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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 185

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday; I spent the weekend up north, and forgot to set this to post.  And by the time I got home on Monday night, it was already almost a day late... so at that point, it felt like it made more sense to just call it a loss and move on (and move it) to today.  Mea culpa!

But now, your extended jonesing is over; get some mini-reviews, below the break.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 212: A True, True Friend?

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

So, I made mint juleps last Saturday, because you're supposed to drink mint juleps for the Kentucky Derby.  And they were great, and that was all fine as far as it went.  But to make them, I first had to make simple syrup (i.e. I boiled some sugar water), and you need, like, a tablespoon of simple syrup for mint julips, and my friends and I aren't exactly heavy drinkers, and now I've got a cup and a half of simple syrup in my fridge and nothing to do with it.

If you have any suggestions for what to do with a bunch of sugar water, I'd love to hear them.  But if not, you can just shrug your shoulders and move on to my review of Blazewing's A True, True Friend?, below the break.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 184

I try to occasionally look through the "new stories" list on the FiMFic main page; it's not the best way to find great stories in terms of raw numbers, but it is a good way to catch new authors who haven't had a chance to get eyes on their works yet.  That said, there are the usual pitfalls with this method of story searching: barely-coherent writing, weird fetishes... and stories with totally opaque descriptions.  Take this short description, which I came across this afternoon:
Rainbow Dash thinks that Paladins is a rip-off of Overwatch. Sunset Shimmer begs to differ.
I don't know what Overwatch is/are, nor how paladins could be said to be a ripoff of anything, but I'll assume this statement makes sense if only I had some key bit of background or cultural insight.  Then there's stuff like this one:
Giratina goes to Equestria
Where it's obvious the author expects me to know who "Giratina" is... except, of course, I don't.  Which isn't the author's fault (if anything, it's nice that they're so up-front about who is(n't) the target audience)--but yeah, obviously I'm not going to read a story where the premise leaves me floundering like that.

But here are some older stories that I did read, all of which were fundamentally comprehensible to me!  Head down below to see what I thought of 'em.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Odds and Ends

It's been a while since I've done a "bit of this, bit of that" post, but today I have several things that don't really tie together, but which I want to throw out to y'all.  Some reading stuff, some writing stuff, and some episode stuff!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 211: Winds of Change

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

This afternoon, I watched my cat stare down a spot on the wall, eventually pounce at it, then try to run away from it full-speed, only to barrel headfirst into the leg of my dining-room table.  This is not the first time he's smacked his face at high speeds.  I think he's permanently concussed.

But you didn't come here to hear about my cat's self-inflicted injuries; you came here for fanfic reviews!  So go get some below the break, as I look at Masterweaver's Winds of Change.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Change a Title by One Letter

Perhaps some of you (heck, perhaps all of you) are aware of the "change one letter" challenge/joke/meme that's been floating around for... oh, years, probably.  The gist is this: you alter, add, or remove a single letter to/from a title, and summarize the plot of your newly created work.  Good fun.

So I decided to do a few pony ones, mostly based on stories I've reviewed recently (so as not to leave y'all wondering what the reference is).  With any luck, maybe a few of them are even funny!  See for yourself, below the break.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 183

Due to my internet connection having been wonky most of the weekend, I still haven't seen the newest episode (or the newest two, I guess, since Canada has wonderful taste in sports but terrible ideas about TV scheduling).  I'm not optimistic, though; two of the past three episodes have featured Carrot Top, and a more typical ratio in the past couple of seasons has been, like, 1:4.  I'll find out soon enough, I suppose.

Until then, let's review some fanfics!  A trollfic-themed set, because I don't normally read them, so I might as well get several out of the way all at once :P  Check it out, below.