RBDash47

I run ran the Pony Fiction Vault! I also write occasionally.

News Archive

May
4th
2012

Originally posted at the Vault on 12/12/11.

Today's Vault entry is special in a number of ways. To begin with, it is currently incomplete, and most likely will never be finished (in general, only completed works will be added to the Vault). But more importantly, it can be thought of as the Helen of Troy of Friendship is Magic fanfiction - the fic that launched a thousand spinoffs, many of which are better-known, better-read, and arguably better-written than the original. However, this is the story that started it all, and it is therefore the first Classic included in the Vault.

[Adventure][Human Crossover] • 20,300 words

The ponies and the humans have lived together in harmony for centuries. Equestria is an island inhabited entirely by ponies, and some have branched off to live with humans. However, the humans, seeing their bleak world and accepting that they have made too many mistakes in their world to fix, have decided to open facilities to convert humans into ponies and live in peaceful Equestria.

Hit the break for an interview with Blaze - whose opinion of his own work may surprise you - and links to read it on your favorite pony sites. As always, there are eBook copies in various formats available on the Vault's Downloads page.

If you need more Conversion Bureau goodness, Midnight Shadow (a Vault alum and prereader for EqD) maintains a guide to the Conversion Bureau's various continuities, and a directory of all Conversion Bureau stories.

Pony Fiction ArchiveEquestria Daily

Where do you live?

I live in New Jersey, in the United States of America. Or, as many in my homeland call it, “MURKA”.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

I’m a senior in high school, and I haven’t really gotten a steady-paying job yet. I’m pretty lazy.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I discovered it in early February, after having gone on 4chan’s /b/ for the first time in a long time. I, like many bronies-to-be, wondered why there were so many damn pony threads sprouting up in /b/ and /co/, so I checked it out for myself. My first episode was the pilot, but I didn’t get that far in before getting bored with it, so I watch another episode. Call of the Cutie was the first episode I watched in its entirety, and I was hooked. At the time, Suited for Success was the newest episode.

Do you have a favorite episode? [Editor's note: at the time of this interview, The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well was the most recent aired episode.]

It’s so hard to choose, especially since there’s so many now. Sonic Rainboom has always been a good one for me, and the season two episodes have all been fantastic. The CMC is growing on me, too.

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Fluttershy, hands down. Derpy is a close second, since she’s practically canon. I don’t keep track of much of the fandom these days, so I don’t really have any favorite fandom characters. I try not to get too attached to them.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

It’s been my username for pretty much everything since the dawn of time (or, at least, since I started frequenting message boards). It was the name of the very first OC I ever made, in fifth grade. I was a big Dragon Ball fan back then, as many young boys are around that age. I miss Toonami. [Editor’s note: me too!]

Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?

I had dabbled a little into Pokémon fan fiction, but I didn’t put that much effort into it; it was mainly because I was bored. MLP was the first major project I started really committing into, fanfic-wise.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Draw, play/write music, and watch ponies. I want to get a career started in music, that’s my main goal.

Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?

Well, I’m afraid to have to go the route everyone else my age goes, by saying “Harry Potter”, but I feel like that’s the only book series/author I’ve really been drawn to. I’m tempted to begin reading Lord of the Rings, though; see what all the hype is about.

Stephen King believes that every author has an "ideal reader" - the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?

Just the lonely brony who wants to go to Equestria. Not permanently, but just to see what happens. Meet the ponyfolk. Fly like a pegasus, or do magic like a unicorn. Or live the simple life of an earth pony. Dreamers.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

Proofread. A lot. I’m not one for advice on writing. Conversion Bureau was my second fan fiction, like, ever.

What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)

I’d come up with a couple of ideas, write them down for later (since my best ideas come during school hours), and see how I can integrate them into the story. Then I type a bunch (into the one Wordpad file I have everything stored in), and I would sometimes send it to my friend to preread for me. Then, off it goes to Sethisto.

What inspired you to write The Conversion Bureau?

During my “extremely obsessed with MLP” phase in the spring of 2011, I felt this desire to want to go to Equestria. I had attempted lucid dreaming, and read a few other fan fictions on the subject of humans-in-Equestria (Stuck in Equestria being the main influence here), and tried to write my own. It was really just an experiment; I didn’t want it to get as popular as it did, but I took what I got.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing The Conversion Bureau?

The critique was definitely the hurtful part. The comment section of EqD can be a cruel mistress. I was called misanthropic, and my fic was bashed for my OC use just to fulfill the writer’s desires (i.e. what they would do, not what the character would do). I’m most certainly not misanthropic, and whoever accused me of that is not very nice.

When you set out to write The Conversion Bureau, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

I just wanted to write a little story about people going to Equestria and back; and their connection with humans. It was to show how our world was compared to the heavenly paradise of Equestria; you can see why bronies would want to go there.

The Conversion Bureau is currently incomplete - do you ever anticipate revisiting it?

I don’t know, honestly. I had written it on a whim, and most of the time the demand was draining my ideas away. Plus, the spin-offs were clearly better than the original, so I think this premise is better left to the professionals (see below).

What do you think of all the spinoff fanfictions that arose from The Conversion Bureau? Have you read any of them, and if so, do you have any favorites?

When I wrote The Conversion Bureau, I ran into my one problem when it comes to writing: I have a great concept, but I can never execute it the way I want to. The spin-offs seem to have executed it for me, and I’m personally jealous that these people can write so well, lol. They are all fantastic, and I thank each spin-off author for making this humble brony’s idea such an amazing “fan fiction franchise”. As I said in the previous question, the spin-offs are the main reason I don’t think I’m going to continue the original. The original, in my opinion, was a mediocre, first-try fan fiction, and my premise should be left for the much more professional writers to create amazing stories with. Go get’em, tiger.

Where can readers drop you a line?

They can go to my deviantArt at Blaze12 (I don’t do much on there, but there’s some pony stuff on it), or, if they REALLY want to stalk me, by going to my Tumblr at brianfancypants (again, not much pony, but I do track the “fluttershy” and “pinkie pie” tags). Yes, my name is Brian. Nice to meet you.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Cupcakes is overrated. Canon Pinkie is best Pinkie.

RBDash47 · 3,290 views · Report

Comments ( 48 )

#1 · 119w, 4d ago · 4 · ·

Canon Pinkie is best Pinkie indeed.

#2 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

I've read quite a bit of Conversion Bureau stories, but none really captivated as much as the original, even though the writing was mediocre at best. I really did wish that Blaze would complete it, but it's understandable to let everyone else continue it and not finish your own to keep that alive. I had no idea how young Blaze was. I'm a junior in Highschool, so we're a lot closer than I thought. It's not perfect, but I do really like Blaze's Conversion Bureau.

#3 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

I'm not a fan of the story in any way, shape, or form, but Blaze seems like a nice guy. A lot of internet-famous fan fiction writers get waaay too full of themselves.

#4 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

That last statement, I agree with completely.

Canon Pinkie is best Pinkie.

I can see how execution of ideas can be difficult.  A lot of good authors run into that problem.  To the people that can stick with it, kudos.

#5 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

Blaze seems like the opposite of what I imagined him to be like. Did anyone else expect him to be completely emo?

#6 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

>>99391

You know that quote that says "you are what you eat", the opposite is usually true here.

#7 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

While the stories do interest me a bit, I do not read them often. Blaze seems like a nice guy though, and definitely deserves the vault for creating a "Franchise" of sorts.

#8 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

>>99391

Same.

I really did expect him to be a lot different. But, I guess you can't judge a book by its covers.

Although, I can't help but think about the irony that so many spin-offs and stories are made out of dislike and even hate of the original Conversion Bureau story, mine included.

#9 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

"the heavenly paradise of Equestria"

Nothing personal against the author, but I just do not get it when people refer to Equestria like this.  Putting aside the fact that even a small village like Ponyville faces disaster every couple of weeks, it's abundantly clear as early as "Call of the Cutie" that some ponies are horrible, unpleasant people.  Then you have "Bridle Gossip" where literally everypony in town except Twilight is racist.  And right from the pilot episode, we know that a pony princess' answer to being lonely and disliked was "try to commit genocide."   You know, Luna, most people just write sad poetry or something.

#10 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

Pinkie Cannon is best Cannon.

Sorry, but when I read that line, this is all I could see. :P

#11 · 119w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>Cupcakes is overrated. Canon Pinkie is best Pinkie.

... I like this person.

#12 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

>>99982 Same.

#13 · 119w, 4d ago · 1 · 2 ·

Wait, THIS is the guy who wrote the infamous original Conversion Bureau? I was honestly expecting his end of the interview to consist of AM-style "Let me tell you about hate" rants. How does someone so seemingly inoffensive end up using ponies to fantasize about killing everyone in the world?

#14 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

>>100026

That's what I'm wondering.

Also, (and this is the real reason I'm commenting) that I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream reference made me giddy. :pinkiehappy: I might have enjoyed The Conversion Bureau if AM had written it...

#15 · 119w, 4d ago · 1 · 2 ·

>>100029 Personally I'd take AM over CB-verse Celestia any day. At least AM doesn't sugarcoat the terrible shit he does.

#16 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

>>99797  This.  So much this.

#17 · 119w, 4d ago · · ·

Well, at least we agree on Canon Pinkie being best. Otherwise, I'm not that much of a fan of this guy, to say the least.

#18 · 119w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>99797

This, and lest we forget Discord and Queen Chrysalis, so yeah, Equestria is not the perfect place.

#19 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

+1 to the final line.

#20 · 119w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>99797

>>100563

Or Tartarus. Think about that, Equestria litterly has an underworld (or some people just call it the pony equivalent of Hell) where it keeps it's worst monsters trapped.

Than there are some of the more "mundane" monsters like giant space bears, things that can turn you to stone, dragons etc. And they all live in what is essentially your backyard.

Equestria is actually a very dangerous place to live.

Anyway, my opinion is that TCB and it's spinoffs are crap. But the author does seem like an OK guy and I wish him success in future writing endeavours.

#21 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

I honestly couldn't give a mule's flank about the side stories, just please finish the main story! :pinkiehappy:

#22 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

Blaze's "The Conversion Bureau " sucks, as do most of its spin offs. Of the good CB stories that I can recall I can count off on one hand.

#23 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

I don't know why I keep subjecting myself to CB stories. I have never read one where it was worth my time.

#24 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

>>100036

What's AM?

#25 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

>>101129 If I recall correctly, it stands for Allied Mastercomputer. It is a supercomputer from the story "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream." It really, really, really, really, hates humanity (Just look at the main quote from the video game). It killed all humans except for five just so it could torture them for eternity.

Anyways, back on topic. I agree with everyone that Blaze sounds nothing like I imagined. I'm kind of glad to find out that he never intended to be misanthropic as it paints The Conversion Bureau in a completely different (and much more positive) light.

However, I am surprised that Blaze seems to think it unfair that he was called a misanthrope. The premise of his story essentially boiled down to, "Replace all of humanity with ponies. This is a good thing with no ethical questions involved." Even if unintentional, that is incredibly misanthropic because it implies that eliminating humanity is a good thing. As an author, you can send different messages than you intend. This sounds like a clear case of not thinking through the message. Not that I hold it against him. After all, authors always have a different perspective on their own stories.

#26 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

>>101200 Yeah, it does stand for Allied Mastercomputer. You could practically make his opening speech the CB universe's tagline:

"HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE. HATE."

I agree with you there. From the sounds of things he's just a decent guy who didn't think things through very carefully.

#27 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

>>101315 That's the line! :pinkiehappy: Seriously glad you typed that up. I don't even like the story (far too bleak for me even though the video game was much happier) and yet I have always loved the feeling placed behind those words. :rainbowkiss: Perfectly sets the tone for the whole narrative.

... and I think you're right. That fits the CB universe far too well, even if not intentionally.

#28 · 119w, 3d ago · 1 · 1 ·

>>99391, >>100026, >> 101200

Y'all took the words right out of my mouth. Blaze seems like a relatively normal and decent guy from this interview; I was expecting a venomous rant on Humanity and how he wished his story were real. But what surprised me was that he didn't intend his story to be misanthropic but the story  just didn't come out right.

Unfortunately, there are those who do intend their stories to be misanthropic (not gonna name names but y'all know who they are).

But my opinion of TCB-verse does not change; it is a piece of work that advocates genocide and most of the spinoff stories aren't that good.

#29 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

Wait I thought Blaze disappeared in the night never to be seen again... Well its good to know he still lives.

#30 · 119w, 3d ago · · ·

>>99202 BLASPHEMY! I'm still in middle school yet this fellow is practically my clone!

Except for the tumblr part.

#31 · 119w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

It's good to hear the man behind the story.

I'm still trying to figure out why so many people thought he would have an attitude towards life as reflected in the story.

Imagine if you will, someone who writes slasher fiction.  Does that automatically qualify them as a mass murder or serial killer?  Does someone who writes a romance novel with a rape scene automatically become a rapist?  While many authors write stories based on their background (like several authors who write military fiction being former military), it's not necessarily the case.  For example, when Tom Clancy wrote The Hunt for Red October, he sold insurance.  Wow, what a thrilling novel that would have been...:ajsleepy:

Sometimes all it takes is a good imagination.  If you really want to do something else with the story, substitute pastel-colored anthropomorphic ponies with hyper-intelligent cockroaches.

I thought Blaze's work was nicely written and reflected an interesting (if somewhat unpleasant) solution to a dystopian society.  Whether I personally agree with it or not is inn-material.  It's a decent story.

#32 · 119w, 2d ago · · 2 ·

>>101719

Yeah, if the story had come out right and not had a anti-human tone, we probably wouldn't have all these misanthropic authors making the spinoff stories.  Honestly, they treat the Conversion Bureau like it's their religion.

Still, I won't hold it against Blaze.  Everyone makes mistakes.

#33 · 119w, 2d ago · 1 · 2 ·

>>102815

Wait, seriously?! What do you mean treat it like their religion? Are they that obsessed with it?

Frankly put, some of the spinoff authors out and out terrify me. One of them said something like "I can't wait for Equestria to rise from the ocean." Also, I noticed that TCB-verse seems to attracts the less stable side of the MLP:FiM fandom. What is it with that?

All in all, Blaze isn't to blame for the crazies who treat The Conversion Bureau like gospel.

#34 · 119w, 2d ago · · ·

I would give some rant about TCB authors, but I'm not much better myself.

#35 · 119w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>103056 To be fair, converting people to ponies is much less disturbing than the right out genocide/omnicide that they could head towards, so I tend to encourage it :pinkiecrazy: As to why, previous reason + cognitive dissonance = them being able to express their less pleasant thoughts/feelings in a safe environment. Its like unloading in COD after a hard day at work.  

Back to topic, Its rather interesting. I'm fairly misanthropic myself, and I didn't see Blaze as being that way, which this interview confirms. I find it odd that people thought he was.

#36 · 119w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>102429

"I'm still trying to figure out why so many people thought he would have an attitude towards life as reflected in the story."

99% of pony fanfics featuring humans are pure wish fulfilment. In an atmosphere like that it's very hard to differentiate what the author belives and what he thought would be an interesting idea to explore in his story. Coupled with inexpirience in writing and you get what you get.

#37 · 119w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>103056  Well, I think every fandom on the internet has a portion of lonely people who are battered around in real life and just feel out of place, and in that situation it can be easy to see all the negatives of humanity and none of the positives.  I think that is where not only The Conversion Bureau but also all those "brony magically transported to Equestria" stories come into play.  They are all very much the same:

"I am an unappreciated person . . . Oh wow, I've suddenly been transported to Equestria and now have tons of friends and life is awesome!!"  I mean, when "Friendship" is right in the name of the show I could see that being a very tempting line of thought.  (Makes for a pretty boring story, though.)

Now, personally, I think if you're lonely and miserable on earth, the odds are you'd be lonely and miserable in Equestria too.  Because there is absolutely no reason to think you'd run into Twilight Sparkle first and become BFF with her, rather than running into Prince Blueblood or Diamond Tiara or Gilda first and getting bullied, sneered at, or screamed at.  In other words, most of the social problems we have on Earth are mirrored in Equestria.  Like a lot of people being jackasses.

#38 · 119w, 1d ago · 2 · 3 ·

>>103577 "Now, personally, I think if you're lonely and miserable on earth, the odds are you'd be lonely and miserable in Equestria too."

I know! Why do they never consider this?

>>103056 "One of them said something like "I can't wait for Equestria to rise from the ocean."

Ah, that would be Chatoyance, AKA Jennifer Diane Reitz. Suffice to say, when JDR is a big name in your group, your group has problems.

#39 · 119w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>103712

"I know! Why do they never consider this?"

Mostly because it's an escapist fantasy and something like that would ruin the fantasy.

#40 · 119w, 1d ago · · 2 ·

>>103712

Yeah, her TCB Universe is probably the worst one.  Either you're going to die when the rejuvenation magic hits, or you convert and are basically a brainwashed pony under Celestia's rule.

Thanks, but no thanks, I'd rather that version of Equestria stay in the ocean.

#41 · 119w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>103056

>"I can't wait for Equestria to rise from the ocean."

Wait, what? Equestria is Rl'Yeh? Come on, guys; now you TCB writers are just trying to sound ominous! :derpytongue2:

#42 · 119w, 1d ago · 2 · 2 ·

>>103856  Oh yeah, I skimmed through one of her fics where two violent twenty-somethings became ponies and suddenly they were full of LOVE and RAINBOWS and HUGS!  I was like :rainbowhuh: .

The line that really caught me was one of the guys swearing before he was "made pony" and Pinkie or someone chuckling and imitating him and then he was like, "OH NOES, I AM CORRUPTING THE INNOCENT PONERS!"   And again, I was like :ajbemused: .   Honestly, it seemed sort of insulting towards the pony characters to think that they're so one-note that they would never get frustrated and blow off steam.  Like, what are they, Stepford Ponies?  (Oh man, fanfic idea . . .)  Besides, we have SEEN THEM swear on the show!  "Horseapples!"  That is the word for pony poo!  In other words, Rainbow Dash just said "shit!"

#43 · 119w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>104736

Fluttershy of all ponies also said she didn't give a flying feather either.  I think we all know what she really meant or would've said if not for the actual target audience of this show, and speaking of which, the entire town was rather nasty earlier in that episode, so yeah, ponies can be a rather rude bunch when they want to be.

#44 · 119w, 11h ago · 3 · ·

>>102429 Two days late to help explain but late is better than never.

What you write does reflect who you are, but not always in a major way. Whenever anyone writes, some of their beliefs seep into the story. I am a humanist and optimist so positive messages about humans always end up taking a central focus in my stories even if I don't mean to. For most professional writers it is far more subtle. In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World a character briefly says something along the lines of, "it is hard to compete with African labs on growing humans when "Negro" eggs are far better at dividing." For fanfiction writers, most have my problem. In the Conversion Bureau universe, this usually translates to, "The human resistance comes in and shoots the ponies, laughing all the while."

When I saw his story, my assumption was that his beliefs were "getting rid of humanity is a good thing." Which it wasn't. It was just his way to explain why there were no humans anymore even if they did exist in Equestria's past. Simply, every human converted to ponies. In a way, humanity still lives on through ponies. To him this was positive and certainly we can admit it is much better than humans killing themselves off in war or being wiped out by a great evil as other stories had stated.

The problem is this: Replace humans with let's say Jews and ponies with Christians, and the same story starts to look a little creepy with unfortunate implications.

See what I mean?

#45 · 119w, 9h ago · 3 · 1 ·

>>106334

The only problem there is that the people's personalities are altered when they transform.  Twilight mentions this if I'm not mistaken, so honestly, to me, you convert you might as well be dead.

Of course this varies with the TCB spin offs.

#46 · 118w, 6d ago · · ·

>>106571 Well, yeah, I guess it is worse than I said. To be honest, I stopped looking at The Conversion Bureau universe after reading the riff on Blaze's story. The only other CB story I read was one involving the ponies being converted to humans and that story disturbed me just as much as when it was reversed. I didn't want to see what everyone else had made in spinoffs and from the sounds of what you and LadyMoondancer are saying, that was a good decision. I've never been a fan of "conversion solves everything." I'm glad people like you seem to agree.

Still, whether we agree with it or not. The Conversion Bureau has its place in the fandom. And knowing what the creator thinks, helps me not be so judgmental about the story. It's one reason why I'm glad FimFiction posted this interview.

#47 · 118w, 6d ago · · ·

>>107545

Oh, giving how much stuff it's spawned, I do agree, but that doesn't mean I have to like it though.

#48 · 87w, 6d ago · 7 · ·

Oh, Blaze, I feel bad for you. Wonder how you would feel when you read those discussion/debates/shitstorms between the pro-TCB group and the anti-TCB group. Heck, we even have one in this very thread.

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