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!