So I thought to myself, I read an awful lot of stuff right now, and some people will like what I like, and some will like what I don't like, so why not include everything instead of just what I want people to read?
So what I'll do from now on is collect whatever I read into small mini-reviews and post them three or five at a time, just whenever I have enough to make a post. This one's gonna be bigger, because I have a lot more stuff to report on. I'll link to each story, give it a genre tag (generally not the sort that you'll see in the actual "tags" area, and thus far better more descriptive), a little bit about what it is and what I thought about it, and a level of recommendation: highly recommended, recommended, vaguely recommended, not recommended. Also possible will be things like "recommended for X" (or, in this case, "troll recommended"), for people who like specific kinds of stories.
Note that recs will be for mature and non-mature fics alike. I will put a nice bold Mature after the title so you don't have to violate your eyes.
What Rarity Needs by EbonMane
Genre: February fic
Don’t let that genre tag scare you off too much; it’s February because it doesn’t really sell the ship at the end all that well. Furthermore, the twist is pretty easy to figure out early on. What impressed me with this story, though, was the handling of multiple ships (all of which I really like!), not to mention some fun characterization for Big Macintosh.
Recommended for Shippers
No Quixote Here by RedSquirrel456
Technically, I didn’t read this yesterday, just the epilogue that fimfic never told me was still unread in my favorites. :| But this is a great fic, especially for people who love watching Blueblood be a doofus, because that’s what it’s about! I can’t remember how well it did, but it was in a writeoff, possibly the latest one, and I loved it there too. Now you can all enjoy Prince Blueblood Does Lots of Stupid Stuff!
Watching Paint Dry by Eustatian Wings
Genre: Character musings
No relation to the fic about Pinkie Pie, which apparently came out at the same time. I described this as “boring, but not dull”. There’s a good bit of imagery and backstory for the CMCs in this that works very nicely. Just, not a whole lot goes on. Also, they’re apparently teenagers, which is very easy to miss, judging by other comments. It does explain Sweetie’s philosophical musings, at least.
Sisterly Bonding by Goris the Deathclaw Mature
Here’s how a Goris fic works: You’re a pony. You’re doing something and meet a character from the show. She decides, somehow, that she wants to have sex with you. Something goes terribly wrong. You’d think this would get old after a while, but 30+ stories later and Goris hasn’t lost his touch. Not all of his works are equally good, but this one, featuring Flitter and Cloud Chaser, is actually one of his best. Note that the final scene won’t make a whole lot of sense unless you’re familiar with Goris’s work; after the first dozen or so, he starts building a narrative.
Love and Roadkill by Fiddlebottoms Mature
Genre: Trolly fetish fic
You will never read a more emotional, sensual story about Rarity getting run over by a sentient car. I cried.
Dark Meets LD for a Physical by Dashiel Mature
If you don’t know about Dashiel, you won’t know what to expect from this story. If you do, you may be disappointed; I was, somewhat. There’s not a lot of substance here, the twist is pretty well telegraphed, and all that’s left is a healthy dose of squick on behalf of the nurse. According to the description, this was written for someone else, so all I can say is... I guess that’s someone’s fetish?
Variables by The Descendant
I really wanted this story to be about a particular thing happening (if you don’t mind spoilers, you can view my comment on it to see precisely what I’m talking about). That thing does not happen. Yet, its not happening, in hindsight, is a good thing... Except that it’s really not, and far crueler than had that thing happened in the first place. This is a story about Spike working himself up to doing that thing, by talking to Discord’s statue. I thought it was a tad long in the middle, and there are quite a few instances where the author’s headcanon encroaches on the story (numerous references to “The Witches” confounded and irritated me), but this is good writing, as Descendant tends to deliver. Admittedly, it hasn’t aged well.
Red Clay by NorsePony Mature
Genre: Worldbuilding and wait, why is there sex?
Call me unobservant: it says “Mature: sex” right there in the description, but nevertheless it snuck up on me. That actually speaks a lot to the first half of this story, an excellent suggestion of backstory, as well as additional characterization, for Luna. It takes place in the midst of her journeying around the world to meet all the creatures upon whom the moon’s light falls, and with the shaman of a warrior zebra tribe (a pretty cool concept all on its own), she gets a taste of what it means to be who she is. And then they have sex. Yet, the flippancy of that phrase shouldn’t distract from the essence of the story. This is not something you read to get your ya-yas; it’s about fulfillment of primal desires, and in that way, the sex fits in well, especially given that it’s emotionally written.
The Cake Twins’ Surprise Party by Cloud Wander
This seems to be your standard sort of adorable fic: Pumpkin Cake is talking with her toys, they talk back to her, they all discuss the issues of throwing a surprise party for your twin when you are both 1 year old. There’s a heart-warming sort of resolution, Pound’s characterization is dutifully amusing, and just when you’re ready to write it off as yet another pointlessly cutesie-doot story, that last scene happens and casts the entire thing in a whole new light. I won’t say this is the best story ever, or that it’s particularly good, but the twist ending makes it memorable.