Friday, December 22, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Round Five of Five!

And so, the runup to the holiday ends.  As usual, I'll be taking the 25th off to be with my family, and I urge you all to do the same--whatever "your family" means to you, spend some time with those people who make your life a little better, and who are there for you when you're at your worst.  They won't be around forever, and can be gone without warning; let them know you love them, in as many words.  Letting the people you love hear that simple truth is never a mistake.

And now, one last seasonal fanfic before we adjurn for holiday.  Merry Christmas, and I'll see you all on the 29th!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Part Four of Five!

So, how about that new FiMFic update, eh?  We're one step closer to GenFic, now.

Though I have to say, I'm a little disappointed; the site post made it sound like we'd be able to tag any/all franchises contained in our stories, but when I went to update my fics, I found nothing for the Choose Your Own Adventure™ series, or for The Screwtape Letters (or even just a C.S. Lewis hub), or even for the collected legends of Taliesin!  So I guess all my stuff will be rocking the solo MLP:FIM tag until knighty gets his act together.

Now, on to some seasonal fiction.  Get your reviewage, below the break.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Part Three of Five!

In defiance of my predictions of "maybe this will get better, but at least it probably won't get worse," things have gotten much, much worse.  I'm still on track for getting out this week's reviews, though, so that's something.  Small successes?

We have to find the good bits where we can.  Holiday-themed fic review, below.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Part Two of Five!

The holiday ficcing continues!  By the way, you'll notice I haven't said anything about the leaked stuff; I glanced through some of the highlights, and it's pretty much all stuff that makes me sad.  Even the stuff in there that makes me happy also makes me sad--like, I had a good laugh at [I'm putting it below the break, but rest assured it's 100% spoiler-free], but it was a sad laugh, you know?  Like, it makes me sad that these are the people in charge of wrapping up the show, and the "they didn't know" defense just makes it worse.  Ridiculous pettiness would be one thing; ignorance and apathy are sadder to me.

Oh man, that got grumpy fast.  Okay, done talking about that.  Here's a funny screencap and another mini-review!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Part One of Five!

So, thing that destroys my productivity is still a thing.  But I've managed to get a little reading done.

And as you know, I do enjoy the holiday season.  So to make up for the missing posts, here's your Christmas present: one full week of holiday-themed posts!  That's right, every (week)day until Christmas, I'll be posting a short review of a seasonal fic.  Sure, you might say "that's only five mini-reviews, it's not really 'five days worth of content,'"  but you know what?  I'm doing it over five days, so that makes it five days' worth.  So head on down below, and see what fic got the Chris treatment today... and make sure you come back tomorrow, because we're going M-T-W-T-F in the leadup the holidays!

Monday, December 11, 2017

In case you hadn't noticed...

...I haven't been keeping up my schedule the last week or two.

Unfortunately, I can't really talk about why; I don't feel it'd be appropriate to share, even through the semi-anonymity of this ponyfic blog.  Suffice to say, it stinks, but nobody's dying or going to prison or anything that awful.  There's just a thing, it's taking up all my time and energy, and at this point I don't know how long it will last.  I'd hoped it would just be a few days... but that was three weeks ago, and since then I've burned through my entire buffer of posts, and have read barely anything (pony or non-) in the interim.

I'd hoped to get back on track this weekend... but that obviously didn't happen.  So, in deference to reality, I'm calling a one-week hiatus on ponyposting.  Check back here next Monday at the usual time.  Fingers crossed, things will be back to normal by then.  But if nothing else, I'll at least have a more definitive update.

Apologies if coming here three times a week is the highlight of your life; for what it's worth, I enjoy posting too, and I'll try to return to form as quickly as I can.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 213

It's santa-hat time in FiMFicland!  If you've got an account, consider bedecking it for the holidays.  Go from this:

To this:

And enjoy your month of stylish accoutrementery!  And once you've done that, you'll no doubt be in the mood for some seasonal fics, but you needn't fret on that count either; head down below the break for a couple of reviews of Christmas-ish fics.

Friday, December 1, 2017

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 24th

So, you remember a while ago when I plugged my participation in the Alicorn Amulet Collab?  You know, encouraging you all to go read my Carrot Top chapter (because of course Chris wrote the Carrot Top chapter...), and also the others?

Well, if you didn't listen to me then, or if you did but then stopped keeping up with the updates, the collab has posted its final chapter.  Go check the whole thing out; there's some good stuff in there.

I had intended to comment on all the chapters as they were posted, but I fell behind, felt weird about commenting on chapter six when chapter nine was already posted, and long story short, I didn't.  But, since every chapter is mostly self-contained and has a different author, I thought, "What if, now that they're all posted, I did a blog post looking at the opening of every chapter?"

So I did.  Head below the break to see what I think of how everybody handled their hooks!

(Oh, and for the record: my opening was "Although she knew it was silly, Carrot Top couldn’t help but flinch when the door to the waiting room opened. She’d flinched when the princesses had come in the first time to explain the setup of the testing room and reassure the half-dozen ponies who’d volunteered with a thorough listing the safety procedures in place; she’d flinched when Twilight had popped her head in to let them know that they’d start in just a few minutes; and now, she flinched again as Twilight trotted back into the room."  Make of that what you will.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 212

The best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers.  I don't get people who complain about 'em; it means not having to cook or eat out for, like, a week solid.  How is that not great?  On an unrelated note, have some mini-reviews, below the break.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 237: Just an Assistant

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

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!  I got to catch up with some friends in from New York, which was nice; I don't get to see the farther-scattered folks as much as I'd like to.  Woo!

But now the holiday's over, and it's time to get back to the grind.  Head down below the break for my review of RadicalDishonesty's Just an Assistant.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 211

True quotes overheard in the lunchroom from the fifth-grader's table:

"I'm so savage, my first word was 'Harambe!'"

I weep for our future (also, wasn't Harambe last year?  Does it just take a year for memes to filter down to the elementary-schoolers? Or at least, to the elementary schoolers in flyover country?).  Anyway, mini-reviews below the break.

(Also: no reviews Friday.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 236: The Trouble With Genealogy

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

Good news: I wrote about 2500 words of fiction over the weekend!  Bad (?) news: none of it was pony words.  If/when I get it into a finished form and post it where it belongs, I'll probably mention it here, though, so if you're absolutely starving for Chrisfic, you'll probably get some... eventually.

But if you're in the market for Chrisnonfic, then today's your lucky day!  Head down below for my review of Arroz's The Trouble with Genealogy.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Regarding Christopher Tolkien

Sad news on the Middle-Earth front this week: Christopher Tolkien resigned as the director of the Tolkien estate.  It's not news that has anything to do with My Little Pony, no, but it means a lot to me: I've made no secret of my love for the writing of JRR Tolkien over the years I've been reviewing, and this news represents a seismic event in terms of coming impact on how those writings are marketed, licensed, and otherwise handled.

Head below the break for a few of my thoughts on the matter, if such things interest you.  If not, pony stuff will be back on Monday, same time, same place.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 210

I dunno.  I'm just tired, man.  Here, have some mini-reviews, below the break.

Monday, November 13, 2017

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 24th

While watching football yesterday, I started thinking about the word "scrimmage."  It's a weird-sounding word when you think about it, isn't it?  It doesn't roll cleanly off the tongue; the scr- beginning pulls your tongue back, but unlike with a word like "scrap," where that pullback is followed by a comfortable jaw-drop, it follows it up with another tight vowel with the tongue hurrying back to the front, then a closed-mouth m.  It's not elegantly constructed at all!

I should write a letter to Rodger Goodell, and suggest he change the word to something with better mouthflow.  I'm sure he'll appreciate the suggestion.

And speaking of things that trip off the tongue, here's some first sentence reviews!  Check them out, below the break.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 235: The Three Whooves

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

I keep getting recommendations to watch Stranger Things.  And it sounds pretty good... except I don't have Netflix!  And unlike Hasbro, they seem to take a rather dim view of leaving their episodes up for free on Youtube or the like.  I'll have to see if any of my friends have a subscription I can leech off of, I guess.  That, or get into the shady underworld of actually seeking out and downloading the stuff I want to watch illegally, but if I remember right from skimming those piracy warnings at the start of feature films, that carries a sentence of twenty years in a siberian gulag.

And on the subject of popular sci-fi shows, here's a Doctor Who crossover!  My review of Paleo Prints' The Three Whooves, below the break.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 209

Here are some stories by authors whose writing I know I like, because sometimes it's nice to read stories that you're pretty sure you'll enjoy.

...What, that's not a good enough reason to read some fics?  Too bad, here's a few fic reviews!  Get them below the break.

Monday, November 6, 2017

How Video Games Conspire to Ruin My D&D Sessions

What, the blog title wasn't clear enough?  Get ready for some high-quality whining, which may or may not have actionable advice packed in at the end!  No ponies, though; if that's a deal-breaker, you can pretend I'm talking about Ponyfinder instead of AD&D.  Check it out below the break.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 208

After I was nice to Skywriter in my last review (I called him "an author I've had a lot of good luck with!"), I was reminded that he writes plenty of things other than ponyfic, and that a lot of his drabbles are on his Scrivnarium blog.  So I pop over there, and sure enough, there's some nice stuff (I particularly like this poem about the intersection of modern and mythological security)... but there's also a LotR fanfic.  And I swear, Skywriter must have written it specifically to trigger me, because it is the most deliberately-rage-inducing thing I've read in a while.  It is genuinely impressive how much he managed to do wrong, in just the right way.  Go check it out--you'll probably get a laugh out of it if you don't take your Tolkien too seriously, and you'll probably end up twitching with pent-up aggression if you do.  Either way!

And after that, go check out some short reviews, below the break.  Only two this week, but they're both long'ns, so there ya go.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 234: Shipping Sickness

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

It's #234!  That's exciting, right?  I mean, I think it's exciting, and you wouldn't presume to contradict me, right?  Right?  Right!  So, excitement had!  And having been had, let us continue on to our 234th installment of the Fandom Classics series; check out my thoughts on Skywriter's Shipping Sickness, below.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 207

Since I didn't say it last time: sorry for the lack of postage on Monday!  I got home late on Sunday, forgot to set my next set of reviews to post in the midst of getting everything ready for work the next day/falling asleep before I actually got everything ready, and by the time I noticed, I figured it'd be better to just put it off until Wednesday.  And then Wednesday was pre-empted to talk about the Alicorn Amulet Collaboration.  So here we are: the post you should've gotten days ago, today!  It's like reverse time-travel, kinda!

So, yeah, mini-reviews below the break.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Fanfiction By Chris

Cadance and Twilight have discovered something about the Alicorn Amulet. Whenever someone rejects its promises of power, it weakens the Amulet's magic. In theory, if enough ponies should be tempted by it and reject it, it would destroy the amulet forever.

They summon the help of volunteers from across Equestria, in the hope of destroying it for good.


If you haven't been keeping up with cleverpun's collaborative project about various ponies trying to resist the Alicorn Amulet's lures... well, you should be.  First off, I'm in it, and my chapter's just gone up.  But also, there are a variety of authors, from the famous to the relatively new, who've offered up a wide variety of takes on the same core idea.  Collectively, they make for a fascinating range of interpretations, and with the collab currently under 20,000 words, now's a good time to jump in and start reading before it gets too long (don't worry, all chapters are already written).

So go click that picture/title above and read it!  And when you're done (or before, if you prefer), come back here and head past the break, where I'll talk about my just-published part in the collab: chapter four, the Carrot Top-centered Relevance.  Find out more about what I wrote, below.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 233: What is a Name?

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

As you read this, I'm AWOL!  Enjoying a few days hanging out with my sister at her place, before I come home on Sunday.  Presumably I'm having fun; I'm good at that (distinct from being fun, which I'm more hit-or-miss at).  And I hope you're all having fun doing whatever it is you're up to, too!  But if not, I know of no better way to turn that frown upside-down than a fanfic review.  Get my thoughts on Key Tapper's What is a Name?, below.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 206

Hey, I won last week's fantasy football game!  Bringing my record on the year to... 2-4.  Uuuuugh.  Somehow, I'm still only a game back in the wild-card, but this is not the start I wanted to the year.  Damn you, David Johnson and Andrew Luck!  Damn you for tricking me into thinking you'd be my bellcow and that you'd be back by week six, respectively!

Well, at least Leonard Fournette has rewarded my begrudging drafting of him.  And speaking of rewarding, what's more so than fanfic reviews?  Get a few, below the break.

Monday, October 16, 2017

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 23rd

It's MEA week!  That magical time of year when teachers and school workers alike across the state get a four-day weekend to go up to the cities and visit their sister attend the massive teacher's convention which is totally what I'm going to do, uh-huh, absolutely.  Don't get me wrong, I do go sometimes, but... eh, not this year.  I'm going to have some fun instead.

You know what else would be fun?  Looking at some first sentences, and seeing what we can learn from them!  Head down below the break for my thoughts on how some of those Fandom Classics I keep reviewing handle their intros.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 205

There was a quote in the leaked show bible that made me sad.  Since it's not really a spoiler for anything, I'll go ahead and quote it:
[...]every aspect of their lives has something “pony-esque” about it. Their houses are homes with elements of a stable thrown in. Their yards are lawns, but are also reminiscent of a corral. There are elements of their towns and villages that are like equestrian centers, or ranches. Even their food markets seem a little like feed stores. Their clothing (when they choose to wear it, for their colorful pony coats keeps them plenty warm and covered) are half fashion wear, half tack. Though they live and act like people, everything they have and everything they do has some sort of pony “theme” to it.
 Remember back when the show had a consistently horse-y theme?  I mean, it was never perfect, but I miss how the show moved away from that, to the point where the fact that the ponies aren't actually people is a total afterthought in many episodes.  That quote up there highlighted one of the things that really caught my eye about FiM, but let's be honest, it's been a while since that's been more than occasionally true.

Ah, well.  Things change, I guess.  But one thing that doesn't change is that Friday brings with it a new OMPR post, and today it's a set of mini-reviews!  Click down below the break for my thoughts on some stories I've recently read.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 232: Dr. Rainbow Dash, MD, PhD, etc.

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

When I first heard that some show and movie assets/episodes had leaked, I didn't pay it much mind--those are all things I plan on watching anyway, but I'm not in any particular hurry.  But what I just found out is that the leak included the original series bible, and that I am excited for.  Seeing what the blueprint given to the show writers is, and what Faust's original vision for FiM was?  Sign me up!

But that doesn't mean I don't have time for some fanfic reading, too!  Head down below the break for my thoughts on Frontsevens' Dr. Rainbow Dash, MD, PhD, etc.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 204

Terrible news: my favorite barbeque joint is closing in a few weeks.  Do you know how hard it is to get decent barbeque in the upper midwest?  Man, I'm super bummed about this.  They have great onion rings, too, and now I'm going to have to... eat less barbeque and onion rings, I guess.  Which is probably a good thing in the long run, but it's still a major bummer.  Oh well, fanfic stuff below.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 231: Ditzy Doo's Dismally Derpy Day

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

So, that thing I was writing?  It's here!  Well, almost: behold... Breaking Away: The Alicorn Amulet Collaboration!

Only the first chapter has been published as I type this, but the plan is for one to be posted every day.  The basic premise is that Twilight has figured out that the Alicorn Amulet can be destroyed by getting a bunch of ponies to successfully resist its temptations, and each chapter is a different author's take on one pony's attempts to do just that.  When my chapter comes out I'll talk about it in a little more detail, but in the meantime this is something that I think will be worth following; it's got a good mix of authors you've heard of and respect (Titanium Dragon, FanOfMostEverything, and of course the organizer cleverpun himself, just to name a few), plus some names you might not know... yet.  I haven't read all the chapters, but the ones I have do some pretty neat things with the premise.  Plus, you know, I'm in it.  So if any of that is selling you, consider checking it out!

But if new ponyfic isn't your thing, how about old ponyfic?  Head below the break for my review of CLAVDIVS CAESAR's Ditzy Doo's Dismally Derpy Day.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 203

So, who's excited for the movie?  Apparently it's already leaked; I don't know when I'm going to get to go see it (I'm still well behind on episodes, for that matter...), but it's somewhere on my to-do list.  Not gonna lie, though; I haven't felt nearly the excitement for this from the fandom at large as for an previous season premier, or for the first couple of Equestria Girls movies.  It makes me wonder if the show ennui is wider-spread than we'd all like to admit.

Or maybe it's just a quieter sort of excitement.  We'll find out over the next week or three, I'm sure.  Until then, here's some fanfic reviews to tide your pony-needing self over!  Get 'em below the break.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 230: Twilight Sparkle of the Royal Guard

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

Hey, just so you all know: an anthology that I wrote a chapter for is getting its last ducks in a row, and will likely drop on FiMFiction in the near-ish future.  Dollars to doughnuts, it'll literally be the day of the FiM movie premier and nobody will care... but you'll care, won't you?  So keep your eyes on this blog, and I'll let you know when you can finally sate your unending lust for more Chrisfic (plus, some other guys' horsewords, I guess).

Until then, you'll just have to tide yourself over with Chrisnonfic.  Head down below the break for my review of Twilight Sparkle of the Royal Guard, by King of Beggars.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Chris on Chris: a Fanfic Ranking

A few days ago, horizon posted a thing on his blog; basically, he listed all his FiMFics in order from best to worst, in his estimation, and contrasted it with the stories' actual ratings while offering a brief explanation for the discrepancy, if any.

That looked like fun, so I'm lavishing the sincerest form of flattery on him and doing the same dang thing.  Head down below the break to see how I rate my own ponyfic, and how it stacks up to the weight of public opinion!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 202

As you may have heard, Equestria Daily just recently passed 800 million views.  Not coincidentally (almost certainly entirely coincidentally), One Man's Pony Ramblings just this week hit the one million views mark!  Honestly, "1/800th as popular as EqD" is a lot more attention than I ever thought analyzing people's ponyfics would ever get me.  Of course, it took me a little longer to get there than it took EqD... six years for me, three months for them... whatever, a million hits is still pretty darn cool.  Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Now, on to some reviews.  Head below the break for my world-famous reviews!  Remember: one guy clicking "refresh" a million times in a row can't be wrong.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Brief Q and A About the Royal Canterlot Library

In the last few weeks, I've gotten several e-mails about the RCL, and my involvement in it.  I replied to all of them (at least, I'm pretty sure I did.  If I forgot to reply to you, poke me!), but when several people all ask about something at once, I tend to assume that there's a larger contingent out there that are wondering in silence.  Well, wonder no more!  Here are the questions I was asked (minus a couple of redundant ones), with my answers presented in that most hoofy doofy handy-dandy of formats, the Q and A.  Click down below the break for some knowledge.

(Also, for juicy dirt about the RCL)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 229: ...But the Kitchen Sink

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

I do try to arrange my Fandom Classics posts so that there aren't any major runs or ruts in them; I don't want to do five changeling fics in a row, say, or have several novel-length stories back-to-back.  But when I was adding to my short list of fics to review, I happened to see this fic and "Princest is Wincest" sitting next to each other in my folder, and--despite them both being short, silly-sounding stories--I found I didn't have it in my heart to break them up.  Ah well, something long and serious next for sure.  But now, head down below the break to read my review of Dubs Rewatcher's ...But the Kitchen Sink.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mr. Ted

There's nothing pony- or writing-related in this blog.  More fanfic reviews will be here on Friday, at the usual time.  But right now, I'm going to take some time to talk about a major medical situation near to me.  If an unabashed personal blogpost doesn't appeal to you, I recommend you skip this--again, normal material returns next time.  If you do want to read it, though, it's below the break.

Monday, September 18, 2017

This Day in Pony History: September 18th, 2011

It's been six and a half years, give or take, since I got on the pony ride, and I'm feeling a little nostalgic.  So I thought I'd take a time-out from reviewing today, and instead look back at what the fandom was up to on this day in 2011--the first year there was a G4 fandom on this date.  If you too want to revel in remembrance--or if you're just curious to click around a few old links--head down below the break!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 201

So, the fun of working with third-graders: yesterday, a boy asked to go to the bathroom.  A few minutes later, he comes back in the class, and very urgently tells me that I need to come to the boy's bathroom.  Thinking that there's some problem (and, this being a newcomers class, him not having enough English for me to get more specifics from him easily), I hustle over there in case someone's sick, or a toilet's overflowing, or something else is going on that's going to necessitate calling the nurse and/or janitor.

Turns out the kid had just dropped a particularly large deuce, and wanted to show it off.  Some things transcend culture, and boys being proud of their bowel movements is one of them.  Though socially appropriate ways to express that pride remain a work in progress.

Speaking of the often odious but vaguely fascinating results of digestion: fanfic reviews!  Get some, below the break.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 228: "Princest is Wincest," It Said

The author didn't use any cover art, so here's a visual representation of my feelings about authors not using cover art.  Also: to read the story, click the image or follow this link.

Work is too much work; I feel like I've got no time for the important things in life, i.e. reading MLP fanfics and writing those suckers up.  Somehow, I forgot what the start of the school year actually entails.  You'd think after all these years, the fact of the impending time sink wouldn't sneak up on me like that... and yet, it does.

But now, on to my review of the OMPR-award winning (in the category "Most Improbable Title for a Fic that Chris Actually Dedicated a Fandom Classic Review To," narrowly edging out Brony Hero of Equestria) "Princest is Wincest," It Said, by cleverpun.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 200

The big two-oh-oh!  I'm sure there's some significance to that, but I couldn't say what.  Turns out I'm not good with numbers, as my oh-so-clever decision to start Alshon Jeffery (5 fantasy points in standard scoring) while benching Leonard Fornette (18 points) attests.  I'd have won otherwise, too... what was I saying?  Oh yes!  Mini-reviews!  Find my less-than-200 of them, below the break.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 227: The Mane Makes The Pony

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

It's fantasy football time again!  It's actually also real football time; the first game of the season will have just finished by the time this post goes up.  I'm feeling pretty good about my team; I'll be starting three Cardinals (David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, plus I'm spot-starting Carson Palmer while I wait for Andrew Luck to get healthy), so I don't even have to worry much about conflicts of interest between my real team and my fantasy one!

Okay, that's enough fantasy sports; I'll talk about it some more sometime, no doubt, but I harbor no illusions than anyone cares.  Instead, let's move on to my review of Merlos the Mad's The Mane Makes the Pony, below the break.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 22nd

I can't remember if I've done this before, but over the weekend I had a thought; what if I looked at some first sentences from a blind sample of fanfics I haven't actually read, instead of evaluating stories I've already read and reviewed?  So I started from the top of the "recently published" list on FiMFic's front page, and worked my way down it until I got tired of this exercise.  Well, more or less; I left the mature filter off, but I skipped over the clopfics.  I suppose first sentences matter for them too, but I've just got no interest in *glances at stories list* Fall of Equestria and maybe diapers?  Though thankfully, no Fall of Equestria with diapers.

So head on down below the break, to see what I found when I ventured into the world of effectively-randomly-selected fanfiction!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 199

I did something yesterday that I haven't done in almost a decade: I pulled an all-nighter.  Not exactly deliberately; I'm coming off a stomach bug, and for some reason the general discomfort stayed right in that liminal state between "feeling better enough to successfully nod off" and "sick enough you just sort of pass out eventually."  Lucky that it's Labor Day weekend; I could use an extra day to get my schedule back on school hours.

Anyway, here's some mini-reviews, which--unlike this blurb--weren't written on zero hours of sleep.  Check them out below!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 226: Through the Well of Pirene

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

And so, here we have my review of the fourth-longest story I've read to date, narrowly edging out The Life and Times of a Winning Pony, and slotting in behind Background Pony, Fallout:Equestria, and Project Horizons.  Interestingly (well, interestingly to me, anyway), those five stories represent nearly 15% of the wordcount that I've reviewed on this blog, despite my having reviewed over 1000 fics to date.

It really drives home how long some of the fandom's epics are, compared to "fanfiction" as a whole.  But let's zero in on today's fic!  Head down below the break to check out my review of Ether Echoes' Through the Well of Pirene.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 198

Did you know that back-to-school workshops started right away this week, instead of on Thursday like usual?  I didn't!  Specifically, I didn't know that until I got home on Sunday.  And yes, it was entirely my fault for not knowing (checking e-mail and keeping up-to-date over the summer--who does that?), but the point is that I got back from my trip to Arizona only to immediately go into back-to-work mode.  So, having not had time to put together my review of Through the Well of Pirene yet, here instead is a set of mini-reviews that I had in my back pocket in case I didn't get enough guest columns.  Enjoy, and I'll try to get myself ahead of the curve for Friday!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Second Opinion: Who We Are, by kits

By the time you read this, I'll already be home (unless something's gone horribly wrong and I'm trying to hitchhike 2000 miles.  Let's... let's hope I'm at home by the time you read this).  But I probably only got in a few hours before this post went up, and let's face it; I'm not gonna be interested in trying to rush out my review of Esther Echos' Through the Well of Pirene right after rolling back into town.  So look for that on Wednesday--but first, check out our last guest post!  It's one you won't want to miss, as author extraordinaire Cold in Gardez bookends my vacation with a look at a story I gave a one-star review to which he thinks was a lot better than I gave it credit for.  If you have any interest at all in second opinions (and let's face it: if you're visiting a fanfic review blog, you probably are), then make sure you head below the break to see what CiG has to say.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Critique of My Little Dashie – Part 2

And here's part two!  Head down below the break for more on structure, storytelling, and summing-up.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Critique of My Little Dashie – Part 1

Okay, we've had our fun, now it's time to get serious.  You see, ColonelWaffle might not be a name you immediately recognize, but he's put together one of the most detailed, in-depth critiques of a piece of fiction I've ever seen.  And it's long, too--long enough that I'm breaking it into two parts, and they're both still heavy reads.

But don't mistake length for garrulousness!  What he's assembled is a comprehensive look at every aspect of construction, narrative, and cohesiveness, all meticulously and thoroughly explored.  ColonelWaffle makes a lot of statements, but he backs up everything he claims with story quotes and laudable analysis.  If you've ever wanted to take a deep dive into a story, today's your lucky day: head down below the break, and explore My Little Dashie with unparalleled fidelity.  

Monday, August 21, 2017


Time for week two of my vacation--a week which I will be dedicating entirely to guest posts about My Little Dashie.

...No, really!  I've got an excellent analysis to share with you all that's so long I'm going to split it into two parts, which dissects the fandom's most famous story in stunning detail.  If you enjoy deep dives into storywriting, you're in for a treat.  But before that, I've got something a little... let's say, lighter, to share with you.  Head down below the break for a quote-filled point-by-point rebuttal of my review, brought to you by the inimitable Richard!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Experiences and Thoughts for New and Prospective Writers

Ready for round three?  Because we're closing out week one of the guestravaganza with a fairly new author who you might have seen in the feature box once or twice in the past month.  That's right, today's post is by All Art Is Quite Useless, who's here to share some writing tips that he's picked up over the past few months, as well as offer some advice to would-be or prospective authors.  If you're still thinking about publishing that first story, make sure you check out what he has to say:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Seeing Through Your Characters’ Eyes: The Finer Points of Perspective

Speaking, as I ever-so-briefly did in the intro blurb on Monday, about Bronycon (smooth segue, Chris!), here's something that may look familiar to the attendees who went to Pascoite et al's panel.  That's right, everyone's favorite author/editor/pre-reader/mineral is at it again (I'd like to his past guest columns, but frankly he's written so much so well for OMPR that one could be forgiven for wondering who the OM is at this point!  To go back and see all his goodness, plus some reviews of his excellent stories, just type his name into the search bar on your right), this time with some thoughts about narrative distance and perspective.  Head down below the break for some truly excellent writing advice.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Welcome back from Bronycon, those of you who went, and welcome to day one of my vacation!  Batting lead-off for the fortnight is Icy Shake, a gentleman who's contributed his analysis here before, with reviews of In a Tavern, Down By the River, as well as of Somber's and Twilight Snarkle's entire outputs.  Today, he's once again going to dive into some fanfic analysis, by comparing and contrasting two well-known stories by well-known authors.  These fics may have similar premises, but Icy dives into why he found one more effective than the other, and what writing lessons can be learned from both.  Make sure you head down below and check it out!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 197

Well, today's my last day for the next couple of weeks.  When I come back, I'll presumably be refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to write up a review of the fic I'll be reading on vacation: Through the Well of Pirene, by Ether Echoes.  That'll be the 30th, but before then, I've got seven guest posts lined up for y'all!  And, having already read all the posts that will be going up before I get home, let me assure you all that you're in for a treat: we've got some reviewing, some analysis, some writing advice, and even a little comedy, all from a mix of old and new fillers-in.  There's a lot of horsewords talent coming down the line for the next fortnight, is what I'm trying to say, and you'll want to make sure you don't pull a Chris and just lay off of OMPR for a while.

Speaking of, something I'm also laying off of for a while is the Royal Canterlot Library, which I assume will immediately burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp in my absence.  But as a going-away-for-a-couple-weeks present/placating gesture, I thought I'd review a story by each of the other RCL curators before I skedaddled!  Head down below the break to see my thoughts on other reviewers' writing.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 225: The Magic Never Fades Away

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

I am certain there was something I was going to say up here... but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was.  Oh well, it'll probably come to me in the morning; if you all behave, maybe I'll even share it when (/if) I remember it.  Until then, enjoy a classic-style OMPR review, courtesy of yours truly.  Get it below!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Episode Talk: S7E13, The Perfect Pear

The mid-season hiatus is finally over!  At least, it is for those of us who've been watching episodes as they're released stateside.  What fortuitous timing; they've returned just in time for me to... miss the next few weeks.  Huh.

Well, I was still here this Saturday, and I wanted to share a few opinions.  And post pictures of Carrot Top, because natch.  As usual, this isn't a comprehensive review of what I saw--more "here's some things that stuck out to me/random thoughts I had while watching."  If that sounds interesting to you, see what I had to say about the latest episode, below the break!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 224: The Last Pony on Earth

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

One week until I leave on vacation!  If you're working on/planning to do a guest post, this weekend is the time to finish them up.  I'll plan to put together the posts and e-mail everyone with the days theirs will go up on Wednesday, and then guest postage will commence on the 14th.  From the columns I've already read, I can promise you all that there's some good stuff coming up!

But until the 14th, this is still One Man's pony ramblings!  So head on down below the break to see what that one man had to say about starscribe's The Last Pony on Earth.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review Delayed Until Tomorrow

...because I'm at Bronycon!  Wait, no, that's just every single other person on FiMFic, if my feed is anything to go by :P  Have fun without me, guys... if you can.

No, but I was just doing my last once-through/fill-in-the-above-the-break-bit on The Last Pony on Earth, realized there was a significant portion that I wanted to re-write, and don't feel like doing it right now.  Rather than let it go up as-is or push myself to re-write it right before bed, I'm just going to push it back 24 hours.  Expect the hopefully-improved review tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 196

Had to get a new phone today, since my old one decided that a big chunk of the bottom half was tired of being touch-sensitive and would rather remain totally unresponsive whenever I tried to type something on it.  Why does getting a phone fixed cost more than just getting a new one?  I don't know!  Oh well, I guess it'll be nice to have something new, even if figuring out what to buy came at the expense of the better part of my day.

So, here's some mini-reviews.  Get 'em below the break!

Monday, July 31, 2017

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 23)

Been a while since I did one of these!  Let's take a quick time-out from all that yabber about ponyfic and instead talk about reading material of the sort that normies don't arch their eyebrows at!  Head down below the break for a quick peek at the books I'm currently in the process of reading, and what I think of them to whatever point I'm at in them.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 195

I got a nice surprise yesterday when one of my friends who lives on the other side of the country showed up here in town!  I knew he was moving back at some point, but he managed to surprise me nonetheless; it was good to see him again, and now it won't even have to be a couple-of-times-a-year thing like it's been for the past decade!

And, him being him, it didn't take ten minutes before he'd asked when our next D&D session would be.  Some things never change, but luckily they're mostly good things.

Speaking of good things, here're some fanfic reviews!  Check them out, below.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 223: Vanilla Twilight

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

My little sister is visiting this week!  Should be fun times; her only precondition for coming by for a few days was that I had to buy her cheese curds at the county fair.  That seems eminently reasonable to me, insofar as cheese curds are delicious and I was going to be buying them for myself anyway; why not get a bunch, and pretend that she's going to eat all the extra?

Also, review below.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 194

I have not been treating my body well the last few days.  Between the staying up late to watch the WSOP, and getting up early to watch the Tour de France (cool British guy lost and boring British guy won, respectively), I probably averaged only four or five hours of sleep a night the last few days.  It's left me thoroughly zombified, and trying to catch a nap or two just seems to make it worse.  Man, I'm pretty sure I didn't used to get this drained from a few days of insufficient shut-eye back when I was in college, and that was only... oh damn, I am getting old, aren't I?

Well, my productivity may have been shot in most other areas of my life, but I still got a couple of mini-reviews out, at least!  Good to know I have my priorities straight.  Go check 'em out below.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 222: Savage

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

You know what kills me every time I try to get back into online poker?  People who go all-in on the first hand of a tournament.  And if nobody calls them, they just do it again next round, until eventually somebody's doubled (tripled, quadrupled...) up, and the rest of us finally get to play--with a massive chip disadvantage.  It's no fun, dangit!

What will hopefully be more fun?  My review of Ese Way's Savage.  Get it below!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 193

I watched the premier of the new season of Game of Thrones just a few hours before this post was gonna go up, and I gotta say... for all that the visuals and music are still absolutely top-tier (and they are!  They're almost entirely why I'm still watching at this point!), the show is really striking out on characterization, tone, pacing, and basically everything that's not the music and visuals.  I mean, Euron is straight-up Jack Sparrow at this point, you know?  Sam somehow got stuck in a gross-out comedy flick that's being intercut with the rest of the show.  Nobody seems to care--or even notice!--that Sansa is the rightful Warden of the North.

Honestly, it's enough to make me glad that they killed off Stannis two years ago; he may be my favorite major character in the books (sidebar: my favorite minor characters are Damphair, Patchface, and Hodor; if I ever write an ASoIaF fanfic, it will be about those three traveling Westeros, and every time they encounter anyone or anything, Damphair will say something gloomy and portentous, Patchface will start singing a vaguely foreboding nonsense rhyme about it, and Hodor will say "Hodor."  About every.  Single.  Thing.), but it's kind of nice to know that the show can't miss the point with him any more.

Now!  Ponyfic!  Below!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 221: Two Peas in a Pod

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

If you like reading in-detail, stream-of-consciousness reviews, be ye advised that PresentPerfect has finally finished his six-part review of Project: Horizons.  According to the google doc I just pasted it into out of morbid curiosity, his review runs a whopping 44,193 words.  Normally this would be a case where I'd say something like "frankly, you're better off just reading the story and deciding for yourself," but given that the fic in question is 1.7 million words, a short novel about it is still a significant potential timesaver.  Plus, PP's irreverent summarizing is really funny in its own right (plus plus, he curses like a wounded pirate and/or 14 year-old Call of Duty player).

Or you could just read my review of it.  It's only 3311 words, which I believe means that it's over 13 times better :B  And if even that's too many words for you, try my significantly shorter review of Blueshift's Two Peas in a Pod, below the break.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mini-Reviews Part 192

Hey, maybe one of you can solve a mystery for me: has someone or somewhere I don't know about promoted to my FiMFic account recently?  Because in the last few days, I've picked up several new followers, and had a bunch of my stories (i.e. it's not just one fic that's benefiting) added to different people's favorites folders.  I haven't published any new stories recently, so I'm at a loss as to what's going on.  Do you guys have any clues?

Let me know if you figure it out.  Otherwise, I'll just keep on doing what I do: reviewing fanfics!  Click down below the break for more.

Monday, July 10, 2017


If you've been around the OMPR block a few times, you know that it's summer, and you know what that means: I'm going on vacation!  Specifically, I'm going on vacation in about a month's time, and I'll be gone two weeks.  I'd like to be able to spend my vacation not worrying about this site, and while building up a small buffer is one thing, getting eight posts ahead (two weeks, plus the Monday and Friday on either side) is tough.  So, time for my annual call:

I'm looking for people to write guest columns which I can post on this site, about either writing, reviewing, ponies, or some combination thereof. Write something, let me share it, and wallow in the glory of being featured on a MLP fanfic review blog!

Interested?  Intrigued?  Just plain curious?  Get the details, below!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 220: Friendship Is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens

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

Okay, all that show-talk was good and well, but now let's get back to my bread and butter: fanfic reviews!  Click down below the break for my take on Chatoyance's Friendship is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

In Which Chris Complains About an Episode. A Lot.

A few weeks ago, I said this about A Royal Problem:
Didn't like it. Actually, hated it. Not quite as much as I hated stuff like Bats!, or... actually, it might be my second-least-favorite episode, after Bats! I'd have to think about it, but that would require thinking about it, which I really would rather not do.
Apparently, not many of you were terribly thrilled that I'd mention my opinion without justifying it.  I've gotten comments and e-mails asking me to talk about the episode, multiple times from some people.  I've been had my failure to say more about the episode than "I hated it, I don't wanna talk about it" called "the lazy way out" and "unprofessional."

Well, fine.  Let's talk about A Royal Problem.  Let's go through all the reasons I didn't like it.  If you come here for fanfiction reviews, go ahead and close your browser now, and come back on Friday; otherwise, below the break is a whole bunch of bellyaching.

Monday, July 3, 2017

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 21st

Hope you're all enjoying some cycling goodness!  It's Tour de France season, and I'll probably (definitely) update you if Voeckler does anything exciting in this, his final Grand Tour.  Sadly, I'm pretty sure Mystic was the only other person in my circle of ever-so-marginal influence who cared one bit about pro cycling, but you all are just going to have to suffer my sports interests anyway.  Mwa-ha-ha!

Or, you know, you could skip this blurby bit on my posts.  But why would you want to do that?  In any case, I'm done blurbing at you now.  Head down below the break for my thoughts on some first sentences from past Fandom Classics!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mini-Reviews Part 191

First, my complete and comprehensive analysis of the new trailer for the MLP movie:

Carrot Top confirmed!  There was probably some other stuff, but why focus on the negative (no really, please don't ask me bitch about everything I don't like, or I'll never stop)?  Let's instead take a moment to acknowledge that, no matter what else goes wrong, there will be at least one reason to watch the film.

But for now, let's focus on the fanfiction side of the pony equation--and, in keeping with our best-part-of-the-trailer theme, let's make it another Carrot Top edition!  Well, an edition of stories wherein Carrot Top is one of the tagged characters, anyway.  Head down below the break for my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 219: Keeping Your Hooves On The Ground

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

Hey!  Do you like fanfic readings?  If so, then definitely check out Illya Leonov's reading of my Equestrian folktale, The Sweetest Water.  He has a wonderful, rich voice, but don't let that fool you; he also has plenty of range, which he gets to show off through the voices of the different pools.  The Sweetest Water is now two-for-two on having awesome readings done of it (the other being Neighrator Pony's wonderful reading from a while back).  If audiobooks and Chris-writing are your things, don't miss it!

Also, don't miss my review of InsertAuthorHere's Keeping Your Hooves On The Ground, below the break.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 190

In case you missed it, my inaugural Seattle's Angel's post went up over the weekend!  Head over there, and you can read my and RedSquirrel's fic recommendations (contrary to what the blurbery might suggest, I didn't actually select all four of the fics we featured), including one story that's never been reviewed anywhere else--even here!

And if that isn't enough reviewing for you, have some more reviews!  Specifically, reviews of the mini- variety, which you can find below the break.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 218: Luna, There's a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane

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

I guess Australia is airing episodes in advance now?  Nutters, I'd just last week caught up with everyone who doesn't follow the US release schedule!  Oh well, it was nice being able to interact with the fandom on equal footing for a few days, at least.  Back to not knowing what everyone else is talking about.

But hey, one nice things about fanfics from 2012: they never surprise you with new-to-you canon.  Check out my review of boardgamebrony's Luna, There' s a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane, below the break.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 217: Exit Through Canterlot

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

Time for the first Fandom Classic review of June!  Wait... *checks date* it's seriously been twenty days since I did one of these?  Jeez.  To be fair, the end of the school year was a doozy, and this is a long story, but still.

Oh well; now I'm back to it!  Head down below the break for my review of TheBrianJ's Exit Through Canterlot, and make sure you savor it--though with any luck, it won't have to tide you over until July 10th.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Episode Talk: S7E11, Not Asking for Trouble

I debated doing one of these; I think everyone else watched this episode a month ago, and have probably forgotten it by now.  But dangit, I just got to see it for the first time this weekend, and I am gonna talk about it!  Get my thoughts, after the break.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Reviewer Reviews: Loganberry

There's too many fanfics for any one person to read.  That's why you turn to fanfic reviewers: to help guide you away from fics that you wouldn't enjoy anyway, and towards ones that you'll love, and might have missed otherwise.

But there are also too many fanfic reviews for any one person to read.  Okay, that's probably not technically true... but the BIG MASTER REVIEW LIST has nearly 15,000 fanfic reviews in it as I type this, and who knows how many more are flying under its radar?  Point is, you don't have time to read every single review.  That's why you turn to fanfic reviewer reviews: to help you find the reviewers whose reviews will help you the most, and whose styles gel with your own review-reading desires!

So head on down below the break, and we'll take a look at what Loganberry (as he calls himself on FiMFic.  On his blog, simply Logan) has on tap for the discerning review reader.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 189

Saw A Royal Problem.  Didn't like it.  Actually, hated it.  Not quite as much as I hated stuff like Bats!, or... actually, it might be my second-least-favorite episode, after Bats!  I'd have to think about it, but that would require thinking about it, which I really would rather not do.  So instead, let's do some fanfic reviews, below the break.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Stuff That Isn't Reviews, Upcoming Reviews, and Reviews You Can Read Right Now!

Well!  The end of the year has proven... busier than I'd expected.  I thought that moving from an environment where I was interacting with over a hundred kids every year to a single-classroom setting would mean less end-of-year scrambling, but my current job and age range came with its own unpleasant surprises on that front.  Good news: they're all (almost) behind me, and summer is officially here!

So, sorry for missing the last two posts, and thank you for not tracking me down and egging my house in the interim.  To repay you, here's a pseudo-roundup of ponyfic-related stuff--including episode discussion, my reviews, and other people's reviews.  Check it out below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 188

It's the last week of the school year, and I'm scrambling.  I'm behind on episodes, I've done less reading than I'd like, and that's just what's piling up in my pony sphere of influence.  So, roundabout way of saying: I may end up missing a post this week, but I'll try not to.  I've got enough material to make the necessary posts, but sometimes it's hard to find time even to turn those notes and drafts into a post proper.

But I'm ready for today, at least!  Click down below the break for some short reviews (and one less-short review) of stuff I've recently read.

Friday, June 2, 2017

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 20th

Have I really not done one of these posts since February?  Jeez, time sure gets away from ya sometimes.  Welp, let's dive in and correct the record, so to speak!

This time, I thought that instead of looking at stories I've reviewed, I'd tackle the stories which FiMFic has listed as "Top - All-time," as of a bit earlier this week (for those of you who don't keep up with FiMFic algorithms, the list is subject to significant turnover; one downvote can easily knock most stories' ranks down a few hundred places, and being on the list in the first place is a good way to attract downvotes).  So, let's see how the top stories on FiMFic hold up, when all you look at is their first line!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 216: Twilight Hears the Narrator

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

In place of anything of substance, I will relate the following true story: I read this top 18 list of "best movie montages," because obviously I have nothing better to do with my life.  I read through the whole article, mentally preparing myself to be annoyed when Rocky IV wasn't in the number 1 spot, and already composing in my head a detailed explanation for why the Rocky IV montage is the best montage of all time (Rocky outruns the KGB--who are in a car--and then climbs a Siberian mountain in the middle of winter, in order to defeat communism!  And that's before we even get into the fact that "Hearts on Fire" is objectively the best montage song).  So of course, I get to the end, and it turns out they did put Rocky IV first overall, and all my pent-up annoyance suddenly had no outlet.

I feel like there's a lesson to learn from this, but instead I'm just going to listen to that song again.  Anyway, Stratocaster's Twilight Hears the Narrator review, below!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 187

Over the weekend, I got around to posting a couple more pieces to my microfic collection.  So if you didn't already see it, go take a look at Bantam Tales, and enjoy a Carrot Top jokefic and/or a dark story about Tirek's fate!  Or, if you haven't read all my fics in there yet, feel free to read some or all of the other stuff, too; it's all unrelated, so feel free to pick and chose whatever looks good.

Speaking of picking and choosing whatever looks good, let's do some reviews!  I read 'em so you can make marginally more informed decisions about whether or not to do the same, after the break.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 215: Nosflutteratu

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

Two more weeks of school, and I am officially counting the days until summer.  I always try to wait as long as possible--I don't want to get into a "only X days left!" mindset in the middle of February, like certain other people I could name--but at this point... yeah, it's hard not to have that "we're in the homestretch" feeling.  But although the school year may end, the reviews never do!  Click down for my thoughts on Charcoal Quill's Nosflutteratu.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 214: Let's Find You a Date!

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

Does anyone else feel like season seven has done a great job of fracturing the fandom?  I mean, I haven't been on Equestria Daily in weeks, and until very recently, that was an every-day stop for me.  Not so much to avoid spoilers--I'm not super worried about that, at least when it comes to pony--but more because I know the conversation and features will be even heavier on stuff that I don't have a frame of reference for than usual.  Ditto new fanfics and blogposts; when half the fandom is having a completely different viewing experience from the other half, it's easy to lose touch with what a whole bunch of people are talking about, really quickly.

Maybe it's just me, but this is increasingly feeling to me like a "drifting away" inflection point for the fandom.  We'll see.  And meanwhile, we'll continue to read the fandom's classics!  Head down below the break to see what I thought of Soundslikeponies' Let's Find You a Date!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 186

I didn't write about last week's episode because it was honestly pretty forgettable, but I have things to say about Parental Glidance!  And you probably don't care, because you watched it with the Canadians two weeks ago :P  But I just watched it this weekend, so here we go!  First, Dash's parents were great, but I don't like that they never learned any sort of lesson: I mean, we've seen the kind of neurotic mess that they created by stifling their daughter's ability to distinguish legitimate praise from mindless acceptance, and the ridiculous lengths Dash goes to because she keeps seeking genuine, meaningful recognition, yet is unable to see it for what it is when presented to her.  I mean seriously, Dash is my favorite main-six pony, but she's got issues, and we finally find out why... and the only lesson at the end is "this is fine?"  Don't get me wrong, I'm no advocate of Tiger Mom-ism, but come on.\

Second, and more importantly, Carrot Top!

What, did you think I wouldn't notice Carrot Top sitting third from the left, top row?  I'VE GOT EYES LIKE A STEEL TRAP.  As you can see, she's in literally the cheapest seats at the show; she assumed that, because it was a matinee, attendance would be sparse and she'd be able to move down to a better seat.  She was half-right; there were plenty of empty spots in the "gold" and "diamond" seating areas, but it turns out the Sugarcube Corner Skyline® at Hayburger Stadium® had recently instituted a new PSL policy that allows season ticket-holders to hold and sell their paid-for spaces through the Wonderbolts' resale front for a small commission.  The upshot?  Carrot Top could've moved down a few rows... but only if she wanted to cough up an extra 80 bits.  Oh well; at least she wasn't sitting behind anyone wearing a ridiculously large hat this time.

Plus, she was able to get a signature from the Wonderbolts' newest member!  And it only required standing in line for four hours in the blazing hot sun!  Unfortunately, she didn't get quite the reaction she was expecting when she brought her "souvenir" home.  "You got Rainbow Dash's signature?  Rainbow Dash's?"  Written Script would ask her, his confusion plain to see on his face.  When Carrot Top assured him that RD's signature was going to be worth a lot someday, he shrugged.  "I suppose we'd better start saving our monthly weather bills, then.  You... you do remember that they're signed by the Ponyville weather manager, right?  And that that manager is still Rainbow Dash?"

Carrot Top did not, in fact, remember that.  But she didn't admit that she didn't remember it, which (she was pretty sure) was the important thing here.

Okay, okay.  On to some reviews of fanfics!  Get 'em below.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 213: Negotiations

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

For those of you who keep up with writeoff-related happenings, the most recent minific round has concluded, and I managed to pace well; my story sandwiched neatly in between Ceffyl Dwr's first- and third- place entries.  Seriously, who writes two good stories in 24 hours?  Anyway, look for it to show up in either my minific collection or on its own (depending on how much my edits expand the wordcount) sometime in the near future.

But if my horsewords don't interest you, you could always read my words about horsewords!  My review of Rated Ponystar's Negotiations, below.