Monday, January 11, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 115

It turns out that EqD has worked some strange internet wizardry, and restored all the comments they lost a few years ago on the site's oldest posts!  So now, if you want to, you can go back and look at what Chris was doing, horsewordcomments-wise before he started this blog.

...Turns out it's nothing too exciting to anyone but me, most like, but it was a blast to, say, see that my quest to say something about every single one of the 147 entries in the Speedfic Challenge in a single night is once more fully documented.  Anyway, if trolling through EqD circa 2011 doesn't provide enough Chris commentary for you, head down below the break to get a few more recent thoughts from me.

The Rainbow Pony, by Level Dasher

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  There is a legend which says that a purehearted pegasus who asks the Rainbow Pony for a wish will have it granted--but only if they perform a certain task.  Scootaloo makes a wish.

A few thoughts:  I liked the way this started off, and the conclusion was strong in a thematic sense, but I felt like there was too big a gap between the reader figuring everything out, and the ponies managing the same.  Once the reader knows the full legend, the rest of the fic is basically an exercise in waiting for Twilight and Dash to stop talking.  That said, it was hardly an untenable wait, and I do like the open-ended but clearly optimistic note the story concludes on; it doesn't rob the story of its suspense, but feels very in-character for Scootaloo.

Recommendation:  This would be a good choice for readers who like the tone of horror stories, but aren't interested in any of the gore or jump scares.

An Equestrian Griffon, by MyHobby

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A griffon tells his daughter a story about how one tribe of griffons came to call Equestria home, a long time ago.

A few thoughts:  The story the father tells is the largest part of the story, and I greatly enjoyed it; it's a good mix of adventure and moral/fable.  I also liked the way that the end of the story commented on how his telling was bowdlerized, but beyond that, I found the extra-legendary elements mostly lackluster--at least, compared to the legend itself.  Characterization in the story-within-the-story is archetypal, which fits the style; in the story-outside-the-story, it tends more toward cliche, which I found disappointing by comparison to the rest of the fic.  Still, the legend itself is the real selling point, at least to my mind.

Recommendation:  Those who enjoy fairy tales, and especially recontextualizations or examinations of them, will want to check this out.  Those more interested in the politics promised in the description, however, might find themselves disappointed.

Insufficient Postage, by RazGrizS57

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  There's something wrong with the package Derpy's supposed to deliver, and she's going to figure out what it is, no matter what!

A few thoughts:  This is basically an escalating series of "for want of a nail"-style problems, given the bare trappings necessary to be called a "story" and stretched to 1000 words.  But I like that sort of thing, and in any case, it's very well-executed within that context--and consistently funny.

Recommendation:  There aren't a lot of surprises, theme-wise, in this story, but if you're looking for the particular brand of humor to which this belongs, it won't disappoint.


  1. Those old comments were always still there, just hidden. I had a userscript that let me read them, and I've actually come across your old comments from time to time

    Read that last one back when I followed the write-offs. *sigh* I had so much more free time back then... Anyway, while it's nothing revolutionary, it's still enjoyable enough that I'd recommend it

  2. No, I'm probably more pleased than you are at seeing the old comments back. I'm an archivist at heart after all.

    Now if only they'd bring back the numbers for the star ratings.

  3. Oh God, they ARE back. I just read all the EqD comments from the first story I ever had posted there. Most of them are about how much I suck, and why the story being allowed on the site is an insult to writers with actual talent.

    I'm now reminded of why I secretly cheered on the day that those were seemingly wiped from the internet.