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  • E Sisters

    Stories about two sisters who are best friends, and rulers of Equestria
    6,514 words · 13,497 views  ·  1,304  ·  18
  • E Mortality Report

    Celestia writes a report to her queen about what she's learned from living among mortals.
    4,322 words · 18,388 views  ·  1,493  ·  27
  • E Experience

    Celestia is thousands of years old, and has experienced almost everything the world has to offer. But there's one ordinary thing she's never experienced.
    1,289 words · 4,166 views  ·  649  ·  15
  • E Big Mac Reads Something Purple

    Twilight asks Big MacIntosh to read to the Cutie Mark Crusaders while she runs an errand.
    3,720 words · 4,933 views  ·  410  ·  11
  • E The Magician and the Detective

    Has Holmes met his match, in either sense, in the travelling showpony Trixie?
    14,788 words · 5,300 views  ·  311  ·  9
  • E The Saga of Dark Demon King Ravenblood Nightblade, Interior Design Alicorn

    Should the incredibly powerful new alicorn pursue his destiny as savior of Equestria, or his love of interior design?
    4,940 words · 10,303 views  ·  812  ·  34
  • T Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies

    Bad Horse retells bedtime stories to teach foals the real facts of life.
    2,633 words · 1,242 views  ·  242  ·  7
  • T Fluttershy's Night Out

    Fluttershy would like to be a tree. But she doesn't want to be an animal.
    7,920 words · 11,602 views  ·  483  ·  20 · sex

Blog Posts342

  • Sunday
    Writer attrition: 1/3 per year

    Convert dates to Unix time:

    $ perl -e 'use Time::Local; $x = timelocal(0,0,0,1,0,2013); print "$x\n"'

    1357016400    [Jan 1 2013, in seconds since 1970]

    $ perl -e 'use Time::Local; $x = timelocal(0,0,0,1,0,2014); print "$x\n"'

    1388552400    [Jan 1 2014]

    Number of people who've written since Jan. 1 2013:

    sqlite> select count(distinct(uid)) from story where date_modified > 1357016400;


    Number of people who've written since Jan 1 2013 and wrote more than one story:

    sqlite> select count(distinct(u)) from (select uid as u, id as id1 from story where date_modified > 1357016400 and exists (select id as id2 from story where uid = u and id2 <> id1));


    Number of people who wrote since Jan. 1 2014:

    sqlite> select count(distinct(uid)) from story where date_modified > 1388552400;


    Number of people who've written since Jan 1 2014 and wrote more than one story:

    sqlite> select count(distinct(u)) from (select uid as u, id as id1 from story where date_modified > 1388552400 and exists (select id as id2 from story where uid = u and id2 <> id1));


    ("date_modified" is the date the last chapter was created, or maybe submitted or approved. It doesn't change when you edit a chapter.)

    Fraction of writers who've written more than one story for fimfiction who wrote in 2013 but not 2014:

    (8823 - 5947) / 8823 = .326

    Also: Will you please agree that SQL is a stupid, stupid language?

    27 comments · 204 views
  • Saturday
    If you're in Pittsburgh today...


    Location: Jared L. Cohon University Center, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 412-268-2107. Free parking.

    11:00 am – 1:00 pm, YA Writing Workshop: Caroline Carlson will run a writing workshop called “Blueprints for Enchantment: Constructing a magical world for your fantasy novel” [advance registration required; $10 suggested donation] in the Danforth Lounge. [Online registration appears to still be open.]

    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, YA Author Lecture “Keeping it (Un)Real” with Nalo Hopkinson: Free lecture; McConomy Auditorium.3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Book Signing in the Conan Room of the University Center. Books for the signing can be purchased in the CMU bookstore or brought from home. No reservation is needed for the main lecture by Nalo Hopkinson or the book signing. They are free and open to the public.

    Caroline Carlson is the author of The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, a funny and fantastical series of novels for young readers. Her first book, Magic Marks the Spot, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an American Booksellers Association Best Book for Children, and a Junior Library Guild selection. The Terror of the Southlands was published in 2014, and a third book in the series is forthcoming, all from HarperCollins. Caroline holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband.

    Nalo Hopkinson, born in Jamaica, has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and for the past 35 years in Canada. She is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, USA. She is the author of six novels, a short story collection, and a chapbook. (Novels: Brown Girl in the Ring,Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon’s Arms, The Chaos, Sister Mine. Short story collection: Skin Folk. Chapbook: Report From Planet Midnight). She is the editor of fiction anthologies Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Mojo: Conjure Stories. She is the co-editor of fiction anthologies So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction(with Uppinder Mehan) and Tesseracts Nine (with Geoff Ryman). Hopkinson’s work has received Honourable Mention in Cuba’s “Casa de las Americas” literary prize. She is a recipient of the Warner Aspect First Novel Award, the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for emerging writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Locus Award for Best New Writer, the World Fantasy Award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic (twice), the Aurora Award, the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and the Norton Award. A new short story collection, Falling in Love With Hominids, will be a 2015 release from Tachyon Publications.

    1 comments · 60 views
  • Saturday
    Which story should I ask Karen Joy Fowler to read?

    Thanks to you folks' contributions during the Clarion write-a-thon, I won a critique from a professional writer. My choices were Karen Joy Fowler and Delia Sherman, and I chose Karen. She has the opposite of Kurt Vonnegut syndrome: She continues to identify as a fantasy & science fiction author despite not writing much fantasy or science fiction. Also, she's a sweetie.

    I think Karen's first famous story was "The Faithful Companion at Forty," in Asimov's 1987,  in which Tonto has a mid-life crisis about his role supporting the Lone Ranger. She followed this with a slew of best-selling novels (summarized by Wikipedia):

    Sarah Canary (1991) - A mysterious nonsense-speaking woman in 1873 Pacific Northwest.

    The War of the Roses (1991)

    The Sweetheart Season (1996) - A novel about a female baseball team from 1947 Minnesota.

    Sister Noon (2001) - 1890s San Francisco.

    The Jane Austen Book Club (2004)

    Wit's End (Putnam, 2008) - A young woman visits her godmother, one of America's most successful mystery writers.

    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013)

    Earlier, I said,

    If I win, I think I’ll make him or her read a pony story. :scootangel:

    So... which story should I ask Karen to critique? It should:

    - be one of my longer stories, 'cuz they're all really short

    - be understandable by someone with no pone pone pone

    - not be a simple comedy, because there's not much to say about those

    - not be terrible

    I'm thinking of:

    The Magician and the Detective


    Mortality Report

    Moving On

    Burning Man Brony

    Twenty Minutes

    Pony Play

    The question I keep asking myself are:

    - Should I give her one that I think has serious problems (the slipshod pacing of chapters 2 thru 5 of Moments, the boring chapters 2 & 3 of Moving On, the hammer-the-reader-over-the-head-with-lessons in the second half of Burning Man Brony, the flaky POV in Fluttershy's Night Out), to get her opinion on how to fix it?

    - Should I give her one that I think has no serious problems, to maximize my chance of getting some extra-pony validation that I've written at least one thing that doesn't suck?

    - Should I give her one that I think has some artsy writing, like Moments, Burning Man Brony, or Pony Play?

    - Dare I give her Pony Play or Twenty Minutes?

    What do you think?

    24 comments · 230 views
  • 1w, 18h
    We are the two-and-a-half percent


    Total books sold in America in 2013: 2.6 billion.

    Total print books sold in America in 2013 and reported to Nielsen's Bookscan Retail & Club Channel: 501.6 million

    Fraction of Bookscan sales included in its Retail & Club Channel: 0.8

    Fraction of books sold in America reported to Bookscan: 0.75

    Total print books sold in America in 2013: 501.6 million / 0.8 / 0.75 = 836 million

    Fraction of books sold in 2013 that were e-books: 0.3

    Number of e-books sold in 2013: E / (E + 836 million) = 0.3, 0.3E + 0.3*836 million = 1E, E = 250.8 million / 0.7 = 358 million

    Total books sold in America in 2013: 836 million + 358 million = 1.19 billion

    Fraction of books that are fiction: Something like 0.6. 0.454., though this is an underestimate because a higher fraction of e-books are fiction

    Length of a typical novel: Under 100,000 words (,

    Total words of fiction sold per year in America: 2.6 billion * 0.6 * 80,000 = 125 trillion words 1.19 billion * 0.454 * 80,000 = 43.2 trillion words

    (Most of these figures were surprisingly hard to find. Everybody reports on trends, percent change, and dollars. Nobody cares about number of books sold.)

    Total words of fiction read on fimfiction since its beginning:

    sqlite> select sum(views * words) from story;

    2682702309872 (2.68 trillion)

    (This is "story views" times words per story. It's an over-estimate, because about half of readers quit a story on fimfiction after the first chapter. But it's the same kind of overestimate you get from counting books sold instead of books read.)

    Words read on fimfiction in the past year: Probably about half of that = 1.34 trillion words

    Fraction of those words read in America: 0.8? I'm making that up based on when people read stories, and the fraction of English-language brony conventions that are in America.

    Words read on fimfiction in America in the past year: 1.34 trillion * 0.8 = about 1.07 trillion words

    1.07 / 66.9 = .025


    fimfiction accounts for 2-3% as much reading as do all of the new books sold in America.

    That makes ponyfiction more popular than Westerns, and nearly as popular as horror.

    All that doesn't take into account people who read old books, though. I understand some people still do that. :ajsmug:

    Oh, and it doesn't count Mature stories, because my code to read the "Latest Story" pages doesn't see them. (It's a cookie problem.) I hear there are some of those on fimfiction.

    (Caveat: Listing all the stories with over 100,000 views, I found Merlos the Mad has a 47,000-word story called "Thunderstruck" that has 8725 views, except for chapter 7, which claims to have 262,000 views. That's an extra 12 billion words reported right there. Hopefully there aren't many database errors like that.)

    35 comments · 291 views
  • 2w, 3d
    Relief for lavender unicorn syndrome

    21 comments · 237 views
  • ...
Click a paragraph to save bookmark

By the time Celestia had resolved all the pending petty disputes between neighboring farmers, and some even pettier disputes between great nobles, the sun's rays slanted low into the great hall. There was only one case left, and no way of putting it off any longer.

Celestia sighed. "Bring her in," she called.

The guest, or prisoner, was escorted down the red-and-gold carpet, one very serious-looking guard on each side, eyeing her as if they expected her to bolt for the side door at any moment. Sometimes one's own propaganda caught up with oneself that way. But if the guards were hoping for excitement, the prospects seemed dim. With her head sunk toward the floor so that her white mane fell over one eye, and looking naked (half the ponies in the room were naked, but only she seemed self-conscious of it) without her cape and hat, the bedraggled sky-blue unicorn looked neither great nor powerful. She shuffled to stand in front of the dais and look mournfully up, not quite meeting Celestia's eye.

"So," Celestia said, "I meet the Great and Powerful Trixie at last."

Trixie blushed with shame and looked down again.

"Trixie. We are very cross with you." Celestia only ever used the royal "we" to indicate that she also spoke for Luna. "Do you understand why?"

The magician said, in a small, repentant voice, "Because I am a selfish and arrogant pony."

Celestia's lip curled in a bitter smile. "Then I should be cross with half the ponies in this room. No, Trixie. Try again."

Trixie risked a look up, and a look of worry crept into her face, which was more convincing than the repentance. "Because," she said experimentally, "of the damage that the Ursa did to Ponyville?"

"Closer." Celestia leaned forward in her throne. "Trixie, can you tell me what our rule of Equestria depends on?"

Trixie's legs bent backwards even as she bowed her head forwards, as if her rear half were thinking about bolting and leaving the front to fend for itself. "Power?"

Celestia shook her head. "No, Trixie. Not power." She calmly watched Trixie squirm and waited for an answer.

"Love? Friendship?"

"That's very flattering of you to say so, but no."

"Ancient mystical rocks?" Trixie guessed with a weak grin.

Celestia shook her head in a disappointed fashion. "No, Trixie. Trust. Our rule depends on trust. I sit here on a throne in Canterlot, and govern counties so far away it takes days for news to travel back and forth. How do I know the ponies in all those far-off places are acting as they should?"


Celestia smiled. "Now you've got it! And, more importantly, why do the ponies in those far-off places obey the commands of a princess most of them have never seen—who might, so far as they know, not exist at all? Why do they not come stomping down to the castle in a mob, and make angry demands, or scheme silently against me in their distant secret places?"

"I'm... supposed to say trust, aren't I?"

Celestia snorted. "You think it's the guards, the army, and my terrible sharp horn. But it isn't, Trixie. It's trust. Trust makes Equestria go round." She stood up off her throne and took one step forward, towering over the much-smaller pony at the bottom of the steps, whose knees were beginning to tremble. "And when you lie to ponies, and you pretend to be something you aren't, it isn't a little thing of no consequence, Trixie. It teaches ponies not to trust. That makes it an attack on the foundations of Equestria. That makes it a threat to our peace."

"I didn't mean it like that!" Trixie protested. "I... I just wanted ponies to respect me!" Trixie glanced round her at the guards and the spectators, but found only stony faces.

Celestia let out a disdainful bray. To the shock of everypony, she stomped down the steps of the dias and stared directly into Trixie's face, their horns almost touching. "You wanted respect!" she spat. "You wanted admiration! What a despicable reason to deceive ponies!"

The guards standing beside Trixie backed away a few steps, giving up any pretense of guarding Celestia from Trixie, and glanced at each other nervously. Celestia paced slowly around Trixie, from her head to her tail and back again, never looking at the unicorn mare. "Do you understand what could have happened if you'd gotten away with it? More lies, more lies to cover up those lies, more respect. More unearned trust. More ponies depending on you to do things you can't, like those foals rushing out to find an Ursa because they were so sure you could fight it off."

The crowd of onlookers had fallen absolutely silent, staring open-mouthed at their princess. The guards looked to the old chamberlain, who had served the Princess since before they were born, and he looked back and shook his head as if to say, No, I've never seen her like this either.

Celestia's heavy hoofsteps echoed loudly as she began pacing faster. "You were building your own cage out of lies. If not for this Ponyville fiasco you might have gone on for years, building it bigger and stronger until you couldn't have gotten out of it if you'd wanted to. You don't know how lucky you are that you were caught so soon!" She came to a stop back in front of Trixie and glared at her, sides heaving, and now it was Celestia who was trembling.

"I'm sorry!" Trixie bawled. "I'm so, so sorry, I—"

Celestia spun around and looked away. "Escort her from my palace," she said, without looking back.

The guards snapped out of their daze, and saluted Celestia's hindquarters. They escorted Trixie out, and then the stunned audience gradually trickled out, until only Celestia, still staring into the back corner of the room and breathing heavily, and her guards remained.

"Get me Shining Armour," she called.

The captain of the guard galloped in minutes later and drew up before her, blowing his dark-blue mane out of his eyes with every breath as he huffed from running. "Your majesty?"

She set off immediately toward the private section of the palace, and he fell into step beside her. "Your shield," she said. "Have you managed to teach Purslane how to cast it?"

"He's working on it," the captain replied.

"I take it that means no?"

"Well," he said apologetically, "what with the wedding in a few days..."

Celestia came to an abrupt halt and turned towards the captain. "I apologize for keeping you somewhat in the dark about this. I did not wish to start a panic. But it is high time for somepony to start panicking. Allow me to explain. Are you familiar with vamponies?"

The captain pursed his lips, and said diplomatically, "I was under the impression they did not exist."

"They do not. They are merely symbolic representations of something too terrible to speak of in stories. Imagine, Shining, a being which drained you not of blood, but of love. A being which left you alive, but with no feelings for your fellow pony. All the feelings you had for your Cadence, for your parents, for your sister, would be gone, fodder in the belly of a monster to feed it for a day or two. You would live the rest of your days in uncaring selfishness, nothing more than a pony-shaped machine."

A shadow passed over the captain's face. "That would be a fate worse than death."

"Indeed," Celestia agreed.

He inhaled slowly. "We will not fear," he said. "We have faith in you."

Celestia looked him in the eye, and he looked back, his honest face full of admiration and trust.

"Teach Purslane the shield," she said.

She left the captain and hurried to the second-floor sitting room at the front of the palace. The sky was turning red as the sun sank toward the horizon.  Celestia stepped out onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard. She smiled at the crowd of ponies, and a cheer went up. Many of them had travelled days just so they could say that one day they had watched the Princess raise and lower the sun. The pages standing at the corners of the balcony raised their trumpets and sounded them, and she aimed her horn toward the sun. It began to glow gold with magical energy, turning white as it grew more brilliant. She took a deep breath, screwed up her face in a look of intense concentration, and once again pretended to lower the sun.

#1 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

It might be just me, but I tend to prematurely stop reading stories in which Celestia goes into rage-bitch mode. It's just way too out-of-character for my canon-minded brain to wrap itself around. Happily, I kept reading this one, and I'm glad I did. It's a very well-written story, and now my mind is wanting to know what is going to happen to Trixie now that she's put out of Celestia's presence. Well done.

#2 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

Da fuq? How the hell did it transition to that?

#3 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

This is brilliant Celestia is in the same position as Trixie would have been if she continued with her lies.

#4 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

I see what you did with that chapter name. :twilightsmile:

#6 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

Yup. Totally didn't see that coming....

#7 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

Now that is an interesting take on a few concepts.

Definitely appropriate AU tag, but nice concept all around.

Not gonna fave it because there wasn't much story to it other than the concept, even though the scenes were written well.

Don't really get the bit about Shining teaching his shield.

#8 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

Well, lordy.

#9 · 109w, 20h ago · · ·

Do you know what this means?

Lies are the enemy of Equestria. Which means...

APPLEJACK IS BEST PONY. Element of Honesty represent. :ajbemused:

#10 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

I'm not sure I entirely get the point. I'm fairly certain that Celestia talking about creating a web of lies that is impossible to escape from is actually her talking about herself, and I'm thinking this might be Celestia as a changeling, but that's all I got :derpyderp2:

#11 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

What happened here? I'm going to need an immediate sitrep.

#12 · 109w, 19h ago · 1 · ·

What the hell? I see too many suggestions, she could be talking about trust, or she could know what is going to happen in the future. She could be a changeling herself, but so many things don't add up to that. She could be regretting her own lies (hypocrite) or she could be trying to make sure that her lies stay together. She might be trying to save Trixie from the Changelings (if she can see the future) or she could be sick of her reflection...


#13 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

Well you got my thumbs and gold star. Now to read your other works.

#14 · 109w, 19h ago · 1 · ·

What? ... *scrolls up, rereads*


#15 · 109w, 19h ago · 3 · ·


Because Celestia is a pretender and will not be able to defend Canterlot in case of an invasion if Shining Armor's shield fails or if Shining Armor is not around but on his honeymoon.

#16 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

That was very well done.

Does anyone happen to know of any other stories where Celestia doesn't actually raise the sun?

#17 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

So....she doesn't want another bull(REDACTED) artist running around starting a rebellion, eh?

#18 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

Bad Horse, you're a great writer, but ... I'm really struggling here to find the one crucial clue that will click into place and make all this make sense for me. :fluttershysad:


It seems clear on a second pass that Celestia is trying to stop Trixie from making the same mistake she did and building the "cage out of lies".  Given the severity of Celestia's reaction, it seems like in the process she's digging herself in that much deeper -- simultaneously trying to give Trixie a second chance that she didn't get, and resenting her deeply for it.

What I don't get is the changeling part.  It seems wholly extraneous.  However, I don't think Bad Horse would have included it -- especially not that major of a point, in a story this size -- if it weren't relevant.  This is a meta-clue that the answer has something to do with changelings but there's not enough context in the rest of the story to make sense of it.  Is Celestia a changeling herself?  (I don't think so; she's telling Shining to defend ponies from them.)  Did Celestia get eaten by one?  (This is the conclusion I'm leaning toward -- but she demonstrably cares for both Trixie and the ponies under her rule, albeit in a roundabout fashion.)  Was she testing Trixie for changelinghood?  (If so, I think she passed.)

Edited to add:  I really wish I knew whether in this AU the sun and moon have always moved on their own, or whether they get moved by someone-who-is-not-Celestia.

#19 · 109w, 19h ago · · ·

>>1459250 >>1459433

The key is the last line of the story.

#20 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·

HAH!  Awesome!  Chrysalis nabs Celestia rather than Cadence.  I find this awesome and approve heartily.  How did nobody else pick up on that?


#21 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·



How did I not notice that?

Wow, that realization just made this so much better. Have my like, and favorite... and my first born.

Wait a second... there are some issues with consistency with cannon here... oh right AU. So the unicorns of pre-Equestria were also faking it? That would honestly make for a more interesting story. And count as satire. Wait another second... is THIS satire?

#22 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·

across the vast expances of space and time

the rustling of my jimmies could be heard

#23 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·

Unrelated but awesome: If Purslane's name is a reference to the plant, that's a goddamn subtle and clever easter egg:

In antiquity, its healing properties were thought so reliable that Pliny advised wearing the plant as an amulet to expel all evil.


#24 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·

>>1459565  You're a cynical one!  You will go far.

>>1459609  The changelings are just there to be a terrible threat that people aren't really taking seriously because they assume Celestia can take care of everything.

>>1459681  That is brilliant.  But I didn't pick up on it either...

>>1459722  Also, reputed to stave off depression.  Herbal and edible wild plants are a hobby of mine!  Yours too?

#25 · 109w, 18h ago · · ·

Hmm, interesting, and thought-provoking.

Caught in a web of one's own lies; et tu, Celestia?

#26 · 109w, 17h ago · · ·

I actually stopped reading partway through and skimmed the rest because 1. I didn't figure out why Celestia might have acted the way she did and 2. I didn't see that alternate universe tag. Looking at the comments to try and figure out what this story's supposed to be at all, I found this comment: >>1459619 And then I read the last line.

"Oh, now I get it!" :derpytongue2:

#27 · 109w, 16h ago · · 4 ·


Too much left to interpretation, I just can't do it. I feel really dissapointed. Whatever, I guess I'll follow this.

#28 · 109w, 15h ago · · ·


Really great story but the question is that is it truly an Alternative Universe or truth of reality, Seeing how things laid out in "The Canterlot Wedding" episode? As for dealing with Trixie, I imagine Celestia dealt with her to "eliminate" competition and have the ponies trust misdirected to her, if not reinforce the trust in her. Great touch on concept and like the idea a lot, two thumbs up my man:eeyup:

#29 · 109w, 15h ago · · ·

This got me thinking.  (Granted, there isn't much else to do when you're at work. :twilightsheepish:)  What does Celestia's pretending to raise the sun mean for the show's mythology.  Although it has a big ol' AU tag, there is nothing in the story indicating that Celestia and Luna are not immortal (or perhaps just really long lived.), nor any indication that the Elements of Harmony are not exactly as we have seen.  If those two things are in fact true, then the implications of the whole Nightmare Moon thing become much MUCH worse.  

Blast it, I had a whole big ass WMG in my head a minute ago.  Why do these things evaporate whenever I actually start typing. :raritydespair:

#30 · 109w, 12h ago · · ·

It's a bit suspicious, isn't it, that Celestia can't handle Nightmare Moon, can't handle Discord, can't handle Chrysalis... realistically, one assumes that she simply suffers from the Worf Effect - warning, link to tvtropes, don't follow if you want to do anything else today - due to the difficulty of fitting in enough storytelling in 22 minutes.

>>1459565 Not to toot my own horn, but there is some similarity to my own 'Madame Butterfly' . Pluggin' ones own stories, that's a little, you know, evil, right? But it's okay here, presumably, because, well, League of, you see.

>>1459800 Am I stupid, or did you not write another story with a 'dark' Celestia, but one who actually had the power she claims to have? Only now I can't find it?


#31 · 109w, 12h ago · · ·


> The changelings are just there to be a terrible threat that people aren't really taking seriously because they assume Celestia can take care of everything.

To be honest, I'd consider that a weakness in the story. An enemy that can convincingly impersonate your loved ones tends to interact with the topic of trust.

#32 · 109w, 7h ago · · ·

>>1461636  Hmm.  Good point.  Any ideas how?

#33 · 109w, 7h ago · · ·

>>1461600 Am I stupid, or did you not write another story with a 'dark' Celestia, but one who actually had the power she claims to have?

There are 3 dark Celestia stories in Pony Tales.  Or you could have been dumpster-diving in Bad Horse's Bad Stories; there's one or two in there.

#34 · 109w, 6h ago · · ·


I'd forgotten that thing existed, actually. It was 'The Real Reason'. No wonder I could never find it again.


#35 · 109w, 3h ago · · ·

They're not lies, they're stories, exactly like a traveling entertainer is supposed to tell. It's not her fault those two idiots actually believed her! :raritydespair::raritydespair:

(Yeah, I know, AU and not the point, I just felt like venting.)

#37 · 109w, 1h ago · · ·

>>1459800 I uncovered that one through research (I'm pretty good at faking erudition via google), so sadly I can't connect via shared hobby.  Still tickled at the reference, though.

Also, re my confusion (>>1459609), I agree with >>1461636.  The changelings are a bright, tempting path that goes straight into the metaphorical weeds.

This isn't a comedy, but you're writing a story with the framework of setup -> punchline.  The last line recontextualizes the entire story that came before it; we have to re-evaluate everything from that final revelation.  The instant that you introduce trust issues into a story that explicitly involves changelings, that re-evaluation points to a lot of places you weren't intending to go.  Note that I ruled out all of my own guesses but couldn't shake the conclusion that there was something more there, and other bright readers (e.g. >>1459681) went straight for the changeling jugular.

As far as fixing it, I think all you can do is either explicitly paint the possibility as a red herring in the story*, or else change the crisis.

* Even adding something like "... as she had done every day for millennia ..." to the last line would help, since that would rule out Celestia herself being a changeling -- but because there are just too many possibilities for changeling insertion (present/past, any named character, unnamed character) I think you simply need a new problem for Celestia not to be able to handle.

#38 · 108w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1462035 Probably the most straightforward approach would be to substitute some other crisis, like a swarm of parasprites in Fillydelphia.

#39 · 108w, 6d ago · · ·

Nice twist at the end.


#40 · 108w, 6d ago · · ·

Hah, that's a nifty twist; The Great and Powerful Celestia. :raritywink:

#41 · 98w, 5d ago · · ·

so I'm thinking "that's a cool scene with Trixie" and then started to wonder why we were going into the changelings, and then the gamechanger:

"and once again pretended to lower the sun"

and OH SNAP. :pinkiegasp: And now we have to reexamine everything with Celestia

Comment posted by Ellington deleted at 7:33am on the 18th of May, 2013
#43 · 73w, 5d ago · 7 · ·

Man, the final line is what makes this story. Just glorious.

One handy thing about having established characters like this, I suppose; you can do stuff like that without having to build up for it, and no one sees it coming at all.

Well done.

#44 · 55w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1868326 Orbit, my friend! Learn it. You didn't think Equestria was the only planet in the Equus system, did you?

#45 · 39w, 1d ago · · ·

Very nice! Makes you really step back to think about some plot points. :rainbowkiss:

#46 · 35w, 12h ago · · 1 ·

I heard scribbler's reading of this and while I liked it, that last bit doesn't sit with me for one obvious reason.

Season 1 episode 2, after nightmare moon has brought enteral night, it isn't until celestia is returned that the sun rises again.

#47 · 21w, 4d ago · 1 · ·


This story has the Alternative Universe tag for a reason. :rainbowwild:

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