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Too Brilliant For Me To Have Written

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Too Hilarious For Me To Have Written

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My Best Stuff

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  • 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. by JohnPerry 64,492 words · 3,181 views · 194 likes · 2 dislikes
Oct
21st
2014

Banner drawn by my sister, Izanna!


Parenting is Easy, I Swear by Aragon

What I see: Cadance and Night Light share a pleasant conversation in a café. Everything somehow manages to get really weird, really fast.

Judging by its cover: I’ve had pretty mixed reactions to Aragon’s comedies in the past, but all told he seems like a pretty decent writer and a nice guy to boot, so I’m perfectly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Thoughts coming out: Okay, so first, let me emphasize that there are some really solid jokes in this one. It’s wacky as all get out, but there are some good lines in here.

However, most of the humor relies on Family Guy-style cutaways to expound on certain lines or trains of thought. Hell, sometimes those cutaways have cutaways of their own. And while I definitely wouldn’t say the humor stoops to the level of jokes written by a pod of manatees, it doesn’t get around the fact that the cutaways get excessively distracting. Plus, a lot of the humor is pretty redundant: the running joke for Cadence is that she keeps talking about having sex with Shining Armor, much to the discomfort of Shining’s family members, and after the tenth time that joke starts to feel really damn old.

That being said, every time I was ready to write this story off as redundant random junk, there would always be a joke that landed and suddenly reaffirm my faith in the story. Also, technique aside, it feels unfair to compare the humor in this to that of Family Guy (I could literally count on one hand the number of times that show has ever made me laugh, and this fic alone exceeded that number by a healthy margin). And I will give this fic credit for pulling it together for the ending, which proved surprisingly sentimental given what leads up to it. It’s often too nonsensical for its own good, but when it knows what it’s doing, it does it pretty well.

Who would like this: Your enjoyment of this is going to depend on your comedic tastes: if you like lots of zany humor and plenty of character assassination for the sake of a joke, you’ll probably dig this. If that doesn’t sound like your bag, I’d skip it.


Unicorn Horns Are Made Of Candy by ocalhoun

What I see: A secret unknown to any hornless pony, unicorn horns are made of candy. Pinkie Pie found out, and now she wants to try every flavor!

Judging by its cover: And yet not a shipfic or clop? How interesting…

Thoughts coming out: Eh. It’s pretty much exactly what it says on the cover. Pinkie accidentally finds out Twilight’s horn has a flavor, then goes around licking every unicorn horn she can find. How she made the leap in logic from “Twilight’s horn has a flavor” to “all unicorn horns have a flavor” is unclear to me. Also, unlike what it says in the description, there’s no implication in the story that the horns are actually made of candy, only that they taste like them. Which I find to be a shame; I think some exploration down that path could have added a lot to a random comedy like this.

Who would like this: If you were dying to know what every unicorn horn tastes like, this is the fic for you. Otherwise, I think this one just doesn’t quite do enough with the premise to make it really worth your while.


Sinners in the Hooves of an Angry Goddess by Avox

What I see: While on a diplomatic trip to the Zebrican Isles, Cadance, Twilight, and Spike stumble across a hilariously embarrassing secret of Luna's.

Luna doesn't think it's nearly as funny as they do.

Judging by its cover: Well, this sounds promising.

Thoughts coming out: Well. This one doesn’t waste any time getting to the randomness, I’ll tell you that much.

You know… maybe it’s just because I read this while drunk, but this one is weirdly entertaining. It doesn’t make a lick a sense, but it’s strangely enjoyable to just completely lose yourself in the flow of this one and just let it take you to whatever nutty place it sees fit to. While it’s not as funny as Parenting is Easy, I Swear, somehow it seems more consistent with its own internal logic (or lack thereof). I dunno, I’m not even sure I can even explain it.

Whatever, I’m drunk.

I also have to say that I love the idea that Pinkie has a secret veggie stash that she thinks no one knows about.

Who would like this: If you enjoy complete and utterly nonsensical randomness and/or happen to be totally wasted, this might just be up your alley. Who knows?


Poniocracy by sunnypack

What I see: When David volunteered to be part of a cryogenic experiment he thought he'd be at the forefront of human technology, spearheading research and development.

Unfortunately politics doesn't work that way.

Lucky for him, the science was solid... For ten thousand years.

Judging by its cover: As unoriginal as “guy gets transported due to cryogenic experiment gone awry” is, I do have to give this fic credit for something, and that’s giving us HiE without resorting to the “POOF magic brought me here don’t ask me how” shtick. I don’t care if it’s an old sci-fi trope instead, I’ll take it.

Thoughts coming out: Well, this starts out with an interesting bit of national pride:

While most of the world thought that the Australians were too busy drinking beers near a barbeque and riding kangaroos, the Australians came up with a brilliant idea:

Why not preserve the best of humanity in cryogenics?

That’s right! Australia came up with the idea of cryogenics! But I assume it was only so that they could get Crocodile Dundee to live forever.

Imagine, what if Albert Einstein could help us now? Quite possibly in the near future we’d have presumably cured cancer, old-age, HIV, poverty, hunger, achieved world peace and a whole myriad of things.

Uh, look, Einstein was smart, but he wasn’t God.

Well, to be fair, I don’t think this story is taking its premise very seriously. In fact, it’s playing it pretty loosey-goosey with the plot, plunging into odd asides like this one:

Meanwhile, the Australian parliament had an argument over the funding of this project.

“We simply can’t have this!” yelled one of them.

“Well we’re right and you’re wrong, because we were voted in!” yelled the other half.

The others were screaming other similarly logical arguments.

As per usual, the debate drifted off to matters of scandalous behaviour, general name-calling and bringing up the past and rubbing it in each other’s faces.

Which, let’s be honest about this, was the same as a divorce.

Um… how… topical?

You know, at first it was just the Einstein reference, but I’m starting to get a real Idiocracy vibe from this whole thing–

And like a divorce, the original subject matter was forgotten. The original site of the lab was bulldozed over and a fast food restaurant chain replaced the once complex and multi-million dollar facility.

Oh wow. Okay, yeah. We’re definitely in Idiocracy territory here.

*At this point, John finally noticed the title of the fic he was reading*

Okay. Wow. Took me long enough. Yep, I’m an idiot.

So anyway, humanity destroys the planet and flees on spaceships, leaving our protagonist sealed inside his cryogenic chamber.

Ships took off to look for other planets to explore and inhabit.

Hopefully this time, they won’t make the same mistakes.

The Gorlians didn’t keep their hopes up. The humans still had Google+.

Um… yes. Again, how very topical.

Anyway, yadda yadda yadda, dude wakes up in Equestria, shenanigans slowly begin to ensue. You get the idea.

Who would like this: Honestly, this is one of those comedies where you feel like it’s trying too hard to be funny and off-the-cuff. The humor is in a similar vein as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, full of dry wit, except it usually comes across as rather strained and forced. There are a couple of decent lines in here, but it just doesn’t have all the pieces to really pull it off. Oddly enough, it’s actually nothing like Idiocracy in terms of humor, so if that was your draw I’d recommend skipping it.


Scootaloo and the Danger Death Box 4000 by shortskirtsandexplosions

What I see: Scootaloo discovers an empty cardboard box behind the post office.

This is where her day begins.

Judging by its cover: I’m getting a bit of a Calvin and Hobbes vibe from this one. It’s probably just the promise of a cardboard box.

It’s amazing what they do with corrugated cardboard these days.

Thoughts coming out: Skirts seems to be leaning pretty heavily on the “adorability” appeal in this one. The opening features a lot of descriptions of Scootaloo adorably discovering this box before adorably fidgeting over it before adorably taking it and adorably playing with it. That seems to be what passages like these are trying to reinforce:

With a squirrely pounce, Scootaloo leaps into the box.  She winces from the rustling sound of the whole container jostling with her meager weight, but she manages to keep the marker in her mouth all the same.  She shuffles her hooves, turning counter-clockwise like a cornered kitten.

It’s pretty adorable.

But as Scootaloo plays with her new box, she starts to use that, um… Bob, help me out here, what’s that thing you use with boxes?

Right, yeah, that thing. Scootaloo uses her imagey-nation and pretends she’s flying in a plane, free of worries, enjoying the serene skies of Eques–

Scootaloo gasps, her violet eyes flying open.  She leans forward, staring out the elliptical viewer.  The clouds are suddenly pockmarked with black and brown splashes of flak.

Wait, what?

Shrapnel streaks at her from every angle.  Teeth gnashing, Scootaloo jerks right on the flight stick.  The world spins, and suddenly the looming spires of Canterlot sway into view.  It is swarming all over with griffon pirates.  Innocent ponies flee the city gates, screaming and sobbing as the avian fiends descend on them with scimitars and manablasters.  Towers explode in flame while a zeppelin or two crash in smoke and ash.  A few pirates twirl about, suddenly gawking at the filly's incoming aircraft.

Um… okay! So Scoots suddenly goes total Snoopy the WWI Flying Ace on these mofos.

Geez, I’m just flying through the pop culture references today.

So after shooting down a bunch of griffons, Scoots travels under the sea, does battle with sea monsters, then goes to space, before Derpy accidentally crashes into Scootaloo and ruins her box, and makes it up to Scoots by taking her for a ride on her back.

Okay, so there are a lot of things this fic does right. Frankly, it’s hard not to get behind a premise like this. The complete lack of dialogue in this fic is an interesting touch and really adds to the imagination scenes, although in the ending scene it becomes a bit distracting. The descriptions are appropriately vivid, and all told it’s a perfectly fun little story. There isn’t really a message to this one, it’s just a very light-hearted piece about Scootaloo being a kid.

But like a bunch of skirts’ fics, I find myself confronting the question of “why is this a MLP fic?” I think here it was the sudden imaginary griffon war and the strong implication that modern military machines exist in this world that gave me pause. It’s the kind of thing that I wouldn’t notice if it was just set on Earth and these were just regular people, but once it’s supposed to be ponies in Equestria I get really distracted by it. You could swap out all the names and Equestria references in this story and it wouldn’t make much difference. Even Scootaloo feels pretty interchangeable, and for a story that’s supposed to be exploring the depths of her imagination, the lack of deeper character exploration (and by “deeper” I mean more than “she wants to go on cool adventures”) made this fic feel rather empty.

Who would like this: Scootaloo fans might enjoy this one (even if she did feel somewhat interchangeable), as would readers who enjoy children just being generally adorable and imaginative. But if you’re expecting something with more seriousness, or perhaps a strong message, you’re not really going to find it here.


Pinkie Pie’s Last Nightmare Night by Admiral Biscuit

What I see: Pinkie Pie loves Nightmare Night.  She loves dressing up, and she loves candy.  Most of all, she loves pranking ponies.  One year she goes too far.

Judging by its cover: Hey, more Pinkie Pie comedy time is fine by me.

Thoughts coming out: This one pretty much hinges on the joke at the end, which is okay, but… well, honestly, there’s not much more to say about this one. It’s just okay. There’s a couple of good laughs to be had here, but the super short length of this works against it; if this had been fleshed out just a bit more, I think it could have become something more memorable. As is, it just doesn’t have any staying power.

Who would like this: You wouldn’t be losing much reading this, given how short it is, but I don’t feel like you’d be gaining much reading it, either. It’s got a couple of laughs, at least, but I’d recommend skipping this one.


Vinyl’s Heritage by DemonBrightSpirit

What I see: Octavia and Vinyl have been dating for months, but neither has had a chance to introduce their significant other to their families.  Vinyl always dodges the issue, but when Octavia is insistent they have a fight.  This leaves Vinyl with no other option than to have Octavia over to meet her parents.

Maybe she should have told Octavia who she really was?

Judging by its cover: Please don’t be a vampire, please don’t be a vampire, please don’t a vampire…

Thoughts coming out: Well, she’s not a vampire, so I’ll give this fic that much.

I can’t really talk about this fic without talking about the big reveal. So the big revelation of this one is that Vinyl’s family are nobility, and Vinyl’s mother a one-dimensionally haughty, racist snob who cares naught for her daughter’s happiness and sees Octavia as a lowly commoner unworthy of her daughter (she’s a really one-dimensional character). Octavia tells her off, and Vinyl loves Octavia all the more for it. Although, as we’re told by Vinyl, her mother is going to try to make their lives a living hell now, so they start making plans to leave Canterlot. And that’s where it ends.

I actually like the fact that there are serious consequences to pissing off nobility in this story, and the author didn’t just try to make Vinyl’s mother some instantly redeemed character who suddenly goes from racist snob to enlightened mother at the end, or who just dies or similarly vanishes from view so that no consequences arise from this. That said, it would have been nice if those consequences had been shown, rather than merely told to the audience as conjecture.

This fic has a couple of interesting ideas, but all in all it could have done a fair amount more to explore these themes and expound upon the consequences of Vinyl and Octavia’s actions. I see the potential for an interesting story here, but it needs a whole lot more meat.

Who would like this: Octy x Vinyl fans will probably like this, although I wouldn’t say there’s enough here to appeal to anyone else.


MATURE STORIES

(Don't worry, there's nothing too explicit posted below, and no direct links to mature content are provided. But fair warning if you tend to avoid this stuff.)


My Best Friend, Luna by Flammenwerfer

What I see: By the mysterious workings of the universe and a spell gone wrong, Anonymous lands in the throne room... hard enough to knock him out. After a week in the castle medical wing to treat his wounds, he learns he will have to get used to these anthropomorphic ponies as well as cope with the fact that he will never be able to return to Earth. Being able to stay in the castle indefinitely for his troubles, Anon is able to finally, formally meet Princess Luna in a very personable setting. The two, more alike than they ever anticipated, quickly befriend each other and cherish each other's company.

Of course, as Luna's only (and naturally, best) male friend, and as Anon's best female friend, the two fall into a realm of new possibilities as they become closer with the passage of time... many benefits of knowing each other so well and being unmistakably attracted to each other, as well as the potential awkwardness and fallout of their choices.

Judging by its cover: So this sounds like it’s going for the romantic clop angle. Let’s see if it can hold off on getting to the sex immediately. Oh yeah, and back to “POOF magic I'm in Equestria now!”

Also, this line in bottom of the description made me laugh:

Shameless clop with a story. I regret nothing.

Dude, if there’s still a story involved, it’s not shameless at all. You can’t have romance and still call it shameless. I call foul.

Thoughts coming out: So wouldn’t you know, you Anon is doing some office work for Celestia, casually chatting before he has a flashback to ten months prior, immediately after he arrived in Equestria and when he made friends with Luna. Why the flashback? Hell if I know, ‘cause it only muddles the story flow. But hey, good thing for Anon he wound up in an anthro universe so he doesn’t have to feel guilty about being sexually attracted to the princesses.

Honestly, there wasn’t a whole lot to mock in this story (yet). Yeah, there is the occasional odd POV shift and the protagonist is probably a little too perceptive of Luna’s emotions to be believable, but it at least seems to be taking this premise with a degree of seriousness. There is a genuine attempt to build character here and to establish an arc with Luna and this protagonist. It also doesn’t immediately jump for the clop appeal factor, so I gotta give it props for that.

Who would like this: I wouldn’t necessarily hold this up as a great story, but given its premise, it’s actually pretty tolerable. If you happen to be into this premise, then you’ll probably really like this. If not, this ain’t going to convince you otherwise.


“What are you writing now?”

“A children’s book,” Velvet replied. “About bears.”

“Didn’t you hate those?.”

“I find them dumb, disgusting, smelly, dangerous, and stupidly obsessed with honey,” Velvet said, nodding. “Bears are bad too.”

-Parenting is Easy, I Swear

JohnPerry · 340 views · Report

Comments

#1456082 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

I still can't get over the fact that my piece of shit story about Apple Bloom not liking rocks actually hit the feature box.

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#1454303 · 1w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

What is your opinion of Trixie? –Xhoral1865

JP: Never heard of her.

:rainbowlaugh:

#1424732 · 4w, 1d ago · · ·

Your thoughts on my story are certainly interesting and provide me with a new outlook on it. Let's just say that I didn't think a few things through while I was writing it (since it was created in one sitting)... :twilightblush:

#1413197 · 4w, 6d ago · · ·

Apparently you waited until the last minute to write a scientific article on procrastination!

How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done By John Perry

#1404792 · 5w, 4d ago · · ·

I like your "Feature Box Suffering" banner.

P.S. You should totally review Mr. OOC Princess x human romance's entire catalog. I'd even be honored to riff some of them with you (I've done one already!).

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