• Member Since 3rd Sep, 2011
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PresentPerfect


Fanfiction masochist. :B She/they https://ko-fi.com/presentperfect

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  • 1 week
    Fic recs, July 12th!

    Maybe I should just switch to posting on Fridays. c_c For one, I wouldn't be competing with PaulAsaran, but more importantly, I can't seem to remember to post on Thursdays anymore. >_<

    Also what the heck are those ratings, oh my god :O

    H: 4 R: 2 C: 3 V: 0 N: 0

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    7 comments · 180 views
  • 2 weeks
    Fic recs, July 5th!

    TheQuinch has done a reading of Cold in Gardez's The Destruction of the Self!

    I spent all of yesterday collating the hit singles of 1967 and forgot to post! c_c;; On the upside, extra review!

    H: 2 R: 3 C: 4 V: 0 N: 0

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    5 comments · 159 views
  • 2 weeks
    State of the Writer, June 2024!

    Another year older and deeper in hecc D:<

    I kinda forgot to write this up yesterday. :B For no good reason. The reason being that I was not having a good day lol

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    12 comments · 145 views
  • 3 weeks
    Fic recs, June 27th!

    gotdang, errbody be postin' reviews today! :B but hey, a normal review blog on a normal Thursday, what could be nicer? :D

    Read More

    3 comments · 193 views
  • 4 weeks
    Fic recs, June 20th!

    ...Yaknow, I had kind of been looking forward to having a nice, meaty review plate for today's post as we get back into weekly reviews hopefully, but I just realized, I haven't listened to a single fic all week. D: First it was because of Jenny Nicholson's incredibly engrossing four-hour video about a Star Wars hotel, and then it was because I don't know, the timing just keeps not working out!

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    2 comments · 232 views
Jun
15th
2024

Fic recs, June 14th! · 2:40am June 15th

Notable FoE author Fiaura has had a most bizarre misfortune occur! Admiral Biscuit explains.

TheQuinch has done a reading of NorrisThePony's Many Mirrors! He's also remastered his reading of The Needle!

I should've posted this yesterday, of course, gonna try and get back into the Thursday schedule. >_> But here are five stories I read, mostly a couple prequels to things in my audiobook list as well as the next entries in a few ongoing series. I'm doing what I can!

H: 1 R: 1 C: 3 V: 0 N: 0

A Silent Film by CrackedInkWell
Genre: Epistolary Horror
Okay, I think I have a lot to unpack with this one. For starters, I feel like "written lost media horror" has got to be something I've seen before, though I can't bring any examples to mind. Surely, if I have, I've never seen it done with a silent film before, and that's pretty darn cool. This being in epistolary format works well with the description of the movie, since it allows the narrator to add his own thoughts and fill us in on a couple of important details we might otherwise not know if we're not as into old movies as he is. (I once accused this author of writing self-inserts to talk about his own interests; it's honestly good to see he has even more to talk about!) That being said, the framing around it, while generally following what you'd expect for lost media, doesn't work quite as well simply because of the epistolary format; too much precision, the usual downfall thereof. And while you'll definitely notice proofreading issues, I will give the author credit for the first comment on the story, in which he mentions how hard it is to find editors for fanfiction. That is 100% valid. So in total, we've got a pretty interesting piece that maybe offers more for being original than necessarily being effective, but I'm inclined to view it on the positive side. It's certainly nothing I've read before!
Recommended If You're Into Silent Movies or Lost Media Horror

The School Talent Show by Blackbelt
Sequel to Scootalong to the Cheer
Genre: Lunaverse Comedy
The school talent show is happening soon, and Diamond Tiara doesn't have anything planned for her and Scootaloo to do!
It's maybe weird to say about a story that's… over ten years old? D: Oh my god, help. Anyway, I'm really enjoying this new Diamond/Scootaloo thing. :) This unmarked sequel is from DT's point of view, and oh my god, she's got it bad. XD The author, perhaps wisely, decided not to focus too much on the 'practicing our routine' segment of this Lunaverse Show Stoppers tribute, instead giving us setup, a few glimpses at comically bad acts preceding and following theirs, and of course lots of DT being unable to say what's on her mind. And a Homestarrunner reference. It's incredibly cute. And a step up in writing ability from the previous story! It's still not going to be of much interest to anyone unfamiliar with this 'verse, as always, but I liked it.
Recommended for Shippers

Sort of Harpflank and Sweets but Not Really: Traditions by Arcainum
Genre: Ponies Drinking
You know what day it is! And you know what that means…
Okay, so, look at those tags. Romance. Sad. When I tell you this story has a major mood swing at the end, it won't come as a spoiler. But it very likely will come as a surprise. Because the bulk of this? Funny drunk-times with Vinyl and Octavia as they talk about what ponies probably like what other ponies and it's funny fun fun fun. But oh god. The reason why this is happening. It's not just an anniversary, yo. Arcainum was a great one.
Recommended

'It is all Hell/It Is All Hell' by It Is All Hell
Genre: Dark/Comedy
You know what I haven't done for a while? Follow someone without reading any of their stories! So here's It Is All Hell, the author whose interview I responded to a few months ago, and this, their sole story, give or take a few reuploads. No relation? Anyway, this is an anthology of two very short stories. The first involves Rainbow Dash's internal monologue as she recoils in horror from a pile of bodies, which could be a dream? It's quite visceral and definitely captures the mindset of someone in that moment, even if it doesn't sound a whole lot like Dash. Lots of swearing, you see. But it's quite artful! The second story is considerably more meta, involves Rarity complaining (silently) to the author about being in a fanfic, and is considerably more irreverent if no less artful. It honestly reminds me of some early-fandom meta pieces, things Argembarger used to do and so forth. Clearly, this has drawn divided opinions, judging by the vote bar, and it's hard to say who would be most likely to enjoy both pieces. Well, the first is for fans of dark fics, the second for meta laughs.
Split Recommendation, See Above

The Setting Sun by Krickis
Review #8700!
Genre: AU Drama/Tragedy
Once upon a time, a young mare met a dashing military stallion. They were destined for each other, but this was no fairy tale…
Oh man, you guys. Oh my god. Oh hot dang and a half. And three quarters. This is the good shit, y'all. This is why I've been so keen on Who We Become for so long. :D Krickis is just so good at not only creating strong original characters, but writing tragedies. And in this story, she teaches us how to combine these for maximum effect as we meet two ponies who've only ever really been in the background of WWB: Sunset's parents.

God, I don't want to spoil anything, but I also want to go over this with a fine-toothed comb because there's so much to talk about? Her father is a stuffy introvert, duty-bound to the very end. Her mother was 11 years his junior when they married, basically just starting to find her way in life before getting hitched to a stallion who really only cared about appearances. Neither of them is a monster from the beginning, but one poor decision spurred by the pressures of their social class and those around them pushes them together in a way that only serves to bring out the worst in both of them. Brass Badge, modelling the behavior of his own father, only ever gives voice to criticism, despite having a great deal of care for those around him. And Golden Lace takes to drink, frivolity, and ignoring a daughter she never really wanted in the first place.

Through this all, we get a strong message about your abusive parents: they're people who lived full lives before you came around, who were shaped by their own circumstances and abuse into the creatures you came to know. They perpetuate the cycle of abuse because they don't know anything else, and while none of that excuses any of their actions, neither does it prevent them from maybe growing later in life, figuring things out. Nor does it prevent you from being the one who can actually break that cycle, for all that we know what Sunset had to go through to get to that place herself.

And there's an entire subplot I haven't even touched on. :3 It's too good.

This story will surprise you with its realism and touch you with its tragedy. You'll see major events in Sunset Shimmer's life from the POV of parents who largely were not otherwise part of it. You'll get to watch scenes from earlier in the series play out from a different angle! And you might be amazed at what you learn. This is one of the strongest entries in WWB canon, and an absolute masterclass in character writing.
Highly Recommended

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Comments ( 27 )

Golden Lace in particular is a favorite of mine from Krickis' various stories. To the point I've (with permission) used her in one of my own stories. Krickis in general is just a fantastic writer.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786405
Pardon? (I can be a bit dense and the eyeroll is making me think I've offended somehow.)

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786406
which of your stories, silly :P

5786407
Ah. Sorry.
This one. It's not finished yet. But getting close.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786408
aha! 🙄 that was on my radar already, but now I will track it! :3

5786410
Oh! Thank you. I've been trying to build up motivation to get over my ending anxiety and finish it.

Thank you so much for your review! I'm so delighted you enjoy the story this much, it means a lot to me :yay:

Funny thing is I almost didn't write that one. When I first came up with it during the writing of Looking Glass, I thought, like, who would want to read a story about awful people being awful to each other? Then I watched the BoJack Horseman episode "Time's Arrow" and realized I would want to read that, so I wrote it after all. I'm so extremely glad I did, I enjoy it immensely and to see other people enjoy it just as much as I do reminds me why I write!

PaulAsaran
Site Blogger

Haven't read It is all Hell/It Is All Hell yet, but it's on my schedule, so sometime this year?

I aim to read as much of the Who We Become series as I can, although now I'm dedicated to taking it on chronologically. I'm not surprised to see an entry in it doing so well here.

Wow! Krickis was not on my radar until now, but that story goes on the TBRSooner list! Looking at her stories, there are several others that look good, too!

It doesn't sound a whole lot like Dash.

I saw this coming, ha. Because I foregrounded certain aspects of her character, then pushed those to such an extreme, it's unsurprising when readers don't recognise this as Rainbow. Actually, in 2018, Pascoite felt the same in relation to the story I based this new one on, which led me to see that I'd fucked up Rainbow's voice. In the new story, I reckon I fixed her voice - but did so in a way that gives readers the impression that I didn't fix it at all, LOL.

Thank you! 🙂 :)

"It Is All Hell" is on my radar as well. As with Paul, "sometime this year" is about the most precise I can be here. Looking just now, it seems the second story in the anthology has been renamed to "[Bonus comedy story for 1k words, LOL]", so make of that what you will!

Gotta love how this blog has only been out for seven hours, and It Is All Hell has not only added this review to his fic’s description, but also has Logan and Paul with “upcoming” in place of a link, all off then mentioning it here. :rainbowderp: I can safely say I’ve never seen that before, and if I have, never so quickly after finding out said review might happen this year.

As for Krickis’ Who We Become series… it’s that good, huh? :unsuresweetie: What’s kept me off it is mostly a combination of the long length of most of the stories, and that most entries are EqG (sure, some are FiM only, but FOMO will lure one to read those that aren’t after doing pony-only ones). But every bit of acclaim of it I read does make me feel that big more guilty about not doing so…

5786464
To be fair, It Is All Hell will have known already. Paul has his well organised bookshelf system for upcoming reviews, and in my case IIAH and I have communicated via PM. Actually putting "upcoming" in a longdesc is something new to me, admittedly.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786412
write for yourself! :D a piece of advice that continues to pay dividends

5786424
what, wait, how c_c I've been popping my way through WWB pretty steadily for the past several years and they consistently end up both highly recommended and on my top ten lists, every year!

5786464
I mean, if you don't care about/know who Sunset Shimmer is, a series focusing on her is likely not gonna do a whole lot for you <_< the first few stories do give us an origin for her outside of canon, but later stories expect the reader to be up to date on at least the major EQG specials

...I mean, there's also of course no time like the present to start getting into Equestria Girls, just sayin' :V

5786487
Present, my friend. :rainbowderp: Have you never read any of my blogs where an EqG fic pops up? They and my words therein make it abundantly clear I have seen the whole series. I was talking purely in terms of ponyfic here, and the series not providing any of the personal dopamine effect that FiM does. It's not just because it jettisons fantasy ponies for a modern Earth-like world with humans, though that is a big part of it.

As for Sunset, she's a curious case where most of her fics I don't like because they involve EqG or elements of it, but because so many people think she's the GOAT (she may well be the only MLP character I can say is good but is also objectively overrated), there's so much good writing about her that some of it's even solid enough to work for an EqG-shy spirit like myself.* And any fic set before Sunset crossed the portal doesn't even have to worry about that. :yay:

Anyway, I have such a queue when it comes to longfics that those which don't scratch the personal itch but do the opposite, regardless of their quality, are going to have a hard time getting read. Especially when they're jump-starting a series of many longfics. This phantom's life doesn't revolve around ponies, you know! :raritywink:

* This situation is sort of the inverse of Spike, a character I adore but whom I don't tend to read that much focused fics of, because many authors don't have an interest in writing him well and just use him as a prop, the butt of jokes or include him as an obligation, and many who do want to do well by him repeat the same clichés in their attack against Spike Abuse.

5786424

Wow! Krickis was not on my radar until now, but that story goes on the TBRSooner list!

I'll add my voice in here as a big thumbs up for Krickis' work in general. The entire Who We Become series is a masterpiece. (A very painful one at parts, but still a masterpiece.) There's a lot of words to get through, but Krickis is a top notch author. If you've got any interest at all in tragi-romance fiction (or The Gay), she's a must read.

5786487
It's probably because the stories you reviewed were tagged EQG, which I have logarithmically diminishing interest in. If you had started with The Setting Sun I might have taken notice. But honestly? Pure EQG fics, even if receiving top marks, just don't engage my interest anymore.

It took me forever to get to The Silver Standard because of the same reason, so it's not like I don't realize that there are major exceptions to my sharply defined preferences, but they are vanishingly rare.

5786490

"It's not just because it jettisons fantasy ponies for a modern Earth-like world with humans, though that is a big part of it."

What?! You don't like that they sucked all the uniqueness out of Equestria it and replaced it with a clone of a clone of every pithed-frog, vaguely-magical animated high-school series ever produced?
(Not that I have strong feelings about it either way, mind you. :trollestia:)

5786492

"There's a lot of words to get through..."

Not a problem for me. Rather the opposite, in fact. Really good, engaging writing? Great! There's an enormous amount of it? Even better!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786490
You wanna know the primary reason I review so many fanfics?

I can't fucking remember my reactions to stories unless I write 'em down. :B

Which is to say, I definitely cannot remember anyone else's reactions XD But also, I legitimately thought you were one of those people who just did not engage with EQG content. Who exist and are valid if missing out on some good stuff! (And a lot of garbage lol...)

This phantom's life doesn't revolve around ponies, you know! :raritywink:

I understand what all of these words mean, but not in this order ;D

5786414
5786461
The deal with "It is All Hell" is that the author goes back periodically to delete the first chapter and post a new one. So it's already been through several incarnations that you probably haven't read, and most of the voting is accumulated over all that. By deleting chapter 1 versus editing it, the comments from previous versions also go away, though the author wasn't aware of that until recently, so it wasn't intentional.

5786515

The deal with "It is All Hell" is that the author goes back periodically to delete the first chapter and post a new one.

Hmm, under normal circumstances knowing that might well be enough for me to decide not to review it, as the notion does not appeal to me at all. However, I've already told the author I'll review it and I'll stick to that. I expect I'll add a note to the review pointing out what you've mentioned.

5786505

You wanna know the primary reason I review so many fanfics?

I can't fucking remember my reactions to stories unless I write 'em down. :B

To be fair, that is why I do too. Well, minus the "so many part. :twilightsheepish:

Which is to say, I definitely cannot remember anyone else's reactions XD

You know, that's fair. Like a lot of things in life, I can struggle with remembering many things, but where people I interact with that I greatly like, respect and enjoy the company of, facts stick like glue*. And I can often make the mistake of thinking they remember as much about myself.

* Four such examples off the top of my head regarding yourself: You hate batponies, can't stand either OctaScratch or Twilestia as pairings, are pretty big on Rarijack (probably the least unique of these four bits! :rainbowwild:) and are far fonder of random fics than myself.

Who exist and are valid if missing out on some good stuff! (And a lot of garbage lol...)

The thing I've increasingly come to realise is, there are always going to be fics we'd for sure adore but miss due to its ostensible character/genre, no matter what recommendations we see for it. There's just too much Ponyfic, between the 152K live, the other 70K delisted or deleted available via Fimfetch, and that only posted outside of Fimfic. Even yourself has only managed to cove 8,700 of those 220K-odd fic, not even 4%.

We're always going to be missing good-to-great stuff. It's important to find people whose opinion you trust to help direct you to more great stuff (that's what you and I are here for!), but I think it's equally important to be at peace with never getting even close to everything worthwhile even just personally. Mentally healthier that way.

5786535
5786515
5786414
5786505

The deal with "It Is All Hell" is that the author goes back periodically to delete the first chapter and post a new one.

Not exactly. I published a story, "It Is All Hell." I added related bonus material (500 words) as a chapter. I separately published an unrelated story, "It Is All Hell." I decided that the first "It Is All Hell" wasn't good enough. Because the bonus material is too short to publish on its own, I deleted the second "It Is All Hell" and republished it as a chapter. I deleted the first "It Is All Hell." The bonus material became the first "It Is All Hell." I decided that the second "It Is All Hell" wasn't good enough. I added an unrelated story (520 words) as a chapter. I deleted the second "It Is All Hell."

All that shit's probably over, which is partly why I asked Paul and Loganberry for reviews. And the "probably" is partly why I also asked them to "please check in with me close to the end of your process." I thought I'd provided enough information in PMs, but seemingly not. If you'd prefer to cancel (or in the case of Perfect, delete) your review, that's no problem. And Perfect, sorry about the title - I figured you'd see it, but I also didn't mind if the outdated title appeared in the review. In fact, I apologise to all four of you - I've been back for less than six months, but I've already created such a fucking headache of context (i.e., the previous paragraph) and dragged you into it.

5786536
Indeed so. Several of us took ages to get to The Silver Standard for such reasons, and look what happened there! But I like your comment about being at peace with the knowledge that we'll never get to everything. Better that way than having a fandom where there are only 100 fics worth reading and then you're stuck. :twilightsmile:

5786624
I can only speak for myself, but I'm fine with what you said and I'm happy to review when the time comes. And yep, I'll still PM you when it's getting close. Thanks for the explanation. Of I don't understand something properly, it's usually my fault. :rainbowwild:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5786624
lol, that just means you're interesting enough to have a noticeable effect on things around here! :D

PaulAsaran
Site Blogger

5786624
[exaggerated British accent]
Cancel? Cancel? When it's already in the Hard Schedule? Are you mad, man?
[/accent]

When you see it going into my "Now Reading" Bookshelf, you'll know I'm a week away from reading it. After that it'll still be weeks – probably months at this point – before the actual review comes out, but as far as the review itself I think the day of reading amounts to the "end of the process", as you say.

5786675
Nice humour, Mr. Tired Luna. 🙂

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