Twilight and the other Elements of Harmony have saved the land of Equestria from Nightmare Moon, Discord, and the Changeling army, but now they face perhaps their biggest challenge yet. A challenge that lurks behind smiling faces and friendly eyes. A challenge that threatens to overtake the entirety of Equestria and enslave its inhabitants. But the ponies won’t face this threat alone. Help comes in the form of the most unlikely of companions: four teenagers, a hawk, and a blue centaur.
2 comments · 101 views
Well, first off let me apologize for the silence on my part. Been a busy couple'a weeks for me as I work on both pony and non-pony stuffs.
Secondly, the reason we all here: My Little Pony: Morphing is Magic. I'm marking it 'Complete'. While myself and Samaru, my co-author, were figuring out an epilogue, hence the reason for its incomplete status, we've decided after a lengthy debate that it doesn't really need one, since the final chapter serves as one anyways.
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who read and enjoyed it, and another to those who bothered to critique it. Writing it has certainly been a learning process for the both of us, and I hope that future endeavors are only strengthened by this experience.
While I can't give a precise timeline (mainly since I hate imposing a deadline on myself like that), know that I've got several things in the works. I'll be sure to let everyone know when I'm ready to let them go live.
Until next time.
73w, 5dReview: Star Trek Into Darkness8 comments · 186 views
Oh my God, that was absolutely incredible!
…sorry, I’m still nerding out over it.
I managed to see Star Trek Into Darkness at the theatre and I’ve got tingles from it. And since I am currently incapable of writing anything pony related, due to being in full sci-fi mode, I figured I’d write a review. Remember when I did those? Good times, good times… Anyways, I’ll try — try —to keep this mostly spoiler free, because we all know spoilers are the devil.
Without further ado, let’s get this started.
Ok, yes, I realize graphics do not alone a movie make. Graphics are nice to look at, but they cannot hold my interest for a movie or a video game. Sci-Fi movies, more than other genres, require graphics to get the idea across. Just imagine Doctor Who without the TARDIS, Back To The Future without the Delorean, or, well, Star Trek without the Enterprise. They just wouldn’t work, but you also need to make it look if not real, at least plausible. That being said, holy shit.
I remember being a little kid and watching Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was cardboard sets, paper-mache rocks, painted backdrops, and ridiculous costumes. But I managed to look past that, look past the gaps in the woodwork, the incredibly fake-looking Gorn, and my imagination made it real. The Gorn’s mouth actually moved as it spoke, Q teleported around without heavy use of jump-cuts, space battles were intense free-roaming firefights using moons and debris as shielding while firing off massive phaser beams and photon torpedoes. Star Trek Into Darkness looks like how my imagination always made it out to be. The first 10-15 minutes are spent with Kirk and McCoy on an alien planet with bizarrely-coloured trees and even stranger natives. The trees look real, the natives look real, everything looks real, rather than just some guy in face paint. But the most impressive shot of that sequence is when the Enterprise, hidden at the bottom of the ocean — and don’t bring logic into this. If Kirk wants the Enterprise at the bottom of the ocean, Kirk puts the Enterprise at the bottom of the ocean, because he’s James Tiberius Fucking Kirk — lifts out of the water and rises into the air. And this thing has weight. You can almost feel the poor ship fighting gravity as it struggles to return to space. The rush of the water breaking as the Enterprise comes up for air, the WHOOSH of air as it gathers speed; I was just blown away.
And the graphics don’t stop there. We see shot after shot of Earth of the future, and it looks great! Buildings more impressive than today, hovercars, walkways, people; it looks like a living, breathing, thriving society. Even the interior of the Enterprise is visually stunning. The engine room is full of supporting beams and miscellaneous technical equipment; a far cry from the wide open feel of TOS or the vertical warp core from TNG. The bridge is rife with monitors and colour; it looks more like how an actual starship should look, with warp power being controlled via a lever rather than the simple push of a button. Even the main viewing screen looks better, with little pop-ups akin to a HUD from one of the various first-person-shooters. And when Enterprise jumps to warp, it’s one of my favourite visual sights.
Graphics do not make a movie, but done poorly they can certainly break a movie. And this is no slouch in the graphics department.
Again, not integral to the movie-going experience, but still worth a short mention. I felt the music this time around to be average; not special, not bad, just simply there. There were two or three songs I felt stood out, the end credits being one of them, but overall the soundtrack was mostly mood music, there to set the scene but not really breaking any new ground so far as earworm melodies go.
Lumping these together because they’re so intertwined. This movie is largely about character development for Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty, and even, to an extent, the Enterprise herself. The best Star Trek films realize that the Enterprise is as much a character as the actual people inside her, and this one is no different. When she gets damaged, you feel for her. When her life is in danger, you feel for her, and I mean for the actual ship itself, the nuts and bolts and metal that comprises her, not the people who will perish alongside her. It isn’t ‘Oh no, if the Enterprise crashes Kirk will die’, it’s ‘Oh no, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the Enterprise are all going to die!’
…oh, God, I’m referring to the Enterprise as a female. Quick, someone anthropomorphize her for me!
I’m weird, shut up.
I’ll spoiler this next bit for you worry-warts out there, so spoil at your own risk.
The main villain of the movie is, of course, Khan Noonien Singh, but to a large extent the other main villain of the movie is Admiral Marcus. Oh, look, a corrupt admiral in Starfleet. I never would have expected that.[/sarcasm] It’s interesting, actually, to note that Khan isn’t fuelled by revenge against Kirk this time around, but revenge against Marcus. The Enterprise and her crew just sort of stumble upon his plot and get caught up in the middle of Khan’s revenge plot and Marcus’ attempts to incite war. It’s during this major plot that we get the character arcs of Kirk, Spock, and the rest. Kirk is still his smug arrogant self from the first film in J.J. Abram’s continuity, and a large part of this movie is him growing out of this, learning to accept responsibility and realizing he is not, in fact, invincible. I’m hesitant to mention any others, since they tie into the main plot so heavily.
That’s not to say that the plot is completely perfect, though. Fans of any of the previous Star Trek movies will grow tired during the last 15 minutes or so, which feels more like it was hammered in and doesn’t really flow naturally, simply because we haven’t been with this crew as long as we have Shatner’s version. In the Prime timeline, we had 3 years of the show for TOS, and 7 for TNG, and we saw the actors grow together, we felt the camaraderie, friendship, and family they had for one another. With this new crew, we only have the two movies, and in-universe they’ve only been together for roughly 6 months. The familial bonds simply aren’t there, and the friendship they have seems more based on the mythos that the Star Trek series proper has made rather than any friendship that could have grown more naturally from this alteration to the timeline. Also, arguments that the ending rips off another much-loved Star Trek movie ending are not completely unfounded, though I feel it is different enough to dispute those claims. It’s akin to the argument that Star Trek Nemesis rips off the ending of Star Trek Wrath of Khan.
Still, these are petty claims that in no way mar the overall experience. The villain is a very credible — and at times, genuinely scary — threat. It’s made obvious on multiple occasions that this is not a man to trifle with. His reasons are justified, and I almost find myself sympathetic to his cause and, until the climax, was almost hoping he would win. We get a lot of insight into Spock’s character, McCoy and Scotty are developed more, at times I can almost see Shatner’s Kirk in Pine’s Kirk, Uruha is given a larger role than she ever had in the show, there are numerous shout-outs to other Star Trek movies and the show itself, mentioning characters and species we haven’t (yet) seen in the new movies, jokes about the Star Trek series and all the clichés it created, and a tense thrill-ride of a movie that will keep you second-guessing your expectations.
I highly recommend this movie to all Trekkies, both young and old.
102w, 1dStatus Update: I'm Still Alive!3 comments · 170 views
Alternate Title: Status Update: I'm Not Dead Yet!
Alternate Title 2: 100 Followers. Go me!
So, I bet you're all wondering where I've been for the past...month. Short answer: school. I'm very very sorry, but October was the dreaded midterm month (well, technically only the last two weeks were, but I digress) and I made a judgement call that my studies were ever-so-slightly more important than ponies. But only marginally so. As for everything since Halloween to now? Unfortunately, I had a major essay to write, and really after spending 3 hours staring at a Word document and trying to finish this essay, the last thing I wanted to do was...stare at a Word document trying to finish the next chapter of any fics. For that matter, I didn't want to read text on a screen at all, which explains my lack of reviews.
But fear no more, everypony! For now that my essay is finished and my midterms over, I can resume writing and reviewing. You can (probably) expect the next review sometime this weekend, which I'll probably get to in between grading the prompts and catching up on missed sleep.
Oh, wondering about the prompt?
The group Author Support, of which I happen to be an Admin, holds a fort-nightly story writing prompt. You write a story based on a set of restrictions that we lay out, then myself and four others grade them and announce a winner. You don't actually win anything besides pride, but it is fun for the participants. It's open to all members of the group, so join us. Please. Bronymaster whips me if we don't get a new member every day.
I'm uneasy about setting a time limit for when new chapters for my stories come out, since I have never held true to any promise thus far about adhering to a schedule. Suffice it to say, Samaru and myself are working diligently on the next chapter for Animorphs, and I'm working in bits and pieces on Darkness' Embrace. It's slow going, mostly because school has that tendency to sap my energy and enthusiasm. Rest assured I am working on it, just very slowly.
In the meantime, got a question you want to ask me (preferably about me)? Go right ahead, I'll answer it if I can.
Until next time, love and tolerate.
106w, 3dReview: Seeing the Pattern23 comments · 217 views
4 comments · 142 views
Just a minor note: I welcome and encourage any and all discussions to this and any future blog post. That includes both rants and reviews; if you disagree with me, I want to know why. If you agree with me, I want to know if there's anything you'd like to add.
Link to the story here.
Tags: Adventure, AU
I can't remember how I found this fic. I must have stumbled across it in one of my jaunts across the site. Regardless, I love it, and it's shameful how few views it has considering all the work the author puts into it. I'll try to avoid spoilers as best as I can here; the idea with these spotlights is to entice you to read the fic, not ruin it entirely. That's saved for reviews.
A brief synopsis: Fluttershy wakes up to find herself in a heavily changed world. And I do mean heavily.
One of the great things I love about Alternate Universe stories is seeing how far one can push the characters. If you change them too much, they cease to be the Applejack we all know and love and instead become a totally original pony that just happens to also be named Applejack. On the other hoof, if you don't change them enough, then their characterization remains inconsistent with the world they now find themselves in and the reader finds it quite jarring.
For Wings of Tomorrow, Keeper Of Jericho seems to have found a nice balance. Fluttershy is very nearly identical to her character on the show, which considering that's the Fluttershy we follow, makes sense. The other mane six members, however, are products of their altered world; that said, they still remember how they used to be, even if nopony else does. The characters are believable and relate-able; Twilight may not be the prized student of Princess Celestia (hard to do when you're in jail) and has lost her skill of magic, but the other aspects of her character are still there. She's socially awkward, a bit of a bookworm, introverted, and so on. Rainbow is still loyal, Applejack is honest, Rarity's generous. Pinkie, however... Pinkie is both still an embodiment of laughter, yet she finds herself in a world that just can't be happy. She is, in essence, a relic of a world that no longer exists, and it tears at her very being.
The thing that draws me to the fic most of all, however, is the world itself that KoJ has made. I honestly believe this world could exist in the FiM Universe at some point. It's highly cynical, though, so don't expect a lot of the idealism that Equestria as the show posits.
Anyways, back to the world. (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
A pony from the future went to the past to give it technology that hadn't yet been made. This created a fundamental shift, eventually leading to the poisons of personal wealth above all, and Celestia was dethroned in a militaristic coup. Clothing is now required for all ponies, and there is every hint that a major war will break out against two divided factions: those who want more wealth, and those who want to free Celestia from her chains. There's even a very good explanation for how they stopped Nightmare Moon's return without the Elements. I'm highly simplifying things, but that's essentially what's happening.
The world itself is like the show, but set further in the future. There's more houses, more guards, and more technology. Canterlot has an expanse of airships, Ponyville is more like a modern-day London, and magic-practicing unicorns are forbidden outside the military, at least aside from levitation.
There are a few curious spots, though I'll leave them be for now and let you find them yourselves. I am trying not to ruin it, you realize.
Is the fic perfect? No. I can find plenty of problems with it, but that's true of nearly anything if you look deep enough. Still, any minor issues I can find don't harm my enjoyment of the fic and I'll keep reading it until the conclusion. Go take a look for yourself, critique it, let Keeper know you want to see more, fave it, thumb up, and all that jazz. And be sure to tell me what you think as well.