Friday, October 30, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 103

Happy day-before-Halloween, everyone!  In honor of the day's modern branding, let's talk about some darkfics, shall we?  My short-form thoughts on three short stories, below the break.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 132: A Night (to Try) to Remember

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

One of the kids I work with has recently taken to calling me "Mr. Chuck Norris," asserting that Chuck and I are perfect doppelgangers (for those of you now trying to picture me as him: we aren't).  I'm choosing to take it as a compliment for the time being, though I can't help but think that the subtle implication might be that I look like I'm 70-odd years old.  Whatever; I'll take a comparison to the quintessential Texas Ranger any day.  On an unrelated note, have a review!  My thoughts on zaptiftun's A Night (to Try) to Remember, below the break.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 102

You know, it might just be because I was slightly pretty drunk by the time I got home on Saturday night and watched the newest episode, but I really liked Hearthbreakers.  Lots of cute humor; Pinkie's family were all one-note characters, but they were all amusing notes, none of which the episode sat on too long before moving to a different character.  And seeing a bunch of family traditions is neat!  Also, quakers, light shipping (poor Cheerilee...), and other good stuff.  The only downside?  No Carrot Top!

She shared her Hearth's Warming with Fluttershy, which introduced its own set of complications

Anyway, here are some short reviews of things I've recently read.  Check it out below the break!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 131: Canterlot Cantata

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

We've got some reviewers hitting milestones, lately!  City of Doors is going to get to 500 review posts today, most with three to six fics in them, while PresentPerfect just hit 2600 total fics reviewed.  Me?  Well, you can see the number of Fandom Classics up at the top of the post.  But when you add in another 150-ish 6-star reviews, plus probably 350 or so fics in the mini-reviews, and... well, okay, I'm nowhere near the raw numbers of those two.  Still, the only way to catch up is to review, right?  So here comes one more!  Head below the break for my take on Ringcaat's Canterlot Cantata.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Conclusive Proof that I'm Not a Time Traveler from the Future

As you probably already know, if you aren't stumbling upon this site for the first time (and if you are: hello!), I'm one of the curators of the Royal Canterlot Library.  Being a curator there is pretty straightforward: when one of us reads something amazing, we recommend it to the group, and if the rest of the crew thinks they're right about its amazingness, we feature it.

But we generally only feature an author once--we don't want to just keep featuring the same half-dozen authors' stories in a never-ending cycle, do we?  And this can lead to a tragic problem: sometimes, an author writes something really amazing after we've already featured them!  More than once, I've gotten ready to type up a fic recommendation, only to realize that the story I just read is by someone we've already spotlighted.  So today, we're taking a look at stories I read, loved... and wasn't able to suggest to the RCL.  Find them, below the break!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 101

Not much to say about today's episode; it was what it was, which (in the context of "episodes of MLP") is a pretty good thing to be.  Better throw the obligatory Carrot Top screenshot out there, though:

She'd have been more concerned if Pinkie wasn't wearing a Groucho mask, frankly

Also, how do you make a "baby carrots" joke and then not use Carrot Top?  Come on, she was made for that joke.  Literally; she's got a bushel of carrots on her butt!  This was her moment!

Ah, well; no episode is perfect.  Anyway, let's do some fanfic reviews!  Get 'em below the break.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 130: Things Better Left Unseen

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

It's starting to get cold out, again.  I'm not a fan of coldness in principal; one of the greater disappointments of my life was discovering that not only does global warming pose a potentially catastrophic threat within my lifetime, but that it probably won't even make cold winters go away.  Even my silver lining, stripped away.

...Okay, enough about that, though.  Let's talk about my review of Take's Things Better Left Unseen, conveniently located below the break.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 129: Just Words

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

If you've never heard of Kahoot, it's a site that lets you design quizzes for a class of students to do competitively on computers or ipads--it tracks score based on both speed and number of questions correct, and I've used it regularly in the past for review activities (nothing like a little competition to get kids to pay attention!).  The site also lets the students pick their own names (which the teacher can delete if they're inappropriate) each time they do a new quiz, which is where this all ties into MLP.  My rule is that students need to use their real first names, but can add emojis or other stuff if they want to; as long as I can tell who they are from the name.  When the students in one of my classes started entering their names for a review quiz today, one boy put in "[name] Scootaloo," which I don't think any of the other kids picked up on.  Put a smile on my face, it did--guess he must have liked the latest episode.  Wouldn't have pegged him for a ponyfan, either, but then again, this fandom's been all about defying demographic expectations from the start, hasn't it?

Anyway, enough about work; how about some fanficcing?  Click down below the break for my review of Device Heretic's Just Words.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Episode Talk: S5E18, Crusaders of the Lost Mark

I don't normally do this in back-to-back weeks... but then, MLP doesn't usually have two episodes in a row that I have a bunch of opinions about.  As always, this isn't a comprehensive review; think of it as "a bunch of Chris's opinions on what he watched."  So go get some slightly-late opinions, below the break!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 100

And now, your totally-unwanted fantasy football update: my team's actually doing pretty well, so far!  Mostly, that's the result of getting lucky on a couple of late-round draft choices; Larry Fitzgerald and Devonta Freeman have unexpectedly been a couple of the best players in fantasy over the last few weeks, and I'm reaping the benefits.  I'd love to say I grabbed them because I'm a savvy drafter... but given that my second-round pick was LeSean McCoy, I probably shouldn't pretend I know what I'm doing.

Enough about things you aren't interested in, though; on to fanfiction!  Short-form reviews of stuff I recently read, below the break.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 128: Flitter

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

Hey, a changeling story!  It's been a while since I've done one of these for a Fandom Classic post.  In fact, you'd have to go back to June to find the last changeling-centric review, and that was of a parody fic; the last review of a serious changeling story was from the beginning of May.

I mention this to pre-empt anyone tempted to glance at the cover art and mutter, "Oh great, another changeling fic."  Say what you will about the rest of the fandom, I try my best to vary the subject matter of the fics I review.  Now, head on down below the break for my thoughts on Nyerguds' Flitter.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Episode Talk: S5E17, Brotherhooves Social

I've idly mused on trying to brew my own beer in the past, so for my birthday, my sister got me an everything-included beer-making starter kit; it comes with all the equipment, mash and yeast for your first batch, etc.  So this weekend, I thought I'd get that first batch going... only to discover that the one thing that isn't included is a handful of chestnuts, which you're supposed to boil with the mash.  I don't even know where to get chestnuts; do they sell them at grocery stores?  Eh, I'll figure it out next week; if I'm lucky, I'll have home brew in time for Thanksgiving, at least.

But hey, Saturday wasn't a total bust; at least we got another new episode!  Click below to see my slightly-delayed thoughts on it.  As usual, I'm saving the true analysis for the legions of episode reviewers who enjoy doing that; what follows are more "reactions and things that caught my eye."  Onward!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 99

It's getting cold, and that can only mean one thing: it's time to get raking!  I have two maple trees in my yard, but they're different species, and one starts dropping leaves just about the time the other has finished its pre-winter molt, so raking season for me lasts upward of six weeks.  Hey, at least it's better than shoveling snow, right?  Anyway, mini-reviews below the break; go find out what I read recently, and what I thought of it!