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.

Torpidity, by Chryssi

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  There's a lot of work to be done around the hive, but changelings, collectively, are just so tired.  All the time.  And a certain Queen is not very accepting of this fact.

A few thoughts:  This uses "changeling are, like, super lazy" as a vehicle to make a variety of jokes, and I appreciated that it was less one-note than I went in fearing.  However, it also got a little dark for my tastes (explicit death in a light comedy generally throws me for a loop, even if it's a "silly" explicit death), and the story never really addressed what seemed to me like the obvious question it was setting up: how can the changelings survive, if none of them do anything but sleep all day?  That was a question ripe for exploring and/or riffing, and the ending went in a rather different and, I thought, awfully tangential direction instead.

Recommendation:  If you're looking for some cute goofiness with a bit more range than your average one-joke shortfic, this would be a fine choice.

Do what comes naturally, by Captain Wuzz

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Discord and Fluttershy, in order to keep their relationship interesting, shapeshift into various animals to see what sex feels like among other species.

A few thoughts:  If you read that description and thought "that doesn't sound like Chris's type of fic at all," then you're right!  I thought I was in for something rather different with this story; my bad.  But I read it, so I might as well review it.

This story actually jumps off with an interesting premise: that Discord knows he's incapable by nature of constancy, but doesn't want to hurt Fluttershy if (when) he seeks some variety.  After that, it's animal sex.  To the story's credit, it is indeed documentary-esque and not crassly erotic, but the greater part of the fic is still turned over to Fluttershy and Discord acting out various mating rituals.  It's also worth noting that the ending is abrupt and silly in a way which undermines the earlier tone of the story.

Recommendation:  This might not be a bad choice for Fluttercord fans looking for a sexual, but decidedly non-clop, take on how they might try to keep things fresh.  It's probably not a great choice for more general audiences, though.

The Problem With Genie Magic, by chillbook1

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Trixie finds a magic lamp in the desert.  Inside is a very familiar-looking purple alicorn genie, who offers her three wishes.

A few thoughts:  This hits most of the expected "literal genie" notes in a fic, albeit with Twilight playing the role with relative sympathy.  What helps it stand out a bit is the show-based humor that it works in throughout (after Trixie expresses surprise at Twilight's lack of concern over being stuck in a bottle away from home, Twilight responds "'This is actually a rather good test for Starlight. If she hasn’t gone mad with power and attempted to brainwash my subjects by the time I get back, I’ll know she’s ready for more advanced friendship lessons.'"  Presence notwithstanding, this was actually written long before Saturday's episode).  That might not be enough to carry a longer or deeper story... but for a fic that checks in at under 2000 words, it gives the proceedings just enough variety to keep things from being too wearying.

Recommendation:  That said, this is a very light, very typical look at genie wishes.  If you're looking for a lot of nuance or newness, avoid this story.  If you just want something quick which puts a Twilightian spin on literal wish-granting, though, this is a fine choice.


  1. I won't read that story, but I do want to express amusement that there is an author already named Captain Wuzz. :D

    1. They're not a new author, though. Joined in 2014, apparently. I believe they used to go by "thewoollymammoth".

    2. That is correct. Though, I think "Captain Wuzz" suits him much better, because IIRC, he mostly writes Discord fics.

    3. I'm a she. And I have to admit I logged in immediately to fimfiction after the episode to grab the name before anyone else did. -captain wuzz/woolly

  2. Hi! Sorry for the late response; silly me didn’t realise that these reviews were on a separate blog. Anyway, thank you for reading *Torpidity*—I certainly didn’t expect a story of mine to catch your attention, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    As for my thoughts on *Torpidity*, there’s probably a few things that I would have done differently, now that I’ve a teeny bit more experience at writing under my belt. But first steps are first steps, I suppose.

    — Chryssi