• Member Since 25th Feb, 2013
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Titanium Dragon


TD writes and reviews pony fanfiction, and has a serious RariJack addiction. Send help and/or ponies.

More Blog Posts566

  • 27 weeks
    Agent Fluffy did a fanfic reading of I Can Explain

    Thanks, Fluffy!

    I have to say, the background music and poor Rarity's voice grew on me while listening.

    0 comments · 294 views
  • 35 weeks
    So, I was taking a walk this evening. There's been a cougar sighted in the area...

    So, I was taking a walk this evening. There's been a cougar sighted in the area, and so I, being the responsible citizen that I am, was carrying around a can of bear spray, because living in a rural area and walking around on your own at 8:30 at night when a cougar has been spotted less than a mile where you are... probably a good idea, right?

    Read More

    20 comments · 703 views
  • 37 weeks
    Read It Now Reviews #114 – Snowed In, Deathbed Confession, This is Not a Drill, A Slice of (Cake) Life, Mint Condition

    Happy Memorial Day! I was planning on having a story ready for today, but ended up getting distracted with reading pony fanfics instead. But hey, six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?

    Today’s stories:

    Snowed In by OkemosBrony

    Deathbed Confession by Dreadnought

    This is Not a Drill by Tumbleweed

    Read More

    12 comments · 721 views
  • 37 weeks
    Remembering Stories

    Over the last month or so I've been getting back into ponies in preparation for Everfree Northwest, watching episodes and reading old stories and doing reviews and whatnot.

    Read More

    12 comments · 544 views
  • 38 weeks
    Everfree Northwest Con Report

    Howdy folks! Well, I had a fun weekend. I ended up driving Thursday afternoon (managing to get to Portland at 3pm, just in time for the traffic to go to hell) and drove back Sunday evening (managing to hit a section of I-5 where they closed all but one lane at 10 PM, creating a huge traffic jam in the middle of nowhere), and had a total blast the whole time in-between.

    Read More

    17 comments · 401 views
Feb
27th
2015

Read It Now Reviews #21 – Eyes, Temperature, Basking, Knowledge and Wisdom, The Sunset Room, Dog-Eat-Dog-World · 4:50am Feb 27th, 2015

Expect at least one story from me this weekend.

In the meantime, have some reviews!

The stories I read today:

Eyes by Horse Voice
Temperature by Cold in Gardez
Basking by Pascoite
Knowledge and Wisdom by BlazzingInferno
The Sunset Room by Foxy E
Dog-Eat-Dog-World by RainbowBob


Eyes
by Horse Voice
Slice of Life

Derpy meets Pinkie at the café, but her eyes aren’t right. Or, worse still, they are.

Why I added it: Horse Voice is a good writer.

Review
This was a well-written story, but it suffers from one major issue: I’ve read it before.

Sure, it wasn’t with Derpy fixing her eyes (and really fixing them, and thusly, seeing things no one else can see), but the idea that someone saw out – saw the watchers, saw us – isn’t a new one, and I’ve seen it many times before on FIMFiction, and even elsewhere. Heck, I think some cartoon shows have made jokes about it; I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it treated seriously by such a show, though.

It was a reasonably well-executed version of the story, but it didn’t really break any sort of new ground. If you’ve never read a story like this before and want to read one, this is a fine choice, but if you’ve seen a story like this before, you aren’t really missing anything.

Recommendation: Not Recommended unless you haven’t seen this idea before


Temperature
by Cold in Gardez
Slice of Life

Twilight and Rarity have a conversation over coffee.

Why I added it: Cold in Gardez is a good writer.

Review
You might think that description is ambiguous, but Twilight is literally drinking coffee, and they are vaguely discussing coffee and winter.

Like many of the other stories in the Tables for Two collection, it isn’t really about much of anything; nothing happens, and while the ending made me chuckle a little, the story as a whole felt a little bit dull. Two characters talked to each other, and while there wasn’t anything wrong with the conversation, it didn’t really end up doing anything all that interesting. The descriptions were nice and the characters were well-voiced, but I didn’t really feel like I got much out of my time spent reading it.

Recommendation: Not Recommended


Basking
by Pascoite

Slice of Life

Twilight couldn't remember ever having seen Princess Celestia get sick. That simply doesn't happen to alicorns. And yet there she lies, on her bed, delirious. If only she knew how to help.

Why I added it: It was a write-off story.

Review
Headcanon dumps are always somewhat dicey territory as far as stories go; if someone’s headcanon is interesting, it can potentially be of interest, but at the same time, it is possible for a story to end up so centered on it that it ends up falling flat.

This story is about Celestia getting sick, and why it was that Celestia had difficulty recovering on her own. While the idea of Celestia getting sick and needing help to get better is a solid core idea for a story, this didn’t really end up executing on it in a terribly interesting way; the story felt like it peaked in the middle, with the final scene between Twilight and Luna being kind of a letdown compared to the first two, feeling very understated and less interesting than Celestia being sick and Twilight trying to figure out what was wrong with her and why she kept it a secret. The final scene, the explanation and the headcanon dump, just didn’t feel as interesting, and while I’m a total sucker for stories about raising the sun, this didn’t really end up doing it for me as the payoff just didn’t feel sufficient to me, and still felt kind of weird, what with Celestia not “letting” herself be sick for a long time.

Recommendation: Not Recommended


Knowledge and Wisdom
by BlazzingInferno

Slice of Life

Forbidden. How can a book be forbidden? Books are bound pages of truth and knowledge. That’s young Twilight’s view on the matter, at least.

During a decisive moment in Twilight’s life, Celestia explains the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Years later, Twilight responds in kind.

Why I added it: I thought it was an interesting idea in the “Behind Closed Doors” Writeoff.

Review
This is sort of two stories, but they’re closely linked, a mirror of one another. The first story is about Twilight as a foal looking through the barred gates into the forbidden section of the library, and Celestia explaining why those books were dangerous – both because some of them contained innately dangerous knowledge, such as spells which could present a danger to people, and books which contained both lies and truths, for which prior knowledge was required to distinguish fact from fiction.

The second chapter says that burning books is sometimes okay.

The first chapter is cute enough, and is a reasonable enough moral – the idea that wisdom is necessary to properly understand books, and to make sure to understand that not everything you read is true (or desirable). The test that Celestia gives Twilight is the high point here, and does a good job of demonstrating the lesson.

The second chapter has some problems. First off, the moral is pretty morally repugnant to most people – the idea that burning books and erasing them from existence is okay is pretty questionable to begin with, and that’s pretty offputting. However, the story fails to even make a really good case for it – the book in question is very old, about something which isn’t terribly important, has a ridiculous premise, and Celestia is unduly upset by it. She destroyed all the other copies because she was upset about it, and destroys the last copy because she’s still upset about it hundreds of years later. That’s exactly the sort of petty rationale behind all book-burning, that it upset you, and that’s, well, not a good reason to erase a book from the world. As such, it doesn’t really make the point it is trying to make, as rather than justifying itself, it just seems petty.

Recommendation: The first chapter is worth reading, but the second is less so.


The Sunset Room
by Foxy E

Gore, Dark, Horror

Before she left, Twilight told Applejack not to open the door. But when leaving the door shut means compromising her values, how long can Applejack hold out?

Why I added it: It was a solid entry in the “Behind Closed Doors” writeoff.

Review
Big Mac is sick. He has been sealed away in his room for a long time, and Twilight has rigged up a special magical apparatus for transporting food into his room without opening the door or interacting with him. Twilight has left Ponyville, going off in hopes of researching a cure, leaving Applejack with an order:

Don’t open the door.

This is a horror story. Guess what happens?

This is a bit more horror movie-esque than the original version of the story, even though both are ultimately about hubris and wanting to be the one who cared for Big Mac, not Twilight and her spells. I think the write-off version’s ending was a lot punchier than this story’s ending, where we have Applejack’s punishment for her hubris take a lot more screen-time, and have the story end with action followed by Applejack’s thoughts on her punishment being much more spelled out.

If you want to read a horror story, this isn’t a bad choice, but you aren’t going to see anything here you haven’t seen before.

Recommendation: Not Recommended unless you like horror stories.


Dog-Eat-Dog-World
by RainbowBob

Dark, Alternate Universe

When the world has ended and the sky has been lost, the only things left are the survivors. The survivors, and the bones.

Why I added it: RainbowBob is a good writer.

Review
A diamond dog wanders the ruins of the world after the ponies left, and wonders where they went, and why the world died.

This story is all about ambiance, and it was kind of hit and miss for me; some parts of it worked very well, such as the dog’s combination of knowledge and ignorance about the world and some of the descriptions of the environment, but it never quite got there for me. A few repeated words bothered me, and some of the descriptions just didn’t flow quite as well as I would have liked. It is, however, very short, clocking in at barely a thousand words, so isn’t likely to take up much of your time if you do choose to chance it.

Recommendation: Not Recommended


Summary
Eyes by Horse Voice
Not Recommended unless you’ve not read similar stories before

Temperature by Cold in Gardez
Not Recommended

Basking by Pascoite
Not Recommended

Knowledge and Wisdom by BlazzingInferno
Worth Reading the first chapter

The Sunset Room by Foxy E
Not Recommended unless you like horror stories

Dog-Eat-Dog-World by RainbowBob
Not Recommended

Wasn’t really sold on this set of stories; none of these were outright bad, but a lot of them just didn’t quite get there, or fell down enough to leave me feeling unsatisfied at the end.

Number of stories still listed as "Read It Later – High Priority": 231

Number of stories listed as “Read It Later”: 1551

Report Titanium Dragon · 957 views ·
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Comments ( 8 )

Ah, this looks like the TD reviews I'm used to seeing.

2834414
TD Hates Everything #21? :heart:

Hm, yeah. That's a fair call.

I think that draft IV of The Sunset Room is a more complete story than the writeoff version, but that came at the cost of one of the things I liked most about it: its brevity. As the story progresses, the narrative broadens its focus, becomes more cinematic, and by the end its basically Hollywood.

I think that says a lot about my control over voice and my ability to wrap up a story. (The writeoff ending was written two minutes before deadline, which is why it was snappy and finished with that abysmal final line.) I'll have to focus on improving that in my future writing.

Thanks for the review, TD. :twilightsmile:

There we go, back to normal. And all's right with the world. ^_^

2834414
2834478

I was starting to worry that the titanium plating was rusting somehow; good stuff was leaking out of the core. Nice to know the good ol' TD is back and giving the reviews we know and love. :pinkiehappy:

I thought CiG's Temperature was subtle and quite well done. The warmth of Twilight's confidence in and knowledge of her self warmed Rarity up by the end, probably by social conduction, and a bit of affection. :twilightsmile: It's very likely one of those pieces you have to be in the mood for, though.

Full disclosure: When I conceived of "Eyes" in 2012, it was still the days when you could get hate for going against "established" fanon. (It took me this long to write because I couldn't think of a good ending.) This story no longer being controversial means either this fandom has matured a lot, or its collective enthusiasm is slowly burning out.

Given how much brony-targeted merchandise still moves, I'm inclined to be optimistic and guess the former.

Thanks for the review!
Funny; I think I managed to dispel some of the controversy of the original writeoff version, and then add a whole bunch more in a second chapter...

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