• Member Since 2nd Sep, 2011
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PresentPerfect


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

More Blog Posts2168

  • Thursday
    The ride never ends

    Last night, I had a dream -- I later couldn't decide if this was about an episode or a fanfic -- in which Spike, down in the dumps due to romance issues, has to help a young stallion named Ereshneighgal find love or woo his love or something along those lines. Dude was wearing this cool turn of the century newsboy outfit.

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    8 comments · 129 views
  • Tuesday
    Fic recs, February 25th!

    This is the interstitial blog promised last time. I'm really cranking these out of late! :O This one's got a surprising breadth of not-the-usual readers. Otherwise, nothing special to report today; I'm embroiled in watching Critical Role and pining for a D&D group with similar energy. D:

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

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    2 comments · 149 views
  • Sunday
    Fic recs, February 22nd: Top Ten of 2014 edition!

    Yeah, I'm doing the thing, mostly because this took me quite some time to pull off and I don't want to sit on it anymore.

    Welcome to 2014! I read some good stories back then, and here I've picked ten and used the Also Liked column to find ten more stories to review! The key for everyone because I expect no one to remember these things:

    Title of Top Ten fic

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    11 comments · 163 views
  • 6 days
    Fic recs, February 21st: Luna Farrowe edition!

    The next reader on my list: the ever-popular Luna Farrowe! Who I really should have been watching sooner. :B List of previously reviewed readings:

    wille197's Unicorns Are Magical

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    7 comments · 130 views
  • 1 week
    Fic recs, February 19th!

    Dave Bryant needs financial help!

    Scribbler's begun a reading of Blueshift's Cake Story, with Lochlan O'Neil, Keyframe, mmichal154, Wish Lotus, IMShadow007 and BasicallyBB!

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    5 comments · 174 views
Sep
25th
2014

Fic recs, September 25th! · 4:00pm Sep 25th, 2014

I have no idea how this one got so huge. c.c Suddenly, it's like I'm reading tons of stories and they're all really good.

Once you’re done reading the reviews, go check out this journal wherein bookplayer expounds on why RariJack is best ship. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about. :B (And be sure to check out the followup, which contains good advice for anyone wanting to write romance.)

H: 5 R: 6 C: 3 V: 1 N: 2

Applejack Goes to Magic School for Some Reason by JasonTheHuman
Genre: Comedy
This took 6th place in the most recent writeoff, which is a tragedy; it was my favorite entry. (At least one person agreed on that account!) All you need to know about it is right there in the title. Well, that and just that this is one of the most hilarious alternate takes on the show I’ve ever seen. Applejack stumbles her way into and through the School for Gifted Unicorns (while, y'know, being an earth pony) and tries very hard to figure out just what she’s doing right while Twilight slowly loses her mind. The comedic timing is perfect. It doesn’t even rely that much on character bending; it’s just a hilarious look at a completely ridiculous “what-if” and one of the best comedies I’ve ever read.
Highly Recommended

Miasma by GaryOak
Genre: Inner Monologue
Instead of giving in to Tirek’s demands in order to save her friends, Twilight uses the power to destroy Tirek on her own. Well, not entirely on her own. GaryOak recently was whining made me realize I hadn’t actually read anything of his, which seems odd. I mean, everyone’s read at least one, right? :B So I went with his shortest piece to review like I do for the people I’m following, and that probably wasn’t a good idea. This is entirely serviceable, a decent inner monologue, but there’s not much here. It was written for a group competition, and as such comes off as just the laying out of an idea. There’s really only one thing I don’t like about this (the way the title is used), but beyond that there just isn’t a whole lot to it.
Vaguely Recommended

Spike Is Lonely on His Birthday by ZuTheSkunk
Fic deleted; review removed by author request.

Little Deceptions by Taranth
Reading by ABagOfVicodin
Genre: Heist
Blank Slate, pegasus thief and master of disguise, gives a full confession of the time he almost stole something from the royal vault. This is another one I’ve heard a lot about, and it lives up to the hype, though how much you enjoy it is going to depend entirely on how much you like seeing Ocean’s Eleven-style heists play out. I, for one, do, and with the twist in the second chapter that recontextualizes the whole story, well, it turns out pretty great. The disguise art is displayed well; the whole magic vs. mundane issue is a clever trick. There’s also a lot of great world-building in this, mostly centered around magical gems that give our pegasus anti-hero an edge over his unicorn betters. Plus, this is one of the few stories that pulls off talking heads well. The main story is what it comes down to, and I found it a solid read; the ending is just icing on the cake that elevates it beyond that.
Highly Recommended

A Rubber Mask of Emotions by zaponator
Genre: Comedy
I read this back during the writeoff, of course, but after Seattle’s Angels reviewed it, my attention was brought to it once more. (Side note: expect me to go review all the writeoff fics at some point to catch up.) Pinkie Pie’s “cousin Horsey” comes to visit, and appears to be just Pinkie in one of those godawful rubber horse masks. The mane cast put up with her shenanigans for a bit, but quickly tire of telling “Pinkie” how they feel about her. Needless to say, this story is incredibly weird, but what makes it work is really strong characterization. I even enjoyed the scene that’s nothing but humor at Fluttershy’s expense. And, of course, there’s no way to prepare yourself for the ending. This is a story that really gets Pinkie Pie.
Recommended

Running by Wanderer D
Reading by Goombasa
Genre: Character Study
Octavia stops in Appleloosa/Dodge Junction/some other small Western town while running from her old life. I don’t have much to say about this other than it’s a quiet piece with a lot of good introspection and no fucking Vinyl Scratch, which was a pleasant surprise. The one thing that stood out to me is that toward the end, she plays for the tavern patrons, and sings. Vocals and cello is not something I’ve ever really seen before, and the image was a weird one to deal with. But that’s pretty much all I have against this piece. If you like looking at snapshots of pony life, this is a good one, and apparently has a sequel in case you also like ponies actually getting somewhere.
Recommended

Discord: End of Empires by DannyJ
Genre: Historical
A flight of dragons, led by their queen, fly south over the frozen wastes to discover if this united pony land called “Equestria” really exists. This is great for one reason: Discord. He does a great turn both comical and sinister, plus he gets some characterization as far as the meaning of what he does/is. The writing’s good, the imagery is good, and there are some really interesting little tidbits sprinkled throughout (like the Chaos cultist). Plus, this sets up a bunch of dominoes and lets them fall rather than pushing them over. All in all, a very accomplished piece.
Recommended

Dearest Fluttershy by Terrasora
Reading by DrWolf001
Genre: Character Death
“Discord deals with Fluttershy’s death” is an idea I’ve wanted to write since Keep Calm and Flutter On aired. Thanks to this story, I don’t have to. Not just because someone else did it, but because they took the idea way further than I would have. What stands out here is Discord’s alienness. He knows what concepts like time and death mean, but he doesn’t truly understand them. This is juxtaposed by Twilight still trying to cope with Fluttershy’s death for herself. I do kind of feel like the first scene doesn’t have much going for it, mostly serving to set up “this is way in the future”, but I was happy to note that, far enough into said future, Sparity doesn’t bother me so much (at that point, it basically comes down to “I don’t like interspecies relationships”, which is just me being grumpy). It’s likely thanks to having read another very good Discord piece before this that I like it so much, but this really goes above and beyond in executing what could have been a very straightforward concept.
Highly Recommended

Joyride by SergeantBuck
Reading by Doctor Cobra
Mature: Sex
Genre: Anthro Clop
AJ and her boyfriend get frisky in his car. I was going to go into a big tirade about anthro fiction, but the fact is, this story just doesn’t deserve it. My main issue is Applejack: she’s written as a “strong female character” where “strong” means “knows what she wants” and "what she wants" means "exactly what the guys want". She’s also shown as being deceitful and manipulative, so pretty much the exact opposite of actual her character. Her OC boyfriend may as well be a stand-in for the audience for all that he has any personality. It’s too short to really do anything and tends to pull back on the actual sex: Early on, it seems like it’s going to be about AJ giving her bf road head, which at least would have been interesting, not to mention amusing, but then it stops. They start having sex but get interrupted by Big Macintosh. This left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t see what the point of it was.
Not Recommended

Veneer by Pascoite
Genre: Character Study
Freshly expanded from the writeoff, this is a look into the beauty industry through the eyes of Aloe. We get some backstory for her and her sister, and then a look at how that experience continues to haunt and help them today. It’s got Pascoite’s masterful but subtle touch with characterization, though there’s honestly not much to it. It’s a quick read, and if you like quiet character studies, you’ll like this.
Recommended

Racing Thoughts by ambion
Reading by sharpieboss
Reading by Me
Genre: Love Poem
Twilight Sparkle lusts after Rainbow Dash, beats herself up for acting stupid around her, and finally works up the courage to tell her how she feels. While not quite on par with what I consider to be the greatest poem of the English language, this borrows heavily from the J. Alfred Prufrock school of poetry and excels for having done so. There are a few spots where an easy rhyme is valued over consistency in word choice (“Rainbow Dash: Twilight calls dibs!”), but four or so instances of that in a 1500 word poem is pretty much not an issue. (And for each one of those, there’s a line like “Mounting me against the wall” or a set of interlocking rhymes that plays wholly to the poem format and really blows everything else away.) Honestly, it all comes down to “I hate poetry and I like this”. This is pretty much what I look for from this fandom’s poets.
Highly Recommended

Song of Homecomings by ambion
Genre: Historical
I’m breaking my usual one-author rule because Racing Thoughts is a weird case: an open-ended poetry collection with a single audio reading that got me started reading it. Given how good the first installment was, I’m going to read the other two right now since they’re short. This, unfortunately, is nowhere near as good as its predecessor. The meter is simple and repetitive, there are far more close-rhymes, and the same issue of “word choice sacrificed for rhyme” now becomes far more of a problem because there’s less good stuff to back it up. Plus, it’s awfully short.
Recommend Only If You Like Poetry

Warmer and Brighter by ambion
Genre: Monologue
Third time’s the charm. This one’s not quite as amazing as Racing Thoughts, but it’s still good and in the same vein. There’s a little less in the way of, well, everything (and I can’t say I’ve ever seen “...” used in a poem before), but that means it’s also got less of the bad stuff. In the end, it resolves as a good poem about Luna. (I’ll add that, being in first-person, the lyric form really fits Luna’s thoughts better than Twilight’s.) Guess I’ll be keeping an eye on this collection after all.
Recommended

Zecora Tells a Hearth’s Warming Tale by naru0C
Reading by Akash the Reader
Genre: 100% Pure Heroin
Here’s what happens: Zecora is invited to Cheerilee’s class as a guest speaker, telling a Hearth’s Warming tale, as the title suggests. She asks for a main character and Diamond Tiara volunteers. Diamond starts heckling Zecora because Zecora’s making her look bad. Cheerilee gets drunk. Zecora trades out DT for Apple Bloom but still gets heckled. Diamond challenges her to rhyme something with ‘orange’. Zecora goes eldritch horror on their asses, summons a microphone, and serves DT with a wicked diss track. She out. If any of that sounds funny to you, read this; it’s tagged perfectly (random-only), and I laughed quite a lot. This had a few issues with Zecora’s dialogue, mostly outside the story, and it needed more door hinge. Still, it’s a fun read if you like that kind of thing.
Recommended If You Like Silly Stuff

MLP:FIM:CRISIS IN TIMESAPCE aka MLP:FiM : CRISSIS IN TIMESPACE! by 00mariofan4eva00
Reading by Cherax and Meletric
Genre: Trollfic
This is another one of those cases where if this author is really just this bad at English, I’ll feel bad for laughing. But given that this can be categorized as “kingsquirrel-style trollfiction”, I’m going with my gut. Just look at the comments on this guy’s stories: FFN people get really butthurt over this kind of thing! Anyway, it doesn’t even matter what this story is about. It can’t be quantified; it can barely be read. (Recommendation: listen to the reading while reading the text.) If you like Half-Life: Full-Life Consequences, you’ll like this. (I hope he won the Bronycon contest too.)
Troll Recommended

The Stars Ascendant by Titanium Dragon
Reading by Goombasa
Reading by DRWolf001
Reading by Midnight29
Genre: Episode Followup
Celestia and Luna discuss the events of Twilight’s Kingdom. This is one of those stories I can characterize as a “headcanon dump”, an opportunity for the author to fill in gaps, answer questions (“Why didn’t Tirek kill anyone?”) and criticize the show writers for making silly decisions. But usually, those sorts of stories are transparent slogs; this might be transparent, but it’s also very interesting. The number of factors taken into account is staggering, and the way certain things are just casually thrown out — for instance, Prince Blueblood's role in Canterlot — yet weave entire stories on their own is impressive. (And just wait till you figure out where they’re at!) While not much happens to either character in the course of the piece, this still conveys a very intriguing, if subtle, message. So, I guess I could say this is how you do headcanon dumps.
Recommended

Forever Young by Hyperexponential
Reading by DRWolf001
Genre: Friendshipping
When it’s discovered that Discord has been keeping Fluttershy eternally young, he offers to extend the boon to her friends as well. This is not your average immortality fic (I didn’t use it as the genre tag, natch). Most are either about Celestia or Luna going, “I’m immortal and it’s hard”, or Twilight being all, “I’m immortal, now what?” In this case, the question is, “Do I want to become immortal?” and Rarity lays out some very good reasons why she wouldn’t want to. (I was a little surprised the others weren’t consulted, but I suspect it only would have drawn things out.) I’m impressed that this doesn’t take a clear “immortality’s not as great as you’d think” stance, instead making the case that it’s a far more convoluted question than one might initially think, and that it has more effects than on just the person considering it. What follows that is some of the greatest friendshipping I have ever seen. I’ve never seen a story so perfectly capture the central tenets of the show. (I want to point out that this story demonstrates how you don’t need romantic love to generate emotion. Anyone generally anti-shipping can use this as a great example of why relationships often aren’t necessary in fics.) And now, a warning about the ending. This is a truly brilliant piece, one of the best I’ve ever read, and it makes a remarkable counterpoint to Dearest Fluttershy, in that Discord understands death and fears what it will do to him when it takes Fluttershy. That just makes the ending even better.
Highly Recommended

Report PresentPerfect · 1,004 views · #fic reviews
Comments ( 32 )

Geez, so many recommended and above. My RiL can't take this kind of abuse.

Welp, guess it's time to make up for yesterday's bug resulting in my unread count going down by ~30 chapters.

Good call on Little Deceptions, it's been over a week and I'm still grinning about that ending.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2482523
I just don't know what went right. :derpyderp1:

2482540
You know there's a fix for that, right? It worked for me at least :B

2482600 I even used the fix! If I hadn't my count would have been down by 170 or so.

Lots of errors must have been building up in my count over time. I can think of at least one story that I had 20+ unread chapters on that got deleted, for example.

2482523 I know that feel. The struggle is real.

So I went with his shortest piece to review like I do for the people I’m following, and that probably wasn’t a good idea.

In this case, yeah. I kind of went through a small checklist of things I hadn't attempted in a story before, and attempted to write a "lit mag" sized piece, which usually means 2,000 words or less. Kinda leaves me feeling like Bad Luck Brian.

There’s really only one thing I don’t like about this (the way the title is used)

This confused me a bit. What do you mean, exactly?

Zecora Tells a Hearth’s Warming Tale

:pinkiegasp:

(I'm really glad you enjoyed it!)

Well God damn. All of these good stories. I'm impressed. The only problem is that you didn't like The Stars Ascendant as much as I did. But oh well.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2482718
That's what I meant by the buildup being disappointing. You build and build, and then the dramatic reveal: My name is... Miasma? It hardly strikes terror into the hearts of mares. :/ To misuse a line from another series, it's not a good commando name.

2482777
Certain styles of absurdity amuse me highly. This story demonstrates one of them. :)

2483016
It was good. Titanium's a good writer. There was just no 'wow' moment for me.

2483049
I was wow'd because it was well-written, made a very clear and correct point, and allowed for an easy and canon fix to this problem. It was very solid all throughout. That's hard to do.

Wasn't a big fan of "Forever Young" myself. It's apparently been 71 weeks since I read it, but my memory is that the characterizations didn't do much for me. Fluttershy just didn't read like Fluttershy, I felt, and I didn't think the story did much to highlight the emotion behind the immortality question. Sure, if you've got emotion on that question coming into the story, it probably reads fine, but immortality fics are one area where I've read very little, and I just didn't feel like the story earned the emotion it was trying to convey.

Early on, it seems like it’s going to be about AJ giving her bf road head, which at least would have been interesting, not to mention amusing, but then it stops. They start having sex but get interrupted by Big Macintosh. This left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t see what the point of it was.

Hue.

Thanks for the heads-up on Bookplayer's blogs! The Patreon-funded content especially looks like a good read.

And I was so close to getting my to-read under 100 again...

"Anyone generally anti-shipping can use this as a great example of why relationships often aren’t necessary in fics."

It always bother me how authors tend to use romance as shorthand for "this is why character Y cares about something happening to character X". It is supremely lazy, and completely ignores everything else a relationship entails.

Curses. My read it later list after adding a few from this post now stands at 999 stories. My struggle to keep it under four digits is on the preci...precep... thre... something bad is going to happen! Or something. Gotta get back to reading faster.

I've read a bunch of these stories, and you chose a fairly decent batch of them this time around.

I have to agree that I'm not super-fond of Forever Young, but then, my stance on immortality is...

Wait, I haven't actually written that story yet. Huh.

Well, anyway.

It wasn't poorly written, and I thought the ending was nice, but I rather disagreed with the premise. Not Discord making Fluttershy immortal without telling her; that, I thought, was very clever, but the arguments made against it.

I'm very glad you enjoyed The Stars Ascendant. This actually finally reminded me that I've never actually submitted that thing to Equestria Daily, because at the time I had another story in queue (which they said was close to admissible, they just mentioned a few things to clean up; I still haven't. I should go do that...).

Comment posted by PresentPerfect deleted Sep 26th, 2014
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2483362
It's really not about immortality, though. The immortality question leads into the real story, which is about how much Fluttershy means to Discord.

2483423
Especially in an IP with "friendship" in the title!

2483466
Mine just passed 4k! :V

2483594
I was somewhat leery of the arguments being made as well. I just had to step back from myself and evaluate them based on what the characters want, rather than what I want, and through that lens, they seemed to hold up. :B And yes, you should, or it'll never get posted!

2483049
The intended reveal was "everyone's fucked," rather than the name. Though it is likely still my fault if it came off that way.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2483775
Well, yeah, but the name took the wind out of the sails, is what I mean. :B

2483828
Oh, I see. Interesting angle, there.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2483834
I mean, you went Nightmare Twilight! What name she's gonna use is half the fun! :O

2483838
My thought was that the title had multiple meanings. The "Nightmare" is literally a miasma, I felt the name fit Nightmare Twilight, and a miasma is what ends up wiping everybody out.

Oh man... I remember when I read Dearest Fluttershy. I still love that fic. I'm sorry, but I can just see it as absolutely plausible.


In the same vein, can I suggest you take a look at Temporary Hiatus, by The Messenger? It's quite good. Basically a 'what if' if either Daring Do or Ahuizotl died with the other as the unwitting harbinger of the reaper.

Vocals and cello is not something I’ve ever really seen before

made me realize I hadn’t actually read anything of his, which seems odd. I mean, everyone’s read at least one, right?

:pinkiesad2:

In this case, the question is, “Do I want to become immortal?” and Rarity lays out some very good reasons why she wouldn’t want to.

You have got to be kidding me. :duck: She just lays out exactly the same reasons everyone uses in every woe-is-Celestia-she-will-watch-her-friends-grow-old fic, and in every "why death is good for us" argument.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2484328
That is literally the first time I've seen someone play cello and sing.

And yet I still can't reconcile it because it's obviously from a musical. I mean, I can tell he's really playing the cello, but it's not the same as someone playing a guitar and singing, y'know?

2484435
Like I told Titanium Dragon, I tried to step away from my own thoughts on the subject and in doing so, possibly opened myself up to blatant agreement with whatever came in.

Please remove my fic from this list. It was an older creation of mine, and at this point I deleted it anyway.

Discord: End of Empires by DannyJ

Why do I always find these things by accident? Why does nobody ever tell me when something awesome like this happens?

In any case, thank you for the rec, Present. It's much appreciated.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2509102
I usually try to leave the author feedback when I do a review, sometimes the review body itself, but most of what I had to say on this one was "good job", I guess. :B srry

2509135

Critique is good, but I always like to know when people are talking about my work, regardless. Things like this make always me smile when I find them.

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