News Archive

  • Sunday
    SA Reviews #95

    12 comments · 807 views
  • 1w, 3d
    Round Robin Reviews # 17

    50 comments · 1,892 views
  • 1w, 5d
    Morning Sun's "Gnosis" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    7 comments · 1,131 views
  • 2w, 3d
    SA Reviews #94

    13 comments · 1,459 views
  • 3w, 3d
    Round Robin Reviews # 16

    3 comments · 1,795 views
  • 4w, 2d
    SA Reviews #93

    8 comments · 1,610 views
  • 4w, 4d
    NaPoWriMo 2016!

    Do you like to write? Do you think you could write a novel in a month? Or set yourself a high word-count objective and meet it? Welp, 5 days late here for the announcement, but if you like a writing challenge head up to the EQD NaPoWriMo 2016 blog post!

    23 comments · 1,752 views
  • 4w, 5d
    BillyColt's "I Have a Hat" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story might just prove to be magical reading.

    I Have a Hat

    [Alternate Universe] [Crossover] • 8,935 words

    Upstart is excited. His mother has hired a unicorn for a party. It will be so delightful to see a unicorn performing magic. It's sure to be fun for the whole household!

    Of course, it's just a little fun. She's not really a unicorn. After all, unicorns don't exist.

    FROM THE CURATORS: "An Equestria where magic has ceased to be a factor in ponies' lives is a fascinating AU right from the start," AugieDog said, and all of us reading this Victorian-flavored tale — a pony take on G.K. Chesterton's play Magic — found ourselves swept up in its enchantments.  "This offers a thoughtful bit of commentary on the role of magic in our lives," Chris said, "and its Equestrian mooring is a surprisingly necessary lens through which to see our own human mythologies."  As Present Perfect put it, "it turns out there's nothing to make the reader tremble in awe at the knowledge magic exists quite like taking magic away in the first place."

    And while the power of that theme might have sealed this story's feature, there was plenty more to like here — such as I Have a Hat's tonal balance and character work.  "There's a noble tragedy that suffuses the entire story, even as its surface content remains light and slice-of-life," Chris said about the former, while AugieDog praised the latter: "The characters, all OCs, are fully-formed and well-detailed." Horizon appreciated those both: "The subtle power plays among the various inhabitants of the house were just as fascinating as the bigger, flashier A-plot, and watching the visitors navigate those tensions really helped ground both halves of the story into a more unified whole."

    But our commentary kept turning back to this story's well-realized setting, perched at a carefully calibrated distance between our lives and the show.  "It was a brilliant choice, I think, to set this in a pseudo-Victorian era," Horizon said. "I'm reminded of L.P. Hartley's quote 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there' — both in the contrast between the setting's past and present, and the contrast between the setting's present day and our own."  Chris appreciated how that also contributed to the mood of the story: "The mix of 1800s-ish setting and moors with a somewhat more modern writing style gives the piece an appropriately uncertain, ethereal air."  But, like any good magician, most impressive of all was how seamless the presentation was.  "Justifying an AU an like this is always a challenge," Present Perfect said, "but this one rises to it effortlessly."

    Read on for our author interview, in which BillyColt discusses branding arcs, unplayed cards, and toyline invitations.


    Give us the standard biography.

    Well, I’m a 25-year-old college graduate, a musician, and an accountant. Currently desperately searching for a job here in sunny southern California!

    My chief interests are television, theatre, and classical music. I got into creative writing mainly through roleplaying, and I started with little short stories and terrible fanfictions for things like Neopets and Eragon. I got into MLP after finding it had a Sondheim tribute, and I started writing fanfiction after having some chats on the imageboards.

    How did you come up with your handle/penname?

    It was really something I came up with more or less on a dime. I wanted a snazzy handle that wasn’t one of my other online handles, and my first fic was going up, so I needed something fast. “BillyColt” seemed like as good an idea as any, and I’ve gotten fond of it as a moniker.

    Who's your favorite pony?

    Oh, I don’t like to play favorites, but Rarity is my favorite of the mane six. She’s always fun to watch, thanks to her flamboyant personality and voice work. I also just find something novel about how her character arc is about building a business and personal brand.

    What's your favorite episode?

    Hm. That’d be tricky. If I had to just pick one episode, it’d be Pinkie Pride, which is in my opinion the best episode of season 4 (which I’d say ties with season 5 as the best season thus far) and The Saddle Row Review (which in my opinion is absolutely delightful). Other episodes I’d mention include Brotherhooves Social, Just for Sidekicks, Amending Fences, Sonic Rainboom, and PPOV. I’m sure that if I spent more time on it I could name many other episodes.

    I’m also a big fan of the comics, and some of my favorites stories in there are Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair, Neigh Anything, Reflections, Sombra Rex, Siege of the Crystal Empire, the Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Luna micros, and too many of the Friends Forever issues to name.

    What do you get from the show?

    It’s a nice show that doesn’t feel like it’s talking down. It’s simple, sometimes clever, likable, and it has nice tunes. The musical numbers were probably what drew me to the show in the first place. I’m a big Stephen Sondheim fan, and when I found that the show did a number in the first season that was a tribute (actually two songs: "Art of the Dress" and "At the Gala" are both modeled after songs of his, and other songs throughout the series are based on other showtunes).

    Apart from that it’s just a nice, likable show. As far as childrens’ shows go, it has most of what I want to see in one. At its best it shows a good ethos and has very clever writing. Even at its worst I can’t think of any episodes that I’ve strongly disliked in the way that some other shows I also love have produced things that get my ire up.

    I don’t suppose any of that rambling makes sense. It’s just a show I like, I guess. Not much else to it.

    What do you want from life?

    Same thing as most people, I imagine. Comfort, certainty, and something worthwhile to do.

    Why do you write?

    I’ve always been someone who likes culture stuff; music, art, literature. That kind of thing. Also I crave validation from others. Creating content for a fandom is a pretty good way to scratch that itch, it turns out!

    What advice do you have for the authors out there?

    The thing that kills me more than anything is procrastinating, and it still gets me. People who follow my blog or my tumblr might recall that I sometimes say I’m gonna try to stick to a 20-minutes-a-day schedule, and I’m never able to really do that. So I’m not really the best person to ask for advice on it. Though I might pass along something from the game The Beginner’s Guide, in that one shouldn’t worry if they don’t always have ideas. Lows are just part of the process of being a creator.

    You said of this story that: "Mainly, the source is GK Chesterton's play "Magic," with elements taken from Ingmar Bergman's film "Ansiktet" (called "The Magician" in its US release), which was loosely based on the aforementioned play."  Could you elaborate on what inspired you from those works?

    Well, really it’s an adaptation in most respects. Neither of them are the most famous of their works; Chesterton’s more famous for his Father Brown stories and the novels of his that got quoted in Deus Ex, and Bergman made many movies, and The Magician never got the kind of reception that Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, or many of his others did. However, I think that they’re both fine works.

    Both of those sources share the rough plotline of a traveling magician who’s invited to perform for a rich household. The title of the story actually comes from the Chesterton play. In the first scene, the Conjurer (as he’s called) says a poem to Patricia:

    I have a hat, but not to wear

    I wear a sword, but not to slay

    And ever in my bag I bear

    A pack of cards, but not to play.

    Chesterton was really a wonderful poet. I used this as a springboard for giving Enchantra the character trait of having her mutter rhyming snatches, which is always fun to do (oh, did I have fun writing Zed’s couplets).

    The broad strokes of both sources are roughly the same. You have the magician himself, you have the household, you have a woman who believes in him, and you have an obnoxious skeptic who’s determined that the magician is nothing more than a fraud. However, they diverge in some ways. Chesterton was a devoted Catholic, and so in his version, the Magician is, by most appearances, real. Bergman was an agnostic, so in his version the Magician turns out to be a fraud, albeit with one or two very odd things that seem a little inexplicable.

    Some of the particular influences from the movie are the troupe of assistants (the Conjurer in Chesterton’s play is by himself, while the Magician in Bergman’s is attended with a host of others) and the ‘invisible chains’ scene, which I ripped off wholesale from the film. It was a scene that really stood out to me, how Bergman is able to take a scene where so little is happening and make it gripping and suspenseful. All from a man quietly trying to free himself from apparently invisible chains.

    From the play itself I keep more or less the relationship between the magician and the young woman at the house who fancies him (though obviously genderflipped). This element was largely excised from the movie, where the magician was already married. Though I should point out that I deliberately left Upstart’s age vague, leaving it to the audience whether he’s a colt or a young stallion, and picking how the relationship dynamic works best (whether it’s a child who views her with a sense of wonder or a young adult who’s feeling a sense of romantic attraction).

    The characterization of Duchess is very much inspired by a similar character in Magic, an amusing buffoon of a character who tries to please everyone and pleases no one. One funny exchange of dialogue in the play relates to how he donated equal amounts of money to two opposing political movements. Many of the characters in that play are very distinct archetypes, something which I took to mind in crafting the characters for this. Letterhead is very much based on the skeptic characters from those works (Morris in Magic and the doctor in The Magician), leaning a bit more towards the doctor. Though one thing I notice in my version is that the skeptic never receives a comeuppance. Morris in Magic is made bed-ridden when confronted with a trick he can’t explain (he is made well by the end of the play when the Conjurer and Patricia come up with an alternate explanation that they don’t share with the other characters or the audience), and while the doctor in Bergman’s story isn’t shown to be wrong, he is subject to an elaborate, terrifying prank.

    The character of Penner doesn’t particularly have a close analogue in either work. I suppose he might be closest to the Reverend and/or Doctor Grimthorpe from Magic in terms of the dynamic he has with Letterhead.

    On a related note, what differences do you see in your story as relates to its Equestrian setting?  In other words, how do ponies change the nature of the tale?

    Well, the most obvious thing is that it signals that the magic is, in fact, real all along. In addition, I find I like working with alternate universes and futures and stuff with the MLP setting. I think it makes sense, given that My Little Pony is itself a toyline. I feel it invites viewers to speculate more with ‘what if?’ scenarios than most other properties. I mean, there are a number of properties I love a great deal that I would never write fanfiction for, such as Breaking Bad or BoJack Horseman, because those stories don’t seem to invite me to do alternate takes as much. They have a set sequence of events and character development and the world outside of what we immediately see isn’t as important as the main characters themselves.

    MLP, because of its nature as a toyline as much as a TV show, I feel invites it a lot more, particularly when it has a setting that feels like it exists outside of what’s shown on-screen. And I feel that the malleability that comes with that lends itself well to crossovers and other adaptive works. I also suspect that this is why shipping doesn’t annoy me in this fandom the way it does in, say, Harry Potter or the Avatar cartoons.

    Because MLP is also a cartoon, it makes it easier to work with the characters as archetypes and broad strokes. Obviously there are differences as a work of prose, but I think a good fanfic will invoke elements of the source material, and in doing so I think that the fact that it’s a story set in a cartoon universe lends it well to those kinds of characters.

    Why did you chose to reveal the truth about Enchantra at the end of the story?

    I felt that was the ending that was the most appropriate. The source subjects, like many other works about magicians (such as The Illusionist and The Prestige) play with themes of duplicity and falseness, and it’s fairly common in those works to have the grand masterstroke revealed. The revelation of the secret does, in many ways, serve as a climax of its own sort.

    Also, the fact that this is a My Little Pony story is going to betray something to the audience at any rate. The audience knows that in the story’s universe, magic really was there. It doesn’t make sense to keep it ambiguous at that point.

    How do you view the ending you wrote?  As optimistic and hopeful?  Bittersweet?  Nobly tragic?  Something else?

    I think of it as optimistic. I imagine that if it were animated or the like there would be a dramatic swelling of strings as the carriage sails across the night sky. Like in some kind of Christmas movie.

    Is there anything else you'd like to add?

    I’m just glad that people liked the story this much. I’d been working on it for years and was somewhat terrified of putting it up. But now it’s up and it seems that the people who have read it liked it a great deal. That makes me feel good. Here’s hoping I can continue writing things that I and my readers enjoy!

    And last of all, thank you.

    You can read I Have a Hat at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

    2 comments · 1,255 views
  • 6w, 3d
    SA Reviews #92

    10 comments · 1,781 views
  • 6w, 4d
    S6E25-26 - To Where and Back Again

    268 comments · 5,520 views
  • 7w, 4d
    S6E24 - Top Bolt

    I'm guessing most of us saw this already :p

    89 comments · 3,486 views
  • 8w, 4d
    S6E23 - Where the Apple Lies

    CIDER IS BAD

    157 comments · 4,235 views
  • 9w, 4d
    Round Robin Reviews # 15

    9 comments · 1,835 views
Jan
29th
2012

Time to clear some things up.

A couple of nights ago, Fimfiction was hacked. Said hackers were able to gain many users hashed passwords. If you visited a users page and saw it looking odd, then they likely have your hash assuming you were logged in. Thankfully the stories and what not in the database were not touched, other than a single story, and it's backed up regularly in 2 places in case it ever was. But I'm sure you're all more worried about your passwords. If you are concerned about your password being hacked, you should change your password anywhere else you use it. Although the passwords are hashed, it is possible with enough time and computing power to unhash them especially if you have a simple password.

I apologise immensely for this, it was very much an error on my part.

Report knighty · 4,119 views ·
#1 · 253w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Dah, its cool Knighty! These things happen. You did your part, and im sure we a re all thankful for that! :pinkiehappy:

#2 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

Man, I'm just glad your back. You provide a service that no one else does does, in a safe friendly environment.

#3 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

Who want to hack this site? Do trolls really hate us that much?:rainbowhuh: Oh well, at least you're back.:pinkiehappy:

#4 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

Don't feel bad Knighty, no one should have to have the mindset to worry about retards with too much time antagonizing them on the internet.

Your website is wonderful and you shouldn't feel the least bit bad.

#5 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

It happens, man. thanks for letting us know what's up.

#6 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

I was wondering... wow. Well, it wasn't completely your fault. Now I'm  worried, but I'm assuming it can all be sorted out.

#7 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

well doesnt matter this thing happens so its okey keep up the awesome work you are doing :pinkiehappy:

#8 · 253w, 3d ago · · ·

Dude, no need to apologize. It is not your fault in the slightest. If anything, we should be thanking you for the measures you take to make sure this isn't a common occurrence. And considering all of this for free, I thank you. :pinkiehappy:

#9 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

:pinkiegasp::flutterrage::twilightangry2::raritycry::raritydespair::facehoof::rainbowdetermined2::trixieshiftleft::trixieshiftright:

DAMN HACKERS...

#10 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Somebody hacked this website?:rainbowhuh: Some people honestly have nothing else better to do, no apology is necessary you could not have known that there was someone actually pathetic enough to do something like this.  

#11 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Proof hackers have no life.  I guess I have to go through and change passwords just to be safe.  Fortunately, I don't use it for anything important to real life.

#12 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Frankly Knighty, I am mad at you....

Mad at you for apolagising for something you had no control over.

Sure, it is your site, but, you couldent of known there were people dumb enough to hack it.

They have enough computer smarts to avoid firewalls, but not enough to avoid the orbital friendship cannon.

*cracks neck*

Let's do this.

*Insert overly used name that starts with "L" and is used when charging into something with no thought put into it, here*

#13 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

That's unfortunate news. Luckily, this account does not share any information with important things like my business email. :3

#14 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

I really don't get it...

The amount of brainpower being wasted by 'l33t h4xx0rz' in their attempts to mess things up for a bunch of pastel talking ponies is absurd.

I come from SecondLife, where I deal with this brand of ridiculous on a near daily basis and I just don't get the link... Is "happy" such an affront to the average internet sociopath that - no holds barred they must tear it down no matter the effort? What is it about ponies that drives such a foaming need for 'lulz' in the bowels of the internet?

I just don't get the e-thug<->pony connection...

#15 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Shizzle...

Cheers for the warning.

#16 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Don't worry we will hunt them down and give them what they deserve ;)

#17 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

>>7873

>>8015

>>8021

>>8042

What these guys said.

So these hackers hacked a free site, fan-made, specifically talking on fanfiction stories of PONIES!? :pinkiegasp:

Man, some people need to learn what a life is. :rainbowlaugh: Whose willing to be a teacher?

#18 · 253w, 2d ago · · ·

Wow, some people really have too much time on their hands

#19 · 253w, 1d ago · · ·

It happens, mate. Thanks for letting us know.

#20 · 253w, 1d ago · · ·

Considering that Bethesda's and Blizzard's pages got hacked last year I really can't blame you for 'letting' this happen. It is seems nearly impossible to avoid these kinds of things. Armor is always going to be 2nd grade to the weapon for some reason.(In just about every aspect of life)

Thankyou for bringing it to attention, and let us hope that hackers find better targets.(Honestly, you would expect every hacker out there to be smart enough to target pages which actully diserve it.(cough cough... killers of megaupload) I don't actully hate hackers themself, they can bear importants as an extreemist protester group or vigilanty thing.. but hacking pages which have done nothing bad and don't hold any other importance? Why?)

#21 · 253w, 1d ago · · ·

>>8151 Y-your avatar.. IS. AWESOME.

#22 · 253w, 1d ago · · ·

Thanks for letting us know, knighty. Are the passwords salted? I changed mine, so I'm not worried about it. I'm just curious how much actual concern there is. If they are salted, then even relatively simple passwords should  be fairly hard to crack with a rainbow table attack on the hashed passwords.

#23 · 253w, 23h ago · · ·

I am not good at computer stuff. Can someone please try to tell me what i should do?

I have changeed my fimfiction pasword and i do not use it anywhere else.

#24 · 253w, 23h ago · · ·

>>8526 If you changed your password here, and you don't use the same password anywhere else, then you are fine. You don't need to do anything more. The thing to remember is that it's possible that that someone was able to figure out what your password here is. So if you use it on other sites, you would want to change it on those sites as well. But as long as you have changed it here, and this is the only site you use that password on, you are safe.

#25 · 253w, 22h ago · · ·

>>8528

thank you for you kind reply it helped me understand what i needed to do and what is going on

#26 · 253w, 18h ago · · ·

Yeech. Said hackers also started spamming IRC pony communities, in case you guys did not know.

Anyway, time to change passwords.

#27 · 253w, 17h ago · · ·

>>8015

>>8021

>>8042

>>8126

The motives of this attack are not at all cut-and-dry. It cannot be said for certain that there is any ulterior motive aside from the acquisition of passwords. Remember that, regardless of how much people are told otherwise, a very large portion of internet users still use the same passwords (and usernames) for everything. If you can hack a sufficiently large database — such as Fimfiction — you are very likely going to have full-access to thousands of Facebook accounts, hundreds of Steam accounts, Netflix subscriptions, Paypal accounts, bank accounts, etc., and probably for some, enough personal details to enable identify theft. Don't discount the attack as being any kind of bigotry when a vulnerable database is a gold mine to a person with the right know how.

Now, nobody should blame knighty for this; I know as well as anybody that computer security is an ongoing battle of wits. But take this event as a reminder to everyone that you should have unique passwords for everything, or at the very least, everything that is important and personal. Databases of even very high profile places can and will and do get compromised. Don't put yourself in a position where these compromises will cause your to lose your valuable accounts, your money, or even worse, your identity.

Commendations to knighty for having the issue resolved in a timely manner, anyhow.

#28 · 253w, 11h ago · · ·

Don't sweat it. Attacks happen.

#29 · 253w, 9h ago · · ·

I bet it was neeeiiigh saying trolls. Haters VS Toleraters. The war of the internet.

#30 · 252w, 6d ago · · ·

I haven't been able to access the front page of FIMFiction since the attack. I get redirected to this instead. Any tips on how to fix it?

knighty
Lord Al-knighty
#31 · 252w, 6d ago · · ·

>>8951

Force refresh the page.

#32 · 252w, 6d ago · · ·

Stupid peeps will be stupid.

Guess I should go change my password ta "password." :pinkiehappy:

#33 · 252w, 6d ago · · ·

If I get my hands(hooves) on that hacker... ILL SHOW THEM THE TRUE FEAR THEY DESERVE!!! :pinkiecrazy:

#34 · 252w, 6d ago · · ·

If I get my hands(hooves) on that hacker... ILL SHOW THEM THE TRUE FEAR THEY DESERVE!!! :pinkiecrazy:

#35 · 252w, 4d ago · · ·

>>8126 I am, but everyone else is right; you shouldn't apologize for something you had no control over. Stuff like this happens.

#36 · 252w, 3d ago · · ·

I want to wrap my hands around the assholes who did this. You don't just do this!:flutterrage:

#37 · 252w, 3d ago · · ·

I want to wrap my hands around the assholes who did this. You don't just do this!:flutterrage:

#38 · 252w, 7h ago · · ·

So that's what happened. Well, I guess some people really have nothing better to do than mess with others on random sites. Thanks for the heads up knighty, and don't worry too much about it. :ajsmug:

#39 · 250w, 1d ago · · ·

Device Heretic's stories seem to have disappeared. Maybe it is an innocent bug, or maybe (s)he took them down, but I thought I would mention it in case it was the hacker unhashing the password, logging in and deleting stories to be a parasprite. I sent tDevice Heretic's account a friendly PM asking what was up. Dunno if that was a good idea, but it wasn't phrased as vigilantism.

Hope this isn't too garbled. I have a problem with communicating clearly when time is an issue.

#40 · 206w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

I'm sorry. This is hilarious.

#41 · 182w, 3h ago · · ·

Ah, the Niggest Crook Force, my friend got doxxed by them back in the good ol' True Capitalist Radio days.

#42 · 136w, 9h ago · · ·

>mfw I'm white hat hacker seeing this website hacked :facehoof:

Login or register to comment