News Archive

  • Today
    SA Reviews #77

    2 comments · 166 views
  • Saturday
    New tag information page

    I have added a tag information page (also accessible in the FAQ dropdown) which provides guidelines for what the various rating and category tags should be used for. Please note that this is not intended to change how these tags are used, this is just documented already-enforced rules.

    This should help answer questions like "does my story need to be tagged mature?", explain how teen+sex works, etc. Users have been requesting more details about what each tag is intended for for a while now, this finally provides that information in a (hopefully) easy to understand way.

    I would also like to remind everyone that if you encounter a story with mature content that is not marked mature, you should report it. This is always a rules violation, and is enforced strictly. We want to make sure that users that have mature filtered out are not exposed to such content.

    70 comments · 1,125 views
  • Wednesday
    Groups Post - February 2016

    Groups Posts are a monthly group advertisement blog open to anyone who wants a signal boost. If you're interested in having your group advertised in one of these, send me a PM with the name of the group, a link to its front page, and a brief description of what the group is for. I'll copy this directly into the post, so write it like you're trying to tell other people about why they should join or pay attention to your group - anything up to around 150-ish words is fine.


    Equestria Girls, where the look of friendship may change, but its magic is forever.

    However isolated it may (currently) be, Equestria Girls is a piece of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic canon now, and there are quite a few people who are interested in it! If you're one of them, this group is for you! Discuss Equestria Girls, its world and its characters in the forum to your heart's content. Also, if you've written an EQG story, we'd love to have it!


    Family Fictions is a group for all types of family oriented stories. If families are bonding, or fighting, or just doing whatever it is that families do, then this is the group is the place for you and your fics. All types of family relationships are welcome: Parents with their child, siblings, foster or adoptive families, chosen families (like the Cakes and Pinkie). As long as it's about some type of family, it's good. We welcome lots of discussions and will hopefully be running contests and writing events soon. Open to whoever wants to join.


    SunsetDash is a group for gathering shipping fics and fans of Sunset Shimmer x Rainbow Dash pairing. If you've been looking for a place dedicated to appreciating one of the most underrated shippings of MLP, this is it. Whether you just want to read fics or discuss about our favourite ship, feel free to join us and make us grow.


    RainDigo

    A shipping group devoted to Rainbow Dash and Indigo Zap. This group is open to anyone who likes RainDigo shipping, or anyone who likes Rainbow Dash and Indigo Zap in general.


    LoliRock is a group that welcomes the fans of the LoliRock TV cartoon.

    Feel free to discuss whatever you want in the forum section (related to the cartoon)!


    Equestria's Pet Play Society (EPPS for short) is a group dedicated to those that enjoy the act of Pet Play, non-sexual or otherwise. Although not an extremely active group, the community is very considerate and thoughtful, and the group offers a Skype chat as well! They really enjoy new pets and masters in the group, and the moderators treat everyone with respect while also upholding the rules to keep the group civilized and fun. EPPS is always happy to get new members and new stories, and they welcome every curious user with open arms!


    Printed Fiction Hardcopies

    Ever wish you had known about a print run project for a story before it was too late to participate?  Are you an author who would like to let others know you would like to do a print run of a story?  Are you someone who would like to receive notifications of stories that may be attempting a print run?  Then this group is for you.  If you are doing a print run (or know of a print run project), let us know!  You can post a comment on our page or our forum with details about the project.  Or, join us to see notifications of project details.


    That's it for February. See you all next month!

    5 comments · 510 views
  • 6d, 22h
    Imgur problems

    Imgur has blacklisted us for image embeds, stating that they do not allow images on their service to be used as content on other websites. Their ToS seems to confirm this, stating:

    Also, don't use Imgur to host image libraries you link to from elsewhere, content for your website, advertising, avatars, or anything else that turns us into your content delivery network.
    This apparently applies to users uploading images to post on other websites (including this one, and I would have to assume most others), which we were not previously aware of. Unfortunately I do not have a recommendation of an alternative site for users to host images they need to embed on our site or elsewhere.

    They do have an official embed function, however is highly limited and incompatible with various aspects of our code due to requiring a <script> embed that is both a security risk and makes certain assumptions about how the page being embedded on works, which don't hold up on our site. I cannot find a functional <iframe> embed solution, so for the moment I have no workaround that will allow the image to appear on the page or behind an expand button. I'm not sure that we can use their embed under their ToS anyway...

    You should still be able to link to the gallery page if you need to share an Imgur image on-site, however it is unclear exactly how their ToS applies in that situation, so it's possible they will block that too at some point.

    For users that need to include images in their story, we should be able to offer an image upload function that will enable this soon, however as this could potentially be a large number of images we need to make sure that everything is properly ready before we enable such a feature. Unfortunately I cannot promise any particular date, but hopefully it won't be too complicated to setup.

    212 comments · 4,396 views
  • 1w, 5d
    Everfree Northwest presents Scribblefest 2016!

    29 comments · 1,299 views
  • 2w, 5h
    SA Reviews Round 76

    11 comments · 1,340 views
  • 3w, 1d
    Bugle's "Random" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    13 comments · 873 views
  • 4w, 2h
    SA Reviews Round 75

    14 comments · 1,498 views
  • 4w, 5d
    Review Group Round Robin

    Hello everyone!

    As you are all aware, as a community here, we like to encourage others to read the works of authors we all enjoy. At one point, it was easy to select quality works to share, but as our community grows, amazing stories inevitably get bypassed by either more popular ones, or the sheer amount of written work submitted to the site. In an effort to combat that, review groups emerged which earned a spot on the Social Site Posts, so that these lost gems could be more easily accessible to users who don't have too much time to dig in search of  treasures.

    And the question now is... whenever you read a site-blog doing story those reviews, did you ever think to yourself: "My friends and I could do that too?"

    Are you a competent reviewer, avid reader and would like to share the hidden gems you've discovered with the whole site?

    Well, we have good news for you! This is your opportunity to join a project we are working on... a project that would give you the chance to write reviews that the whole site can read!

    Maybe you're knowledgeable about Romance fics, or Crossovers, or Horror, and you've been looking forward to your favorites being showcased, but they never seemed to make it to the site reviews. If that's the case, and you're willing to put in the work into reviewing and recommending them—just like Seattle's Angels, The Royal Canterlot Library and The Royal Guard do—this is for you!

    We're not looking for more of the same either. Just like the review groups mentioned above your approach can (and should) be unique to your group. More serious. Less. Quirky. Fancy. It might include ribbons and look like it was designed to be a scene from Utena. It's up to you. What we're really looking for is content.

    If this seems like something you would like to do, go ahead and read below to find out more information.

    (At this time, we're interested in hearing what your review group would focus on and, if you already have some review examples, we'd love to see them!)

    This project works like a Round-Robin. There will be an ordered list of groups, every post we take the next one off the list and put it on the end. Posts will be either every week or every two weeks, depending on how much interest we get.

    Eligibility requirements and group expectations

    -Groups are expected to provide and maintain at least one backlog post.

    -All submitted posts must meet post expectations.

       +Failure to meet this results in a skipped turn.

    -Conduct is expected to be professional.

       +This means no starting drama about missed slots, other groups “taking” your recommendations, etc.

       +This is not a competition, groups do not “win” or “lose” or do better than each other. Groups are expected to make an effort to be cooperative with other selected groups.

    -No guarantees will be made that a group will retain their slot if any problems occur.

       +This includes user response, if a particular group’s posts are unpopular, they are likely to be removed due to lack of interest. This will generally have to be at least somewhat of an extreme case, however.

    -We will not be able to accept all groups that apply, we want to make sure groups don’t have to wait that long between posts, but we don’t want to have some overly high post rate either.

    Post expectations

    -Variety of stories in the post, effort should be made to appeal to readers interested in different things.

       +Some level of commonality is ok if the theme is very general, but effort needs to be made to make sure the stories vary in some other way, so no posts of 5 romance-focused shipfics with the same pairing or anything.

    -Around 8 stories per post, 5 as an absolute minimum.

    -Reasonable length of the stories themselves, large numbers of oneshots or very short stories might warrant more total stories.

    -Every story should be accompanied by a short, 1-2 paragraphs-long description written by the group reviewers, not the story’s author. The author’s description should generally not be included, the person writing this recommendation should be explaining why it's being recommended in the first place by themselves.

       +Intended to be a place for them to show why they’re including it, framed around whatever their overall theme or goal is. Done correctly, this should be a self-explanatory reason for the reader to read it, no need to double-up with the author’s words as well.

       +This is especially true for submissions from groups that have more of a theme to them, a lot of the author’s descriptions are going to be similar and show off that they follow that theme… but in the post that information is implied, we want to know what makes the story interesting beyond that.

    -Spoilers should be avoided

    -Multiple stories from the same author in a short period of time should be avoided. If there are sequels to the story reviewed, that can be mentioned, but do not review a bunch of sequels one after another. The objective is to diversify as much as possible the story and author pool.

    -Correct spelling and grammar, good sentence structure, reasonably organized.

    Story inclusion rules

    -No M stories.

    -Must not have been recently* featured in a previous post. (*Up to mod discretion.)

    -Either complete or actively updating.

    -Spinoffs of other stories are heavily discouraged; stories should be something ready for the general audience of new readers.

    -Normal sequels are fine, although a note should likely be made and the original linked as well.

    -Not already popular, this is a way to promote lesser-known high-quality stories, not re-list the featured box or popular stories list.

    -High-quality writing, reasonably good spelling/grammar.

    Note that these group reviews are not going to replace Seattle's Angels or The Royal Canterlot Library. We are looking forward to hearing from all of you! If you have any questions you can ask them in the comment section below. If you already have a group for reviewing, samples and feel ready to give this a shot, you can PM me (Wanderer D), Eldorado or Professor Plum.

    51 comments · 1,665 views
  • 5w, 4d
    Groups Post - January 2016

    Happy New Year, everyone. Hope the holiday season treated you well. I've got a good number of groups for you to check out, so let's get right to it.

    Groups Posts are a monthly group advertisement blog open to anyone who wants a signal boost. If you're interested in having your group advertised in one of these, send me a PM with the name of the group, a link to its front page, and a brief description of what the group is for. I'll copy this directly into the post, so write it like you're trying to tell other people about why they should join or pay attention to your group - anything up to around 150-ish words is fine.


    Monthly Shipfics

    This group is to inspire people to write more shipfics! The first of every month will feature a new ship, and you'll have until the end of the month to get it published. It can be any length and any rating. When each new month rolls in, you'll have a full month to write that ship.


    Night Fall Kingdom celebrates the bat ponies of Equestria. Group members can post brainstorming threads, promote their stories in the forum, post stories in the appropriate folders, discuss fan theories, and discuss MLP episodes and movies. They can also post and promote non-pony things and off topic things in the group as well. Members can pretty much talk about anything they want in the forums, just as long as they keep the topics family friendly. It is an open promotion and discussion resource for everyone.


    The Equestrian Writers Guild is open for everyone who wants help with their writing or wants to promote their stories in the group folders. Group members can post brainstorming threads, promote their stories in the forum, post stories in the appropriate folders, discuss fan theories, and discuss MLP episodes and movies. They can also post and promote non-pony things and off topic things in the group as well. Members can pretty much talk about anything they want in the forums, just as long as they keep the topics family friendly. It is an open promotion and discussion resource for everyone.


    The Cupcakes and Cuddles Club is a group for people to come to if they need to be cheered up, seek advice, feel loved, or find friends. Group members can post brainstorming threads, promote their stories in the forum, post stories in the appropriate folders, discuss fan theories, and discuss MLP episodes and movies. They can also post and promote non-pony things and off topic things in the group as well. Members can pretty much talk about anything they want in the forums, just as long as they keep the topics family friendly. It is an open promotion and discussion resource for everyone.


    The Eye of Cygnus is a group for people to discuss anything about the paranormal or creepy things in general. Group members can post brainstorming threads, promote their stories in the forum, post stories in the appropriate folders, discuss fan theories, and discuss MLP episodes and movies. They can also post and promote non-pony things and off topic things in the group as well. Members can pretty much talk about anything they want in the forums, just as long as they keep the topics family friendly. It is an open promotion and discussion resource for everyone.


    The Public Library of Manehattan is a group for well written stories over 50,000 words. This is a place to read awesome stories, and to submit your stories for others to enjoy. Please PM Cadysaurus before adding a story to the group.


    Request Criticism

    As seen by the home page, we're currently under a hiatus. Though the group does not look impressive as of right now, expect major updates in the future. Request Criticism is here to improve fanfiction, as that is the purpose it will try to fulfill.

    From grammar structure, to proper use of alliteration, we'll teach you the basics while at the same time giving you a constructive form of detail in a way that it will make sense with the most absolute ease. This is simply not a toothpick you use to pick away at the leftovers in your teeth you ate for your Sunday dinner, Fimfiction should have more high-quality fanfiction other than basing a good fic off "ratings". The best will be handpicked and reviewed for the forums, while other fics will be reviewed by anyone who joins.


    The Steam Game Giveaway Group

    Want free steam games? We hold raffles nearly everyday, and all you have to do is pick a number!


    Clopshots

    Want to sit down and read a nice one shot clopfic? Well, take a look at Clopshots! This group features only clopfics with one chapter, and we have a good selection.


    That's it for January. See you next month, and be sure to submit any groups of your own that you'd like spotlighted!

    0 comments · 687 views
  • 6w, 4h
    SA Reviews Round 74

    21 comments · 1,603 views
  • 6w, 1d
    Winston's "Black Lotus" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    8 comments · 1,033 views
  • 7w, 1d
    Happy Hearth's Warming from the Royal Canterlot Library!


    It's been a busy two years of reading, evaluating, and spotlighting stories for our weekly author interviews.  With Christmas falling on a Friday this December, we at the Royal Canterlot Library are taking our first day off.  Rest assured, though, we'll be back next week to feature another excellent piece of pony fanfiction.

    In the meantime, now is a good time to take advantage of a suggestion from RCL curator Chris, and give one of your favorite authors the gift of a thank-you for how their story made a difference to you.  If you'd like a starting point, browse our list of previous features, with 100+ top-notch stories.  Did one of them move you?  Help you come to a realization?  Teach you the bon mot that landed you that sweet job at the trivia factory?  Let the author know!  There's no greater compliment than to hear you've made a difference.

    For readers and authors alike, happy holidays to you all.

    19 comments · 1,106 views
  • 7w, 1d
    Jingle Hard

    81 comments · 1,859 views
  • 7w, 6d
    Minor rule clarifications and additions

    A few minor adjustments and additions have been made to the general rules.

    • No spam. This includes chain letters, referral links, posting the same thing many times in different places, and anything that involves, or encourages other users to, repost identical or similar content. This excludes posting information about your new story in groups that explicitly allow it.

    • Following an excessive number of users is not allowed, nor is any behavior that rewards users for following you. Following is for users to use because they want to see updates in their feed, not as a reward or otherwise.

    • Illegal content is not allowed. This includes links to unofficial uploads of episodes or other copyrighted material.

    • Signatures at the bottom of your post are unnecessary and make the page harder to navigate, especially on mobile. Please refrain from using them, if you have any information you want everyone to have access to, place it on your profile page instead.

    • Intentionally exploiting the site is grounds for a ban, please report any found exploits with reproduction steps to admin@fimfiction.net immediately.

    • We reserve the right to remove or restrict content for other reasons, at the discretion of site staff. This may include banning users in more extreme cases.

    Please note the final rule here has been in effect pretty much forever, and is primarily intended for when people try to exploit rule loopholes or otherwise cause trouble. Additionally, there are two lines added about group folder additions:

    • Do not add stories to group folders unless they meet the criteria for the folder, as set by the group.

    • Intentionally adding stories to folders they obviously do not meet the criteria for will be treated as spam.

    These are to clarify that going around and spamming group folders is against site rules in addition to violating rules the group itself might've set.

    Edit: As this somehow failed to make it into the rules before "You may not sell access to unpublished stories or chapters.". Fimfiction is intended as a free host of Fanfiction for MLP:FiM fans, not a place for you to sell things. There are also major legal issues with selling Fanfiction, which are beyond the scope of this post.

    345 comments · 7,029 views
May
7th
2013

Off in the distance, jazz music echoes through a rainy night. The clubs on the corners let out melodies like gasps from entwined lovers. Johnny is making eggs, two over-easy and a scramble. Steam rises from a half-empty cup of coffee sitting on a table older than its occupants. Scattered among the grease and grime sit the discarded remains of unfinished ideas, monuments to a capacity for higher thought but an inability to utilize it. Johnny arrives, two eggs, over-hard.

“Well?”

“Well.”

He studies his full cup, swearing to his deity of the month that he should kick the stuff. She stares, pleads with her eyes. He can’t help but wonder what life would have been like if he had just said no, if he had just walked away when he had the chance. An empty cup stares back at him, uncaring. Two lovers laugh and stumble in, drenched to the bone in hopeless confusion. They don’t mind.

“Well?”

“What?”

He swore that moment stretched on longer than the Intercontinental Expressway, and with just as many construction projects. She slapped him. Hard. He didn’t react, but he wished the mark on his face would stay permanently burned into his skin, a reminder that he was alive, a reminder that there was more to this than simply showing up. She throws the book at him. He starts to write.

“Well?”

“Well.”

“Shouldn’t we, ya know...”

“Yeah.”

Stripes throws down a twenty. His lady can only stare at the full page in front of her. Cold eggs and an empty cup face her, framing the void where he once was. She leaves the notes behind.




ROUND 19


STORY 1

The Long Haul, by RedSquirrel456


Csquared08:

Someone decided it would be a brilliant idea to put the new guy in charge of the new new guys. Now I have to be in charge of people! Help me...

Most war fics end up either being about a super soldier destroying everything in his path or entirely comprised of blood and guts. Sometimes even both. And I guess those have some appeal, but there’s more to war than super soldiers and blood and guts. So let’s take a look at what RedSquirrel did differently.

The entire story takes place in the middle of a siege. And that’s where things go differently than most stories. Instead of focusing on the assault of the city, RedSquirrel uses a lull in the battle to tell his story. The battering ram has reached the gates, and the mostly minotaur army is waiting to burst into the city. During this downtime, two friends converse and discuss what led them here. And by the time the gates are down, the story is over.

It’s such a short span of time, yet RedSquirrel crafted a wide world and created two excellent characters. In that one conversation, he’s created a rich backstory for minotaur culture, from holy cities and rebellions against oppressive rulers to a coalition army of griffons, ponies, and minotaurs fighting for that rebellion. And all of this worked because those two friends, the minotaur war-hero and his unicorn friend, were well-executed characters. Their differences, their contrast, made the conversation very interesting. I felt like I was reading the conclusion to a long, well-crafted story, yet it was a 3k one-shot.

Yep. This is a 3k one-shot. It’s a nice, quick read with excellent world-building and wonderfully crafted characters. If that’s not a good enough reason to give this a read, I don’t know what is.

Pilate:

I like to think that world building is a sort of pet mechanic of mine, one that I stress to peers and friends and one that I shamelessly relish in for its inherent detail. It is then with caveats that I recommend The Long Haul. This story is, for all intents and purposes, a dense and extremely pure shot of world building straight to your literary brain. It is the briefest of windows into an entire universe of backstory, complexity, and history, smack dab in the middle of a siege clearly centuries in the making and with the political implications innumerable. All of this immediately apparent and sitting perfectly steady without the broader context one might like to enjoy before reaching this pivotal scene.  

For a fan of rich and detailed worlds, this is a double shot of espresso, with all of the rich, subtle and intricately woven flavors transporting you momentarily elsewhere, and depositing your now amped up self back into reality far sooner than you'd like.

More importantly, however, and the real genius of this extreme short, is that the world building is actually the backdrop. The real heart of the story is its characters, and the clearly ongoing moral and philosophical conversation they have. The nature of war, the role of friendship, the moral implications of means to ends, each touched upon, and each clearly a small drop in an ocean of a debate.  Rearranging the metaphor, The Long Haul is a cup of world-building black coffee with a double shot of rich-character espresso.

Like coffee, though, enjoying this is a bit of an acquired taste, especially to really appreciate the subtlety. Readers expecting the glory of war time, or the expansion of fanon, will come away sorely disappointed that neither realm is even touched. The story is quite literally contextless as its focus remains on Epaulette and Grim, the two protagonists. Those expecting something related to the show will also find themselves wondering how to react; I would go so far as to say that aside from Equestria's species relations being juxtaposed, there is no real reason to even set Long Haul in the My Little Pony world. The theme of friendship contrasted with a depraved setting is not something unique to, even if inspired by, the show. This is, however, a testament to the strength of the story’s own merits.

Professor Plum:

Oh sweet baby Jesus, people actually trust me to do this?

I need more scotch...

Fuel of the Gods Scottish

Okay, where to begin with this story...

It’s pretty damn good.

I actually read this story some time ago, as it was entered in a writing competition which I judge for (a competition it subsequently won).  The premise is simple:  During a lull in a battlefield, two friends discuss what brought them here, what keeps them fighting, and the nature of the world.  And to my surprise, it does all of these quite tactfully.  

I'll admit, when I first heard of the premise, I was afraid it would be an absolute gore-fest.  We all know the sort; the ones where the plot gets replaced by ropes of intestines, ruptured arteries and severed limbs.  Don't get me wrong, gore does certainly have its place, but that place shouldn't be the heart of a story.  This one, however, surprised me.  It's grim and gritty, as you'd expect any battlefield to be, but RedSquirrel manages to dance around the more disturbing parts of war, deciding to focus on the characters instead.

One thing worth noting is the author really understands how to build a world.  We get a glimpse at a place where minotaurs have risen up from oppression, where an alliance was formed between the noble races from across nations, and how friendships formed from such alliances, forged in the heart of battle, against the anvil that is this stronghold's walls.  Contrasting and conflicting outlooks on life are brought alongside one another thanks to such bonds, and The Long Haul shows us how varied and different the world can be, while remaining the same on the inside.

The best part is he manages to do this while keeping the word-count just under 3k.  It's short and sweet, and I really can't think of a reason why you wouldn't want to read this story, unless you don't like minotaur soldiers or something.  And in that case, you have my permission to go tell them that face-to-face.

The greatest soldier of our time.  Godspeed,  Barble Bapkins





STORY 2

Good Intentions, by Just Horsing Around


Csquared08:

This story did two things for me: It reminded me how a proper horror story is meant to be told and just how important the description is.

Most people writing horror stories try and invent some terribly frightening evil creature. They try to make it as dark and spooky as possible, giving the reader all sorts of descriptions about just how scary this thing is. And then they write scenes to match this level of description. They explain in great detail just how terrified the characters are.

Good Intentions did none of that. The story starts out as a light-hearted slice of life, introducing two seemingly-innocent friends to Ponyville. They learn their way around town, then settle down, one setting up a carpenter’s shop and the other a beauty salon. Yet everything seemed... off. And that’s where the importance of descriptions comes in. The description mentioned there’s a dark, evil creature that hunts ponies running loose in Equestria. So each time something seems just a little bit off, that description comes to mind. Every time Twilight finds something possibly related to that creature, the contrast with the rest of the story is incredible. The combination of those small hints with the description creates something quite terrifying. The opening chapters seem so innocent, yet that contrast creates a sense of terror within the reader. Oh, and we haven’t even come close to seeing the creature yet.

But like the opening of chapter two says, “The problem with the unknown was that it left your imagination to run wild, and imagination could lead you anywhere if you let it,” not knowing what the creature is does wonders on the imagination. And this is all only about a third of the way through the story. As it continues on, the reasoning behind the title starts to become clear, more hints at the underlying darker story pop up, and a very well-executed dark story is told.

Sure, it’s over 90k words, but it’s one of the, if not the, best dark stories I’ve read on this site. From start to finish, I could not put this down.

Pilate:

I read Good Intentions a fair bit of time ago. It caught my attention after showing up in the new stories (or perhaps updated stories, I will not profess to have seen it before it was cool if I cannot produce the evidence required for such hipsterish activities) section at a time I was sort of tired of OC-based fan fiction. I would also preface by saying that I am a sucker for psychological horror. The best way to build tension, suspense, is to key your audience in early to the truth, but maintain your character’s ignorance in a realistic way. This sort of curtain reveal forces empathy into your reader, while at the same time evoking the sort of shock and screeching horror that could only be effectively produced by one’s own cocktail of neurochemistry.  

Good Intentions is predicated on this very idea. It is a classic scenario wherein two OCs come to town and interact with the mane 6, but it is shrouded very quickly in a mystery and evil that is brilliant in its ability to strike fear into both the characters and the reader. Intentions layers a somewhat standard plot line into a different somewhat standard plot line, but ends up with a deep moral question regarding trust. The whole concept of friendship is put to the test in a way that frustrates the reader but refuses to let them be frustrated.

Moreover, the horror one feels comes from a very organic place. Though the original characters don’t stand out at first, one finds themselves able to identify with their archetypes quickly. They are written almost as a proxy for the reader to truly feel the terror that slowly threads itself through Ponyville, unable to put on the brakes as the world slowly, but increasingly, becomes both a dangerous and unforgiving place. In that vein, the story does a succinct job of keeping the reactions of each character believable, casting the citizens of Ponyville somewhat as antagonists but without sacrificing their inherent good nature, nor betraying the reader’s expectations of their goodwill. The meat of the story, and the true horror, comes from the realization that irrational actions are bred from a logical thought process; how else is one to react to an untraceable and readily apparent life-ending evil? The real turmoil is not the external threat to society, but the internal threat of society.

There are a few semantic nitpicks I have, especially with the author’s insistence on using the alternate “hallo” as opposed to “hello” in dialogue. The protagonists, though proxies, are still somewhat forgettable, and though it is extremely effective, the literal monster (as opposed the metaphorical one brought on through fear) feels really convenient and somewhat contrived.

Through it all, the story is still able to maintain a somewhat light heart, though perceptions are forever changed, there is no lingering resentment from the reader. Intentions is the standard those looking to write suspense/horror should abide by.

Professor Plum:

Alrighty, let's start this one of by saying this author really understands how to write horror scenes.  And by that I mean there are barely any of them, with most of the story being relatively light-hearted in tone.  The contrast between the slice-of-life Ponyville and the dark, tense will-she-or-won't-she-die-horribly terror scenes just amplifies the suspense, bringing you out in a cold sweat.  And the descriptions of the perpetrator—or the lack thereof—means the reader's imagination runs rampant as to what could possibly behind these mysterious disappearances.

"All a good horror game needs to do is hand you a piece of sandpaper and shout encouragement

as you vigorously massage your own undercarriage" ~ Yahtzee Croshaw

The story goes that a series of mysterious thefts begins as soon as two new ponies trot into town.  This, on its own, isn't too worrying, as it would usually be the sign of particularly incompetent petty thieves.  However, the pattern—or more accurately, lack of a pattern—to the thefts matches the calling card of a series of mass-disappearances.  So, naturally, this is mildly worrying, so the mane 6 try to stop that sort of thing.  You know, being heroes and all.  Kinda their job.

Also worthy of note is this story's fondness of the word "Hallo".  Reminds me uncomfortably of the time Rammstein visited my hometown.

None were spared.  Not even the children.

The rest of this story, however, I'd describe as merely "good".  There's a shipping subplot in there, but I don't really see it adding much to the story that couldn't have been obtained elsewhere, and I was astounded when two of the most boringly designed OCs I've ever heard of actually turned out to have decent characterisation.  I mean, when an author introduces not one, but two new characters with grey coats and black manes, you can be forgiven for likening them to members of the Neutral Planet and expecting personalities to match.

And while the story has horror scenes that know their places in the world, the story itself wasn't anything to write home about, and the ending left me feeling slightly disappointed, as I'd imagined much more interesting baddies in my head.

But, yes, overall I liked this story.  Suspense so thick you could try to cut it, but the knife would just get stuck instead is always a plus for me.  It also asks one of the most important questions of our age:

"What DO you call a zebra with wings?"





STORY 3

Fire on the Mountain, by MongolianFoodHoarder


Csquared08:

See? This is what happens when people put me in charge of things. Two stories from the World-Building Alliance yet again! Not that I’m complaining!

As is expected from the group, this story does a lot of world-building, and it does it really well. The primary focus of the story is on griffon culture and how it appears to be on the cusp of great reform, or perhaps even revolution. It’s introduced a clan-based society that focuses quite a bit on status and tradition. This culture gives off a very Roman feel with how it’s set up politically. However, this isn’t all the story does. So far, it’s hinted at some very interesting bits of headcanon regarding technology and the history of Equestria. All in all, this story does some excellent culture-building, and once it’s finished, should prove to be quite the tale.

World-building aside, this story is as entertaining as it is because of the characters and how they interact with each other. The two introduced in the first chapter, Tor and Gareth, are executed wonderfully. The first, Tor, shows all the signs of being the typical idealistic noble who sets in motion a radical political motion while the second, Gareth, looks to be the typical snobbish noble convinced of his own importance. Yet for all these differences, the two appear to be friends. Given the way the story is headed, this looks to be leading to some interesting drama and conflict. I, for one, cannot wait to see how that relationship gets tested in the coming chapters.

Pilate:

There is something... missing. A sparsity, perhaps. I hesitate to fully give a recommendation here one way or the other. The simple truth is that I do not think there is enough happening here to merit one. The facts are these: sometime between the banishment of Nightmare Moon, but before her return, two well-to-do gryphons participate in a cultural event. The younger of the two proceeds to break caste to the chagrin of his elder, but lower stationed compatriot. The air is thick with societal pressure, heavy politicking, alcoholics, sliding doors, trams, and a penchant for the bourgeoisie and the world bordello.

The protagonist, Tor—a proverbial knight in shining tail feathers—lives out his life in the gryphon capitol a nobleman and senator, benevolent but aggravated. His motivations remain unclear, though it is crystal that he takes pleasure in being a poster child for democratic governance. It is a shame, then, that he seems able to maneuver through society so fluidly without raising the types of moral questions he seems prone to ask, and regularly asks of others. Tor has no problem making sly jabs at Equestrian monarchy and censorship, or challenging his own society’s notion of nobility, yet seems to fully take advantage of his station while remaining blissfully unaware of his own inherent hypocrisy. In a single motion he professes to dissuade the use of his own title, but fully utilizes it to get his way. It is a deep character flaw that remains unaddressed by the narrative, a shame considering how it is the perfect sort of internal conflict that can drive the somewhat stalling plot.

Granted, the story is but three chapters into what is setting up to be something much grander than a simple world-building tour. The descriptions of scenery and the city are wonderful, there is a palpable sense of theme and metaphor through architecture, in one case literal tiers of the city serving as hubs of activity for their relative social classes. The sense of history, too, is immense. Various hints are dropped regarding the past, and Celestia’s dealings in diplomacy, without hijacking the still character driven plot at the front of the story. Skill and care have been applied tactfully to convey an immensity to the reader without overwhelming them. The complex government of the gryphons is explained simply without sacrificing its intricacies, foreshadow is placed in believable conversation, long-standing agreements are mentioned in passing not as convenient explanations, but as natural, fleeting moments, and so on.

That in mind, I still find myself missing pieces and bits. Time skips are dealt with poorly, scene changes go from being fluid to jagged with no warning and no sense of tone or pacing. Expert world-building is butted up against far too many assumptions and superfluous information. Characters, especially at the start, are met partway through their conversations, but with no footholds for the reader to latch onto in order to quickly gain enough context to follow along. Simply, things often feel forced.

Despite these drawbacks, however, I must admit that I am piqued at the potential of this one. The weaving-in-progress of the tapestry-like backdrop has me keenly interested in the somewhat blasé story that is unfolding in the foreground. That, and the complexity (finally) offered to gryphon culture is a big draw.

Professor Plum:

Whether or not you want to read Fire on the Mountainside can be answered with a simple question:

Do you like Game of Thrones?

If yes; read this, as you'll enjoy it.

If no; stop lying, put down your season two box-set, and read this.

This makes all the talk of “The Stallion Who Mounts the World" rather uncomfortable.

Low-born nobles battling with high-born sycophants, broken traditions and colossal secrets make for an interesting conflict, all set in the period before Nightmare Moon's return gives this story a distinctly George R. R. Martin feel.  Thankfully, the living spoiler hasn't shown up yet to die before we get halfway through.

Oh, and did I mention it's all about Gryphons?

There are very few things that could be added to Game of Thrones and be considered an improvement.

Gryphons are one such thing.

Interesting characters set the stage for what's shaping up to be a nationwide battle of wits that could change how the entire world is run.  Tor, this tale's protagonist, is a true gentle man gryphon.  While he himself is high up society's ladder, his actions show a great sympathy for those less fortunate, and is not afraid to smack a fool stop other gryphons from kicking the grips of those on lower rungs.  

If I had to criticise it (and I do) I seem to remember the first chapter or so suffering from a bit of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, leading to confusion over who was doing what, but it's definitely ironed out after that.  Good job, you crazy Mongol.

An important thing to note to anyone looking to read this story is that it's nowhere near finished.  At all.  If one were to compare it to a gryphon, it wouldn't so much be a cub as an egg (do gryphons lay eggs?  I've never thought about that before...)

This story has a long way to go, and it's only just taking its first steps.  But I'm happy to watch it as it grows

Jesus Christ that sounds creepy

Now, go forth and read.

So sayeth the Plum

See?  I can write something without copious amounts of Rarity


“Pilate.”

“What?”

“Really?”

“What?!”

“Egg metaphors and piss-poor attempts at Noir?!”

“Hey! I’d call them ‘poor’ not ‘piss-poor!’”

“Never again.”

“C’mon! It’s great!”

“No.”

“But—”

“NO.”

“The doors swing open, a saxaphone solo wafts in from the dark—”

“Get out.”

“Hehehe...”

“OUT!”

“Don’t panic!”

“OOOOOOUUUUUUUT!”

“And people wonder why I drink...”

Report Wanderer D · 13,029 views ·
#1 · 144w, 5d ago · 1 · 6 ·

Yay

#2 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

Whyte&Mackay? Meh, I would thought you a fellow of Jura.

#3 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

This blog gets more and more schitzo every month... :pinkiecrazy:

Comment posted by OtterMatt deleted at 1:34am on the 7th of May, 2013
Professor Plum
Story Approver
#5 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1059780

Mm, while there are nicer scotches out there, I've always been partial to the Glasgow Special.  And it's bloody cheap, too.  Best value on the market, I've found

#6 · 144w, 5d ago · 1 · 3 ·

>>1059791

You say that as if it's a bad thing! :pinkiecrazy:

#7 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

And yet another round of reviews that took an entire month to do. At this point, the only way Seattle's Angels is going to get even remotely close to doing one round a week is if the three reviewers for a future round start their work in advance, even before the previous group of three is done with their round.

Oh well, at any rate, I think we should all be glad that the new guy was able to lead the two newer guys without getting anyone killed. Still no word from the new 'new guy', though. Sorry, CSquared, but you'll forever be the new guy here.

#8 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

Oh, you and your scotch, Professor Plum. :pinkiecrazy:

#9 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

That scene at the end killed me.

Those three stories also look very good. I'll be sure to check them out! :twilightsmile:

#10 · 144w, 5d ago · 2 · 3 ·

>>1059897

Blame Pilate. It's all his fault. :derpytongue2:

#11 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1059907 Mr. Over-analysis himself?

...

I'm fine with that.

#12 · 144w, 5d ago · · ·

Damn, still nothing I've nominated. What is this? Scotch?! No wonder. Damn drunk reviewers. With your fancy words and your fancy review parties! In my day we rambled on and on...

*falls over*

#13 · 144w, 4d ago · · 4 ·

One day I'll be on here ;_;

#14 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

Saxophones are cool, Csquared, and you know it.

#15 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1060179

I never said they weren't :derpytongue2:

#18 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1060186

>>1060191

You're getting corned beef hash, eggs over medium for that one.

#19 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

See?  I can write something without copious amounts of Rarity
But why would you want to? :rainbowhuh:

#20 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

That was an odd review.

#22 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

The heck did I just read? :applejackconfused:

#23 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1060834

Why? Because it needs more Rainbow Dash.

#25 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

Here's a question - who picks the stories you review, and how?

#26 · 144w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1061785

The three people up that round present some qualifying stories they've read as possible suggestions. Those three people then read the suggestions and come to a consensus on which three to review. Additionally, people are known to suggest stories in this thread.

#27 · 144w, 4d ago · · 1 ·

>>1060137 ... As a Seattle's Angels reviewer or getting one of your stories featured here? :rainbowhuh:

#28 · 144w, 3d ago · 4 · ·

these comments are such a circlejerk

:pinkiesick:

#29 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1062609

I gave you a +1 :twilightsmile:

Let's be honest, it's either us or Phazon.

#31 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1062993 :twilightoops: Huh? What'd I do? No seriously, all I've done in these comments is pick on CSquared, (sort of) whine about the Round numbering, and upvote Plum's reply to your barrage of 'darlings'.

Actually, now that I think about it, that is all I do around here anymore. Hmm... well I haven't gotten around to asking Nietzsche why he went Danish on us.

#32 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1063142

Oh, I was just referring to the fact that you're fairly officially our most frequent (or at least, most vocal) commenter/groupie. Don't let the power go to your head. :twilightsheepish:

Ergo, most comments would come either from us BS'ing each other, or Phazon railing on us for taking so long. Other recurring categories I neglected to mention: invariably one person asking us again how we select the stories, several confused/humorous comments about some aspect of the intro/outro, occasionally someone saying the blogpost was humorous though they have no intention to read any of the three stories, and occasionally someone lamenting that they haven't been selected yet to be featured here.

Cynical? Me? :rainbowkiss:

Of course, legitimate discussion of the fics featured here is more than welcome in the comment there right here, or in the fics themselves, or in our handy-dandy forums

#33 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1064088 Ah. Like I said back in Round 16 18, I'm basically the most active nobody in Seattle's Angels... the group itself, of course. I have no delusions about becoming a reviewer here. And besides, if there is any power that I shouldn't let go to my head, it comes from having two of my recommendations featured here.

#34 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1061933 A story, I have no interest or chance of being a reviewer.

#35 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1066132 Oh. Well in that case, all that requires is some schmuck to go through your less-viewed stories, pick out some of the better ones, and plug them on the Seattle's Angels thread. I of course don't feel like doing that. Granted, I am a schmuck, but I'm not your schmuck.

Wanderer D
Moderator
#36 · 144w, 2d ago · 5 · ·

>>1064088 Hey, how do you guys select your stories? I have like, 16 that need more attention/readers!

#37 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1066211

I gave you a +1 :twilightsmile:

#38 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1066559 So did I, but you don't hear me broadcasting it like some inane tweet. :trixieshiftleft:

...Wow, my internet persona's kind of a douche. :twilightoops:

#39 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1066199 Huh. Cool.

#40 · 144w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1066211

I thought it was 17.

#41 · 142w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Plum is officially my favorite person. Not only a Zero Punctuation, but a Rammstein reference as well!? Nice.

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