Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 87: Letters From a Friend at the End of the World

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

For those of you who can't get enough Chris in your life (and really, who can?), Nekonyancer recently interviewed me about my stories and reviews.  You can listen to the interview here; I apologize in advance if I sound like a stumbling idiot and retroactively destroy the beautiful Morgan-Freman-cum-English-gentleman voice you presumably read all of my posts in.  Nekonyancer did a nice job of editing together my babblings into something semi-coherent, and it was both incredibly fun and a huge honor to get to do it.

But if that sort of thing doesn't interest you, don't fret!  You can still check out my review of Alexmagnet's Letters From a Friend at the End of the World, below.

Monday, December 29, 2014

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 16)

It's the week after Christmas, and that means it's time to take a look at that new crop of books I found under the tree!  Well, that I found in boxes on my doorstep and then placed under the tree until the 25th, anyway--you know what I mean.

The point is, let's take a look at some of the non-ponyfiction that I'm currently in the middle of reading.  As always, below the break.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

If you're not a Christmas person, have a happy whatever else you'd like, too.  Honest, I'm not picky.

But whether you're celebrating Christmas, something else, or nothing at all, I'd like to take a moment this season to ask you: tell the people who matter most to you that you love them.  Phone call, in person, video chat--whatever's most realistic, based on proximity and what have you.  But the important part is, actually say the words "I love you" to them.

This is something I make a point to do every Christmas, because I don't say things like that very often.  Probably, I don't say them enough; reserve is a good thing in many situations, but sometimes it stops you from letting people know how important they are to you.  So this time every year, I spend a few days getting ahold of my closest friends and family, and saying telling them I love them.

Some of them think it's sweet, while others think I'm pretty silly.  But it's something that each of them deserves to hear.

I'm sure that you--each of you--has someone who you love.  Maybe it's a bunch of people, or maybe it's just one.  But if you're like me, haven't said those words to them in a while.  Really said them, not just a mumbled "loveyabye" at the end of a conversation (if that, even).  It's something simple, but amazingly powerful, that you can do for the most important people in your world.

I'm with family for the week, so I'm taking the rest of the week off to celebrate.  Reviews are back on Monday.  Until then, may your hearts be light.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Numbers Game

If you've published any stories on FiMFiction, then you probably have a pretty good idea what your story's statistics are.  You know, views, up/downvotes, total comments, that sort of thing.  Maybe you obsessively track every time one of those numbers goes up; maybe you're not quite that attentive.  But either way, you could probably say, or give a very close estimate, what those numbers look like on your biggest story or stories.

I want to talk about those numbers for a minute, because I think sometimes context gets lost.  Click down below the break to read what I think about all those stats, in a slightly more rambly-than-usual format.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 63

There's a special kind of fear one can only feel in a classroom full of young students: the moment when all the kiddies suddenly gasp and shriek while you were in the middle of saying something, and you have an instant of panic while you try to remember if you just accidentally let slip a curse word or sexual innuendo.  Then you find out that you just have to add "about a week ago" to the list of phrases that modern music has ruined.

Kids, man.  Anyway, a few short reviews of stuff I've recently read, below the break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 86: Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight

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

Writeoff's over, and that means everyone's putting their stories up!  I'd link to them, but there's seriously a dozen or so that are already on FiMFic, so I'm only going to link to my favorite story out of the group (and 4th place finisher), Baal Bunny's Funatics.  Go read that if you need something tooth-rottingly sweet in your life.

Or go read my incisive, hard-hitting review of meme-asaurus's Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight, down below.  Can't go wrong either way!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 85: The Dresden Fillies: Strange Friends

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

I just noticed that a couple of my fanfics have recently hit milestones.  Going Up passed 500 upvotes, and Wyrmlysan became my fifth fanfic to make 1000 total views.  Not shocking numbers, at least compared to the "big boys" of the fandom, but they always make me boggle when I stop and think about them: a thousand people is a lot, and even if that includes repeat views and/or people who didn't finish the story, it's still a stunning number of people to have shared something so personal with (well, okay, some stories are more personal than others, but all of those stories are ones that feel personal to me).

Speaking of "big boys," how about a story with a very respectable 15,199 views and 1656 upvotes, as I write this?  Click down below the break for my review of psychicscubadiver's The Dresden Fillies: Strange Friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 62

I'm about two-thirds done reading the writeoff fics as I type this, and they're the usual entertainingly mixed bag.  There's a wrinkle this time, though; at the end, there's also going to be a "guess who wrote which stories" side-vote, and I am absolutely clueless.  Even for the authors who entered whom I think of as having a fairly distinct style (Augiedog Baal Bunny, Bad Horse) or who I figured I could just slot as the author of whatever my favorite story was (Cold in Gardez), I'm still drawing blanks.  Eh, maybe the easy ones are all bunched up at the end.

Anyway, I've also read a few non-writeoff things recently, to clear the palate a bit.  Have my thoughts on those things, below the break.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Bunch of Stories to Read and Review

The most recent writeoff has just finished its writing phase as this post goes up, and I spent much of my weekend hashing out an entry.  I have a lot to say about this story, but since basically everything I want to say would compromise its anonymity to one degree or another, it's just going to have to wait.

But you don't have to wait!  If you're interested in reading a collection of stories based on the prompt "behind closed doors," the entries are available here.  You can just skim through and find a few that interest you if you want, or you can tackle the lot (as I type this, three hours before the deadline, there have been 12 stories submitted; that number always grows in the final moments) and vote for your favorites.  Also, don't forget to drop by the discussion thread to check out peoples' reviews and comments on the stories, or to offer up some of your own if the fancy strikes you.  I'll hopefully be posting my own comments in that thread within the next few days, if that's the sort of thing you want to watch for.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 84: Do Changelings Dream of Herding Sheep?

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

Well, it's December, which means it's officially close enough to Christmas that I don't feel obligated not to bake Christmas cookies anymore!  Luckily I'm one of those people who can eat sugar all day and not gain a pound, or else I'd double in weight every holiday season.  Nobody needs two Chris's in one body, after all.

Unrelated to the above, but very related to the post title: click on down below the break to check out my review of John Perry's Do Changelings Dream of Herding Sheep?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 61

So, how about that new FiMFic update, eh?  Recommended stories, and a new search thingamabob.  A couple of thoughts:

1) For the recommended stories, I like the idea, and I don't mind losing the "other stories by the same author" bit on the side; I figure if someone likes one of my stories enough to want to read another, they'll probably do so whether or not the story is actually there on the side of the screen when they're finished.  Not sure how the recommendations are set up, but I noticed that most of my fics link back to at least one other story by me--I don't know if that's a feature or a bug, but either way.  I'm also not sure how much I trust those recommendations at the moment, but if nothing else, it's got some potential.

2) I know I'm not the first to notice, but how am I supposed to search for blogs with the new search feature?  That's not an idle complaint; I used that functionality just a couple of days ago to find PresentPerfect's review of Forever Young, for example.  We'll see if something pops up to replace it, I suppose.  The interface for searching fics looks nice, though.

Anyway, on to story reviews!  Short takes, below the break.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 83: Forever Young

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

Hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving!  If not, consider pulling a "take two" this week; it's not like there's ever a bad reason to get together with the people you love and overeat.  Okay, I'm sure there are plenty, but you know what I mean.  Late Thanksgiving is better than never-Thanksgiving!

Speaking of things you're all thankful for, how about some reviews?  Don't deny it, you know you love them.  Get my thoughts on Hyperexponential's Forever Young, below the break.