Friday, December 30, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 165

My holiday continues apace!  Today, even as you read this, perhaps, I've got a friend's bachelor party to go to.  It's sure to be an exciting, scandalous affair; our big plans involve learning a new tactical battle boardgame that one of the other guys is bringing.  We're a bunch of wild and crazy guys, I tell you.  And right on the heels of that will be New Years, which I typically celebrate with... more games with friends.  Sometimes we don't even make it to midnight, anymore.

Man, I'm getting old.

Whatevs (see?  Youth-speak!  Still got it).  Mini-reviews, below the break.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 194: It's Not Like I'm Deaf

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

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.  Well, the first one, anyway; I suppose New Year's is also a "holiday weekend" this year.  Enjoy it, too!  But first, enjoy my review of Arreis of Avalon's It's Not Like I'm Deaf, below the break.

Friday, December 23, 2016

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

OMPR will resume its normal mix of reviews, commentary, and Carrot Top on Wednesday the 28th.  Until then, I'll be spending Christmas with my family.

I urge you all to take the time to visit or call the people who matter most in your life--whoever they are--and make sure they know just how important they are to you.  A sincere, genuine "I love you" is more powerful than most people believe, and it's not said nearly often enough.  Tell those you love that you love them.  I promise, no matter how awkward the words can be (and I know, they can be awkward; I was a teenage boy too cool for sincere emotions once, too), they're not ones you'll look back upon with regret.

Merry Christmas, to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 164

There's just enough time for some more holiday-themed fics before the actual holidays are upon us!  But first, take a moment to appreciate this: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer rewritten as an Anglo-Saxon alliterative poem, plus an English translation!  The best thing I've seen in a while, it is.

Now, to stick with the theme ("internet fiction about hooved animals at Christmas Hearth's Warming"), here are some holiday fics!  In fact, let's do romance-tagged holiday fics while we're at it, because why the heck not?  Check out my thoughts, below the break.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 193: Post Negative Comments Only

The author didn't give any cover art, so I get to pick for him!  Let's be honest, there was only ever one choice of subject material, relevance to the story itself be damned.  Oh, also: to read the story, click the image or follow this link.

Because of Christmas and New Year's both falling on a Sunday this year, "winter break" for our district is only going to include six days off, instead of the usual seven or, most often, eight.  I know it shouldn't matter to me--winter break is still the same number of days in absolute terms, and the school year involves a set number of school days regardless--but it still feels like I'm being cheated, somehow.  Oh well; my review is Estee's Post Negative Comments Only, below the break.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 163

By now you've probably already seen someone else blog about it, but Bad Horse is doing a survey, and he's looking to get 1000 responses.  It's maddeningly vague in places and only mentions me by name once (I mean, come on), but you should still be a sport and take it for him.  Details here.

Now, let's get on to the mini-reviews!  More Hearth's Warming stuff today, because the windchill is -30 and It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas.  Get it below the break.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 17th

GUESS WHO GOT HOME TODAY TO FIND A RAPIDLY GROWING POOL OF STANDING WATER IN THE BASEMENT?

Spoiler alert: it was me.  Frozen pipes suck, especially when they freeze while you're at work.  Luckily, it takes more than a plumbing emergency to stop the OMPR-ing!  Head down below the break to see my thoughts on some first sentences.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 192: Evil Belle

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

Thanks to those of you who checked out A White Heart's Warming over the past week.  It seems to have gotten a very positive reception so far (I'll go ahead and jinx it by saying that it currently has no downvotes--a first for me!), and apparently even made the feature box at some point.  Also, any of you who have it on your RiL list can drop by and pick up your thanks once you've read it.

But now, let me take a moment to drop the author hat and put on the reviewer one.  My thoughts on Akumokagetsu's Evil Belle, below.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 191: Fire Spores

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

This weekend is the final regular-season bout for our fantasy football league before the playoffs begin.  I'm 9-4 on the season, but I'll need to either win my last game to take my division's crown (and its automatic playoff berth), or if I lose, have two other games go right in order to take the wildcard spot.

...Meanwhile, another division is preparing to send a team that will quite possibly finish the season 6-7-1 to the postseason.  If I don't make the playoffs and a team with a losing record does, I will bitch about it all week.

But for now, let's put aside talk of fantasy football, and instead talk about that other thing we do around here that involves assigning semi-arbitrary numbers to something with only a tenuous real-world basis: fanfiction reviews!  My thoughts on applecinnamonspice's Fire Spores, below the break.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 190: Fun With Changelings

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

In case you don't read Oglaf--whether because you've never heard of it, you don't like it, or because it has way too many uncensored penises--I want to point you to this week's strip.  If I lived in a high-magic fantasy world, I would totally worship a god whose spheres included "proofreading," and whose priesthood counted among their duties "critiquing other deities' mythologies."  Especially if those scroll-hats came standard; they look cozy and warm, two things I highly approve of in hats.

(Just don't go on to the second page of that comic unless you want to see way too many uncensored penises.  How many is "way too many," you ask?  WELL APPARENTLY IT'S FOUR or, well, two, but twice each)

But now, let's move on from penises entirely, and instead talk about lesbians!  That's right, it's Scratchtavia time; head down below the break for my review of of Shukumei's Fun With Changelings.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another New Fic By Me



A young Sunset Shimmer, spending her first Hearth’s Warming in Canterlot as Princess Celestia’s personal student, comes to the terrible realization that there’s not going to be any snow for the holiday.

She decides to do something about it.

*****

That's right, the seasonal story I promised I'd clean up and post (you do read the above-the-review blurby bits of my posts, don't you?) is here!  I'm very happy with the way it came out, thanks in no small part to the excellent editing and advice offered by Pascoite.  Muchos kudos!

If you're interested in a short story about Sunset and Celestia's first Hearth's Warming as student and mentor, give it a look!  And please, let me know what you think, either here or in the story comments.  And, if you want to know a bit more about how this story came to be, check out my "how it got made" post on FiMFiction.  I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 162

It's December, and you all know what that means, right?

It's time for some Hearth's Warming stories!  Christmas is great, and Christmas-analogues are great by association, I reckon.  So go get a few seasonal reviews, below the break.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 16th

Good lines from mini-reviews edition!  Usually, I take First Sentences posts from semi-recent Fandom Classics, and mix good, bad, and "fine" firsts together without much concern.  Today, we're doing something different: I'm going back through some of the more recent mini-reviews, and highlighting some first sentences that I thought were particularly effective, for several very different reasons.  As such, there's also a different format today: rather than a rating, I'll give the line, and some thoughts on what makes it effective.  Click down below the break for some firsts!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 161

Hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving!  Now that you've had a few days to recover from your turkey-induced coma (a joke I'm pretty sure I'm the first person to ever make), here are a few reviews of stories you might consider reading.  Check them out, below the break.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 189: What if: Rarity from The Three Sisters met with Chrysalis

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

It is surprisingly difficult to get young children with limited English and little cultural background on America to grasp the subtle differences between a chicken and a turkey.  In case you were curious.  The Thanksgiving lesson was heavy on "not 'bawk bawk,' but 'gobble gobble,'" and other related trivia.  Anyway, with the seasonal note out of the way, let's move on!  Head down below the break for my review of Wanderer D's What if: Rarity from The Three Sisters met with Chrysalis.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 160

It's a two-day week!  I love Thanksgiving for many reasons, but not least among them is the two-day school week.  It's like you go straight from Monday to Friday, with none of those other days in-between.  Truly, this is the way the weekday was always meant to be.

Now head down below the break, and I'll tell you all what fanfictions I've been reading recently, and what I thought of them.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 188: Dear Idiot

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

Every time I see something of The Descendant's on FiMFic, it makes me sad because he's been gone going on half a year and, given his level of involvement and all-around friendliness, I have trouble imagining that he just got bored and left the community.  I really hope I'm wrong; I want him to be happy and healthy.

In any case, he left behind plenty of great fics (and several more I've mini-reviewed).  Is this old (circa 2012) piece be up to his usual high standard?  Click below the break to find out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How I Picked the Fics I Picked When I Picked Fics

Go on, say that ten times fast.

Now, it's no secret how I pick stories for the Fandom Classics: people recommend them to me (which you can do anytime! I have plenty to get through the next couple of years, but more suggestions are always welcome, and if several people are asking about the same fic, it's more likely to make it to the head of the list), and I keep a list of what the next five-ten fics will be based on spacing out genres, lengths, authors, and the like.

But what about the stuff for mini-reviews?  Well, it's a mix.  Some of it is stuff that's been recommended to me, but doesn't fall under even a very generous definition of "Fandom Classic."  Sometimes it's something I see another reviewer recommend, or just talk about it a way that piques my interest.  And sometimes, it's just something that grabs my attention on its own.  So for the last couple of mini-reviews, I kept track of how, exactly, I came across each story, why I decided to read it, and what the results were.  Click below the break for a look at how Chris picks "Chris Fics!"

And say that one ten times fast, too.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 187: The Parliament of Dreams

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

I'm ready for Thanksgiving, now.  I realize it's still a week and a half away, but my family and a couple of friends from out of town will all be around, and I'm looking forward to seeing them.  It'll be nice.

To help us pass the time, here's another review!  Click down below the break for my thoughts on Wheller's The Parliament of Dreams.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 159

Forgive me for not having much to say up here.  Instead, I'll save my saying-things-ness for below the break, wherein you will find ensconced several reviews of the mini- variety.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Your Post Election Safe Space

I'm setting this post up before the results have started to come in.  Regardless of your leanings, I'm sure some things didn't work out the way you'd have wished this cycle.  Maybe the wrong person is president.  Maybe they're facing a hostile senate.  Maybe your school board got taken over by flat earthers.  Whatever the case, take a moment to breathe deeply, and remember that it could've been worse.  America's been through worse (it's true!  Remember that one time we had a civil war so fierce and protracted that one out of every fifty people in the country died fighting it?), and no matter what, we'll make it through this too.

Carrot Top, you are not helping right now.

Regular posts resume Friday; for now, enjoy some calming Carrot Top cuteness.  It's all going to be okay.

That's about how I look the morning after an election.  It's legitimately uncanny.


WARNING: Comment section may be less than 100% safe.  Stay up here with the cute pictures if you don't want to debate politics.  If you do want to debate politics, though, by all means keep scrolling.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

One More Day-Of Reminder


Go vote!  Today's the day!  I just did, and it was awesome!  I got a sticker like the one above and everything!

Even if you have somehow managed to avoid having strong opinions on the presidential race (in which case, I don't know if I should be impressed by your ennui, or disturbed by your inability to identify any salient distinguishing factors between Clinton, Trump, and your third party options), there are downballot races and/or ballot initiatives that you almost certainly should take a chance to peruse.  Not sure what those are?  Ballotpedia is just one resource you can use to look up your sample ballot, though the fact that it also gives brief summaries of the candidates and issues for each vote you'll have the opportunity to make, and can help you find your polling place, makes it a convenient all-in-one prep tool.

As my high-school government (we had "government" instead of civics at my high school, for some reason) teacher liked to say: "not voting isn't a vote for none of the above, it's a vote for any of the above."  Take the time to get to your polling place today, if you haven't already sent a mail-in or absentee ballot.  And, you know, are an eligible US voter.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 186: Couchtavia

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

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!  Unless you're not a US citizen, in which case you're excused.  Or if you're under 18.  Or if you've already cast an early/absentee ballot, in which case, don't vote a second time; that's pretty illegal, and it'll be hard to keep up with OMPR when you're in prison.  But everyone else, definitely get out there!  And as a preemptive reward for doing your civic duty, head down below the break to check out my review of shortskirtsandexplosions' Couchtavia.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 158

So, as part of an arts grant that we won, the drummer from The Foo Fighters came in to our school today!  An if your first thought after hearing that was "how many second and third graders who've only been in the country for a year or two even know who The Foo Fighters are?" then the answer is "exactly as many as you'd suspect."  Still, kinda neat, right?  Right.

So, in the spirit of minor celebrity, here are some mini-reviews of stories by ponyfamous authors.  Check them out, below the break.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 15th

I didn't see any pony costumes for Halloween this year :(  I kind of assumed I would, not that I'm at an elementary school, but the closest I got was a generic unicorn.  Ah well, seeing a FiM costume may have always made me smile in previous Halloweens, but it hardly ruins my day not to see one.

But now, on to first sentences!  Some story starters and what I think of them, below.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 185: A FLEet|ng LIght |n thE DArknEsS

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

Happy Halloween!  Try not to get your house TPd; I don't know what the weather's like where all y'all live (I assume "all y'all" live together somewhere, the better to discuss my reviews amongst yourselves.  Good planning on all y'all's part!), but around here we've got rain on the way; soggy toilet paper is even less fun to remove than the dry kind.

But you aren't here to talk about homeownership; you're here for fanfics!  And in the spirit of the season, you can head down below the break to see my thoughts on Flashgen's A FLEet|ng LIght |n thE DArknEsS.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 157

It's almost Halloween, so this seems like a good time to review some dark and/or spooky fics.  If all goes according to plan, I'll have A Fleeting Light With Funny Characters I'm Not Going To Copy-Paste Right Now out on the 31st proper, but if you need something to hold you over until then, click down below for reviews of a few other such stories!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 184: The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog

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

It's review time!  That magical part of your day when I distill 130,000 words worth of narrative into a few pithy paragraphs, the better for you all to decide if you're going to read them or not.  I have the power.

...Well, not much power, since it's still you that gets to decide what you will or won't be reading.  Nevertheless, I'll try to use what marginal amounts I may have for good and not for evil.  Now, go check out my review of Rust's The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog, below!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Episode Talk: S6E25-26, To Where and Back Again

Okay, now that I've had a couple of days to bask in the goodwill borne of longevity, it's time to squander it all by complaining about the show!  That, or praising the parts you (yes, you) didn't like.  Which will it be this week?  You'll have to read to find out!  Only one thing is certain when Chris starts talking episodes: there will be at least one screenshot of Carrot Top.

Here we see Carrot Top and Berry Punch chatting as Starlight and Trixie return to Ponyville.  Berry's in the middle of describing to Carrot Top how, while walking home from the bar last night, she observed a swarm of changelings descend upon the town, abduct several of the community's most prominent members, and fly off to parts unknown carrying the screaming Twilight and company and leaving behind several of their own number in disguise.  Carrot Top, in turn, observes that changelings aren't exactly the most subtle of species, but that it could be worse.  The fact that Twilight's shenanigans rarely result in the town being destroyed these days is a step up, at least.  Both agree that the whole situation will probably sort itself out by tomorrow.

Later in the day, the two of them went to each of the "main six" in turn, demanding the fifty bits back which "we totally loaned you last week."  


Episode thoughts, below the break.

Friday, October 21, 2016

OMPR Turns Five

That's right, it was five years ago today that Six-Star Reviews Part 1 hit the interwebs.  You know, back when Equestria Daily was the hub of all things ponyfic, had star ratings, all that jazz.  Since then, I've reviewed round about 850 stories, (and that's not including anything from the RCL, which I joined just over three years ago, and nearly all of who's 150-odd stories I've also contributed to blurb-ifying) including about 350 long-form reviews of popular and/or well-known fanfics and, occasionally, their sequels.

That's kind of a lot.  And I've been doing it for kind of a long time.  And personally, I think that's pretty neat.  Back when I started, I had no idea I'd keep going this long, or that I would achieve some small measure of popularity in the process.

I only started doing reviews in the first place because the fandom had finally reached the point where reading everything that looked vaguely promising was no longer practical, and I had searched without success for someone doing reader-oriented reviews for a few months.  Eventually, I decided to give reviewing a try myself, threw together a .blogspot page, and went at it.  I had planned to do a dozen or two reviews, see if I enjoyed it, and then maybe go tell some friends... but to my surprise, ponyfic author Ezn discovered my blog on his own after only a couple of weeks (I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted to see some reviews!), and others soon followed.  Since then, as the show has proceeded from the start of Season 2 to the end of Season 6, as FiMFiction rose and became the hub of all things ponyfic, and as tens of thousands of authors have come and, sometimes, gone, I've been plunking away over here, three times a week.

I didn't assume there was ever going to be anyone besides me who cared about fanfic reviewing in the first place, but over the years a vibrant reviewer culture has developed flourished throughout the fandom, and being a part of that has been fun.

What comes next?  Well, more of the same, of course!  Why stop when you've got a good thing going?  My plan has always been to quit doing this when I stop enjoying it, and although there have been peaks and troughs to my enthusiasm, certainly, I've yet to start seeing this blog as a chore, rather than a hobby.  That day will come, sooner or later... but until then, it's full steam ahead.

Now, in celebration, I thought about linking together a few classic OMPR posts--but I don't really know how to define "classic OMPR posts."  Instead, I'm going to put together a set of links below the break to some my best lines--or at least, the ones that were most memorable to me.  Go take a look at a few of the quips, comparisons, explications, and what have you that I've bandied at various stories over the past five years.

And one more thing: thanks to all of you who've come by, who keep coming by, or who just dropped in once or twice and left a comment on my reviews.  Reviewing stories may be fun, but it's seeing other people agree, disagree, and discuss that's a real treat for me.  Also, it's definitely helped me improve--my early reviews may have the same format as my more recent ones, but I like to think I've gotten rather dramatically better at marshaling my thoughts, and laying them out in a manner both interesting and illuminating.  Thank you all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 183: Applejack's Bar

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

Why is the cover art so tiny?  I do not know.  It just is!  Savor this mystery, my friends; in a world where internet-capable cell phones are a thing, the list of true imponderables has become perilously slight.  Enjoy the opportunity to speculate inanely without any hope of finding the real answer.  Then, go down below the break to see my review of Alaborn's Applejack's Bar.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 156

Watched Top Bolt over the weekend.  It was okay.  I dunno, the last few episodes have mostly felt "okay" to me; they don't do any of the things I hate it when MLP episodes do, but they just feel generic and unexciting.  Is it the episodes' fault, or am I just suffering a little burnout?  I went ahead and rewatched May the Best Pet Win to make sure I still liked ponies, and yup, that's still an awesome episode.  Maybe it's just the rose-tinted goggles talking, I don't know.

Also, is it bad that my first thought about the Make-a-Wish OC was that even a (pre)dying wish isn't enough to get your OC into the Wonderbolts?  I felt bad right after I thought it, so probably, but man: Angel Wings is just abysmal in the air, to the point where you wonder how she got that far in the eval process in the first place.  Maybe Wings is also dying in-universe, and her attendance is the result of an in-universe Make-a-Wish expy?  It'd explain a lot.

Okay, I'm done speculating about the intersection between ponies and the terminally ill.  Head below the break for some ponyfic thoughts.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 182: Sun Princess

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

I don't talk about politics on this blog, but I think an article about political polling (and how a (mis)application of weighting is screwing up one poll's results) is fair game.  So, if you're interested in why the LA Times/USC polls have consistently had a sizable bias toward Trump compared to everyone else's polling, check out Nate Cohn's article.

Then, when you've gotten your statistics fix, head below the break for my review of Skywriter's Sun Princess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 155

I am tired and it's late (relatively speaking), so I'm not writing up an intro right now.  Just head on down below the break for the stories I cleverly typed up reviews of earlier!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 181: Scion of Chaos

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

So, I was planning to watch the S6 finale this weekend, since Britain got it early... but it turns out they only get it in low-def!  I watched the first couple of minutes, then decided I'd wait for the HD version in a few weeks.  Honestly, I have no idea how I managed in the early days of pony, when all we had was 480p--it's so blurry!

Instead, I watched a terribly predictable comedy of errors.  Hey, at least this episode they remembered that Applejack does, in fact, lie sometimes.  Though you'd think that if anyone was alert to her untruths, it would be her sister.  Not the most realistic of family dynamics, that.

But now, on to fanfiction!  My review of SilentBelle's Scion of Chaos, below.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 154

Expect some Episode Talking come Monday!  I haven't seen either part of the season finale as I type this, but I can't imagine I won't have things to say about it.  I'mma be sad if there's no Carrot Top, though; it feels like she pops up less and less frequently as the seasons pass, and if they can't find a way to work her into a two-parter... well, that's just sad.  Until then, though, here's some fanfiction to tide you over.  Click below for my thoughts!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 14th

One thing I've noticed, working at the elementary level: I see a lot more MLP-themed clothing and accouterments here than I ever did when I was at a middle school.  And I must say, it brightens my day a little bit to see Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Twilicorn, and... okay, it's actually just those three (do they even make Applejack backpacks?  If they do, you wouldn't know it from what these kids are wearing).  Still, brightening!

And while we're vaguely on the subject of "first impressions" (what you're wearing is certainly a first impression, after all), let's segue into some first sentence-examining.  Check it out, below!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 153

So, Pony Point of View.  I've said of a few other episodes this season (and I'm far from the only one) that they've had a S1-S2 vibe to them--you know, low-key, slice-of-life, learning-about-friendship stuff.  This is the first such episode, though, where I've felt that it really suffered for not being S1-S2.  These girls have known each other for years, now, and it seems like they ought to be more cognizant of one anothers' foibles by now.  I mean, if Rarity and AJ can't recite the "it's just Pinkie being Pinkie" over this sort of thing by now, how on earth are they still friends in the first place?  That, and I really missed having a letter to Celestia on this one; it would have been the perfect cheesy/sincere cap to this kind of cheesy/sincere lesson.

Also, has anyone else commented on how the bunyip has absolutely nothing to do with anything?  Twilight makes a big show of dragging everypony out to see that he's the one that sank the boat, but it's not like the girls were mad because the boat sank--they were mad because they each thought the other two had been acting like ponces, and that resolution (you know, the important one) had nothing to do with who, specifically, was to blame for the boat sinking.  I mean, Twilight makes this big deal out of something that's almost entirely tangential to the plot.

I probably sound like I hated the episode, but I didn't!  It was fine; above-average in terms of Chris-enjoyment relative to the past few seasons, certainly (best part was AJ recollecting Rarity's dialogue like a true fanfic writer--how often does she say "darling," again?).  But it felt like it could have been a home-run episode, but instead just plunked a respectable but unexciting single into center-left.  Oh well, on to fanfiction!  Some thoughts on some fics, below the break.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 180: Light the Sky on Fire

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

So, I guess Britain's getting their pony fix early?  The season finale will be airing there before we get it in America, it seems.  As someone who watches the episodes online (and, these days, doesn't always get to watch them right away anyway) this isn't a huge deal for me, but it does raise the question: assuming, as is probably safe, that I have OPINIONS I NEED TO SHARE about said finale, should I share them as soon I see the episodes, or wait until they air in the US?  I'll probably just follow everyone else's lead on this, but if you have any strong ideas about the whole matter, let me know.  Otherwise, let's get on to the reviewage!  My take on EquesTRON's Light the Sky on Fire, below.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 152

This isn't exactly related to anything, but I found this backstory for the Edmonton Oilers' new mascot both hilarious and entirely apropos.  Plus, anyone who enjoys reading too much into the lives of background ponies ought to be able to appreciate this, the sports equivalent.

But if you're the sort of person who can only take joy in tales based around fictional equines, then you're in luck!  Head down below the break for a few short reviews of ponyfic I've recently read.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 179: And the Temptress Came Unto Her

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

Excessively extravagant magic, mostly taking the form of lasers?  Lazy pop culture jokes and references?  Casual mindrape with no consequences more lasting than your run-of-the-mill comedy of errors?  Starlight Glimmer's very existence?  That's check, check, check, and a big ol' check.  So yeah, I wasn't really a fan of Every Little Thing She Does.  But hey, what's fanfiction for, if not to wash the taste of disappointing episodes out of your mouth?  Click below for my thoughts on Device Heretic's And the Temptress Came Unto Her.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 178: Veil of Thoughts

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

Sometimes I like to spoonerize titles, for my own marginal amusement, when I read them.  As such, it occured to me as I sat down to begin reading this story that "Theil of Voughts" would be an excellent name for a D&D character, or possibly a classical Greek philosopher.  Either/or, really.

Head below the break for some (marginally more substantive) commentary on Starwin's Veil of Thoughts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 151

For my birthday (which is actually today, but which, for logistical reasons, we celebrated yesterday), I had carrot cake.  I did this not for any best pony-related reason, but because I like carrot cake.  Still, as I was eating a second slice, the thought did cross my mind that, between it and the cider I was drinking with it, I was having a very agriculture-pony-themed dessert.

Anyway, mini-reviews, below the break!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Books, Episodes, and Dead Mice

A bit of a grab-bag today, as I have several things I want to say a little bit about, but none which really merit an independent post.  Also, this gives me an excuse to slap four different tags on a single post--there's no good reason why I want to do so (and I could get a couple more on there if I really wanted), but it amuses me, so we're doing that.  Click below the break for a little Episode Talk, some Talk About Actual Books, and my patented Ramblings!

(And if you can't guess what the fourth tag is, you haven't been following this blog nearly long enough)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 150

I have fifteen minutes to write this intro before I have to be out the door.  Luckily, I'm just forty seconds in, and I'm more than halfway done :P

Get some mini-reviews, below the break!

(I wrote them earlier.  They're not on a next-fifteen-minute deadline.)

(Dang, turns out when I said I was halfway done, I lied.  Okay, time to wrap this up.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 177: A Great and Powerful Heart

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

It's fantasy football season (which, conveniently enough, coincides with actual football season), and my team is off to a roaring start.  And by "roaring start," I of course mean that they got beat by a single freaking point this week to start the season 0-1.  It turns out that Tyrod Taylor was maybe not the best possible quarterback I could have drafted.

Okay, okay, I won't bore you with talk about my fantasy team.  Instead, I'll hopefully not-bore you with a review!  Click below for my thoughts on Deep Pond's A Great and Powerful Heart.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A New Story From Me




On one day each year, Celestia and Luna turn control of the sun and moon over to a group of the most powerful unicorns in Equestria. Twilight is finally old enough to take part.

But she can't.

*****

This is the story I wrote for the Princesses Not Included minific writeoff.  I was planning to put it in my minific collection, but a funny thing happened when I started sprucing it up: it grew!  And eventually, it ended up over 1000 words (actually, it ended up close to 1200 words, but after I went back at it and cut out the dead weight which I invariably let creep in if I'm not judicious with my pruning, it was much closer to 1000).  And, since that put it over FiMFic's minimum wordcount, I decided to go ahead and publish it separately.

If you haven't read the story yet, give it a try if it sounds interesting!  If you already read the writeoff version, this one is fundamentally the same--the tone and purpose of the story hasn't changed, and there aren't any new scenes.  What's been added is mostly smoothing out dialogue, and expanding on why this event is so important to Twilight.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy, and if you have any comments or criticisms, please let me know!  Here or on FiMFic, I deeply appreciate quality feedback.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 149

This week has been... a learning experience, let's say.  Working with 2nd-3rd grade newcomers (i.e. less than two years in America) is far different from middle school ESL, in basically every conceivable way, and I'm just doing my best not to drown.  This Thursday post is taking the place of both Wednesday and Friday, while I try to get my feet under me; hopefully I'll be a little more on-the-ball by next week, both at work and in my blogging.

Happily, though, this has been a really good week for me when it comes to positive reinforcement re. ponyfiction.  Titanium Dragon recommended two of my stories, which naturally brought out other people to say nice things about them as well.  With the exception of a few of the very best-known (and thus, most polarizing) fics, positive comments tend to beget more positive comments.  Couple with with my short story winning the most recent Writeoff, and I've been getting a steady stream of approval at a moment (well, fortnight) when I really needed it.  It's funny how sometimes, life gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

But enough about good news, let's get to the reviewin'!  Here're some mini-reviews to last you until Monday.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Episode Talk: S6E18, Buckball Season

Remember the good old days when Carrot Top was in virtually every episode?  Sometimes on screen two or more times simultaneously when they showed a big crowd?  Ah, for the good old days; nowatimes, we get her in a mere 1/3rd of all episodes (of course I counted).  But we got to see her this weekend, which is doubly nice!  Not only for the regular reason that Carrot Top is best pony, but also because work starts up on Tuesday, and I'm going to be starting at a new school, a new grade level, and... a new everything, basically.  Stressful times, these.

But before we get to good ol' CT, let's talk about the episode itself!  Click below for my mostly-disorganized impressions of Buckball Season.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 148

One thing I'll say for Dungeons and Discord: the way Spike and Mac giggle over the "Squizard" name as Discord looks on in frustrated bemusement was a perfect encapsulation of walking in on the kind of long-running in-jokes that D&D invariably fosters.  You show up at one of my games, the first thing that's going to happen when you try to introduce your character is that someone will ask if you're from Meeuhmee, and everyone will laugh, and you'll have no idea why that's supposed to be funny.  The rest of the episode was pretty blah for me, but I related to that moment hard.

You know what else I relate to?  Carrot Top!  So I decided to review a few Carrot-Top tagged stories for today--turns out there aren't a lot on FiMFiction, and I've already reviewed most of the one's that are written reasonably competently and aren't porn.  But here's a few more!  And all comedy, it turns out.  Anyway, get them below the break!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 176: Pretty In Pink

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

Well, it pulled me back in: this weekend, I decided to go ahead and write something for the Writeoff's minific (under 750 words) event.  As is usually the case, I felt pretty uncertain about my story when I submitted it... but I always feel that way right after I submit something.   Anyway, if you want to read some short fiction, here's the list: 69 entries is much more manageable than the 100+ entries they were getting last time I submitted something, and it's not like you have to read all of them to vote or participate.  In any event, go check it out, try to find some good ones, and maybe see if you can guess which of those 69 is mine!  If anyone guesses it right, I'll give them... I dunno, probably nothing.  If you want some particular fabulous prize, though, I suppose you could ask.  Couldn't hurt, right?

Anyway, from new stories by me to old stories that aren't!  My thoughts on DavidReinold's Pretty In Pink, below the break.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 147

That was a long review on Wednesday--relatively speaking, anyway.  Let's make up for it with a few short reviews--relatively speaking, anyway!  Check them out, below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 175: Salvation

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

I was going to say "get ready for the first mature(sex) fic on OMPR," but it turns out that that's not true!  It's actually the third, behind Project Horizons and Looking Lively.  Still, it's certainly the first story with significant erotic elements to come across my blog.  Is that a decision I'll immediately regret?  Find out below, in my review of Cold In Gardez's Salvation.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Episode Talk: S6E16, The Times They Are A Changeling

I haven't been talking about the episodes recently because there's been a distressing dearth of Carrot Top over the past few weeks.  In fact, the last three episodes have shown her exactly twice in total: both times were in Carts Before Horses, as she cheers the racers on.

Carrot Top and her little sister competed in the derby last year, but after a biased (and suspiciously Apple-centric) judging panel denied the Orange Arrow its rightful victory in the Most Traditional competition, she vowed never to have anything to do with the race, ever again.  On the day of the derby, her friend Lily dropped by and asked if she wanted to go.  After patiently listening for twenty minutes while Carrot Top detailed exactly why she would never be seen within a country mile of the stupid thing, Lily nonchalantly mentioned that Applejack and her sister were racing this year.  "Apropos of nothing," Lily added, putting her word-a-day calendar to good use, "did you know that some ponies go to races just to see the crashes?"

This may not have been Carrot Top's proudest moment, but it certainly gave her a chance to put her word-a-day calendar to use: shadenfreude wasn't something she woke up that morning expecting to be able to work into a conversation, but life's funny like that sometimes.

Saturday's episode didn't have any Carrot Top, either--but, seeing as it's the long-awaited "so, what's the deal with Changelings, anyway?" episode, I had a few things to say about it.  Head below the break for some straight-up opinionatin'.

Friday, August 19, 2016

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 13th

Recently, I decided--for no particular reason--that I ought to familiarize myself with the SCP Foundation--find out what it is, beyond "pseudo-creepypasta wiki."  Having done so, I have to wonder what the appeal is.

Don't get me wrong, I get the appeal of the shared universe and creatures/phenomena that define it, but what I don't get is the interest in the Foundation organization itself.  The entire setting is full of vastly more appealing groups.  There are deranged cultist organizations trying to bring about the end of the world, amoral (probably British) "procurers" who turn a hefty profit moving paranormal things through the underworld, evil clowns... you name it, there's a group that has a more interesting approach to these things than the Foundation's.  Heck, it's not even like the Foundation are the good guys to everyone else's villains (as best I can tell, the "good guys" are the UN-backed Global Occult Coalition, who have "ensure the survival of the human race," as their top priority)--this is a group that whose MO is "here's something incredibly dangerous, let's get some shmuck to poke it with a stick for us on penalty of death and see what happens, and if it doesn't kill him, we'll murder him at the end of the month anyway" (supposedly, those "D-class personnel" are all convicted murders off death row, but considering that 1) the Foundation seems to go through anywhere from a few score to a few hundred every month, and 2) pretty much all of them seem to be Westerners, I figure that's just a PR line).  I mean, it's not like there's nowhere to go with that, as the 2000+ entries plus various associated stories would attest, but... well, my point is that the Foundation strike me as assholes, and not even the exciting kind of assholes.  If I was one of those writers, I'd have more fun writing about the GOC trying to save humanity, or the Serpent's Hand trying to awaken some elder god, than about the Foundation.

That's just my opinion, though.  But hey, you're here for my opinion, right?  If so, good, because I've got a whole bunch more of 'em--this time, relating to ponyfic, and first sentences therefrom--below the break!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 146

I made a large pot of creamy wild rice soup yesterday afternoon, and I don't have anyone to share it with.  I thought I'd have a couple of friends over, but no dice.  My parents are busy, so I can't have them over.  I've seriously got, like, five more meals worth of this soup, and I'm going to be eating all of it.

I mean, not that that's a bad thing; soup is delicious, and now I have even less food prep for the rest of the week than usual.  Still, if you happen to be in the area, feel free to drop by.  I promise I'll feed you.

If not, you'll just have to settle for fanfic reviews.  Get my thoughts on a few, below!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 174: Applejack's Tax Relief Plan

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

I discovered something recently that blew my mind: did you know that when most people eat pineapple, it doesn't leave a painful burning sensation in their mouths for up to an hour afterwards?  Shocked my sister, too; apparently, we get that from dad (who knew that wasn't normal, but never told us (probably because he figured we knew that wasn't a typical reaction to pineapple).  I mean, in retrospect it seems obvious that that's not what's supposed to happen, but I always just thought that was the price you paid for eating pineapple.  Totally worth it, regardless.  Still, mind = blown.

But on to a fruit which, to the best of my knowledge, treats me the same way it treats everyone else!  Or, more specifically, on to a story about the imaginary ponies which harvest that fruit.  My review of Applejack's Tax Relief Plan, below the break.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 145

I have been feeling exceptionally tired in the afternoons, the past week or so.  That's not ideal, as I'm trying to get back onto a school year schedule with my body.  Waking up early isn't too hard, but staying alert and un-grumpable at the end of the day is sometimes more difficult.  Hopefully, I'll be able to convince my body over the next few weeks that taking a nap at two just isn't in the cards, so stop asking.

Anyhoo, mini-reviews!  Check them out, below.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 173: Princess Celestia? Do You Have a Belly Button?

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

Tuesday is (as I type this)/was (as you read this) primary day in my state, which makes this a good interval to remind all of you American-types to make sure you're registered to vote this November!  If you voted in the last election, you're probably already already set, but if you haven't, then now's a good time to make sure, while there's still time to get any issues addressed.  The U.S. Vote Foundation can help you find out if you're already registered, and tell you what you need to do if you aren't.  Make sure you're ready for the election proper!

Okay, civic-duty time is over.  Now, on to reviewing!  Click below to see my thoughts on Foals Errand's Princess Celestia? Do You Have a Belly Button?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 172: No, I Am Not a Brony, Get Me Outta Equestria!

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

It's no secret that I love road cycling, but it can be a horrifying sport at times.  Watching Annemiek van Vleuten's crash in the women's road race on Sunday was a sobering moment; you don't think of biking as being a dangerous sport in the same way as boxing or even football, but going downhill on narrow, winding roads at 50+ miles per hour is a task fraught with peril.  Luckily--frankly, miraculously--she seems to have escaped not only death, but any life-destroying injuries at all.  Still, it's hard to enjoy much of the Olympics with something like that fresh in your mind.

Given that less-than lighthearted note, I'm going to forgo any attempt at transition, and just say that below the break is my review of Bronywriter's No, I am Not a Brony, Get Me Outta Equestria!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 144

Sorry about the inconsistent posts the last few days, guys.  On Sunday morning, I got ambushed with a "help me move across town" request.  Which would have been fine--except that, while I was helping, I managed to slip a disk.  The prognosis is good: "do these stretches, avoid any lifting, and here's a prescription for Cymbalta, come back if you don't feel reasonably good after the prescription runs out or if symptoms worsen."  Still, it's been a not-great week over here.  Pain notwithstanding, "slipped disk" is something that happens to old people.  Joking about taste in music is one thing, but getting hurt doing things that used to be only a metaphorical pain in the back is making me feel bad old.  For the teens and twentysomethings reading this: trust me, bad old is not like taste in music old, and it's legitimately got me feeling down.

Also, the medicine makes me super lethargic :P  Hopefully next week goes better!  For now though, I've still managed to get a few short reviews out.  Check them, below.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Episode Talk: S6E13, Stranger Than Fan Fiction

The hiatus is over!  Let us celebrate by talking about the show itself, rather than fan-derivatives thereof!  Head down below for... well, not really a review, but a few personal impressions from Stranger Than Fan Fiction.

Friday, July 29, 2016

6-Star Reviews Part 163: Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons

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

What's 1.7 million words between friends?  Nothing, that's what!  Well, nothing and a month's worth of reading... anyway, here's the review you've all been waiting for!  Tell your friends, tell your family, call in sick to work so you can bask in my reviewage!  My thoughts on Somber's Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons, below the break.

Holding... Holding... Holding...

Okay, if you're seeing this post, it means that I don't have my Project: Horizons review ready yet.  If that's the case, this is my plan:

1) Finish reading the story Thursday night, even if it takes me until the sun rises (my best guess is it will actually take until around 3 am, depending on how many distractions I face).

2) Go to bed, and have a nice, peaceful night of rest, satisfied in the knowledge that my reading is done (until I start in on the next Fandom Classic).

3) When I wake up, I will have my coffee, go for a walk, and then start working on my review.  I'll take my time, let it sit, come back to it, and get it right, because there's no way in hell I'm going to invest this much reading time into something only to start half-assing it in the home stretch.

4) But no matter what, that review is coming out Friday.  Because four weeks is enough for any fic, no matter how ridiculously long. This ends TODAY!  Review Friday, then new episode over the weekend.  It's gonna be a pony couple of days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Truths Our Stories Tell

Almost every story has a moral, whether it's the heavy-handed, explicit kind, or a more subtle presentation of a theme.  But more than that, every story has a worldview: it takes place within a particular vision of how the world works.  I'm not talking about stuff like "is magic real" or "is Rainbow Dash a lesbian," but more cultural/ethical/sociological matters.

So I'm gonna talk about that.  Head down below the break for my thoughts.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 143

It's a lot harder to make time for reading at home than while on vacation, which is to say: the last book of Project Horizons is kicking my butt.  I still plan to get it reviewed this week, but it might be a close thing at this rate.

In unrelated news, Present Perfect recently linked to this moderately-interesting analysis of "Best pony, as told by Fimfiction."  Why only "moderately interesting?  Because it doesn't analyze Carrot Top's stories?  Who cares the average rating of a story with Nightmare Moon in it is higher than the average story featuring Scootaloo?  What I--and by extension, everyone else--really wants to know is where Ponyville's premier produce pony fits into all this!

Just one more in a long list of carrot-snubs.  Ah well; get some mini-reviews, below the break.

Friday, July 22, 2016

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 12th

Thursday saw something new to me: school being canceled on account of heat.  Is this something that happens regularly in warmer climes?  Or is this as weird as I think it is?  Granted, it's hot and humid enough that my glasses fogged up when I took the trash out, and I don't exactly blast the AC, so maybe the school district knows what it's doing.  Anyway, here are my thoughts on some first sentences!  Check them out, below the break.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 142

I've been home for an entire day as I type this, and my cat still hasn't shut up.  It's a talkative beast under all circumstances, but he is not happy about me leaving him alone for weeks on end with only the attentions of my good friend who came over twice a day to pet him, feed him, and... wait, he wasn't alone at all!  What's his beef?  Regardless, he'll just sit in the doorway and stare at me, occasionally making some sort of yowl-mewl hybrid sound which I assume means "I haven't forgiven you yet, Chris."

So, mini-reviews!  Check out a few, below.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I'm Home!

That's right, I'm back!  As of... less than an hour before this post goes up, I've returned to my home, turned the water heater back up, gotten the wi-fi working, and settled in to put up a post.  Is it my review of Project Horizons?  Of course it's not; if you've been following this blog for the last few years, you know that getting the "big fic" review out the Monday after I'm back from Arizona is more aspiration than attainable goal.  In this case, though, don't expect to see it in two days, either.

Yup, I didn't make it through Project Horizons.  Raise your hands if you're surprised.   Anyone... yeah okay.  In all fairness, I forgot to pack my e-reader when I went to New York, and so ended up with only two weeks of reading time instead of three.  Still, I made it through the first three of PH's five "books," and most of the fourth.

Having gotten that far, and looking at what I've read so far, I feel like the right move is to do a single PH review, rather than two or more reviews of the separate books.  The nominal purpose of my reviews is to help people decide what to read, after all, and (unlike with many be-sequeled stories), nobody's going to start this fic planning to read just the first 400,000 words and then quit.  Folks'll want to know whether the whole thing is worth reading, and a single (albeit, surely massive) review is what that calls for.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get that out sometime next week.  In the meantime, it's back to your regularly scheduled posts come Wednesday, so buckle in for some mini-reviews, ramblings, and... well, probably not any fandom classics until I polish off this behemoth, but stuff!  Definitely stuff!

Thanks again to the folks who offered up guest posts for me to share!  And now, if you'll excuse me, bed calls.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 171: The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle

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

Almost home!  See you soon!  Have one more review before I return, though; click below for my thoughts on Rated Ponystar's The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 141

So, y'all have been following the Tour, right?  It's just occurred to me that I won't be back home until about halfway through (it starts on the 2nd), so you've already missed the first week and change of it.  But not to worry; even by the 11th, you haven't missed the mountains, and that's typically where all hell breaks loose (in the best possible way (from a viewer's perspective, at least)).  Set your alarm clock and get up early!  And during the inevitable commercial break, occupy yourself with these mini-reviews, below the break.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 170: Insomnia

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

Okay, back to Chris time!  Hope you all enjoyed the guest posts... and I hope you enjoy non-topical opening blurbs and a total failure to communicate in the comments on the reviewer's part, because you're still gonna get that for one more week!  Yup, my vacation's not over yet, but I'll be posting my review buffer for your reading pleasure.  Head below for my thoughts on Pale Horse's Insomnia.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Analysis: Twilight Snarkle (Part One)

Happy 4th of July, everyone!  Take heart, for today need no be just grilling, explosions, and beer (not necessarily in that order): today, we have an author analysis post to share!  That's right, Icy Shake has taken on the considerable task of reading Twilight Snarkle's oeuvre, and breaking it all down for us.  I love these kinds of posts; seeing what speaks to an author, and how they change and grow as time passes, is fascinating to me.

There's just one problem... Snarkle's written a fair number of stories, and Icy isn't doing this halfway!  So, for the sake of not dropping 11 pages of text on you in a single day, we're breaking this up into two posts; the first one (i.e. today) will cover his "early fandom" period, while on Wednesday, we'll look at what he got up to once he got a FiMFic account, as well as give the grand summary.  Click down below for a breakdown of Two Ponies, Order From Chaos, and more!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Writing Collaboratively

To finish off our first week of guest posts, we have Richard, i.e. "the guy who wrote this wonderfully awful Mary-Sue parody in the comments section a while back."  Today, he's here to talk a bit about the mechanics and social setup for writing a collaborative fanfic.  The story in question isn't ponyfic, but everything he discusses is perfectly applicable to the wonderful world of writing about colorful equines; if you've got any interest in collaborative writing, you'll definitely want to head down below the break to see what he's found that works!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How To Read A Review

Today's entry comes to us from someone who wants to stay anonymous!  Fair enough, I guess; you'll have to analyze the writing style and see if you can figure out who it is.  He's here today to talk about how to get the most out of a review, and how to figure out from that review whether or not you'll like a given story; click down below the break to find out more.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gimmick Stories

And so, the vacation begins.  And who better to kick off our guest posts than Pascoite, than ponyfic jack-of-all-trades who's written, reviewed, edited, and otherwise had a hand in more horsewords than, quite possibly, anyone else in this fandom.  I mean, I don't have hard numbers to back that up, but given how much he's done, it certainly sounds plausible.  In any event, head down below the break to see his thoughts on "gimmick stories"--that is, stories which utilize narrative tricks as an integral part of their structure.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Here's What Your Next Three Weeks Are Gonna Look Like, Vis-a-Vis This Blog

...This blog is the most interesting thing you have going on for the next three weeks, right?

Anyway, by the time this post goes up, I'll already be on my way to New York, to visit some old friends there.  Then, it's off on my annual trip to Arizona to see my relatives.  During that time, I probably won't be totally MIA--but I'm going to be accessing the internet almost entirely via my phone, so don't expect to hear from me.  Besides, what's the point of a vacation if you can't unwind a bit?

Luckily, we've got plenty of interesting content for you in the meantime.  The next two weeks are going to have a mix of reading advice, writing advice, and a super-sized author analysis thrown in for good measure.  After that, you'll get back to some regular Chris goodness, courtesy of my post buffer.  It'll be almost like I'm still there, except that the above-the-post bits will be less topical!

But when I do come back, it'll be bearing gifts (and/or with bells on): a review of some or, if I get really productive, all of Somber's Project: Horizons!  So, circle July 18th on your calendar (or, if past precedent is any guide, July 20th).  Be nice, and try not to make a mess while I'm gone!

...Oh, and here's a picture of Carrot Top to tide you over until I'm back.  I know why you all are really here, after all.

I've never quite lost my childhood obsession with dinosaurs, so you'd better believe that the Natural History Museum is high on my list of things to do in New York.  Also, Carrot Top is best raptor.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 169: Living Forever…

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

I forgot to plug it on Monday, but there's a new Rainbow Dash Presents!  And it's of a particularly good story, this time: Blueshift's The Star In Yellow.  If you like that brand of parody (and, somehow, weren't already aware that it had come out), go check it out.  Then, come back in here and read my review of Living Forever..., by Whateverdudezb.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 140

No new episode, so no new Carrot Top.  Life is cruel.

Find what little solace you can in my patented patent-pending utterly unprotected, legally speaking, mini reviews, below the break.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 168: The Party Hasn't Ended

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

General reminder: if you're interested in doing a guest column for me, I need those by next Wednesday!  If you're still on the fence, I could use a couple more, and you've got all weekend to figure out something interesting to say, or some interesting story you want to talk about.  Details are in the link at the top of the page!

But for now, here's some Chris-created reviewage.  Head down below the break to see my thoughts on Butterscotchsundae's The Party Hasn't Ended.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 139

Here's your one-week reminder about guest posts!  I'm still a few short, so if you were worried that there weren't enough slots, don't let that stop you.  And if you've been procrastinating, you should probably get going on that!

And apropos of none of that, have a couple of mini-reviews for 400,000 words worth of fanfiction.  Yup, that can be easily summed up in a paragraph or two each, right?  Right.  Click below the break for more!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 20)

So, I thought to myself yesterday "boy, it's been a while since I talked about what I'm reading, hasn't it?"  Turns out it's been about nine months!  Boy, time sure gets away from you.

Anyway, I do in fact read things other than pony-themed fanfiction!  Here's what I'm reading right now, along with my thoughts to whatever point in the book I've reached.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 167: A Perfectly Ordinary Day In Ponyville


To read the story, click the image or follow this link.
Don't forget about hockey!  Tomorrow might be your last chance to watch the NHL in action this season, with the Sharks facing elimination in game five against the Penguins.  At the very least, tune in near the end so that, if the Penguins do win, you can catch the customary "lusty booing of the commissioner as he tries to pretend he can't hear the undiluted hatred of the entire hockey world pouring down on him as he blathers through his pre-Cup-awarding speech."  A tradition unlike any other.

Speaking of the natural order of things... here's a story about the natural order of things!  My thoughts on The Equestrian Gentlecolt's A Perfectly Ordinary Day in Ponyville, below.