really like the premise.  Spike and Prince Blueblood both have their advances rejected by Rarity, and this story shows how each of them deals with that rejection.  By keeping the settings as similar as possible, the author hammers home the differences (and similarities) between the two clearly and concisely.

Recommendation:  Despite being short and simple, Ties manages to develop both Spike and Blueblood to a surprising degree by playing their reactions side-by-side and letting the reader compare.  I'd have no trouble recommending it to the character-study crowd.


  1. Trixies was certainly amusing with some chuckles, although it isn't winning any awards (that's fine by me, though; better a silly comedy than pretentious drama).

    For Ties...well, I see why you like it, Chris, but at the end I was like "Tell me something I don't know." That sounds harsh but really I saw nothing added to the playboy-persona of Blueblood or the child-persona of Spike. My favorite fanficts (when they're not comedies) such as the The Liar, Thicker than Water, Sunny Skies All Day Long changed my way of looking at a character. This one did not and it didn't any emotion from me.

    I'll read the other one later. The laws of nature have decreed that even those of us who despise sleep still need it.

    1. I see what you mean about Ties. I'd say that, although it gives both Spike and Blueblood plenty of depth, it isn't really breaking any ground with either of their characterizations. But hey: I'm a sucker for stories which use that kind of broad repetition, either by showing two similar scenes (as here) or showing the same scene multiple times from different perspectives.

  2. I really enjoyed Whisper Sun, Silent Moon, and not just because that's essentially the genre I work with the most. The world-building was very entertaining, even if I found the ending of the story itself a little uninspired. Still, a great read and definitely worthy of more attention than it has currently received!

  3. More fics by RedSquirrel are always a good thing, I'll have to check that out. :3 He wrote one of my current running favorites, My Little Metro, itself fairly well overlooked.

  4. Ooo, gonna definitely have to check out that first one! Thanks for compiling this one for us again!

  5. I read 'Whisper Sun, Silent Moon' when it was first posted on Equestria Daily. Although the FIMfiction page for it seems to be a bit desolate I remember that the link EqD gave led to a Google Doc and quite a few people were also reading it at the time. So maybe it's not quite as overlooked, but more like it's been forgotten a bit (I actually forgot about it until you mentioned it). The story did indeed have some excellent imagery, world building and the dream/vision/flashback (I can't quite remember what it technically was) scene reminded me a lot of 'Dangerous Business'. Enough said.

    I haven't read either of the other two but they sound fun, so I'll give them a look.

  6. I can't say I've read any of these, but I did enjoy the one story of Redsquirrel's that I read. In fact, it's a star-6 that will be coming up before long.

  7. "Why do so many authors of one-note stories have trouble wrapping up before the comedy turns sour? I don't know."

    I know!

    Because they're REQUIRED to drag them out, by the 2500-word minimum on EqD and the 1000-word minimum on fimfiction.

    1. Indeed. When a story's been dragged out for far too long, something amusing and funny can just become boring and trite.

      HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, for instance probably wouldn't have been as excellent as it was if it went on for any longer. Each chapter was just long enough to get across the absurdity of everything, and nothing (from the chapter length, to the gags and the overall story length) was so long that it put strain on the reader's patience.

    2. Yeah, that PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP story didn't quite compare. :(

      I tried writing my own, but it was only okay:

      From Pinkie's tears spun the whirling bolas of vestal assfury, viscera bespackling their nubile strings. Cleaved from the caliginous mastery of the heavens, consecrated by the death-knells of all the world's concussant children, woven from Celestia's divine pubic hairs, it besang arias of the apocalypse as it gyrated through the skies, crushing all of France, which is the only country that exists.

      An inundation of vagnoplasm surged through the lands, setting divine pubic hairs aflame, vestal assfury raging to not fall gently into the stillness of the night. From the galvanic seas of Io, the midnight goddess channelled that which she bespoke through her fiery lips, lips which were made of lions, dancing the dance of life eternal, in unending struggle between Mexico and its drug lords.

      "Pinkie, closeth up thine waistcoat, for I'eth can see thine cuntflaps."

      To this Pinkie raged to the heavens, assfury pouring from her nostrils like steam out of a hot bag of Green Giant Valley Fresh steamers, rupturing that which held the walls of this reality together. The duct tape fell apart like anything made by Rarity's asinine sister.

      Pinkie voiced her song to the void.

      "I'm here to break some balls and bake some fookies. And I'm all out of fookies. Which is why I have to bake them."

      "You know I hate fookies."

      Ah well. One day I'll get it right. lol.

    3. Oh my god.

      OH MY GOD

      The first line is better than the entirety of P^30, which I read recently and found thoroughly awful. This isn't perfect ("cuntflaps" strikes me as trying too much, too hard, and too soon; you have to ease into these things and constantly ramp up the scale of outlandish offensiveness), but I completely advise you to continue whatever this is and win the ponynets in the process.

    4. Back in July, someone from tvtropes wanted to write a story about fucklings, which were like changelings... but with more HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I gave that one a shot too, but it's all dialogue and no prose. Ah well.


      "What the hell are you?"

      "We're the fucklings! We exist to be sexually appealing and to harvest the emotion of lust!"

      "Assuming lust is even an emotion, why are you wearing so much clothing? Are you just really prudish changelings or something?"

      "No! Our clothing accentuates our assets! It makes us more desirable!"

      "Really now? Because to me you look like you came out of a costume party."

      "We are leaving more to the imagination than we would be if we were simply naked! Our scantily-clad forms bring forth lascivious thoughts!"

      "But if you're changelings, then you can look like anything, can't you? You could turn yourself into a whole bunch of really exotic and frightening forms, but you're just covering up everything with your clothing. It really does make one wonder if the only reason you're doing that is because you're inadequate at shapeshifting. If you're just lazy..."

      "FINE!" *the fuckling removes all its clothes*

      "Now you just look like a regular changeling."

      "FUCK YOU!"

    5. It's all about the last three lines. :3