But wherever you live, feel free to click down below the break for some short and (hopefully) sweet commentary on my casual fanfic reading.
Princess Luna and the Cotton Candy Sugar Rush, by TheSlorg
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Princess Luna just wants some time off from the all-consuming duties which princessdom entails. It turns out that combining a bored princess with Pinkie, and adding a confection new to the millennium-absent diarch, is not a recipe for anything particularly good.
A few thoughts: Sometimes, a story just comes to you at the right time. Sugar Rush did that for me, showing up at the top of my to-read list right as I was feeling burned-out and brain dead. It's a simple premise--Luna getting a
Recommendation: This isn't the sort of story that will stick with you months and even years after you read it, but it is fun, funny, and all-around pleasant reading. That's not nothing; in fact, that's something (I know, right?), and I recommend it to anyone looking for such.
A Hearth's Warming Carol, by Butterscotch Cream
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Perignon is a hard-nosed, heartless wine seller--to outside appearances, anyway. But a heart-to-heart with a mysterious stranger during a Hearth's Warming Eve blizzard threatens to break his shell.
A few thoughts: 'Tis the season... sorta. Look, it's still winter, right? Anyway, after the first couple of pages, I was afraid this was going to be a literal retelling of Dickens' most famous story, so I was pleased to see that not only wasn't it, but that there was plenty of original thought put into it. It's a very predictable story (no points for guessing that Perignon sees the error of his ways by the end), but hey: it's got a timeless moral that's worth repeating, and that's something I enjoy in a story. On the downside, this story does lean heavily on speechifying; I don't mind a blunt aesop, but there's a point where to ponies speechifying to one another in a raging blizzard does start to wear on.
Recommendation: Readers looking for an original take on a classic tale, and an equally classic lesson, will be well satisfied with this. But those put off by preaching (to the choir or otherwise) will want to avoid it.
Happy Ending, by Bad Horse
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Blueblood goes to see a fortune teller before the Grand Galloping Gala.
A few thoughts: I had some trouble with this story at first, because I didn't understand who the mysterious force was supposed to be (hint: look at the tags--or don't, if you don't want to know). It turns out that, despite having been published earlier this month, the story was written before season three, and with that as context, I enjoyed it quite a bit more in retrospect than I did upon initial reading. This fic does some interesting things with perspective, shifting how you view the main characters as you read by its three chapters in reverse chronological order (though the "This is the end/middle/beginning of the story" chapter headings were a bit much for me), and--now that I know who it's supposed to be, and understand the character's characterization at the time of writing--the ending gives the story a delicious bite.
Recommendation: I recommend this story to anyone who loves twists, shifting characterizations, and a dark but fitting take on the behind-the-scenes of an episode.
Diamond Tiara Hunts Down and Systematically Murders Bad OCs, by Aquaman
Zero-ish spoiler summary: What, the title wasn't clear enough for you?
A few thoughts: Actually, the title's a bit misleading: I was going in hoping for a Mary-Sue killer story, a la Game of the Gods or something (before you go clicking the link: it's a LotR fanfic, and although I kind of liked the first few chapters, it got pretty dumb by the
Still, the fic does begin with Diamond Tiara hunting down and murdering a bad OC, so it's not like the itch goes unscratched or anything. And while I was disappointed that the OC parodies presented here were fairly generic rather than mocking ponyfic-specific tropes (well, we've got a black alicorn... but it's mostly generic bad OC stuff), Aquaman did hit the nail on the head with those flaws he did show.
Recommendation: If you go in expecting high-octane absurdity/slasherism, this will disappoint. But if you're looking for something that's a bizarre trip with some parody elements, you might want to check this out.