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More Stories20

  • T You Only Live Twice

    Secret agents Vinyl and Octavia reunite to tackle a threat to Canterlot.
    36,476 words · 3,319 views  ·  337  ·  2
  • T Mission: Implausible

    Octavia and Vinyl Scratch: Musicians and secret agents.
    31,111 words · 9,681 views  ·  669  ·  8
  • E Trains, Carriages and Airships

    What should be a simple overnight ride turns into a three day trip from hell.
    28,168 words · 12,510 views  ·  551  ·  8
  • T Maybe

    Some ponies never change. Prince Blueblood is one of them.
    7,812 words · 3,117 views  ·  282  ·  3
  • E The Final Quest of Star Swirl the Bearded

    The last journey of an unusual wizard and the role he played in the founding of Equestria.
    64,492 words · 3,219 views  ·  194  ·  2
  • E Rest Stop

    At a rest stop on her way to Appleloosa, Twilight Sparkle has a rare moment to reflect...
    5,836 words · 10,748 views  ·  228  ·  3
  • T When the Curtain Falls

    An incident in a Manehattan theater quickly draws secret agents Vinyl Scratch and Octavia into a hunt for a strange killer.
    36,535 words · 2,267 views  ·  257  ·  4
  • T The West Is Not Enough

    Secret agents Vinyl Scratch and Octavia find themselves locked in an epic struggle against a ruthless group of outlaws in the wild west.
    29,047 words · 2,471 views  ·  317  ·  6

Blog Posts196

  • Monday
    Can we debunk the "/b/ + pony" myth yet?

    So last night, I was thumbing through the new releases on Netflix when I came across A Brony Tale, the documentary about the fandom starring Ashleigh Ball. Overall impressions were very positive; the production values were high and I appreciated seeing fandom figures like Saberspark and The Manliest Brony featured. Although I'm always amused by how these documentaries go out of their way to highlight only the positive aspects of the fandom; naturally, the positive stuff is going to dominate the message, but I'd kinda like something that also alludes to the mischief of the fandom and all the weird and exciting creativity that comes out of that. But I digress.

    There was one moment in the film that irked me, and it was where someone explained (without the claim being rebuked) that "brony" wasn't actually a combination of "bro" + "pony," but that it came from the /b/ message board on 4chan. I'm sure all of you who have been bronies long enough have heard this explanation before.

    Now, I wasn't around for the origins of the fandom (I became a brony in the hiatus between seasons one and two), but this explanation has never made any sense to me, for one simple reason: if "brony" is a combination of "/b/" and "pony," then where the heck would the "r" in "brony" come from? If this fandom was actually named by combining "/b/" with "pony," then wouldn't we all be called "bonies"? It doesn't make sense even on the surface, yet there have been a few who have been adamant at repeating this explanation (although chances are most of them have since dropped out of the fandom).

    What's more, why would we even want to claim that's what our name means? It seems especially odd for a documentary that's ostensibly about explaining the fandom to outsiders; the "bro" + "pony" explanation is simple and conveys what the fandom is, whereas the /b/ explanation requires some understanding of 4chan (which most people probably aren't savvy to) and is rather convoluted and nonsensical. On top of that, the /b/ board hasn't been relevant to this fandom since bronies started making their own websites. The /b/ board is merely a moment in the overall history of this fandom - a pivotal moment, yes, but a moment nonetheless. The /b/ board was never a part of my experience as a brony, and I doubt it played a role for the vast majority of bronies who joined this fandom after the creation of sites like EQD and Ponychan.

    As an analogy, it's like if instead of using the name Americans, we called ourselves Minutemen or Boston Tea Partians. It's a moment that plays a pivotal role in our history, but the vast majority of us over our history didn't take part in that moment.

    Which makes me wonder, is the /b/ explanation meant to reaffirm the importance of that moment by the people who took part in it? If so, then it becomes a (perhaps unintentional) means of claiming ownership of the fandom, a reminder that none of us would be here if it weren't for them. Which may be true, but trying to cram that reminder into our very identity just seems petty. Even if the /b/ explanation is true (which I obviously doubt), it fails to say anything about our identity in the years that have passed since that formative moment and the ranks of people who have joined since.

    So now when I think of a guy giving the /b/ explanation, I think of a grumpy old man sitting on his porch going "Eh, back in my day we didn't have your fancy Equestria Dailys and your FIMFictions and your derpy boroughs! Why, back in my day, all we had was the /b/ board and our own wits! You young whippersnappers, show your respects!"

    27 comments · 235 views
  • Saturday
    Musings in a Post-Suffering Era

    Boy, let me tell you guys, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here... and I'm not sure I like it. I know it's a cliche to say "Golly, the holidays just seem to come earlier every year!" but holy hell, it really seems like the holidays came super early this year. Around November 10th, the Salvation Army guys were out with the buckets and bells, the local supermarket started selling Christmas trees, Starbucks was selling their holiday drinks, the town put up their snowflake-shaped lights along Main Street, and a couple of the houses in the neighborhood put up Christmas lights. Now, the first three I could just chalk up as capitalists looking to jump-start the holiday shopping season, but the last two don't have a monetary incentive behind them, so the consumerist explanation doesn't quite explain what I'm seeing here. I could swear that just last year I didn't see this kind of upstart celebrationism until Thanksgiving. The holiday season is my favorite time of the year, but I don't think I'm ready for two months of it.

    Oh yeah, and then last week, right as all this holiday stuff was going up, we got hit by a snowstorm and it's been so cold since that the minuscule two inches or so of snow we got still hasn't melted. Winter was really in a hurry to arrive, I guess.


    In writing news, I'm starting up a little non-pony writing endeavor that I'm excited to invite you guys to read: it's a blog called Your Future Sucks. The first post explains the idea behind the title, but basically the concept is that I'm going to talk about various visions of the future, from things like world's fairs and Tomorrowland to more contemporary notions like driverless cars or to apocalyptic visions of environmental doom, to ponder what these visions say about us as individuals and as a society. On the way, I'll poke fun at what I find to be absurd ideas about the future (the real meaning behind "your future sucks") as well as praise a few that genuinely excite me.

    Right now, there's only a couple of posts up: the first introducing the premise of the blog, the second a writing piece I did in the style of a news article about a future in which Miami is rebuilding after a devastating hurricane. For upcoming posts, I'm planning to discuss various things such as the fate of Walt Disney's Tomorrowland, Silicon Valley's branding of the future, how we talk (or don't) about the future nowadays, and maybe an invention or two while I'm at it.

    Anyway, please go check it out and comment if you like what you see. I'm much more likely to actively pursue a writing endeavor if I think there are people who will appreciate it.


    And lastly, it's late November, and if you're in college and your college experience is anything like mine was, this means you're entering panic mode as the end of the semester and the finals it brings is now looming large in your mind. Or perhaps you're feeling gloomy from the sudden onset of winter weather, or sick from the cold/flu season that comes with said weather. Or maybe work sucks. And the holiday season isn't here yet (despite the signs claiming otherwise), so the joy of presents and cookies is still too distant to be appreciated just yet.

    But take heart, for the end of the year lies on the not-so-distant horizon. So, as a public service, allow me to share the greatest pick-me-up ever created. Listen, then repeat as necessary until you are filled with the steely confidence needed to face the world.

    12 comments · 191 views
  • 2w, 18h
    John Perry Suffers the Feature Box: I Did It for Me

    37 comments · 415 views
  • 2w, 4d
    I Have Met the Enemy, and He is Me (or, an important Suffering announcement)

    Guys, I gotta be honest: Suffering the Feature Box just hasn’t been much fun lately.

    Mostly, it’s just me. The novelty has long since worn off, I’m in a bit of a creative funk at the moment, so the enthusiasm just isn’t there for me. I’m getting to that point where I’m doing these posts more out of a sense of obligation than because I actually want to do it, and that is not a place you should be when it comes to fan fiction.

    However, the box really hasn’t been helping me out lately. Long-time readers might have noticed that there’s been a general uptick in the quality of stories in the box lately. Or at the very least, there are fewer real stinkers in there, and the notably bad stories were the basis of most of my humor. And I never really intended for this to become a serious review series, so this is a problem for me.

    You might have also noticed that the recent change to the box mechanics, which allows stories to stay on the box much longer than before, has screwed with my routine a bit. But I feel like it has also made my reading selection somewhat… stale, giving me less variety to play around with. Case in point: earlier this week, the top clopfic in the box was Gleaming Shield’s Teats (which is still in the box, by the way). Now the top clopfic in the box is… its sequel. Oh thanks, box.

    But honestly, that’s all incidental. The long and short of it is that I think I need to take a break, so that’s what I’m going to do. Sometime next week (contingent on when the stories currently in the box finally fall off) I’ll do a “final” review post, and then stop the series for an indefinite length of time. Maybe at some point I’ll be able to come back to it when I’m feeling fresh, or maybe I’ll start some other endeavor. Who knows? (Certainly not me!)

    19 comments · 355 views
  • ...
 45
 10,746
Source

In the wake of the changeling attack on Canterlot, two ponies have been called upon to track a group of changelings into the desert. But soon, they uncover a dark and dreadful secret...

First Published
30th Nov 2012
Last Modified
30th Nov 2012
#1 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

Changelings and Daring Do?

Interesting....

#2 · 103w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Who knows.

#3 · 103w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

Interesting. I'll read this later because Philip K. Dick.

#4 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

I'd love to read this, but it'll have to wait for a while...

Sounds very interesting though.

#5 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

This is a wonderful story. Long, but wonderful. :heart:

#6 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

Interest: Acquired.

Tracking: Enabled.

:pinkiehappy:

#7 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1712406

I'll buy 50 of everything! :pinkiecrazy: Srsly, how the hell is there not a filter for these idiots?

Will read when I get back. But here's an upvote to counter the troll. :twilightsmile:

#8 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

Yessssss! Excellent!

Got a chill when I read through this and it's through re-reading it that I caught the significance of the buffalo story at the beginning. Among a few other things. Very moody and atmospheric, the best way to tell a story about shape-shifters.

Love the image by the way! I was looking forward to seeing that ever since you described it to me.

Wonderful work!

#9 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

Well, you've gone and done it. I usually avoid fictions unless they're recommended to me by a friend, but your concept has drawn me in like pink on a pinkie pie :pinkiecrazy:. I'll be reading and leaving feedback soon. :twilightsmile:

#10 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

funny i just read do androids dream of electric sheep.

might as well read this.:rainbowkiss:

#11 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

Chapter should be titled, "probably not." XD

Like'd this story.

#12 · 103w, 5d ago · · ·

This still read just as creepy the second time through. Great job!

#13 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

Nicely done.

#14 · 103w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

(Readers beware, for there be spoilers ahoof!)


Whoa. Impressive, and dark. I'd say it's quite a bit darker than the Quest if you really think about it :fluttershysad:. In the circumstances, however, it probaby has the most upbeat and positive resolution possible. :pinkiesmile:

Also, those things like the 'sitting bull' tale and the actual changelings choosing sheep as their disguise. Small, yet meaningful and imparting a sort of moral significance with a degree of subtlety. I love seeing things like these.:twilightsmile:

An interesting take on the changelings and their ability to act like individuals. Also, time travel! Say, by any chance, did the use of a time spell to remove the changeling threat that happened in my own story influence this idea in any way? 'Cause it'd be quite flattering if it did. :twilightblush:

Anyway, I have to agree with what you said in one of your earlier blog posts, John: the changelings do present a whole lot of story-building opportunity. I'm glad they were introduced into the FiM universe. Without them, cool stuff like this story here wouldn't have happened, or at least not nearly as well as it can now.

#15 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

And the award for deviously clever title goes to...

#16 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1713485 I always love your comments, because you make them nice and long and put a lot of thought into them! :twilightsmile:

Much as I want to say that your story inspired the use of a time-travel spell, to be honest I'm pretty sure that was the Crystal Empire episode, for introducing that in-canon mechanism for flinging a town into the future while causing its inhabitants to lose their memory.

However, I'm willing to bet that the name I came up with for the unicorn, "Nebula Gleam," was pretty heavily influenced by your story. Dawn Gleam would have been too obvious and hopeful sounding, but Nebula Gleam sounds like the last light of a dead star. Not many ponies have depressing sounding names like that.

#17 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

So, I guess the movie will be called Blade Trotter? :raritywink:

A most enjoyable read with a delightfully creepy twist. Thank you for writing it.

#18 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

Weird… in a good sort of way.  Makes me wish there was a ‘mystery’ tag.  Much enjoyed and appreciated.  

#19 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

First saw and read disc. My thoughts: MUST READ NAOH!!! (which I am doing)

#20 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1713664 Thanks! :twilightsmile:

And yay, I actually did inspire something! :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy: While the Crystal Timethrow is, of course, more logical and all, the name inspiration is good enough for me. This sort of influence is actually around the top of what I strive to achieve. My own work affecting the thoughts and the work of others, even if in a small way. So, thank you, m'good sir, for giving me artistic fulfillment. :twilightsmile::twilightsmile:

#21 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

No, they do not. Next question!:trollestia:

#22 · 103w, 2d ago · · ·

I need to say, damn good story.

I though it will be some ripoff of some old scifi story but how wrong i was.

Did you think about posting it on EQD?

#23 · 103w, 22h ago · · ·

>>1726230  If the pre-readers ever get around to reading my submission, then we'll see if it makes it to EQD. :derpytongue2:

#24 · 102w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Past Dodge Junction, in Equestria's badlands, lies a town called Mountain Meadow. You won't find this town on any map, however. A long time ago, there was a very curious occurrence here. Today, a pegasus and her royal guard escort are about to learn that sometimes, what you're looking for can't be found on any regular map, but perhaps on a map of... The Twilight Zone.

Seriously, I got that vibe all the way through. Fuckin' kudos, dude.

#25 · 101w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

I enjoyed the interaction between 'Sir Knight' and Daring, plus the use of her abilities as a tracker. I wasn't sure what to expect when going into this, so I just let you take me along for the ride.

I agree with Twilight's statement about bringing out the possibility of individual thought when it comes to the Changelings. You wouldn't exactly know what would happen if they're hive mind were to be broken and them being left on their own devices. Here they found a life more enjoyable, loving, and free from the rest.

But then, what do they feed off of if not love? :applejackunsure:

I do have a slight gripe. Equites seemed to have an uncharacteristic change. He was stoic and all about the rules and gave in only when it threatened the mission. For him to decide at the end to not divulge their secret seemed out of place for him. Yes, it was a proper and poetic end to the story, but it seemed like there would be more hints to the change.

Course another story of him dealing with his decision and how the things he saw changed his perspective would also be interesting.

Anyway, thanks for writing this. I enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

#26 · 101w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>1815846 Now this comment is getting a definite thumbs up from me, for being so thoughtful and detailed. :pinkiehappy:

Ah, Equites - I meant to imply that there was a change in his character as the story went on, though my hints may have been too subtle, so that would be my fault for not making that change clearer. He is indeed very stoic and solely focused on the mission at the start, but that begins to break apart with the discovery of the old nest, and his horrified reaction to that (if you notice, the end of that scene is the first time Daring addresses him as 'Equites' instead of 'knight', symbolizing the change in their relationship). When Daring asks him if he reported on the things happening in the village, he hesitates - he's still focused on the mission, but where their earlier conversation had him giving Daring a flat 'no, end of story' answer to talking about anything that doesn't have to do with the mission, here he has to justify it a little. His conversation with Bandwagon is the final straw, when he finally loses focus on the mission in light of the murder of the changelings and the discovery of what the villagers really are.

So I did mean to illustrate a change in his character, although I probably could have made it a lot more apparent. :twilightsheepish:

#27 · 101w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1816147 Don't worry about it. I think it was well enough considering the length of the story. Sorry I didn't catch on.

#28 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

Is this a Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep crossover/inspired fic?

Ezn
#29 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

That was a pretty cool read. I liked the reuse of the Crystal Empire's curse, Daring Do's characterisation and, well, most of it, really. A thumbs-up from me.

However, I didn't really like the bit where Equites somehow remained convinced that they weren't dealing with changelings. And, in fact, the earlier scene where Daring has the conversation about the painting with Peachy. I just think that given they were specifically looking for changelings, stuff like that and the wings and the fangs should have set off alarm bells.

I'd've bought Daring and Equites dismissing the notion of Peachy being a changeling through some reasoning, but that it never seems to have occurred to them in the first place is odd.

Apart from that, my only other complaint is the occasional patches of obtuse wording. There's nothing really anything too serious or flow-murdering, but there are spots where mixtures of pronouns and "the pegasus"/"the earth pony" get momentarily confusing, and I'd probably streamline a number of sentences if I were to edit this.

Good job overall, and thanks for writing.

#30 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1838043 That'd be a big no. :derpytongue2: Only the title is a reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

#31 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1838065

I'd've bought Daring and Equites dismissing the notion of Peachy being a changeling through some reasoning, but that it never seems to have occurred to them in the first place is odd.

:twilightsheepish: You mean like this?

“I’m not sure I have an answer for that,” Equites replied before he suddenly started.  “Wait, maybe they’re the changelings in disguise!”

The pegasus sighed.  “Look, I don’t want to give changelings too much credit, but I think they know what a train is.  Besides, the whole point of wearing a disguise is to blend in and not draw any suspicion.  Peachy and Pluck were totally sincere.  They had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.”

Ezn
#32 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1838252

Hmm... yeah, that's okay. It does happen before any of the most compelling evidence that Peachy's a changeling, but I suppose I can believe that Daring and Equites had that possibility very firmly ruled out after that exchange. I think it makes them seem a bit foolish, but then I have an outsider's perspective on the whole situation, and Equestria is full of weird magical stuff.

#33 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

I want to read this. So much.

I don't know why, but the title reminds me of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep The book that Blade Runner was based off of. For that alone I must read it.

Also, changelings.

#34 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·

I would put this as MLP Episode quality.  Except we would never see it, because of no Mane 6 or Ponyville.   Well done, though, very good plot, realistic characterizations, and wonderful conclusion.  5/5 Mustaches  :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

#35 · 100w, 3d ago · · ·

Even though it is clear from the start that some of the villagers are changelings, I was not expecting that twist to happen. First I thought that Peachy Keen was a changeling, and then the other first two that were "changing". But when most of the town began to change, I stopped and thought "something's wrong".

A very worthy read indeed, dear author.

#36 · 100w, 20h ago · 2 · ·

Finally got around to reading this and, I must say, I am impressed. The twist is very well crafted, with enough hints that I doesn't come from nowhere, but still presented in such a way that when it comes, it still feels like a surprise.

I also like how you never really describe how the revelation impacts the villagers, with the characters leaving the village before any real consequences start. Sure, they go back to their old selves, but how long, and how the village will proceed is left in the open enough for me to keep wondering how things will proceed from here.

The questions and themes raised are also very interesting, with "nature vs. nurture", what constitutes one's identity, subjection to fate/authority and so forth. It is a lot to tackle in a short story, but it meshes perfectly with the overall narrative arc. Besides, it is presented in such a well thought, yet still subtle way, that it makes this story truly special. All in all, thank you for the excellent read!

By the way, why did you use Daring Do here? Don't get me wrong, I liked her characterization, specially her interaction with Equites, but at the same time the whole thing doesn't feel like a Daring Do story.

#37 · 100w, 16h ago · 2 · ·

>>1853462  I'm thrilled you liked the story!  To answer your question, Daring Do actually wasn't my original protagonist for this fic, and the decision to use her came about mostly because of the role.  Originally, this story was going to be a side-story to one of my other stories, You Only Live Twice, which has Octavia and Vinyl Scratch as secret agents fighting changelings (so basically, this story was going to be a pony version of The X-Files: two agents go out in the field and encounter supernatural stuff). Ultimately, though, it seemed like a better idea to make this story stand on its own, which meant dropping Octavia and Vinyl and finding two other ponies to be the protagonists. So for one of them, I figured a royal guard would be suitable (since they'd be the most interested in finding the changelings), and for the other I needed someone who would be believable as an animal tracker/explorer type, and that's when I got the idea to use Daring Do.

#38 · 99w, 6d ago · · ·

(In case anyone reads this before the story, minor spoilers enclosed)

I thoroughly enjoyed this. All the while, I was expecting that the townsfolk would be changelings - but not in the capacity that they turned out to be - and that Equites would actually be a changeling too, and that it would end with Daring being quietly subdued and replaced. I was kind of hoping that the villagers would be redeemed and accepted into Equestrian society, though.

Also, was that spell that the Nebula unicorn used a reference to the Crystal Empire?

#39 · 99w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1858362

Also, was that spell that the Nebula unicorn used a reference to the Crystal Empire?

Eeyup. :eeyup:

#40 · 96w, 6d ago · · ·

Cool stuff - I love Daring Do!

#41 · 89w, 3d ago · · ·

I looked through Equestria Daily's Fanfic archive and found this. It's written well and it's a good read. That was an interesting ending to the whole fic. :rainbowdetermined2:

#42 · 88w, 3d ago · · ·

Finally got around to reading this. Truly it is a masterpiece and makes me wish there was a mystery tag.

Accept my thumbs up, star, and follow.

#43 · 61w, 4d ago · · ·

Very solidly written for what this story is. The atmosphere of the story was solid and consistent throughout. The characters were well characterized

The only gripe I can come up with is that the protagonists didn't do a whole lot this story. They came to the town, did a little investigating, but then the mystery pretty much solves and then resolves mostly itself independent of Daring Doo and Equites.

Otherwise this is a well written short story.

#44 · 38w, 4d ago · · ·

A very good story

#45 · 7w, 1d ago · · ·

Very nice story.

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