Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 66

...On the subject of writeoffs, it occurs to me that there are a bunch of stories I read in write-off form which were published to FiMFiction later, and which I haven't reviewed.  So today, I thought I'd hit a few of those!  Come see what I thought of the gussied-up published versions of a few of those stories, below the break.

Kiss by Wire, by Bachivellian

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  On Hearts and Hooves day, Derpy gets a call at work--from a phone that's not supposed to ever ring.

A few thoughts:  "Sweet" is definitely the word for this story.  It's light a light, cutesy jaunt through an incompetently-executed Valentine's H&H-day surprise.  What the author does well here is to make the story feel effortless; although it may not have a lot of heft as a piece of literature, everything about this fic possesses a breezy charm--this is sweetness, given stenographic form.

Recommendation:  At barely 1000 words of "sweet," this isn't for anyone seeking a dense or thought-provoking read.  However, folks looking for something to put a quick smile on their face would be well-advised to give this a try.

Applejack Goes to Magic School for Some Reason, by JasonTheHuman

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A young Applejack inexplicably gets invited to apply to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns... and improbably is credited with being the greatest young wizard in generations.

A few thoughts:  In my review of the original version, I said that, "This is 'stupid comedy' done right," and the published version changes nothing about that.  This is a story that gleefully tromps all over canon while passing the so-called Idiot Ball about willy-nilly, and is premised entirely on nobody realizing that AJ is a unicorn because she never takes her hat off.  It's silliness through and through, but what makes it work is that it's not only unfailingly funny, but that it also possesses a twisted but consistent internal logic; as long as you accept its premise (which makes no sense), it makes perfect sense.

Recommendation:  This story requires of the reader that they be willing to "just go with it."  Unlike too many stories with the Random tag, though, it's still worth reading if you're willing to spot it that, and are looking for an absurd, semi-sensical bit of comedy.

Dirty Prancing, by PresentPerfect

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A young Chrysalis and a red-and-black Alicorn Lord of Dance must win a dancing competition because reasons, using the free-flowing style of the local proletariat.

A few thoughts:  This is something of an odd duck.  It's part dramedy, part trope deconstruction, part crackfic (especially the ending), and all Dirty Dancing homage.  The expanded FiMFic version smooths a few important things out, but on a fundamental level this story still isn't for me; it's not particularly a comedy, nor is it particularly serious (this is the rare story that earns at least four of its story tags), but shifts between tones in such a way that it's often hard to tell if something's supposed to be a joke or a dramatic turn until several paragraphs of waiting to see if the punchline drops have passed--and even then, a few come back and surprise you.

Recommendation:  While this story may not be "for me," I would still recommend it to readers who like their otherwise serious stories sprinkled with crack jokes--some direct, some meta-.


  1. I have been blessed by the generosity of Chris! ALL HAIL! >:V

  2. Thanks for the review, Chris! I can die a happy man now. :)