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.