It's the last week of school, and it seems like every day I'm finding out something new that I either need to do before class lets out on Friday, or that needs to get done before I can get on with Summer. Somehow, the end of this year is a lot more hectic than last year. That's not how this is supposed to go; it's supposed to get easier as you go!
So, yeah, mini-reviews below the break. Enjoy three short thoughts on three short fics while I go back to stressing.
Heart is Where the Home is, by Skywriter
Zero-ish spoiler summary: In the wake of a home-destroying tragedy, a moment of reflection.
A few thoughts: Barely scraping in over the thousand word mark, this is more of a setup and twist than it is a complete story. That said, it was for me a much-needed bit of contextualization for Twilight's tree getting blown to smithereens--the setup provides the needed gravity, while the ending puts that gravity in context.
Recommendation: Although it's not a meta story in the sense of having a bunch of fandom references or fourth-wall breaking, this story functions almost entirely on a meta level; it's about how people reacted to the library being blasted. I only really recommend it to people looking for something to sate their need react after watching Tirek do his thing--for anyone else, there's not really anything to read for but the twist, and while it's a nice one, it loses its punch without that meta reaction--but for them, consuming this is likely to be a quick but satiating.
Groundbreaking, by Augiedog
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Twilight finds out how libraries are grown in an earth pony village.
A few thoughts: Like Heart, this story was pushed out immediately following Libraryageddion. This is a complete story, which can function independent of the fandom zeitgeist post-episode, but it does show some flaws which I attribute to the speed of production. Granny Smith is a bit uneven--at times, her dismissal of non-earth pony magic seems more like outright racial hostility, which I'm pretty sure Augie didn't intend (a casually racist Granny Smith might be interesting to explore in another fic, but not in this one, focused as it is on getting Ponyville put back together), and the racial dynamics of the event as a whole don't seem to support the message of mending and making right which the fic is premised on as well as could be hoped.
Recommendation: Still, as a slightly sweet slice of life fic, this delivers, and brings a pleasing dose of earth pony power headcanon along to boot. Folks looking for something along those lines won't be disappointed.
Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies, by Bad Horse
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Uncle Bad Horse tells children's stories (two, as of this review). Of course, being a sarcastic, cynical ass, they have a special flavor to them.
A few thoughts: When did twisted fairy tales (and the like) become a thing? I have the impression that they were something that started in the 80s or 90s, but for all I know comic takedowns of such stories have been common forever.
Anyway, this is Bad Horse's take on the genre, and it's a pretty good one. The narrator's voice is vivid and oozes negligent, almost benign contempt. My only real problem with these is that they have absolutely nothing to do with ponies; more than that, the narrator's tone, hobbies, and life view being so totally at odds with the show for no comic gain (there's no humor (to this point, anyway) mined from the idea that BH is such an ill fit for the world in which he supposedly lives) that it can easily drive one to distraction. For the two stories I read, I mentally replaced "dam" with "woman," along with a few similarly small internal edits, and found my enjoyment radically improved as a result.
Recommendation: If "not pony enough" isn't a thing that bugs you overmuch, by all means check this out. Even if it normally does, you might want to give this a look if you particularly like bedtime story snarking--it's really so un-pony that it's easy to ignore the occasional suggestion that it might, in fact, be an MLP fic. If you are specifically looking for some ponyfic, though, this is definitely one to steer clear of.