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  • E Fugue State

    When a barrage of musical numbers hits Ponyville, Lyra's fear of their mind-altering properties strains her relationship with Bon Bon to its breaking point.
    7,097 words · 2,711 views  ·  355  ·  4
  • T Princess Luna Picks Up Hitchhikers

    And learns important life lessons, somewhere in between everything going wrong.
    15,254 words · 2,058 views  ·  261  ·  3
  • E Thou Goddess

    Scansion wakes up to find beautiful poems he doesn't remember writing. Is the lonely goddess of the night reaching out to him in the only way she can, or is he chasing shadows?
    5,174 words · 2,701 views  ·  442  ·  11
  • E The Lotus Eaters

    Ponies return from visits to a world without their greatest regret.
    3,010 words · 1,451 views  ·  157  ·  2
  • E No Regrets

    A story about two alicorn sisters who love each other, and the worst decision they never made.
    6,929 words · 4,404 views  ·  303  ·  8
  • T The Dragon's Riddle

    Long, long ago, when the Age of Dragons ended in fire and ruin, the greatest of the dragons challenged the races of Equestria to prove themselves worthy to rule the next age.
    1,076 words · 766 views  ·  155  ·  3
  • T The 18th Brewmare of Bluey Napoleon

    In his influential analysis of the coup d'etat that would become known as the Rutting Revolution, Curly Marks wrote that history repeats itself — "the first time as tragedy, the second time as Prince Blueblood."
    8,908 words · 1,377 views  ·  174  ·  4
  • T Horizontal Lines

    Stories and poems too short for individual publication (including some award-winning minifics).
    9,044 words · 605 views  ·  80  ·  1

Blog Posts110

  • 2w, 2d
    Signal boost: Bradel Reviews

    The inestimable[1] Bradel  has just launched a new project: posting ponyfic reviews!  His first batch is impressive, both in the selection of stories covered (one of which is mine) and in the depth of discussion that he brings to the table.  Go check 'em out!

    Unrelatedly (and the reason I'm tagging HR2 for this post):

    I got about 1000 words added to my Hard Reset 2 draft doc this weekend, despite a general lack of time at home, and spending all night tonight at work for the last major chunk of our cloud server migrations.  Now that I've picked myself up from this wreck of a year, it's really time to push that story forward again.[2]  I'm gonna start tracking it in a writing log to keep myself honest about adding something to it every day, and every time I blog I'll drop a line of progress stats at the bottom.

    I'd like to get a few chapters ahead so I can build up a backlog and start posting on a smooth schedule again, but my goal will be to have something (=at least one new chapter) posted by the end of November.

    --

    [1] But certainly able to estimate, what with the statistics degree.

    [2] The new laptop should help, too!  It's being delivered tomorrow. :rainbowkiss:

    10 comments · 188 views
  • 3w, 10h
    About that story just below

    So: I just published a story that (judging by comments so far) you probably won't like.

    It's not that it's a bad story.  It's not a trollfic, or offensive, or unsettling — it's just targeted at a very specific audience, with a very specific focus, and it's not making any particular effort at outside relevance.

    Go ahead and read Report 34 if you're into tickle kink.  If not, it's not going to be a total waste of time — I mean, it's written by me, and you know how I cram in extra worldbuilding and little bonuses around the edges — but I won't be bothered if you skip it.

    (For the record, this was the commission that yamgoth earned for his ice bucket thingy a few months back, buffed up a little bit as a bonus for his Writeoff Association prize support.  In between reading delays and other things on my plate, it took a few months to make its way through the editing pipeline to publication.)

    8 comments · 183 views
  • 3w, 1d
    Signal boost: Wittgenstein's Seamstress

    I stumbled across this one on the FIMFiction front page: Wittgenstein's Seamstress.  Behind the catchy title and the less-catchy description, what's there is a surprisingly compelling tale of Rarity wandering an Equestria where every other living being has suddenly and mysteriously vanished.  It's early yet, but in the three chapters so far, it's done a compelling job of painting her isolation and (at times) madness, and there are some delicious hints of Equestrian deconstruction in the monologue — including a visit to a similarly empty Equestria Girls universe, with accompanying compare-and-contrast.

    Worth noting is that it's a style crossover with a 1988 experimental modernist novel, so if your name is Bad Horse, you're obligated to dislike it.  Of course, given that the author is named "Blank Slate," chances are high that it's actually a secret alt of Bad Horse so he can freely engage his shameful modernism fetish.  Don't worry though, Bad, I'm not so uncouth as to blackmail you while everyone's watching.

    For the rest of you: I haven't actually read that modernist novel, so I can't tell you how faithful the adaptation is or how much of its merit comes from the source material vs. the original interpretation.  What I can tell you that Wittgenstein's Seamstress works well as a standalone piece, and as the author continues, it has a lot of potential to develop into either a sprawling monument to cultural deconstruction or else a rollicking postapocalyptic adventure.  Either way, it deserves more than its 37 views and four upvotes.

    2 comments · 122 views
  • 3w, 4d
    Holiday wishes

    12 comments · 126 views
  • 4w, 1d
    Cleaning out the backlog

    For personal reasons previously mentioned, the majority of my horsewords this year have been for the Writeoff Association's ponyfic competitions.  Those stories are all complete (modulo editing), but not all of them have made their way over to FIMFiction — I'm in the process of fixing that!

    The Dragon's Riddle, which earned me some shiny bronze-colored pixels in the minific competition earlier this month, got posted (in a slightly expanded version that meets FIMFic's 1000-word minimum) on Friday, and though I don't think it ever hit the featurebox, it's already outperforming a few of my stories which did.  Today, I also added two more writeoff minifics (Eponalepsis and The Slow Fall Of An Unfamiliar Star) to my short story collection.  Both of them were my "also-rans" in earlier minific competitions — Slow Fall scored 8th to Riddle's 3rd (still pretty good out of 49 entries), and Eponalepsis barely limped into the top half in the competition where Daring Do and the Curse of Ahuizotl scored 14th.  They're a little different than my usual — one's an Equestria Girls prequel and one's a sort of ponderous mythic ouroboros — but I think they're each still worthwhile.

    Also previously written and on their way toward the light of day:

    The Case of the Cowled Changelings — Detective fiction!  Fancy Pants gets drawn into a web of conflicting lies when a scared guest approaches him during a masquerade ball he's hosting — and if he can't piece together the truth before the Guard's battlecaster arrives, he has a lot more to lose than an anonymous friend.  A gold-medal winner six months back, then I ripped it halfway apart and it got stuck in an edit cycle.  I'm wrapping up some final repairs on this (though I procrastinated this weekend and got no fic-work done, and money-work is going to eat my life for the next 8-9 days with our big fiber-optic network launch project).  Should hit the site in early November.  However, I do need cover art for it; I could assemble it from what few vectors of cloaked ponies I've been able to find, but if anyone wants to volunteer, it would save me a day or two and I could do something nice for you in return (a blog plug, a story critique, a microfic, or even a few bucks).

    Mark of Destiny — When Earth breaches the dimensional barrier with Equestria, they discover that the same Cutie Marks that give ponies sentience also turn people into superhumans.  A roller-coaster HiE deconstruction/reconstruction, and a bronze-medal winner two months back.  TBH, I'm not sure whether to put this through a severe edit cycle or not.  Nobody liked the ending (even if a number of people were impressed by it, and even if I wrote it that way entirely deliberately).  It could also use some massaging where it shifts gears in the middle, and the cold open rightfully came in for some criticism.  On the other forehoof, even in its current state it scored third in a crowded field, and if I start ripping it apart it'll be months before I post it, especially since I don't have a clear goal in my mind for how to rewrite it.

    The Sun Birds — Celestia and Philomena fly two pebbles across the ocean.  Lush worldbuilding porn that tied for sixth in the minific competition five months ago.  This deserves a major rewrite and expansion; it really should have been more like 3,000 words than 750, and I know what I want to do with it.  Unfortunately, it's on a back burner, because "no new horsewords before I finish the next chapter of HR2" is my current rule.

    12 comments · 171 views
  • ...
 1,644
 5,817
Source

Twilight still isn't having a very good day. An army of changelings is attacking Canterlot, and the experimental spell that blew up in her face has stuck her in a time loop until she gets everything perfect and saves Equestria.

She's got a plan.  She's also got a problem:  Suddenly, she's not the only one whose day is repeating.  And when you're caught between unstoppable force and immovable object, life has a tendency to get complicated.

* * *

This story is an authorized alternate-universe re-imagining of Eakin's Hard Reset, in which multiple loopers turn the time shenanigans up to 11.  (Knowledge of Hard Reset is not required, but based on reader comments, will help in sorting out the early chapters.)

Cliff's Notes versions: RampantArcana has started a GitHub repository to codify the time-loop rules and the early-story timeline. Hawthornbunny has posted a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of all the loops, including the ones we don't see, with a lot of critical analysis. Those links contain spoilers (of currently posted chapters).  If you're confused, either one of those fan projects is a great starting point, and story comments have a lot of insightful discussion as well.

Publication schedule: 2014 kicked my plot, but as of November I'm picking up the writing again and hope to have something by the end of the month.

Cover art by Alexstrazsa.

First Published
15th Jan 2014
Last Modified
7th May 2014

Shit, I forgot to comment on this before it went live... what? Really? Not until then? Oh, well, never mind then. I guess this time I didn't forget. Disregard those last few sentences.

Anyway, this ripoff/homage/reboot/sequel/whatever is 120% Time Loop Approved.

Author's note-to-self:  Hmm … no comments yet?  Next loop, remind >>3777814 to reset his time loop and leave a comment before publication.

>>3792379

Ha! That didn't take long.

Lab

310 stories in my read later list...I have a lot of work ahead of me.

>>3792396

It's entirely possible I may have read not only this chapter, but a large number of future chapters last night.

--arcum42

O can already tell this is going to be crazier than the original.

>>3792422

Silly me for assuming a linear progression of time :twilightsmile:

Well... that sure didn't work.

Nice fic. It makes me think of that movie they're coming out with: Edge of Tomorrow. I really like it when stories mess with time or physical reality, and this captures it perfectly.

interesting, i remember the original, this version seems to have both Chrysalis and Celestia trapped in the loop as well, but i could be wrong about the Chrysalis thing though

Figured this would be a parody. Apparently not.

Anyway, not bad. Not quite got Eakin's perfect Twilight Snarkle voice, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Oh, this is gonna be goooood. :pinkiehappy:

Also, nice to see Celestia comes prepared. That spell of hers is especially interesting. Apparently, it stores information achronically. Useful.

Eagerly looking forward to more.

Oh boy. Here we go again!

Oh shiiiiiit! :pinkiegasp:

:pinkiegasp:

A Royal Guard... named Parade Rest?

New favorite fic. Instantly better than >>3779113's original. If you make a sergeant named Knife Hand, you will probably be my new Jesus.

So Twilight's in the innermost loop, and the other loopers can screw her up? But not stop her looping apparently?

Well, I suppose I'd enjoy this story more if I let it build up a bit more. It's definitely interesting.

>>3792421 I had the same problem until a few days ago when I went through the whole list and asked myself about every story:"Do I really want to read it or is this just a little casual interest?" And boom, down to 60.

It's fav time. *clicky clicky*

This better be just as good as the original or else i'll be extremely disappointed.

Confusing. Enjoyable. The former will go away, I expect the latter to continue.

I'm looking forward to the next 27,631 words, that's for sure!  

Very nice. Yet another time loop scenario fic, and yet I still enjoy them. Looking forward to the next chapter!

Teisto - take me (Elliot Berger remix

AS SOON AS I READ THE LAST WORDS OF THE CHAPTER THE BASS DROPPED

That makes this

B IUST

Copyright by Omnifire

Meaning : holy $HIT this is an AWSOME story

HEY also listen to arkasia -soldiers

And uhhhh... Hold on  

SYNX - gone away

Cry wolf - the moon is falling down

James Egbert - exit wound

And a $hit load more that I post later

No stopping me heh hah HAH HAHAHSHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH-  

oh! Uh sorry

You wouldn't have happen to have read Time Braid, a naruto fanfiction of a similar Time Loop setting, would you?

I don't think this was reset hard enough.

This is going to hurt my brain, isn't it?

Oh well, may as well take the hot sauce approach to pain. Glug glug glug.  So far, a worthy reimagining of a quite good tale.

Bulk upload the whole thing! I love how it started, why drag it out? Hook people now with a big piece of content!

>>3793136

That might seriously break people's brains. I've read through chapter ten, and this gets really, REALLY complicated. Things are going to go off the rails pretty quick once the rules are laid out.

why would something this confusing be a draw for readers?

On my to-read list, but the premise already reminds me of a more comedic take on the premise: MLP Time Loops.

The 'death by Celestia as a means of verification' is a nice touch.

This is going to be so gloriously confusing.

Bring it on! :rainbowdetermined2:

Ganked by Princess Redshirt, hard core.

OH MY GOD MOAR!!! I loved this story first time around, can't wait to see how this changes things up!

Lab

>>3792706 Tried that. Number stayed the same :P

I'm trying to figure out circumstances in which it makes sense for Celestia to give the incomplete password.

More content for the Hard Reset-verse?!  To borrow from Ric Flair...

:yay: WOOOOOOOOO :yay:

Awesome first chapter, and already I'm confused as to exactly who is in the time loop with Twi, and what is causing the loops to change.  Excellent!  Can't wait for more!!  :pinkiehappy:

>>3792469  I don't think it's much of a spoiler to confirm that, yes, Chrysalis is also looping.

>>3792476  I'm glad it's got your attention despite the readjustment of your expectations.  Partially, it's a character interpretation thing; I'm taking an interpretation that this version of Twilight has been burned out a bit more by her loops, so the snark doesn't shine through quite as consistently.  Partially, it's a different authorial voice, no matter how much I might try to imitate Eakin's style.  I hope the story continues to hold you on its own merits!

>>3792539 >>3792964 >>3792614 >>3793127 >>3793431 >>3793431   Chapter 2 will lay out the rules.  (Also create more questions, since Twilight's figuring this all out as she goes along.  But the fundamental approach here is simple; it's a bit like Life in that all the confusion is a product of emergent complexity from the premise you'll shortly learn.)

>>3792565  When Celestia picks guards to stand unmoving for hours in front of her quarters, she picks the best.  :raritywink:

When you say you’ve got 30,000 words written… is that the entire story, or just what you’ve got written so far?

Also, regarding your chapter length: I find a lot of stories with ~2,000 word chapters tend to come off as rather disjointed compared to those with ~4,000–6,000 words. If you’ve already got 30,000 words written as if it were a single piece, but you’re just splitting at ~2,000 words, then I worry quality will drop once you’ve run through your buffer and start writing as if you had such an arbitrarily small word‐limit per chapter.

Trying to drive us loopy, I see.  Well, it won't work.

We're already there :pinkiehappy:

>>3793057  I have not read Time Braid, no, but it seems like an interesting entry into the "time keeps repeating and bad stuff happens" genre for the Naruto fans among us.

>>3793060  Clearly I should have skipped straight to "Hard Reset 3: Reset Hardest". :trollestia:

>>3793248  This is something of a cold open.  It doesn't work for everyone, but I appreciate you giving it a try.  If you're curious enough to stick with it for one more chapter (which will post by tomorrow morning), you'll get to learn (along with Twilight) a little more about what's going on.

>>3793301  The Best Night Ever is another great one.  It's somewhere in between the comedy of MLPTL and the black humor of HR/HR2.

>>3793313  >>3793484   >>3793554

Re "death by Celestia": As she will shortly explain, it's a method of verification that Twilight's being honest about looping.  There's a reason for that.  And yes, it's ice cold, and yes, that's deliberate; and exploring what's up with that is a major ongoing theme.

>>3793846

I think you should have gone straight to Hard Reset ∞: ∞ Divided by 0

The only correct response to this is 5 minutes of incoherent squeeing.

>>3793554

Realized I didn't answer your question, and it's that "redundant verification" that gives Chapter 1 its title.  So here's the full scoop:

The idea behind it is that Celestia herself does not know the complete password. The safeword essentially is encrypted in her memories, and only unlocked to her once the trigger is spoken.  That way, if someone reads her mind, they get the trigger but not even knowledge that the safeword exists.  The only way to learn the safeword is to have spoken the trigger, but at that point the safeword is moot … unless you can manipulate time.

Looking forward to figuring out these time loops and complicated stuff.

What I can assume happened is that Twilight at first told the guards to not allow anyone inside unless the building is on fire, thwarted-ish (Cause she didn't break out of the time loops) Chrysalis' plans, then Chrysalis went back and disrupted Twilight's plans and now we're in a whole heap of whatever.

Expecting that the Celestia at the end of the chapter is really Chrysalis. Although I don't see why one of them couldn't figure out where the other starts their loop and just find and kill them at the beginning so they have free reign. Maybe there's a third element in play here.

>>3792439

Of course, that means I'm left with a completely different cliffhanger. :twilightsmile:

--arcum42

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