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.

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Nightmare Moon endlessly waits upon the grey, unchanging surface of the moon.  Above her, lights grow closer.

A few thoughts:  This is a really strange story.  It's darkly serious in terms of its descriptions and tone, and yet, its literal events are... kind of comical, in that they're based on such an absurdly serious interpretation of the title.  I rather liked the disconnect, as it kept what could have been a very straightforward "NMM is angry on the moon" fic unpredictable.  That said, it's really more of a grimly tragic scene than it is a complete story, lacking much heft beyond that provided by the actual actions taken at climax (as opposed to the results of those actions, or some larger lesson or arc).

Recommendation:  If you're looking for a weird and original take on "NMM on the moon," this is a short but surprising little ficlette.  It's obviously not for those who find the whole idea too silly to stomach in the first place, and readers looking for more than a... not "twist," really, but for more than a climactic event in their fiction, will probably find this too slight for their tastes.

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  After her disaster of a show in Ponyville, Trixie decides to return home to visit her father... and to remember her mother, with a magic that few ponies know or would accept.

A few thoughts:  There's an interesting idea at the heart of this, and there were some aspects of the presentation that I really enjoyed.  Emperor shows a talent for evocative imagery which doesn't overwhelm the story itself, and there's a calm, assured staid-ness to the writing that was entirely appropriate to the fic's overall tone.  That said, there's a lot of really telly writing, both in narration and in dialogue ("Don't you dare say that, papa! You know as well as I do that her illness was entirely unrelated!"), and on a more personal note, I found myself really disappointed by the no-payoff stinger ending.  Well, maybe it pays of in the sequel, but it doesn't do anything for the There's No Place Like Home reading experience.

Recommendation:  Fans of Trixie apologia will probably find this to be an original idea which has a little heart behind it, and fans of setting will find that Trixie's hometown and backstory are almost as much a character as she and her father are themselves.  Those who like their Trixie clueless and/or antagonistic are probably going to find this less to their tastes.


  1. At Wamego's Oztoberfest, we had two different local BBQ joints shilling their wares. I almost couldn't waddle home. So gooooood.