Monday, February 27, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 173

Since FiMFiction basically told everyone "y'all oughta change your passwords" the other day, I decided that this was as fine a time as any to quit recycling the same half-dozen passwords for every computer thing I do, and sign up for a password manager.  So from now on, if I suddenly stop posting here and never log on to FiMFic again, there are two possibilities as to what's happened to me: either I'm dead in a gutter somewhere, or I forgot my master password and can no longer access anything at all!  This should be reassuring to all of you: going forward, an abrupt, permanent cessation of Chris e-presence only means a 50-50 chance of the abrupt, permanent cessation of Chris himself.

Oh, also, mini-reviews, after break.

Fallout: Equestria - The Quiet City, by Gamma Deekay

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Shortly after the war, a lone survivor braves a radiation-filled city, searching for supplies to get him a bit farther down the road toward Sanctuary.

A few thoughts:  This fic does a remarkably good job of building tension out of mundane: rather than relying on raiders and action sequences for its impetus, The Quiet City is (mostly) about the less dramatic, more insidious dangers which an inherently hazardous setting can bring.  I also really appreciated the ending, which was just optimistic enough to satisfy, without abandoning any of the darker elements inherent to an Fo:E fic.  Unfortunately, the editing is a real letdown; while the punctuation is fine and the broader phrasing here is generally effective if unspectacular, issues like misspelled words and its/it's confusion are prevalent.

Recommendation:  Because the timeframe in which it takes place, there's really nothing particularly (or rather, specifically) Fo:E about this fic.  As such, I'd feel comfortable broadly recommending it to fans of "after the end" survival stories even independent of its source material, with the caveat that readers put off by word-level editing issues might want to give it a pass.

See You Again, by taterforlife

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Fluttershy and Discord met once, many thousands of years ago... but neither of them remember.  At least, not yet.

A few thoughts:  There is a really sweet idea here presented in a really clever way, plot-wise, but a few key things held me back from really enjoying the story.  The first is the blatantly expository nature of a lot of the dialogue in the middle section.  Second, there's the shipping (this is a shipfic), which came from too far out of left field with way too much velocity for me to do anything other than get beaned in the noggin by it.  Fluttercord shippers (shippers generally, for that matter) will likely be more forgiving on that matter than me, but this definitely doesn't waste any time going from "I remember you" to "by the way, we're soulmates."

Recommendation:  While I wouldn't quite call this a "for shippers only" fic (the perspective in the first segment is quite interesting on its own, and the ending is heartwarming even outside of its romantic elements), it's certainly not a story for those put off by the conventions shipficcery.  Within that context, this is a great choice for fans of lore and unique perspectives, but a poor one for people who hate having everything spelled out for them.

Luna's Nightmare, by Word Worthy

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  When Celestia vanishes, the sun threatens to go supernova.  Only Luna can slow its inexorable progress, but even that is just delaying the inevitable...

A few thoughts:  Given the title, I don't think that saying "it was all a dream" is much of a spoiler.  I was fine with that, as far as it went, but I didn't appreciate how completely and succinctly Luna's fears/concerns were addressed at the end of the fic; it felt too abrupt and too total, and unbelievable as a result.  There's some nice imagery in the prose, meanwhile ("In the east lay not a pleasing postcard vista of newborn clouds, fresh warm blues, and a radiant golden Sun. The approaching skies were the colour of blood") but unfortunately, it's frequently diminished by the presence of irregular or just plain incorrect words, apparently inserted in an attempt to make the text read as more magisterial ("Drawn out groans narrated a bedraggled alicorn").

Recommendation:  Fans of imagery who prefer their stories a little less "artsy" and more traditionally structured than imagery-filled fanfics tend to be may find this to their liking.  It's probably not for readers who dislike quick fixes, nor anyone who's going to get caught up in details like "the sun doesn't actually work that way" (leaving aside that this is Luna's dream, and thus, the sun can do whatever it darn well pleases, the author does note that this is not an accurate representation of... well, anything about the decay and expansion of a star).


  1. Dying is generally considered Not a Good Thing, especially for those of us who enjoy reading your reviews

    1. Living is generally considered Not Much Better.

      Also, that password issue was a pain.

      Sadly, I think I'll pass on the fics. The Fallout: Equestria series never appealed to me, and I have a hard enough time accepting Discord and Fluttershy as good friends, let alone as romantic partners. That last one sounds vaguely interesting, if I could feel more confident about the whole "and it was all a dream" trope. Not to mention I'm a bit iffy about the astronomy abuse.

      Darn, I must have taken misery pills this morning. :(

  2. If you die, where will I get my Carrot Top curation? Where, Chris!? D:

  3. What's this about passwords on FIM Fiction? I don't think I saw anything about it on the site.