Monday, January 30, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 169

Seattle's Angels made me sad over the weekend.  Not that they did anything wrong (that I know of...)!  No, they're great, but they are nevertheless the proximate cause of my sadness.

See, one of the stories they recommended in their most recent post was The Doctor, the Designer, and the Horn of the Damned.  Well, that title looked familiar to me, so I clicked over to it, and discovered that I had it on my read-it-later list.  Where it had languished for more than two years.

Now, that wouldn't have made me too sad by itself, but what really bummed me out is that the author hasn't been on FiMFic in about five months.  In other words, I had well over a year and a half to get a review out when it might have done some good for the guy who wrote it... and I didn't.  Granted, my reviews aren't targeted at authors, particularly, but most people still like to read reviews of things they've written.  And I dawdled too long.

So today, I'm going to grab the three short stories that are farthest back on my RiL--the ones that have sat the longest, all of which I added more than three(!) years ago.  Well, now let's blow off the dust and see what we've got, shall we?  My reviews, below the break.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A REAL Blast from the Past

The hype is real!  Go check out Logan's Carrot Top-centric fic reviews!

Over here, on the other hand, we'll be doing something a bit different from usual.  While helping my parents move some boxes, I came across a book I wrote in fourth grade.  I give you... The Magician's Apprentice!

As you can see, my art skills were "on fleek" from an early age

See, at my elementary school, there was this big thing every year where the fourth- and fifth-graders got to write a "real book."  The teachers would spend the better part of a month helping us plan and write drafts (at least four, IIRC--like I said, it was a big deal!) and stuff, and at the end of it, you got an actual blank hardcover book--sixteen 8x11 pages--on which to write your text and draw some art.  We spent time studying how real books looked, put in the dedications and "about the author" pages, all that jazz.  I was just getting on the D&D train at the tender age of ten, which probably explains the my story's fantasy bent.

Now, I didn't have more than a vague recollection of what I'd actually written.  So, for your reading pleasure, I've typed up the complete text of The Magician's Apprentice, presented with page-by page commentary as I read it for the first time in... oh, at least two decades.  Now, although the art is really... really something, I'm not going to take pictures of every page--you'll have to make do with the words.  Even at that age, I was a verbally-oriented person, so you aren't going to miss anything important anyway.  So without further adieu, enjoy a glimpse at what an overambitious young boy thought a quality fantasy story might look like, below.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 198: Gazing to the Ocean of the Sky

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

Life is good.

Enjoy it.

Also, enjoy this review.

My take on David Silver's Gazing to the Ocean of the Sky, below.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reviewer Reviews: PresentPerfect

Something new today!  Also, something I've occasionally joked about doing, but suddenly thought "Hey, why don't I actually do it?" about.

That's right, I'm going to take a look at another ponyfic reviewer's reviews, and break them down a bit!  Depending on how much fun this is, it may end up being a one-off, or I may continue doing these posts on an irregular basis.  We'll play it by ear, m'kay?

And who better to start with than the inimitable PresentPerfect--the man who, according to the Big Master Review List, has done by far the most fanfic reviews of any of us.  Head down below the break as I break down what his reviews do, what they don't do, and whether you should devote some of your precious review-reading time to him.  Off we go!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 168

I got a new tablet yesterday (actually, I got an old, refurbished tablet, but whatever--it's new to me), and have spent several hours personalizing it.  The most important question, of course, is "what should my wallpaper be?"  I don't think any of you are going to be surprised by my choice:

Yeah, it goes nicely with the theme established by the wallpaper on my laptop:

...But with the added bonus of being fanart for something I wrote, so I get a little thrill of validation every time I open the sucker up.  Go me!  Then go below the break, the better to peruse my mini-reviews.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 197: A Teacher With No Class

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

According to my FiMFic "Reviewed" bookshelf, I've now reviewed just shy of 23 million horsewords.  Factor in stories not on FiMFic, and that probably gets a bit higher, though it's mostly shorter stories from the fandom's older days which aren't on that site.  Further, FiMFic claims to contain 2,075,243,567 combined horsewords as of my writing this.  In other words, I've read significantly more than one out of every 100 words published on the site!

Or to put it another way, nearly 99% of the fandom's fanfiction has managed to elude my gaze.  Hmm, that doesn't sound nearly as impressive.

However you slice it, here's my latest attempt to claw away at the ever-growing ponyfic chasm which yawns before me!  My review of Kavonde's A Teacher With No Class, below.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction the 18th

You know what's a great feeling?  When you log onto FiMFic, see a bunch of notifications, and when you go through them, discover that someone spent the better part of four hours favoriting your stuff.  I mean, it's just nice to get new favorites period, but the spacing--every favorite separated by 10-30 minutes--tells you that this person read a story of yours, liked it so much that they dove straight into another, then another, and so on, for an entire afternoon.  It's putting a smile on my lips all over again just typing this.

But you can't get a person to binge-read your oeuvre if you can't get them to read your second paragraph.  In that spirit, let's do another installment of our looks at first sentences!  My thoughts, below.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 196: The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash

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

Trivia of the day: this morning, I learned that orange (the color) is named after oranges (the fruit).  In the middle ages the color was just considered a shade of red, but then people started calling it "orange-red" to distinguish it from red red, and eventually they just started calling it orange.  Who knew?  I didn't!  Now you do, to!  What else should you know?  That you can read my review of Chengar Qordath's The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash below the break.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 167

Usually, when I read a fanfic, I stick it out to the end; either it's short enough that there's no sense not seeing it through once I've started, or it's something I'm reading for a Fandom Classics review.  Or both.  Or I'm enjoying the story, and stopping early would be silly.

So, for those four reasons, I finish most of the fanfics I start.  But every now and then, there's one that does enough to convince me to pick it up, but which I end up dropping partway through.  Here's a look at a few of those fics, including how far I got, and why I quit.  Check them out, below the break.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Fandom Classics Part 195: Whip and Wing

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

Circle your calendars, kiddies: on January 25th, Logan is doing a set of Carrot Top-themed fanfic reviews.  It seems that another reviewer has finally seen the light, and has come to recognize the Best Pony when they see her.

That, or it's because I recommended half a dozen Carrot Top-centric fics to him.  Could be either, really.

Speaking of things which could be either, head down below the break for my review of Fernin's MLP and/or Indiana Jones fanfic, Whip and Wing.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Zecora and You: A Primer on All the Syllables Except the Last One

As I've mentioned before, I'm pre-reading one DannyJ's ongoing fanfic, To Keep the Fire Burning.  And while editing his most recent chapter, the subject of Zecora dialogue came up.  We talked quite a bit about the rhythm of poetic writing--not just making the words rhyme, but making the meter flow.

Well, I'm not one to write something marginally intelligent and not get all the possible mileage out of it that I can, so here's an edited-for-OMPR-consumption look at my thoughts on writing everyone's favorite zebra.  If you've ever wondered how to give your writing that ineffable (actually, extremely effable) sing-song quality that poetry ought to have, head on down below the break for my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 166

I've been spending rather too much time over the past couple of weeks on a new-ish browser game, Age of Rivals.  It's a two-player game similar to Seven Wonders (the boardgame) in design.  Pros: short (about 15 minute) matches, no pay-to-win, no complicated deckbuilding, plenty of tactical decisions that you can make and then feel smart about when they work.  Cons: I never draw the cards I need :(

Anyway, that's what I've been doing instead of being productive, now you know.  I still managed to read some FiM fics, though!  And let's go ahead and make this a comedy edition, because why not?  Everyone needs a little funny in their life.  Check out my reviews, below the break.

Monday, January 2, 2017

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 21)

I guess it's not really "a change" if we've done it 20 other times already, is it?  Oh well, it's still worth looking at the non-ponyfic I'm currently in the middle of.  Especially since post-Christmas (and thus, post book-presents) is primo reading time!  My literary habits for your perusal and judgement, below the break.