Friday, May 31, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 11

Thanks for the comments on Wednesday's post--I haven't added anything because, as I already mentioned, I don't have a lot to add.  The whole "the rights holder takes control of your story and everything in it" sounds pretty ominous, though; does that mean that if you write a story with an OC and then later try to write a sequel to said story, you could be sued for copyright infringement for using your own character?  I don't really know what the ramifications (both practical and, as in my example, somewhat fanciful) are; I took a class that covered copyright law back in college, but 1) that was mostly in regards to music, and 2) virtually the only thing I got out of that class is that, if you bring a piece of sheet music within twenty yards of a photocopier, FBI agents will burst down your door, throw you in an old-timey dungeon without even so much as a phone call, sell everything you own, and make a gift of your wife to the original rights holder.  Or something like that.

Anyhoo, all the stories and my impressions of them, after the break.  Well, not all the stories, but... look, you know what I mean.  Onward!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Discussion: Commercial Fanfiction

You've all probably already heard, but Amazon announced several days ago that they were preparing to start publishing fanfiction for the Kindle.  Although the current plans include only fanfics for Gossip Girls, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, and although it seems unlikely in the extreme that this is a bandwagon Hasbro would want to jump on (Amazon needs to make arrangements with the rights holders to publish fanfics commercially), this is pretty big news in the fanfic world.  I've been sitting on it for a few days myself, trying to decide what I wanted to say about the whole thing.

Only... I'm not really sure what to think.  Is this good for fanfiction?  Is this bad?  What are the legal ramifications of the boundary between commercial fiction and explicitly "for-fun" writing being (even further) blurred?  How would the ponyfiction community be different if there were a pay-to-read alternative through which authors could attempt to go?

Having opinions about things is something I'm pretty good at, but I just don't think I know enough to... well, to know how I feel about this.  So I'd like to open up the comments: what do you think about commercial fanfiction in principal?  What do you think about Amazon's plan specifically?  And, if this were (for the sake of argument) ever to spread to the ponyfiction world, how would that alter the landscape, for better or for worse?

Drop your thoughts in the comments section; I'd love to hear from some folks who do have strong opinions about this.  Or at least, from people with a better idea of what the implications of this are than I have.

Monday, May 27, 2013

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 8)

Happy Memorial Day to all you folks who live in Memorial Day-celebrating regions!  I intend to mark the occasion by not having a review done.  Instead, here's a look at some of the non-fanfic reading that I'm engaged in at the moment.  Click below the break to see what books have drawn my eye.

Friday, May 24, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 143: Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel

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

You know, it's funny.  Whenever I'm out and about, I'll constantly have inane revelations or tidbits of which I'll think to myself, "Hey, that would be a great for an above-the-break bit!"  But then, when I actually sit down at the keyboard... I got nothin'.

Below the break, my review of NickNack's Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 10

Just a few fics this go-round; the things in my life which aren't pony have been keeping me busy lately, and they have a disappointing tendency to demand precedence over my fanfic reading.  A few thoughts on some casually-read stories, below the break as always.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Worlds We Build

Guest post!  Getcher guest post, right here!

Today's installment of One Man's Pony Ramblings (Except when it's Not) is brought to you courtesy of The Descendant, that inimitable fanfic bastion of Victorian prose and occasional potty jokes.  He also has some has some thoughts about the vitally important yet easy-to-do-poorly execution of worldbuilding within one's writing.  He also also has some exceptionally interesting hobbies besides writing ponyfiction, as you'll find if you click below the break.  So... do that.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Son of a...

Hold on a minute...

[Edit: Okay, so when I set the review to post, I forgot to actually copy/paste it in.  Uh... oops.  Anyway, go read my review of The Vinyl Scratch Tapes (Season Two).  It's there this time, I promise!]

Friday, May 17, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 142: The Vinyl Scratch Tapes (Season Two)

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

Since I'd already used the actual cover art for my review of the first story (which you can read at the link above, or read my review of here; this review may contain spoilers for the original story, so use your discretion), I took a look at the handful of pony images I liked enough to save.  This is the most closely related thing I have.  I would also like to submit that Octavia playing a theremin is awesome.

On an unrelated note, the capcha stuff seems to be doing a pretty good job filtering out the spam; I can still see it, but the messages don't seem to be making it through and onto the blog proper.  I think the spambots may have noticed, though.  Where the messages used to all be positive things like "Wow! You're post is informative &helful!"--when they weren't obscene, anyway--now they're things like "my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’."  I guess the honeymoon is over.

Click below the break for my review of Corey W. Williams' The Vinyl Scratch Tapes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 9

Have some fanfics!  Specifically, have some fanfics I read recently that you may or may not have already happened across a month ago, because I'm always way behind on my everything.  As always, included is a link to the story in question, a bit of light commentary, and a recommendation.  Tally ho!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Overarching Topics are for Sissies

Welp, I was going to try to tie everything in this post into some neat little theme or other, but I kept finding other things I wanted to talk about... and any connections between them all were really tangential... and ellipsis lists need to have at least three items or they look stupid...

Anyway, click below for a little bit about a lot of things.  There's probably at least one item in here that's of interest to you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Purpose of the Fandom

Guest post time!  This one comes courtesy of Present Perfect, who has the heady honor of giving me a couple days respite from typing up new posts.  Also, he's got some insight into the reasons for the existence of ponyfiction, and non-commercial derivative works in general.  Hit it all up below the break!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 141: Background Pony

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

Yessiree, the review you've been impatiently waiting for is finally here!  Late, no less--was there any other way?

Below the break, my (looong) take on shortskirtsandexplosions's Background Pony.

Monday, May 6, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part--Nah, I'm Just Kidding

I was cautiously optimistic concerning my ability to finish Background Pony over the weekend.  The weekend, however, had other plans.

Between the snow melt flooding my basement and one of my water pipes bursting (giving the basement-flooding a handy assist), I didn't get a lot of reading done over the last few days.  Oh, well.

Even so (or, as SS&E has an infuriating habit of writing, "even still"), I'm about 90% finished with the story.  Granted, 10% of Background Pony is still equivalent to a small novel, but my review is definitely coming this week, barring interference by woodchippers, chainsaw-toting serial killers, or anything that could double as the title of a disaster movie.

Those of you playing the "read along at home" game can breath a sigh of relief; you've got a few days yet!  And those of you playing the "hurry the heck up I want my review dangit" game can keep spasmodically twitching.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Small Experiment, Concluded

We got about a foot of snow today (Thursday, as I write this)!  In May!  What kind of garbage is this?  Schools were canceled, travel warnings issued, and I spent something like two hours shoveling (I swear, I've spent the better part of three decades living in white Christmas territory, and this was the heaviest, soggiest snow I've ever seen).  Summer can't come soon enough.

But you aren't here to listen to me whine about having to dig the snowboots out just a week after I put them away for the year; you want to know where I'm going with Wednesday's post.  Well, click down below the break, and wonder no more.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Small Experiment

Today, we're going to try something a little different: I have a short, simple challenge for all of you who read my blog (and some other people, but that's not important right now).  On Friday, I'll take a look at the results, but for now, click down below the break for part one of this two-part exercise.