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.
Prince Blueblood: The Good Prince, by Charx
Zero-ish spoiler summary: The story of how Blueblood leveraged his love of the common pony and ability to pull the wool over the nobilities' eyes to create a plebeian-friendly constitution.
A few thoughts: Although this is technically a sequel, the only thing you need to accept going in is "Blueblood's a'ight," which is something I've always been marginally fonder of in fanfiction than I can reasonably justify. But this, regrettably, is really just a telly outline of a lore dump. Passages like "The public embraced the constitution whole-heartedly, and Blueblood quickly became Prince, the first royalty in thousands of years. Mi Amore Cadenza and Captain Shining Armour followed shortly afterwards. The nobles were blindsided by these sudden changes. Many of them neglected to read the constitution, too infatuated with Blueblood's charm. They could only watch as their large estates were broken up by the Princesses and given to the farmers who lived upon them," are the norm, and--leaving altogether aside the politics for the moment--it's hard to get too invested in something that's basically a list of outcomes.
Recommendation: Unless you think a thousand words of patting Blueblood on the back in summary form sounds interesting, this probably isn't the story for you.
Frost Fairies and Pony Princes, by KingMoriarty
Zero-ish spoiler summary: After Double Diamond--a winter fey spirit in pony-form--recovers from his time in Starlight Glimmer's town, he seeks out the little colt whom he once saved from a blizzard, and with whom he spent a single, magical day.
A few thoughts: Another Blueblood fic! This one caught my attention right away with the strange premise, and I liked the early going, both for its creative development of frost-kin and for the way it looks at how both ponies recollect a day long ago which they've in some ways outgrown, but never truly left behind. Unfortunately, this is also a shipfic, and the romantic infatuation between two ponies who met once when they were both young was... not well-supported, unless you're totally willing to accept the mutual love/lust as a given going in. Too bad; this isn't even an awful story with the shipping, but it's a clear example of one where the shipping element not only adds nothing to the story being told, but also serves to strain credulity.
Recommendation: If ill-supported shipping doesn't bother you, consider this as a good example of character-building through conversation with a bit of neat worldbuilding thrown in. But if "I haven't stopped thinking about you since I was a child, now let's kiss" doesn't do it for you, this probably isn't your kind of fic.
Ordinary-Human Fanfiction, by Good Christian Ethesto
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Cheerilee explains to the school board just what actually happened. Murder, velociraptors, and the jaws of life are involved.
A few thoughts: This is a straight-up trollfic, and analyzing it any farther seems like a waste. It uses a variety of gross or merely nonsensical descriptions which serve no purpose other than to be gross and nonsensical, the plot is basically a series of non-sequiturs with just enough carry-through to trick the inattentive reader into thinking it's something more, and there aren't so much "jokes" as there is "self-aware badness."
Recommendation: Those not enamored of trollfiction needn't bother. Those who are... well, this is one.