Friday, August 30, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 4: (A) Drop of Moonshine

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

Hmm, nothing interesting's coming to mind to write up here.  Uh... I went to an Indian buffet yesterday?  That was nice.  Oh, I came in first in an 80-person online bridge tournament!  Granted, it was a free-to-play tourney that most players don't take very seriously, and I won mostly by luck... still, first time that's happened.

Man, I dunno; I've got to get a more interesting life.

Below the break, my review of Pen Stroke's (A) Drop of Moonshine.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Couple of Things to Read

As the title implies, this post contains... a couple of things to read.  One fanfiction, one science fiction; both of them stories I read on Tuesday afternoon, and both of which I felt would merit mention here.  Given the range between them stylistically, thematically, and really in just about everything, I'd say there's a fair chance you'll find at least one of the two might be of some interest.

Click down below the break to see my thoughts on both!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 15

Brevity is the soul of wit, they say.  If that's the case, you'll no doubt find the reviews herein far wittier than my longer-form reviews.  Though by that measure, I've still got nothing on "nice story, mate."  Anyway, all the short-form review goodness, below the break.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 3: White Box

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

While doing a little cleaning today, I came across a character sheet for one of my players from a long-past campaign.  Not a surprise in and of itself; I can never bring myself to throw those things away, for some reason.  The sheet itself wasn't that interesting, either; a fairly typical fighter-type.  What was odd was a scrap of paper, in the player's writing, which was pinned to the sheet.  It read:
Strategies: Cocktail Bombs
Sneaking In
Surprise Lightning
Splitting Up
For the life of me, I have no idea what circumstances lead to the creation of that list, nor to its being given sufficient importance to be pinned to the character sheet.  Nor, for that matter, what it means.  Maybe next time I talk to the player, I'll ask him.

Below the break, my review of Chromosome's White Box.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Parable

I find parables, both of the religious and secular variety, interesting as a literary device.  Specifically, it's interesting to me that parables are supposed to impart a universal truth, yet they are often subject to one or more interpretations, sometimes radically different or even diametrically opposed to each other.  That they can both be described as "explicit imperatives" and "inkblot tests" speaks to both their strangely variable nature as a means of conveying an idea.

With that in mind, I've tried my hand at a parable myself.  It's also a true story, if you're interested, but that's neither here nor there.  It's one that I wrote with a particular fanfic (and a particular fan thereof) in mind, but that's also neither here nor there; these things are supposed to be broadly applicable, after all.  In any case, click below to read...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 2: Mendacity

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

About three years ago, my sister and I picked up some coffee drinks--I forget if it was from Starbucks or somewhere else, but that's not important.  What is important is that they put those cutesy little stickers over the drinking hole on the lid, and my sticker was a cow.  I happened to be wearing a farmer's cap that day, so I put the cow sticker on the bill, thinking it looked mildly appropriate.

It's still there; I'm typing this while wearing that same hat, and the sticker isn't showing any signs of pulling up around the edges.  It's starting to worry me, in fact.  Just what kind of industrial adhesives were those baristas putting in and around my drink?

Below the break, my review of Dromicosuchus's Mendacity.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 1: No Quixote Here

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

So now that the 6-Star Reviews have come to an end (more or less--there're a few stories that may yet finish up, and I'll review them when they do), it's time to move on to something new!  And by "move on to something new," I of course mean "do something that's almost exactly the same."  Thus begin the Fandom Classics reviews: the format you've come to know and grudgingly tolerate love, now applied to other famous, popular, and/or well-regarded stories.  Starting with Redsquirrel456's No Quixote Here, below the break.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

O Brave New World, That has Such Ponies in't!

Before we move on to further reviews, let us pause a moment to remember what came before.  For example, remember those guest posts from the last few weeks?  Well, there's one more column still outstanding, courtesy of AugieDog: not just a talented author, but probably the best-credentialed ponyfic writer I know.  So naturally, when he agreed to write a guest post for me, I gave it a special place of reverence in my posting schedule.

No, wait, that's not right.  What I did was misplace the e-mail and forget to schedule him entirely.

Man, I suck.

Be that as it may, here's said post, reflecting a unique and fascinating look at ponyfic through the eyes of a man with more writing experience than the entirety of FIMFic's feature box, on a typical day.  Click down below the break for wisdom.

Monday, August 12, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 148: The Immortal Game

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

I'm back, baby!  Are you all ready for your gifts?  Because I got you something while I was on vacation.  Any idea what it is...?

That's right!  It's a review!  Specifically, it's a review of AestheticB's The Immortal Game.   Go unwrap it below the break.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Why We Write

And now, it's time to wrap up the guest posts.  I'll be back Monday with my review of The Immortal Game (actually, I've been back in town a couple days now, but never mind that), but before that there's one more non-Chris post which you'll definitely want to check out.  To bring the last few weeks to a suitably gripping conclusion, today we have Bad Horse: ponyfic author and devil's advocate of note.  But we have a lot more than that, as he recruited more than a dozen other authors to help him with his post!  Click down below for a pseudo-survey which looks at the question, "Why do we write?"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Writing Beyond "The Usual"

Our next guest columnest wrote his own introduction, so I'll let him take it away:

Vimbert (self-depreciatingly labeled “the Unimpressive”) is a fanfic author who has done review/editing work in the fandom for almost two years and is currently an Equestria Daily pre-reader. He likes adorable kittens and explosions but hates when the two things interact.

Today, he brings us a reminder that comfort and complacency can all too easily go hand-in-hand.  Click down below the break to see what he has to say about trying something outside of your comfort zone.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Most Frustrating of Fanfiction

The column of the hour is brought to you by the inimitable Bugs the Curm, whom you might recognize from the comments section on this very blog. If so, you'll know that he's got opinions, and he's not afraid to share them. And sharing opinions in an unafraid manner is exactly what he does here, as he examines some of those stories which, despite being Good Stories, he simply can't bring himself to like. A vexing problem for a reviewer to have, I can say from experience. Click down below the break for his take on four good fanfics which just didn't work for him.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blowing Words

 Today's guest post comes courtesy of Jeffrey C. "Skywriter" Wells, fanfic author of note (and in any case, even if he weren't, his appearance as a guest columnist here would immediately rocket him to the upper echelons of writing-ness), who makes a rare plea: spend less time on your story.

Is that a pithy distortion of what he's actually saying?  Absolutely.  Want to know the details?  Find them after the break