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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 138

For the third week in a row, we have an episode about which the strongest sentiment I can muster up is, "Yup, that was an episode of FiM, alright."  I liked Fluttershy's portrayal, and they did a good enough job of making her brother a shiftless layabout without turning him into some self-assured scriptwriter's idea of what one of them "millennials" looks like, but it felt like the episode couldn't decide what it wanted to preach on the "jobs" front.  On one hand, it's putting out the "go get a job, any job, just start working" shtick, but on the other, Fluttershy (and, to a lesser extent, Dash) keep emphasizing how, if Zephyr works hard and commits himself, he'll find something he loves.  Call it a hunch, but I don't think washing Twilight's windows is going to get him any closer to the job he loves.  Anyway, it's not like the two ideas are antithetical--you can work hard at a job in the short term while, separately, pursuing your passion/education--but the whole thing felt muddled to me.

This scene is really weird, if you re-watch it while focusing on Carrot Top.  Moments after this still, Carrot Top opens her mouth in a wide smile, and stares ahead, blinking occasionally but otherwise motionless, for several seconds.  The camera cuts away for less than two seconds, and when it comes back to the wide shot, Carrot Top has vanished without a trace.  Guys, I'm not saying that some eldrich abomination just offscreen melted Carrot's brain before seizing the rigid, mindlessly smiling husk of her body with one of its appendages and slithering back to the Everfree with its latest victim in tow...  

I'm just saying that, if we never see Carrot again, I hope that Dinky's new mother takes good care of the newly-orphaned foal.

Okay, enough horror!  Have some short reviews of happy stories, below the break.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fandom Classics Part 166: Princess Twilight Sparkle's 500th Birthday

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

One more week of school!  We're almost there, and you can bet that the kids know it; the checked-out ones are even more checked-out than usual, and even the on-the-ball ones have their attentions turned elsewhere.  But while school may have a (fast-approaching) offseason, fanfic-reading sure doesn't!  Click below for my thoughts on Princess Twilight Sparkle's 500th Birthday, by Autumnschild.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How Responsible Is a Reviewer?

Today's post is not about how not to be an ass when you review something: that's as easy as "don't be an ass" in general, and while plenty of people seem to have trouble with even that, such issues are outside of the purview of a single blogpost (even by someone as transcendentally brilliant as yours truly).  I'm also not talking about any sort of obligations or outside standards to which reviewers are subject, because frankly, there aren't any.  Talking about fanfiction comes with no prerequisites.

But, of course, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should feel no responsibility for what you do.  So what I want to talk about today is the intersection between authorial and reviewer action.  I don't have any conclusions, but you can at least see some of my thoughts on the matter, below.