Jul
31st
2015

Take a wild, whimsical wander through a fairy tale, a literal fairy tale, in this Friday's featured fic.

The Big Butterfly Brouhaha

[Random] [Adventure] • 14,839 words

"Have you seen a butterfly around here?" I asked Derpy one day. Next thing I don't even know, we're saving Equestria from the fairies in Fluttershy's chicken coop!

FROM THE CURATORS: From the moment, from the moment that you first lay eyes on this story and its unique storytelling, it will be obvious that you're in for an experience. "I'm not sure if the narrative style is brilliant or completely bonkers (or both), but it definitely fits the spirit of this story," JohnPerry said.  We weren't unanimous fans of the style, but the clear consensus was best expressed by Present Perfect: "The appropriate emoticon for this story is somewhere between o.O and :D.  By the second sentence, I was in love."

That narration is in service of a compelling melding of MLP with an older and wilder mythology. "It's a fairy tale, at its core, but a vividly Equestrian one — full of the strangely-ruled magic and mysterious fey-creatures which are the hallmark of such tales, but placed carefully in a setting where magic is practically mundane," Chris said.  That combined with a clever sense of wordplay to engage us with prose as well as plot.  "There were many moments in this story where I found myself caught between a desire to laugh out loud and smack my forehead," JohnPerry said. "'The gigglers, now turned yellers, are riding hummers' was one of them."

However, despite the story's wide list of strengths, our commentary kept returning to the narration.  "it sounds like music! It's astounding!" Present Perfect said.  "The little rhymes, the repetition ... there's a certain timeless poetry about this that doesn't preclude character or plot."  Chris agreed: "It's playful, lively, and shows a delightful interplay between narrator and reader without becoming too condescending or grating."  In the end, all we could do was marvel — and offer this Random-tagged tale a well-deserved feature. "What amazes me is that there's so much here that clashes, that by all rights shouldn't work, yet somehow comes across as very natural," JohnPerry said. "Discord would be pleased."

Read on for our author interview, in which adcoon discusses loyalty, passion, necessity, and a raccoon-based muffin obsession.

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Jul
25th
2015

To eliminate problems where stories that have very few votes can be sunk by only 1-2 people disliking them, stories with under 15 votes no longer display rating data to anyone but the author. This should give everyone a fair chance at success, even with a couple early haters, but actually-bad stories should quickly-enough accumulate enough downvotes to show as negative that you can still easily avoid them.

We will adjust the number of votes required for visibility later if needed.

Edit: the threshold is now 10, looking into some time-based stuff for older stories.

Report Xaquseg · 5,248 views ·
Jul
24th
2015

Today's story is about the lines that we tell ourselves should not be crossed.

To Be A Mule

[Sad] [Slice of Life] • 2,983 words

She smiles at him every time she comes to visit the stately home where he works as a gardener, but Dilly Daliér has never spoken to her.

Nor will he ever.

Because he's a mule and she's a unicorn, and those are the rules.

FROM THE CURATORS: "This is a short, sad story about institutionalized racism in Equestria," Present Perfect said when nominating it. "You've got regret, longing, and societal pressures balled up into a neat little package."

That sparked quite an interesting debate over this story's presentation of discrimination.  "This story certainly feels like an antebellum South metaphor," Horizon observed, and JohnPerry chimed in: "It's always good to find a story that deals with the matter of racism without whitewashing it."  On the other hoof, Chris pointed out: "It's not really a story about racism; it's a story about class.  If Daliér and his dad were earth ponies, they would've said that was the uncrossable divide. ... The problem isn't that 'those kind of ponies' don't marry mules; it's that 'those kind of ponies' don't marry anyone who isn't 'those kind of ponies.'"  AugieDog found some middle ground: "Whether it's about species or race or class, this story is very much about 'being the outsider,' about looking in at a group whose opinion of yourself you accept as being more true than your own opinion of yourself."

Those themes are embodied in a pair of OCs whose layered characterization gave us plenty to dig into.  "I understand why the father personally would stick around as a gardener, but it seems almost like he's actively trying to force his son away from anything that will make him happy or successful," Chris said, and JohnPerry argued: "The elder donkey, far from coming across as unenlightened or callous, actually sounds pragmatic and sympathetic. ... That illustrates how that divide is often self-enforced through the collective fears or indifference of those who are affected by it."

As should be obvious from how much the story's central idea engaged us, we found the depth of To Be A Mule exemplary; that and its clean writing sent it to a feature. "There's not a whole lot else to say about it, other than it does what it sets out to very well," Present Perfect said, while JohnPerry was more effusive: "If there's any complaint I have of this story, it's that I wanted more at the end. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read the sequels."

Read on for our author interview, in which archonix discusses statuesque sacrifices, fanfiction dating, and the two types of reading.

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Jul
18th
2015

Today's story just might transform you into a fan of unusual romance.

A Stallion For The Time Being

[Romance] [Comedy] • 21,026 words

Minuette is determined to have a nice date with a nice stallion, no matter what that takes.

Twilight Sparkle just wants her to stop wreaking havoc on the time-space continuum.

Things get complicated.

FROM THE CURATORS: "This is the sort of story that could only come out of fanfiction," Horizon observed as this story was collecting a rare unanimous approval from our team. "The complete absence of non-brain-damaged stallions in Ponyville creates a sequence of events which leads to Twilight Sparkle turning herself into a stallion for a date.  Yes, it's a textbook Rule 63 romance ... but it's a magnificent mix of earnest and ridiculous; both tones are applied with precision, and the two never get in each other's way."

R63 romances have a reputation for shallow fanservice, but there was so much else to like that this drew us all in — even as we disagreed on its strongest features. "The comedy was, for me, the real highlight here ... even as it shifts more toward romance in the second half, it never abandons its essential goofiness," Chris said, and AugieDog seconded that: "Fun all around."  Present Perfect appreciated the story's subtle profundity: "I love the 'what is Twilight the princess of?' joke, and I adore how much this ends up being about her wrestling with princesshood," he said.  Horizon loved the prose: "Little touches like the internal monologue over pronouns are highlights of great voicing throughout."  And, as JohnPerry pointed out, the central story was excellently executed as well.  "Brilliant comedy, with some gentle prods at shipping tropes, and a heartfelt, realized romance to boot," he said. "This is a story that excels at both its tagged genres."

All this from a story that started life as a whimsical exploration of the title's double meaning. "The origin of the title (explained in the Author's Note in the epilogue) is astounding, and just goes to show what you can accomplish if you're willing to look at things in a novel light," Present Perfect said.  We were all impressed by that, but Chris put it most eloquently: "It's almost the opposite of episode 100.  Rather than take something that, at its best, is heartfelt, and make a joke of it, A Stallion for the Time Being takes a joke of a premise, and makes something heartfelt from that."

Read on for our author interview, in which Sharp Spark discusses pulp changelings, Type II fun, and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Jul
17th
2015

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


CSquared yawned like a beluga whale.  She smacked her lips, the final Simmering traces of a beautiful Sunset dream dissipating as she stretched her arms and legs.  

Or tried to.

She opened her eyes, a brow peaking at the complete darkness that had swallowed her sometime during her beauty sleep.

“Huh.  I must be dead.”  She shrugged.  “I wonder how the other Angels are doing.”

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Report Alexstrazsa · 1,585 views ·
Jul
11th
2015

Last episode for a while. Thanks hasbro.

Jul
10th
2015

If you're looking for some comedy with a philosophical twist, don't wait to read today's story.

Waiting For Celestia

[Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 6,056 words

After Celestia takes her flying chariot to Ponyville to have an important talk with the new Princess Twilight Sparkle, she teleports back to Canterlot ... leaving her charioteers behind. Unsure what else to do in the wake of this improbable, nay, highly unusual, nay, nay, impossible event, the two pegasi have a conversation that leads them to some startling revelations.

FROM THE CURATORS: Appearances can be deceiving with fanfiction — and in this case, there were pleasant surprises behind the façade of the title.  "I've never actually seen Waiting for Godot, but this isn't really a crossover with it, so no worries on that front," Chris said.  "What it is is a story that moves from absurd comedy to crisis-of-faith in barely 6000 words, and is both funny and thoughtful where it needs to be."  Present Perfect agreed, adding: "I'm very glad that the author decided to invoke Godot just long enough to subvert it, then put in some actual plot."

Subverting its source material was a point in Waiting For Celestia's favor, but it didn't stop there — and one of the factors in its feature was how memorably it made the tale its own. "It's been more than a year since I last saw this story, but all its scenes stuck in my notoriously sieve-like brain," AugieDog said.  Even its send-up of the titular absurdist play was a joy to read: "The image of how the guards communicated while guarding the chariot was, alone, enough to get me liking this story," Horizon said.

But ultimately, the story's stand-out feature was the way it first balanced, then merged, the comedy and philosophy, which at first seemed destined for an ungainly collision. "Not only was I engaged all the way through, but I found the ending surprisingly impactful," JohnPerry said.  "The earlier discussion on the omniscience of Celestia came back in a big way, such that it turned the absurdist nature of the set-up into a surprisingly grounded tale."  That light touch with philosophy was praised by several curators. "Waiting For Celestia doesn't try to tackle something as weighty as 'what does it mean to be seen as deific by those who serve you' in its entirety, but instead confined itself to what that meant for two ponies, for one night," Chris said.  "Sometimes, keeping things small is the right way to go."

Read on for our author interview, in which Bronetheus discusses altruistic struggles, pony charity, and mythic trees.

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Jul
4th
2015

KINDA FORGOT THERE WAS AN EP

Discuss

Report knighty · 4,805 views ·
Jul
4th
2015

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.


To celebrate summer and all its fun, Poniverse Fimfiction and MLP Forums are once again hosting a fanfiction contest.  This time around, we're asking writers to enter fics about Poniverse's very own mascots themselves, the best of which will be accepted into Poniverse canon.  There's lots of special prizes in store for the winners, and for more information about the contest itself, click on the following link:

Poniverse Mascot Summerpalooza Contest!  Happy writing! :twilightsmile:


Victorious Antagonists

What fun is there in always seeing the protagonist come out on top?  If you're one of those types who likes to see chaos reign, darkness shroud the land, equality spread across the land, empires crumble, mean ponies get away with their misdeeds, towns devoured, ponies kidnapped or just generalized mayhem, this group is for you!


The Related Story Finders is pretty straightforward new group, if you need help finding a story that is like another story or want a recommendation for a story this is the place to be. Rule will be updated as needed and new members are welcome.


Nostalgia Dig-Ups

This is where you can post stories from nostalgia or suggest ideas from anything nostalgic that you think can make a great crossover.


Endoscopic Adventures

A collection of MLP stories devoted to Endosomatophilia. What is Endosomatophilia? It is anything involving a tiny being traveling throughout the body of a giant host. Imagine Fantastic Voyage, the movie Inner Space, or the TV show Magic School Bus, and you'll have the hang of it.


The Apple Scratch Verse

In a humanized version of Equestria, Vinyl Scratch ends up being the adopted sister of the monster of a woman known as Jacquelyn "Applejack" Apple when she was six years old. Many years later, Vinyl, her sister and their friends embark in a series of adventure through the lands of Equestria and even beyond... Contains heroic-fantasy/anime-like fights, fluffy romances, and (hopefully) lots of humor.


The Filly Club

Do you think that fillies (and colts) are adorable? If you do, The Filly Club is THE place for all of your filly and colt needs, whether you're here to post your stories or read stories about foals. Join and be part of the family!


Off-Topic

We are a growing group that love to have nice, clean, drama-free fun in our forums. We welcome new users with a pat on the back and a nice warm hug that lets them feel at home. With group art, music posts, AMAs, and general chats, we're every social user's dream. Though we are a group with a large scale of activities, in order to protect the group we do have rules. Many rules. And these rules are enforced to ensure that other users' experiences are not jeopardized by a few others' bad choices.

So come on down to Higashikaigan's Off Topic and see that sometimes being off topic can be a bit fun!~:heart:


That's it for this month. Don't forget to submit your groups if you want them in the post for August!

Report Eldorado · 726 views ·
Jul
4th
2015

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


"There," said RedSquirrel, putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece. "It's perfect."

"It's Rarity," said Ferret.

"That is why it is perfect." Red put down his brushes and took his beret off, placing it over his heart as he stared up at the squiggly-tailed unicorn portrait now dominating the wall.

"You painted over every single Trixie in the whole building."

"Well, you know. Alex is dead and all. He won't be needing Trixie where he's going."

"But we found him just last week. He literally walked right into the room."

"Yeah, but everyone was too lazy to change the death certificate. And at least this way, the true best pony will finally be acknowledged."

The two of them stood there, watching the paint dry for a little bit, before Red clapped his paws together. "Well! Now that that's done, I suppose we can start doing what we're paid for."

Ferret wiggled her adorable little nose. "You mean the fics?"

Red looked up from a nearby supply closet, from which he pulled a squirrel-sized shovel. "What? No! I mean making sure nobody finds Core's body. You can't bury those things deep enough these days, you know!"

ROUND 68


STORY 1

Snowflake Shoe-Hare, by Estee

When the Element-Bearers are summoned to a mission, somepony has to fill in for their day jobs while they're gone.  In Fluttershy's case, that pony is Snowflake, and has been for nearly two years.  While he can't bring the talents of her mark to the job, he can keep the cottage running steadily until she gets back --

-- with one lapine exception.

It's Snowflake vs. Angel Bunny.  And the rabbit has the edge.


RedSquirrel456:

A lot of people try to write stories without dialogue, and a lot of them misunderstand a very basic point: if nobody is saying anything, what they do and who they are has to be made that much more interesting. It’s not enough to merely describe everything, to merely have your character be a stoic blank wall; there is no inherent poetry in that. So instead of just showing the mere façade of a character’s face as they wander through a world they never react to, you must delve deep inside of their own heads, which this story pulls off wonderfully.

You’d never think much of Snowflake/Bulk Biceps before you read this story, a one-note character who’s there to yell and personify musclebound meatheads. So Estee takes him and gives him everything that could possibly work for a character like this: a strange yet interesting explanation for his personality and wing condition, some excellent vignettes of how everypony else would treat a pony like this if they actually had these ridiculous proportions in a real world, and a wonderfully miserable antagonist to top it all off. Snowflake is in charge of Fluttershy’s house while she’s gone, and the implications of that are fascinating and poignant as the story explains the relationships between Snowflake and the rest of the world.

What’s best about this story is that all these things combine to make something that feels extraordinarily human, something we can relate to and see and feel even though it’s a world nothing like our own. That’s what makes this story such a great recommendation. If you ever need a story that shows you great character-building, worldbuilding, and storytelling, just check this one out.

Themaskedferret:

I am a massive sucker for characterization. One of my favourite things about MLP is that every being has a personality. From the cows to the dogs to the ferrets all animals have a large amount of sapience and personality. They may not speak the same language, but they understand complex ideas and express them. You don’t have to say that it seems like your cat is talking to you. In MLP, they really can. Which is one of the reasons Angel Bunny works so well. He is genuinely smart enough to communicate with other ponies.

Anyways, onto the story, this story starts with a fairly simple idea. Fluttershy needs to travel away for a time and needs someone to watch her animals for her. Enter Snowflake. He helps her out and is even training to become a vet under her tutelage. Since he’s a regular at the cottage the animals recognize him and have no problem. Except for Angel Bunny... Angel naturally is attached to Fluttershy and doesn’t want her to leave him alone. So when she leaves, he feels resentful to the pony who’s trying to fill her place, regardless of how temporary it may be.

The story is written from Snowflake’s perspective and his thought process is really fascinating. He goes into small details about random things, he remembers how his birth was risky, he thinks about how he struggled growing up, and how good it felt to finally succeed and silence the bullies. Amusement at how shocked ponies are when he can identify and treat the ailment of their pets. He thinks about his various jobs, how much he feels Fluttershy struggles through every day, and how he wants to help her shoulder the burden. He thinks about how he gets teased and how he doesn’t like to retaliate because he’s so much bigger, and this is where Angel gets in. He knows Snowflake won’t hurt him, he’ll refuse to be a bully. So Angel will test him, push his limits, try to get in the way or trip him up.

Eventually Angel goes too far and Snowflake fights back. They call it a draw and Snowflake goes back to work. Later that evening, Snowflake is counting the animals to make sure they’re all there before he takes a nap and find Angel missing. He decides this must be a new way for the bunny to torment him, but then Angel turns up. Trying to get his attention and to lead him somewhere.

I’m not about to spoil how things go, but it’s interesting how it affects the way each of them view each other. This story does an excellent job of showing how small everyday events can have very large results.


STORY 2

Puppy Dog Tales, by PegasusRescueBrigade

Zippoorwhill's beloved Scoltish Terrier has gone missing!  Now it's up to Featherweight to help the frantic filly reclaim her beloved pet.

...And maybe learn a little something about trusting one's friends in the process.


RedSquirrel456:

Some adventures happen in your own backyard. Zipporwhill and Featherweight are the last ponies I’d figure to put into some kind of epic friendshippy quest to recover lost pets, but Pegasus Rescue Brigade has done it! You all remember Zipporwhill, right? I didn’t until I saw the story, and I’ve fallen in love with her all over again. She acts a perfect foil to unassuming, modest, and somewhat cowardly Featherweight, and the both of them embody that always wonderful comic duo of ‘manic’ and ‘mild.’

This story is one of those stories that I hope we all like to see more of on FIM Fic, the kind that could become an MLP episode, or even an episode of any old kid’s show. I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon than reading stories like this, which come with their imaginative brand of innocence coupled with amazing and fun characters. Seriously, take some time to look through this one, and you’ll have a smile on your face by the end.

Themaskedferret:

Zipporwhill sort of blew into the fandom in a haze of caffeine fumes, or possibly a desperate needs for ritalin depending on your preference. Anyways, she appeared and disappeared quickly, though she got her own collection of fans who welcome the chance to see her again. It’s clear from this story that Pegasus Rescue Brigade falls firmly into that camp as this entire story is a happy fun-loving romp.

The story focuses on Zipporwhill and her friend Featherweight. Zipporwhill is exactly as we’ve seen her before. She’s quick and impulsive, always up for adventure and capable of going from happiness to sadness to anger in a few breaths. She feels like a happy kid who’s living off pure sugar and can’t wait to explore the world. She loves her family and her puppy and her cousin, even though he can be a stick-in-the-mud.

Featherweight plays the straightman to Zipporwhill, more patient and thoughtful. He’s much more down to earth and enjoys her energy and ideas, even if he doesn’t always like what she comes up with. He often tries to be the voice of reason to her eager flights of fancy, but tends to get caught up in things without meaning to.

The plot of the story is that Zipportwhill’s dog Angus disappears. Zipporwhill is naturally distraught over this and vows to not rest til she finds him. When the kids relaize that Angus loves Zipporwhill and wouldn’t have run away Zipporwhill deduces he must have been petnapped and decides they must solve this terrible crime! Featherweight agrees to help due to his experience as a reporter on the school paper and to try and help rein in their search.

The story involves them searching and finding suspects to interrogate and plans to lure out villains. The entire thing has a real Encyclopedia Brown feel to it, and I love the energy and intensity that the characters have. It really feels like they follow the logic of kids, and that brings a really youthful feel to it.


STORY 3

Like Mending Glass, by Eyeswirl the Weirded

Princess Luna has heard all about that sneering layabout, Blueblood, and means to make him into a more respectable pony! How? A princess worries not about small details! She'll start by seeing if he can be made to behave himself.

Will our hero be, well... Heroic? Stay tuned!


RedSquirrel456:

It’s no mistake that I really, really like Blueblood. He’s the perfect candidate for all this friendship nonsense: his character can be taken as an idiot, a bitter loon, or something in between that really just isn’t aware of how silly he acts sometimes, and is confounded that other ponies don’t realize how silly they’re acting. It’s this last option that was taken in Like Mended Glass, a superb little story not necessarily of Blueblood’s redemption, but really his journey through a confusing bunch of vignettes that generally are supposed to make him better than he already was.

Blueblood is great as a silly pony who is consistently outmatched by even sillier ponies, not least of all by Luna’s bombastic enthusiasm for ‘reforming’ him and the ponies she keeps trying to pair him up with in an effort to make the next Prince of Friendship, or at least Courtly Etiquette. The ponies he meets in his adventure are equally strange and endearing in their own little ways, each being more than entertaining in their own right. It’s a somewhat lengthy fic, and it’s pretty much comedy all the way through, and I can’t really say it doesn’t need a good editor to give it a run-down.

But all this shouldn’t push you away from what is genuinely a good fic, and a portrayal of Blueblood that I oh so wish more authors wrote around here.

Themaskedferret:

I’ve freely admitted before here I love Blueblood. I think he’s a really interesting character. I love the villains in this show, but he’s distinct to me as he was one of the first villains who was shown to just be unpleasant and for what seemed like no reason. We have no idea what drove him, or what motivated him. So fans stepped in to fill the gap. Luna, even now is very much the same.  We have so many variations on her personality that it’s fun to see how different people handle them. And when you mash two of the types together, you can get some really interesting stories.

This story is one of those examples. We have Luna wanting to rejoin society and improve her image, but not being sure how to go about it. Thanks to some suggestions and overheard conversations she decides Blueblood will be the focus of her attentions. If she can redeem him, then anything is possible! Blueblood for the most part is sort of an unfulfilled body. He has potential and promise, but not drive to be more than he is. He’s content to be the stand-in for his aunts, and to put up with obnoxious nobility. Luna decides enough is enough and sets out to remedy this.

Blueblood is treated rather roughly at first and stumbles quite often. Understanding and interpreting Luna’s orders is often very difficult and the characters he interacts with do their best to help, though they often don’t even realize what’s going on. There are several different characters present here and none of them ever felt tedious or boring. They’re all very distinct and unique.

Luna on the other limb is interesting in how she struggles to give him commands that make sense, and strives to help him overcome both his fears and hers. She can sometimes be oblivious or even cruel without meaning to, but she does slowly learn. Though some of her commands are quite funny and can lead to very bizarre situations that show how out of touch she really is in this new culture and society.

This is a really solidly done piece, and I loved getting to follow these characters on their journeys. This never felt too slow and left me interested for each new situation and event. Definitely worth reading even if you’re not a big fan of Luna or Blueblood.


THIS SECTION EATEN BY BEAVERS


The one rodent and one mustelid returned late in the evening from their dark work, having spread several fake reviews around to leave a false trail for those actually looking for Corejo. So it was to their great surprise that they found Core sitting on the couch with the other Angels, making them relive his videos of the time he went to Lunacon for the fifth or sixth time.

"Wait," said Ferret. "But... who's really out there in the box then?"

"Huh," said Red. "Who was that other guy whose name started with C?"


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Alexstrazsa · 1,072 views ·