Friday, November 29, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 23

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!  I can't say with any certainty, seeing as I wrote this in advance, but I'm going to assume I did/will.  I'll be with my family, which is always a good start.  Plus, I don't have to cook, and I'm not one to turn up my nose at a feast which requires basically no effort on my part.

If you need a story or two to get you through the weekend, though, click down below the break to see what I've stumbled across lately.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 23: Hiccups

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

As a matter of both district policy and common sense, I try to be very careful about what information I publicly share about students I work with.  I think it's safe for me to reveal, however, that yesterday I had the opportunity to read a creative writing piece titled "Booger Boy vs. Boring Guy vs. Batman."  Honestly, it wasn't half-bad--I liked it better than the typical "[pony] [verb]s a [noun]" stories which are so prevalent in fanfiction, at any rate.  Then again, that may just be a product of expectations.

Anyway, and on a (thankfully) unrelated note, my review of shortskirtsandexplosions' Hiccups, after the break.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Episode Talk: S4E1-2, Princess Twilight Sparkle

Hey, remember that show that all these fanfics are based on?  Apparently they're still making new episodes!  Who knew?

Anyway, I went ahead and checked out the premier of the fourth season and, finding I had some things to say about it, decided to say them.  Click down below the break for my thoughts.

P.S.  Since it's been a while since the last one of these, a reminder: this isn't intended as a summary of the episode itself, nor is it in any way comprehensive.  It's just a few of my thoughts after watching the new episode and having a day or two to digest it.  Expect nothing more nor less.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 22: Somewhere Only We Know

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

I started watching the new Bladerunner ripoff original science-fiction TV series Almost Human a couple of days ago.  It really drags in places, but it did enough to engender my goodwill that I'll probably stick with it at least a bit longer.

Okay, mostly I just thought the testicles bit was the most hilariously awkward (intentionally so, anyway) thing I've seen on TV in years.  What can I say?  Sometimes, the lowest common denominator is all right.

Let's (hopefully) move away from "lowest common denominator" with the review, though.  My thoughts on PatchworkPoltergeist's Somewhere Only We Know, below the break.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 21: This Nearly Was Mine

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

Okay, here we go!  My review of BillyColt's This Nearly was Mine, below the break.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Schedule Update

The last week has been pretty busy for me, and I'm battling a cold.  So, tomorrow's post will be a little late, probably in the 8-16 hours late range.  It'll still be there tomorrow, though, and that's what counts, right?

Also, I'm going to go check some of the comments from the last few days that I haven't made the time to read through yet.  Sorry about being even less responsive than usual--my excuse is "a potent cocktail of busyness, illness, forgetfulness, and poor time management skills."

Actually, that's a pretty apt description of my life in general.  A bit on the cynical side, maybe, but what it lacks in positivism I think it makes up in evocativeness.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 22

A short one this time.  You all know the routine; click down below the break for some short reviews of short fanfics.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 20: Bureaucracy is Magic

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

AKA: the post where Chris experiments with a dozen different ways to spell "bureaucracy" while writing the review, only for spellcheck to deliver the red squiggly line of opprobrium after each and every attempt.  Sure, I could just let the machine fix it for me (or, you know, refer back to the title of the fic), but that would be admitting defeat!  No, I'll keep moving vowels around until I stumble upon the correct spelling by accident, thank you very much.  Review-y goodness below the break, as always.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Comment and a Question

As the title suggests, this post has two parts.  First, the comment (preceded by the context, because without context you'd just have mm - tx, assuming my algebraic skills haven't abandoned me):

Several commenters have informed me that the epilogue of the just-reviewed Of Mares and Magic was written in response to a bunch of readers expressing displeasure at the way the Trixie/Twilight romance resolved in the "original" ending, presumably in a completely measured and reasonable manner.  Assuming that's the case, I'd like to present it as evidence of a maxim I make use of when discussing author/editor dynamics: committees are good for many things, but creative writing is not one of them.

Speaking of snogging, on to the question (again preceded by the context, because I have a compulsive need to bury my questions behind multiple paragraphs): I've had several Mature (sex) stories recommended to me to review, most notably Romance Reports.  In fact, I've had that one recommended to me by three different people, now--two of whom began their recommendations with a variant of "I know you don't like pony sex, but..."

Let me make clear: I have absolutely no interest in pony erotica.  However, that doesn't necessarily mean I would refuse to read anything with adult content in it.  At bare minimum, however, I would be looking for two things in such a story: is there a story here beyond the porn, and is the sexual material important to the story (i.e. would this story be as strong or stronger if all sexual content was edited out or replaced with a (literal or metaphorical) fade to black)?  Without the former, there's nothing but purposeless porn (not really something I could review in a useful way, even if I wanted to), and without the latter... well, that's as much a form of purposeless porn as the former, isn't it?

So, with that in mind, can some of you who've read Romance Reports suggest whether it would be something I should consider reviewing?  And more broadly, are "those kinds of stories," as the marms would put it, something you all think I should be reading and reviewing at all, both from the standpoint of my edification and your interest?

Just to be clear, this isn't a vote; I'm interested in getting some opinions as I decide whether or not RR and Mature(sex) stories generally are something that I should consider letting onto the to-read list.  If you've got any thoughts, for or against, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 19: Of Mares and Magic

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

Just a note to those of you wondering about Silent Ponyville 3 and why it hasn't been reviewed yet: although the story is "complete," I figured I'd wait until the alternate endings were done as well, since they've been a consistent (and, I thought, kind of neat) feature of the previous stories.  There's at least one side story I'll be hitting up along with it, but in the meantime I don't want you to think I'm blowing y'all off.  On a related note, I've been delaying on reviewing Dresden Gets Schooled because it's an Equestria Girls spinoff, and I'm still dragging my feet on seeing that, but I'll get to it eventually.  Just in case you were wondering why there were finished 6-star stories (well, sequels) that weren't getting reviewed!

For now, though, you can head below the break and check out my review of GanonFLCL's Of Mares and Magic.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Author Expectations and Reader Reactions

This ramble is even more rambley than usual; just a heads-up to any of you expecting my usual hyper-coherence (pah).  But I was discussing the occasional (okay, frequent) dissonance between how authors view their body of work, and how their readers do, and there were a few things I wanted to say about that as regards fanfiction.  My thoughts, below the break.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 21

Tuesday, I woke up before my alarm--not an unusual thing, in and of itself.  I felt pretty well-rested, too, and I got dressed and started fixing myself breakfast.  Then I glanced at the clock, and saw that it was 2:20 am.

So I went back to bed and, of course, felt like an absolute wreck when my alarm dutifully woke me up a few hours later.

Anyway, the fact that my body's playing practical jokes on me hasn't stopped me from reading a few fanfics that aren't on my "reading list," as it were.  Click down below the break for some short-form reviewmanship.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 18: Variables

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

The end of daylight savings may be my least-favorite time of year.  Dang it, I don't want to give back that hour of daylight!  I've got few enough as it is!  The fact that it'll be returned to me in a few months is some comfort, but it doesn't do much for me now.

Speaking of nows, now would be a fine time to click down below the break and check out my review of The Descendant's Variables.

Friday, November 1, 2013

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (part 11)

I hope all of you have a Friday free of sugar crashes and/or hangovers, depending on your age (One Man's Pony Ramblings does not endorse underage drinking.  It does, however, advocate consuming candy and/or booze in safe, responsible, and legal ways).  And now that you've got the partying out of your system, how about discussing some books?  Down below the break, as always.

P.S.  There was totally a girl rocking a Fluttershy costume at work!  Made my day, it did.