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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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Mar
4th
2014

Fic recs, March 4th: AugieDog contest version! · 10:05pm Mar 4th, 2014

Expect lots of fic rec journals all in a row. There's a lot going on all of a sudden.

As likely everyone by now knows, AugieDog ran a fiction contest for the last two months based around Luna stories. I didn’t enter because reasons, but you’re darn right I’m going to read and review all the entries right now! I’m excited because A) there are three authors here I’ve never heard of, so there’s the possibility of finding more people to watch, and B) I didn’t enter and it’s not a writeoff, so the stakes are entirely different for me.

If it so happens that you are, in fact, AugieDog (and really, who among us isn’t?) then no peeking until you’ve read all the entries yourself. I’m serious, no spoilers and no skewing the vote, you go finish those stories up right this instant, mister.

Presented in the order Augie used in his journal.

H: 3 R: 1 C: 2 V: 2 N: 0

Day Dreams and Nightmares by Warren Hutch
Genre: Sisterly Bonding
Getting into this story, I was slightly concerned, because I know Warren Hutch primarily as a comedy writer, and it seemed he had taken a turn for the dark. I was not, however, disappointed, as things didn’t turn out quite like I thought they would at first. This is a fairly fluffy piece, even a tad silly despite the dark opening. Not a lot happens, but we do get to see Luna taking the consoling role toward her older sister, and that’s just wonderful. It’s the big selling point. Also, I thought the prose was fairly decent, full of good images and similes, so there’s that as well.
Recommended for Princess Fans

Dream a Dream by Jaestring
Genre: Dreams
This is a fairly standard sort of Luna-in-dreams fic, where she struggles with her own demons as well as those of others while trying to reconnect with her sister, etc. There are a couple nice scenes of Luna and Celestia doing just that, but overall I thought this was a little dull. Plus, I’m not terribly big on the “Dinky gets bullied because Derpy” angle (Luna enters Dinky’s dream at one point, which is how this comes into play). That said, I kind of like what this sets up, and I’d be willing to read a sequel.
Vaguely Recommended

He Kindly Stopped for Me by Pascoite
Genre: Philosophical (kinda?)
Scootaloo gets into an accident and has a long conversation with Death, while Luna and Twilight attempt to convince her to stay in the world of the living. The scenes with Death really stand out, which is to say the very first scene, in which we come across Scootaloo after the accident, is kind of weak, being somewhat disjointed and… just odd. Granted, the whole story is a little odd, but most of that is due to a certain dreamlike quality, even in the parts that don’t take place in the realm of dreams, making it the good kind of odd. Death, however, is portrayed really uniquely, taking no form that I have seen previously. Even more surprising is how Nightmare Moon is used as a separate character from Luna. I do feel like there’s still something a bit off about this story, some implication that I can’t put my finger on, but on the whole I found it engrossing and original.
Recommended

Wyrmlysan by Chris
Genre: Mythic
This is cool. Luna has come to slay the ancient dragon, for it has broken the peace and taken pony lives. What she finds is a contrite equicide and a prophecy about a dragon redeemer. Readers may find this story a tad overwhelming, because there’s a lot of Anglo-Sax-ish being tossed about with few explanations, but if you can just let the funny-sounding words roll over you, this is a really powerful piece of historic world-building with a whole slew of awesome implications. Plus, I just love seeing old, mythic pony awesomeness. This is the kind of stuff legends are written about.
Highly Recommended

Philomeanie by Skywriter
Genre: Epic/Comedy
It’s really a shame that we got to see the banishment of Nightmare Moon in the show. I mean, it was pretty sweet and all, but transformation to defeat lasted a whole two minutes and it was hardly the pitched battle between hordes of soldiers and unspeakable arcane constructs so many authors have envisioned. The version of the story shown in the episode would hardly have produced a line like this:

Nightmare Moon's eyes narrowed. Celestia. Celestia Sol Invicta. Her sister, clad in glinting golden barding, her great soul-mace Phosphorus cradled in one hoof.

Isn’t that just awesome? I live for that shit. Anyway, this piece is an odd mixture of epic scenes of Nightmare Moon’s fall interspliced with hilarious scenes of a still-tiny redeemed Luna trying to take care of Philomena pre-Bird in the Hoof. (There is a lot of poop, just warnin’ ya.) And while normally, flipping back and forth between scenes diametrically opposed in tone would be inadvisable due to extreme difficulty level, this is Skywriter we’re talking about, so the whole thing is pretty much incredible. (Do note that the vocabulary level is high.) I wish we’d had this back in S1; Grumpy Luna is way better than Sad Luna any day.
Highly Recommended

Luna’s Landing by thescentedllamaofdoom
Genre: Story Within a Story
First the bad: there are severe punctuation issues in this story, most especially a certain dearth of commas, plus whitespace issues (something the author likely wouldn’t think to check for, this being their first story), and lots of talking heads. Now for the good. The characters in this story are really vibrant, even minor ones like the pie delivery pony. The dialogue is slightly odd, but I think this is owed to the author's propensity toward wordplay. The story is rather funny, and also portrays Discord as having been friends with Celestia and Luna prior to taking over Equestria. Luna describes him as a “jester”, and honestly his role is somewhat similar to what he does now in the show. The “chess game of the gods” is a neat setup and plays out well, though I could kind of see what was going to happen. In all, it’s a very unique story that just needs some ironing out.
Recommended If You Like Substance Over Style

Thou Goddess by horizon
100th review of 2014!
Genre: Romance
This story is terrible because “help me please, expecting no reply” is nine syllables. All it needs is an “O”! My suspension of disbelief thus thoroughly shattered, I could do nothing but watch the ruins smolder. ...No, but seriously, this is brilliant, though you will spend lots of time Googling poetic forms. Shortly after Luna’s return, a poet becomes mystical penpals with the nightly goddess, and their magical wordplay quickly blossoms into textual foreplay. So he sneaks into Canterlot Castle one night and things don’t go as planned. Nor do they go as one might expect when such a situation doesn't go as planned. The rest is just fantastic, and this thing is chock full of splendid poetry — remember who’s saying this — including an excerpt from a ponified Canterbury Tales. This is pretty much a jaw-dropping piece of prose and one of the best fics I have ever had the privilege to read.
Highly Recommended: Top Fifteen Favorites

Discord Comics by Silent Strider
Genre: Comedy
What’s neat about this story is that it proposes that the comic books like the one featured in Power Ponies are actually Discord’s making. I can totally get behind that. That said, this was apparently written for the Writer’s Training Grounds before being submitted to the contest, so it’s a bit lacking in execution. Discord is voiced well, other characters not so much. There’s also a tendency to focus on rather unimportant details (Discord is ever doing things with an eagle claw or lion’s paw, for instance), and the flow is somewhat off thanks to a lot of telling and fast pacing. But, for a first-time writer as this author seems to be, I can’t be too critical of what he’s churned out.
Vaguely Recommended

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Comments ( 10 )

Welp, seems like I'm pretty much obligated to read Thou Goddess now. Everyone I follow seems to love this thing.

The fact that I faked you out for a little bit there pleases me immensely. :rainbowwild:

Thanks for the revue! :pinkiehappy:

> No, but seriously, this is brilliant, though you will spend lots of time Googling poetic forms.

Alternatively, you can let the unfamiliar ones wash past you until I post the annotated version in a week or two. :twilightsmile: By all accounts I've got exposition for the ones that are plot-relevant, and the rest were meant as easter eggs for the poetry-inclined (or those doing the googling you suggest).

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1896413
They're so intrinsic to the plot though! You can't just ignore them or let them wash over you.

I mean gawd such elitist gb2 gayniversity college smart bowah

Hand over heart, PP:

I read all the stories last Sunday before I posted the list. Or, as I keep thinking of it, the table of contents: I've decided this thing is an anthology more than any sort of a contest, so thank you for putting them up here in order. :twilightsmile:

Mike

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

1897793
Oh, k. :B

I didn't do the first three in the journal because I'd read one of them already and they weren't part of the contest anyway. Just FYI.

Thanks for the review!

As for reusing an already posted fic, I blame Bad Horse for asking his followers to take part in the contest with just a week left :twilightblush:; I was already trying to finish fics for two other contests at the time :twilightoops:

Seems I'm growing progressively dumber by the day. I initially didn't read four of these, as I wanted to avoid spoilers, before remembering they're reviews - those things Chris writes (and I read) all the damn time!

Your reviews of the stories I've already read largely match my own thoughts. I'm really excited for Pascoite and Skywriter's fics; the punctuation issues have me a little worried about Luna's Landing. Think I'll read that one last

Talking heads are (partly) why I shouldn't - and don't - write. I barely notice my environment in real life, and kinda skim the setting parts when reading, so I constantly forget to include that information. Then I'll re-read all that dialogue and think "This is terrible", try to fix it with so many adjectives (I blame vampire fiction), and eventually just delete the whole mess. At least I can recognize it's bad, I suppose, but I wish I knew how to actually fix it. Alas, editing's something I only seem capable of with other people's work

1898202

Yeah:

The introductory section was just because Bad Horse and Bradel sent in such very nice pieces, I wanted to feature them even though they acknowledged that they didn't fit the guidelines. So I added my little Luna poem to make three--before toafan pulled out, each section had three items because I am a nut for symmetry. :twilightblush:

1900804

Once you get into "Luna's Landing," the thing just flows so well, I was halfway through my first read before I noticed all the missing periods. They're there now, though--mostly... :pinkiehappy:

Mike

1900804

the punctuation issues have me a little worried about Luna's Landing.

And. Well; you should be As: (the great] Graham Chapman would say 'it is a silly story",

Thanks for the review! I have a plan: I shall cozy up to Mr Strunk and his accomplice White, learn what I can from them and, of course, find new and unexplored ways to catastrophically at grammar fail!

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