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PresentPerfect


Writer, RCL co-curator, EQD prereader, dramatic reader, VA, fic reviewer. Vote for my next fic to release!

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Nov
17th
2013

Fic recs, November 17th: Batpony edition! · 8:26pm Nov 17th, 2013

All right, here’s how this works. I read them in the order presented a-here. To save myself severe the headache, I'm not linking to the individual stories (you can find ‘em on the page) and I’ll be keeping these comments as short as possible, with single-letter scores. And of course, don’t read these if you plan to vote, unless you want to know which stories to avoid. Please note that all recommendations take place in the context of the contest and about halfway through, I was getting really tired of reading ._. (Stories that have been removed are scratched out.)

H: 1 R: 3 C: 8 V: 4 N: 26

A New Life of Darkness by Supersnot: A pony steals the Element of Honesty and is chased through Canterlot by a member of the Night Guard. Not actually funny. Author has issues with commas and Luna-speech, and uses quote marks for emphasis. N

Case and Gaze by I had no idea: One’s a pegasus, one’s a batpony: they’re cops. One is adorably bad at being a cop. Face-slapping puns abound. Not amazing, but definitely amusing. Good punchline. V

Legends of the Everfree by MLPxMaestro: Features breakneck pacing and characters talking with the narrator. Don’t really know or care what it’s about. DNF N

The Silver River Enchantment by ReifuTD: A band of foals goes off searching for ancient evil. I think. Feels like a first-time story. Contains the line “Can’t no pony let me pee.” N

Moonlight Becomes You by Dalek: The moon hasn’t risen (points for originality!) and Chrysalis is behind it. Written with an endearing amateurish earnestness. Features The Doctor, Fluffle Puff, and no actual bat pony characters. N

Nightfall: Luna’s Reunion by Georg: The “Nocturne” have built up a near-religion based around Princess Luna and the legends of her banishment. When she returns, she’s not quite what they expected, and they have no idea what to make of her. It doesn’t rise above “batpony creation story”, but it’s fascinatingly told from the perspective of a race, a culture, rather than any individual. It also characterizes Luna quite well and adds a new angle to the Nightmare Moon story. Ending gave me chills. R

Common Misconceptions of the Equine Bat by Harric Mills: Journalist writes article about an encounter with batponies and what he learned from it. Dull and a little too self-aware. N

Capes and Crusaders by Starhunter: A batpony from an old Order takes up the Mare-Do-Well name to fight crime in Manehattan and finds CMCs led by Babs. Amusing misunderstandings take place. Rather dialogue-heavy, and continually uses ‘people’, but otherwise good. C, if you don’t mind “people”.

The Secret Darkness by Coppermane: Batpony goes looking for her brother, finds out he’s in jail, gets herself thrown in jail to see him. Author likes using emdashes and doesn’t know how to insert information into a narrative, or how to name ponies. N

Through the Equestrian Gate by rockyrobben: High fantasy in a borderland setting based in a war that has nothing to do with ponies. Took me far too long to figure out this is actually supposed to be the afterlife. Main character not entirely likeable. Not awful. C, only if you like high fantasy in ponies.

Secluded by Innit: Breakneck self-insert. N

Batpony Quarantine by nucnik: Batponies normally echolocate, but some catch a disease (?) that allows them to see. I guess. DNF, not very interesting. N

Bad Moon Rising by ThunderTempest: Lightning Dust gets hit by ironylightning and is rescued by a batpony. Characterization is shaky, but the voice and narrative technique are pretty decent. Ending is ehh. V

Mottled Shadow by Inkyarn: Batpony colony starving, one colt decides to set off, risking ancient warnings to find food from a Shel Silverstein poem. Ends up in Ponyville and then I kinda stopped reading. Writing a bizarre mixture of purple and choppy; names a bizarre mixture of “actually pony” and “fantasy garbage”. N

Nocturna Eternal by SweetieBotError: The batpony nation is in peril and the captain of their guard debates whether or not they should strike out for the mythical land of Equestria. Standard slew of writing mistakes. Uses “thestrals”. N

I, Witness by LoyalLiar: Noir story with a batpony PI, told from the dame’s POV. I don’t feel like the character’s voice is terribly strong, and I’m not a fan of the illustrations, but this is still solidly good. Nice twist, and then dammit he had to call them “thestrals”. (Conversation with the author reveals this may be the only story to appropriate the term correctly! I still hate it though!) Still has an otherwise original concept for batponies and the Night Guard. R

Bats in the Old Apple Barn by adcoon: The CMCs tell scary stories about batponies. Scootaloo’s doesn’t sound like her telling it, Sweetie’s is interrupted by a lot of unrelated minutiae, Apple Bloom’s actually has nothing bad about it, but I liked Scoot’s better in general. Still pretty good, and has a nice twist on the “scary stories come true” trope. C, for CMC fans.

Pokéthulhu by Spinning_Rings: I can’t believe someone wrote a crossover with this. I wish it was better. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and isn’t terribly well written. N

Shadowtrotter: Arbitrary Batastrophic Constellations by Blue Pen: “Shadowrunish” cyberpunk with a batpony means “not really pony enough”. Plus, it’s full of little errors and paced way too fast. N

The Monster of Cane’s Hill by ArgonMatrix: A pony version of Frankenstein, set before the unification of the tribes. Crunchy prose cannot hide the fact that Victor Cane is not a pony name. Pretentious and purple, but not bad. C, if you don’t mind pretention.

Legend of the Thestrals by ShadowBrony: Awful title. Starts with YouTube link to Kingdom Hearts soundtrack. Plot involves Nightmare Moon’s banishment and rounding up of batponies by Celestia. Bad idea, lackluster story. N

In the Space of a Year by Access: Batpony goes home, things aren’t as they seem. Points for using Hollow Shades. One of the best entries that still feels like an amateur author. V

Establishing Luna’s Royal Guard by Zeck: Traces said guard’s history through various historical eras. Main character of first two chapters a little thick. Also uses Hollow Shades. Not amazing, but altogether decent, with a good ending. C, because it’s not quite good enough for a full R

Night Guard Origins by Wissle: Batpony guard tells batpony history and downfall thereof. Second story in a row where Discord creates batponies. Wall of text writing and unpronounceable MC name. N

Choosing of the Guard by Random_User: A batpony guard is selected to guard Twilight in Ponyville. (Why are all of these about the guards?) Interesting setup but ultimately an “OC meets the mane six in Ponyville” story, though all the characters are written well. C, if you can forgive the intro to Ponyville scene

Ghosts by Ponydora Prancypants (Reading by Illya Leonov: Really inventive and fantastical look at culture of batponies, called “khirala”, who act a bit more like bats than ponies. Excellent writing, as I expected from Ponydora, and a whole lot of worldbuilding and contemplation on war and the nature of Equestria. Transcends the bloody contest. H

Nightshift by AlwaysDressesInStyle: Batpony gets stuck guard Prince Blueblood, runs into beautiful mare who wants to off the Prince. Main character has ridiculous name, laughs at Garfield, really feels like a self-insert. Bogged down with lots of unnecessary details that take forever to get to the point. Not terrible except that it’s terrible. Had to quit after the single tear. N

HEY THERE’S ONE HERE THAT LOOKS FAMILIAR

Hidden Fangs by sharingan9001: Stranger shows up at Fluttershy’s door one night, tells her life story. Batpony’s name is essentially “at-bay”. And then the shipping happens in Fluttersht’s cottage. Contains some hilarious typos. N

Absolutely Batty by NotARealPonydotcom (Reading by VisualPony): A couple of friends in the Royal Guard end up as a couple. Amusing, but not terribly surprising. Both character names start with “Bright”. V

Sketchy Trust by Lastingimage24: A clumsy artist’s home is invaded by a cheeky batpony mare. Really bizarre and a little juvenile at times. Batpony is a hoot though. C, for the batpony

Nightmare Life by MusicMagic131: Batpony colt held in captivity by a mad scientist who’s emotionally abusive to him, sees Fluttershy one fateful Nightmare Night and falls in love with her. Toes a line between “not good” and “just interesting enough”. But what kind of a name is “Dr. Zoid”? DNF N

A Lost Diamond in the Rough by Umi Chou: Poor writing, lots of amateur mistakes. Not interesting enough to continue very long. DNF N

And Let Me Sing Among the Stars by CesareBlanc: The Mare in the Moon is still new enough that some ponies remember when she wasn’t there. An old batpony tries to cope with old prejudices during the new holiday celebrating her banishment and meets a mysterious earth pony who seems to be the last one interested in his kind. Lots of small quirks, as though translated from another language, but has potential to be great with the right touch. Not sure why it’s Random though. C, if you can stand lots of odd errors

Super Trampoline the Bat Pony’s Day as Presented Through Various Writing Paradigms by Super Trampoline: I was expecting “trying too hard” and got “completely uninteresting” instead. Not sure which would have been worse. N

Interview With a Batpony by Gulhero (Reading by Scribbler): Twilight interviews a batpony, learns lots of really dull worldbuildy things. Vaguely skirts by the Fimfiction “no scripts” rule. Have to admit I like “noctral” as a name for batponies. Don’t have to admit I like this, because I don’t. N

Life of a Bat Pony by ConnVolpe: Starts with a melodramatic birth scene. The rest is your standard outcast story. N

Stand Ready by JMac: A bunch of scenes from the life of a legendary former Night Guard. Uses “bat ponies” and “thestrals”. Not awful, but nor is it terribly interesting. Ending reminds me far too much of A Cup of Joe, and not nearly as good. N

Saros: The First Dream by short skirts and explosions: Far enough in the future that Twilight Sparkle is legendary, Luna’s student is having nightmares about batponies and Luna tells her the story of the first one to help calm her nerves. Hearkens back to season 1 fics about Celestia and Luna being actual goddesses. Long-winded but fascinating, and I realize skirts’ style really fits Luna as a narrative voice. Uses “sarosian” for batponies. R

Daughter of the Night, Sister of the Sun by CtrlAltDeleteMan: Apparently “Misc” means “not on Fimfiction”. Batponies are apparently vampires (or vampyr) in this one. Comes off as wish-fulfillment, with a pony quitting her job and then attacking her boss after revealing her true nature. And then making a rape joke. N

Metamorphosis, author unknown: Starts off with a tense shift and then a long description of the main character. Whose name is Midnight Bloodlust. Yeah, it’s one of those stories. At least it’s not locked anymore. N

Merry Moon Memorial by NukePone: There’s a > at the start of every line. I am not reading this. N

Memories Across a Moonlit Month, author unknown: A batpony musician relates her troubles to Princess Luna. Mostly she’s just sad because no one likes batponies. Problems with Elizabethan English. N

I never want to read about batponies ever again. WTG, EQD.

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Comments ( 23 )

In b4 InquisitorM unleashes his fury upon you.

Also, that's a lot of 'not recommended'. You're gonna be on enough enemies lists to put Richard Nixon to shame, PP.

No.

That is all.

And so my previously held belief that, by and large, batponies fics are utter garbage remains unchanged. Good to know that the people can still deliver the crap I've come to expect of them.

It was worth reading through all of your reviews just to see you get progressively angrier and less forgiving as it went on. And also for this line: “Can’t no pony let me pee.”

Ghosts was awesome, and as a follower of LoyalLiar's related stories I thoroughly enjoyed I, Witness. I also enjoyed Nightfall: Luna’s Reunion, but that's about all of these I managed to get read so it looks like I randomly chose fairly well.

This amount of utter crap really makes me sympathetic of you prereaders. May your mind be squelched of the trash presented here.

1515988
Are you me? Kindred spirits in "fandom sucks balls at world building/history/origins"?

1516326
I feel real bad for the ones on ficbox duty. I tried for one week: I quit pre-reading and stopped coming to FIMFiction for a week. How the mods here put up with it, I've no idea.

and contemplation on war and the nature of Equestria. Transcends the bloody contest.

I think you typoed that H. It should be a "watch the fucking show sometime." It's understandable, the keys are RIGHT next to each other.

>Batponies
Everyone writing them please just... stop.

1516791
Someone who shares my sentiment! Let's be best friends forever.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1515966
One common thread I noticed was a lot of writers with 1 story on Fimfic. I'm glad these people took it upon themselves to join the writing community for this contest and hope they continue on the bright and awful path they have chosen.

1515988
Sometimes a story just stops you in your tracks with utter what.

And I'm glad I could entertain. :B

1516022
skirts' entry was good, unsurprisingly. And while the writing has quirks, I really, really recommend And Let Sing Among the Stars. Writing aside, it's the entry that really stuck with me the most. It's fanciful and original and absolutely what this contest needed, which is why I'm sure it will never win. :B Of course, I doubt I will either, since I wrote shipping. Here's hoping for Ponydora.

1516791

Everyone writing them please just... stop.

yes, this, pls

1517252 I'm still too bitter about the end of Background Pony to spend much time reading anything by SS&E. Everytime I look at another story by him I just get pissed off all over again.

Looks like I missed yours, I will give it a read as well as And Let Sing Among the Stars.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1517577
Thank you. :D

Admittedly, this isn't skirts's best story, but it's decent, and certainly a fair sight better than most of the rest of the entries. :B

Just remember, this is Seth's fault.

And mine, I guess, for doing it to begin with.

But mostly his.

Imma write you batpony stories EVERY DAY! A daily story detailing the gloomy minutiae of their lives. A daily story in which they wander lost in their caverns, each refusing to take ownership of the growing guano problem. Stories where they voraciously chase moths for hours.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1517791
That's why I keep saying I don't want to read them ever again. SETH CAN REAP WHAT HE HATH SOWN

1517988
I will find you and I will stab you :|

1518616 Here's the start of my masterpiece. More to follow.

One fine summer night, Clip Clop was trotting through the darkened Gloomleaf forest, enjoying the way the moon glinted off the water of a nearby river.

"Oh, what a night!" Clip Clop said. "The stars are so... twinkly!"

Suddenly, a squeaking sound happened and Clip Clop looked up in a nearby tree to see a bat hanging there.

"Wow," Clip Clop said. "You're the cutest bat I've ever seen! Do you have a boyfriend?"

"Squeak, squeak!" said the bat.

"We should make babies!" Clip Clop replied.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1518705 I'M WORLD-BUILDING! THIS IS AMAZING STUFF! :flutterrage:

Okay, And Let Sing Among the Stars was an excellent recommendation. It's a damn shame that story got so few views.

Damn. And here I was about to recommend you the batpony story that Ether Echoes wrote. I know I did that already but I don't really care.

So I guess the question that's on my mind is, why did you do this again? I'm guessing you could have seen the results coming pretty easily. Were you just trying to spare the rest of us this timesink?

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1524561
yes and also I maybe have a problem :B

1525530
Don't we all :P

I have a couple things to say. One: I am necroing this because you just sent me here (lol), and Two: This gave me quite a few good laughs. Now that's what I call takin' the offal and makin' the good ol' haggis laddie! And I have remembered skirts' style. It's not too crazy--just wordy. But I'll try this one here :]

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4987086
Yeah, this is actually one of skirts's more reasonable stories, all things considered. :) Any of the meager recommendations I give in this blog are worth checking out.

4987129
They'd better be. ಠ_ಠ

Joking of course. Cheers bro.

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