Aug
29th
2016

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.

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Report Wanderer D · 464 views ·
Aug
27th
2016

I'm attacking the DARKNESS.

Aug
26th
2016

Today's story will reward you for stepping out of your comfort zone.

Insecurities

[Slice of Life] • 12,105 words

Fleur Lumineuse, daughter of Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lis, has made a mistake.  A serious one.  She never intended so much harm but, even with her eyes now open, can she make amends?

Sometimes, what a pony really needs, is somepony else to reach out to them.

FROM THE CURATORS: While one of the great truisms of fanfiction is that no idea is irredeemable, there are some premises which are very, very difficult to sell.  So when a story admits in its author's note to being "blatant self-insertion and gratuitous wish fulfillment," and yet turns our heads anyhow, that should be a sign that the author is doing something very, very right.

The core of that, as Horizon put it, was the stark self-awareness on display.  "This is like no other 'wish fulfillment' fic I've ever seen," he added.  "It draws boundaries in a way that both respects the female counterpart and reinforces her characterization."  Present Perfect, meanwhile, was most impressed by how that self-awareness came through in the protagonist.  "Front and center is Hyperic Cable: shy, awkward, socially phobic, possibly autistic," he said.  "It's the kind of character portrayal that can only come from personal experience, and the fact that he isn't the viewpoint character undercuts a lot of the wish-fulfillment angle."  Chris felt similarly: "The self-insertiness comes through really clearly.  But on the other hand, he's still a character who's easy to empathize with.  I felt most of the story feeling really bad for this guy, which is exactly what I was supposed to be doing."

But while the "nuanced, flawed characters" (as Present Perfect put it) turned our heads, this was exemplary in areas beyond its self-awareness.  "This is an excellent look into anxiety and irrational fears with equally excellent writing," Present Perfect said, while Soge appreciated that there was an equally solid B-plot: "What really struck me was how Fleur learns to not be such a horrible pony.  She is ... an incredibly selfish narcissist, profoundly bigoted, and almost comical in her lack of empathy — and yet she grows a lot during the fic, eventually even trying to see things from his perspective."  Ultimately, Horizon said, this story became more than the sum of its parts: "The characters here are — through personal experience, good writing, or a combination of the two — both earnestly authentic, and that transforms this into something far beyond its roots."

Read on for our author interview, in which Shachza discusses dinosaur toys, friendship ironies, and pancakes vs. ponies.

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Aug
21st
2016

The Round Robin Reviews are written by different groups and reviewers taking turns each week. If you are a story reviewer or part of a group that reviews stories and would be interested in joining the Round Robin Reviews, feel free to PM Wanderer D, Professor Plum, or ElDorado to tell us about it.

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Report Wanderer D · 878 views ·
Aug
20th
2016

Take a poetic excursion through the mind of Nightmare Moon with today's story.

Only, Only, Only You

[Romance] [Sad] • 1,594 words

Come closer here—my heart, my host.

Come closer.  Hear my heart, my host,

Is only staid with presence close.

If love’s a potion, ample dose.

My night-ful bride, I need your boon.

My baleful bride, I need you soon:

For what’s eclipsed by half a moon?

FROM THE CURATORS: If it seems like we disproportionately feature poetry relative to how rare it is in the fandom, it's only because we keep stumbling across poems that are really, really good.  This was laudable not only in its construction — "The mouthfeel of this piece in lines like 'nightshade-wound chrysanthemum' is exquisite, and it uses its repetitions and its breaks from verse to solid effect," Horizon said — but also in its storytelling: "It tells a riveting tale, recasting the story of Luna and Nightmare Moon as a love story," Present Perfect said.  "The characters and plot fit the poem form well, and I love how strong the sense of yearning and desire is."

But what impressed us all the most was the mastery of language on display.  "The words are obviously carefully chosen," Present Perfect said.  "There's some great wordplay, like the 'here/hear' in the otherwise identical couplet that appears in the description."  Chris found another example to praise: "I think the moment I realized I was in for a treat was the couplet 'To slither, snake, in shadow form, / To recollect, inveigle—mourn—'," he said.  "I'm on board with anyone who can use 'inveigle' in a coherent sentence, especially while holding to the rhythm of the line."  And Horizon agreed: "This is a piece which isn't afraid to deploy ten-dollar words with rapier precision.  Seriously, look up 'Lacuna' the first time the poem uses it: this isn't just a pet name for Luna, it's a direct statement on the relationship."

Despite the deep linguistic delving, though, "this remains shockingly readable as it flows through a story of need and betrayal and loss," as Horizon put it.  "Nightmare Moon's anguish is palpable, even as the piece makes very clear who the villain is here."  And that makes this remarkable on another level, Chris said: "The content is a fresh twist on the oldest story in the fandom, which is increasingly hard to do six seasons in ... but, as Corejo shows here, by no means impossible." That it managed to do so while impressing even our poetry connoisseurs was what sealed this story's feature.  "I will admit to being a giant poetry grouch who clings to strict ideas about rhyme and rhythm and imagery," AugieDog said.  "To find a piece like this one that picks a meter and keeps to it, that picks a rhyme scheme and keeps to it, that paints some wonderful pictures with words and sounds and all, that's the sort of thing that makes me very, very happy."

Read on for our author interview, in which Corejo discusses rabbit errors, fluff-ectomies, and the fine line between hugboxers and skimmers.

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Aug
20th
2016

Changelings dindu nuffin'. They a good boy. They just needed love for dem programs.

Aug
13th
2016

Oops I forgot. And I was on such a good run!

Aug
12th
2016

Today's story lines up some quality entertainment.

Cant

[Horror] • 2,353 words

There's an old book that's falling apart. Twilight wants to copy it down to preserve it. But it needs to be as accurate and precise as possible, to preserve the state of the original. That shouldn't be too hard. After all, it's not like the text will change whenever she looks away.

Right?

FROM THE CURATORS: For a story solo-tagged [Horror], we found Cant to be unusually — and pleasantly — light reading.  "This was a fun little fic," Chris said, and AugieDog had a similar reaction: "This is a horror story the way 'Lesson Zero' is a horror story ... I usually find horror stories to be, well, too horrific, but this is just exactly how horror stories should go in the Pony universe."

But make no mistake, this uses its tag effectively and subtly.  "The way it progresses to horror is as insidious as it is natural," Present Perfect said.  "And this particular brand of quiet, obsessive horror is the sort of thing I've previously only seen at the SCP Foundation."  For Soge, that quiet horror built up over time.  "My gut reaction was that it felt a bit too low key," Soge said, "but after a few days I can safely say that it is one of those stories that is memorable in all the right ways. ... I wound up reading it again, in search of all those bits of wrongness in the text."

What makes it so rewarding is that there's just so much the story does right.  "The way it sets up Twilight with a perfectly unexceptional book of would-be occultitude feels right at home in Equestria," Chris said, and Horizon similarly praised the story's approach to its protagonist: "It's marvelous how naturally Cant meshes its horror conceit with Twilight's character, to the point that it's able to hide crucial pieces of unreliable narration in plain sight."  Ultimately, as Present Perfect said, that clean execution elevated it: "This is a tidy piece, sets itself up well, doesn't overstay its welcome, and has a great bit of foreshadowing at the start that you'll never even realize is there."

Read on for our author interview, in which Rambling Writer discusses high-strung wordiness, moral deconstruction, and intrinsic gray.

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Aug
6th
2016

The Round Robin Reviews are written by different groups and reviewers taking turns each week. If you are a story reviewer or part of a group that reviews stories and would be interested in joining the Round Robin Reviews, feel free to PM Wanderer D, Professor Plum, or ElDorado to tell us about it.

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Report Wanderer D · 967 views ·
Aug
6th
2016

Who's ready for some PonyKart