• Member Since 11th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen July 15th

Bad Horse

Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.

More Blog Posts698

  • 6 weeks
    Strong film rec: Ёжик в тумане (Hedgehog in the Fog, 1975)

    Great Russian authors have a reputation for being wordy. Yuri Norstein, director of Ёжик в тумане (Hedgehog in the Fog), is not. There are words, and they are important; but there aren't many. It's a 10-minute stop-motion-and-animation film "about" a hedgehog lost in fog. But like Tony Earley said and I stole, "A story is about a thing and

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    8 comments · 315 views
  • 6 weeks
    I need volunteers to run "And That's How Equestria was Made" at Everfree NW

    Who's going to Everfree NW (near Seattle, Aug 13-15)? You can reply here, but you get bonus Internet points if you reply on the fimfiction Convention Planning page for Everfree NW 2021.

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    4 comments · 187 views
  • 18 weeks
    WallStreetBets is a cult

    You Can't Squeeze the Same Lemon Twice

    I've been looking into the recent GameStop (stock symbol GME) saga, including lurking in reddit/WallStreetBets. I'm not gonna write my usual lengthy explication, supported with references and quotations, 'coz I'm busy. But I want to warn you ponies not to go ape for GME.

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    33 comments · 734 views
  • 19 weeks
    Hugo nominations close tomorrow (Friday) evening

    The nominating period for the 2021 Hugo Awards, Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and Astounding Award for Best New Writer opened on January 25 and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT; UTC – 7) on March 19, 2021.

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    21 comments · 404 views
  • 38 weeks
    Don't Forget

    I've visited every historical museum, festival, re-creation, or archeological site that I had the chance to since I first got my driver's license--except US civil war re-enactments. They made me nervous.

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    9 comments · 890 views

Some folks worth following · 5:23am Mar 1st, 2015

Horse Voice recently wrote a blog post, "Who are the rising stars of fimfiction?" Which I will take instead to mean, Who horsewords good whom you probably aren't following?

I've got some nominations. (I've defaulted their genders to male, because I'm lazy. And sexist.) In most cases I haven't read anything of theirs other than the stories listed, so caveat emptor.


Not_a_Hat (91 followers)
Why: Broken Roads, his More Most Dangerous Game entry. A very interesting apocalypse.
Wings, also great world-building, and a very creative Future Spike

Sharp Spark (521 followers)
Why: Safe, generally kicking my ass in the write-offs

HoofBitingActionOverload (746 followers)
Why: Tripping Softly on the Tongue
Blood, Sweat, and Algae: I don't really recommend this story, because I don't think it all hangs together, but the writing proves he's skilled and ambitious.
Spring is Dumb

dayoldspaghetti (10 followers)
Why: Second Singularity, his More Most Dangerous Game entry (WARNING: Confusing artsy flashbacks)

TheBandBrony (597 followers)
Why: Save the Records, his More Most Dangerous Game entry

Lucky Dreams (273 followers)
Why: In the Place the Wild Horses Sleep

DuncanR: I've recommended him before. He still doesn't have many followers (196).
Why: Bittersweet Music
Erase and Rewind (WARNING: marked complete; not really)

GaPJaxie: I've recommended him before. In fact, I see he has a lot of followers now (846).
Why: The Arbitrage of Moments
Dressing Room
generally kicking my ass in the write-off

Conditional recommendation: mylittleeconomy (49 followers)
Why: My Little Economy
Recommended because he writes wonderfully (and comically) even while teaching you economics. Conditional because I haven't finished the story, and because he's one of those writers who doesn't follow any other writers.

Conditional recommendation: ponichaeism (47 followers)
Why: The Mare in the High Castle
Conditional because I've finished only 1 story by him, "Flow My Tears, the Fashionista Said", and while it was written with great style, I couldn't say it meant anything to me. I've read only the first chapter of "The Mare in the High Castle", and the style is amazing, but I don't know whether the story hangs together in the end.

Conditional recommendation: theycallmejub: Has been around since 2011, but still has only 278 followers despite horsewording real good.
Why: Pagliacci
Conditional on your liking the Mature tag, dark or sexy, and because Pagliacci isn't finished. Also, because I think if you follow him, he just might sneak into your house at night and rip your face off.

I'm a hypocrite to recommend following people when I haven't read much of their work myself. But I'm confident reading anything by any of these people is a much better bet than clicking on something in the featured box.

Report Bad Horse · 1,294 views ·
Comments ( 37 )

Well, I follow half of these people, including both of your conditional recs (EDIT: well, two out of three). That's an easy reason to RiL all the listed things that I haven't already, even before considering how many of these folks have good reputations from elsewhere or other stories I look forward to. I was under the impression that Lucky Dreams was old guard, though -- or are you saying that they've needed more followers all along?

Anyways, huge tangent: I opened "Erase and Rewind" and immediately realized I would one day need to create another of my goofy-ass shelves called "fics whose covers are pictures of road signs". I wasn't sure where I had seen it before but it just seemed like one of those weirdly common things. Then I looked at the stories listed one tab over, which I hadn't looked over yet, and sure enough...

Huh, I should do a blog post like this.

Thanks for this, BH. I find that as time goes by the stories and authors I follow grow more and more incestuous and it's good to break out of it.

Although sometimes that leads to weird cognitive dissonance. I've waded into threads with people who have three-digit followers and have been producing for years, and it's like "Wait, you've never even heard of Eternal? But you know who Skywriter is, right? Ghost of Heraclitus? Really? Nothing? Okay then." There are apparently whole worlds out there that don't intersect with each other at all.

I'm confident reading anything by any of these people is a much better bet than clicking on something in the featured box.

Every couple of months I try and sit down and make a Feature Box Drinking Game. I always give up after a couple hours, because in order to be at all usable it ends up full of things like "If less than half of the featured stories involve a rape, take a drink" and it ends up not being funny, but instead horrifying.

The Evil League of Evil is watching me. O_o Guess i should accelerate my plans...

I'm not sure I qualify as 'rising' as far as followers go; I don't put out enough new stories to garner the needed attention. I hope I can continue improving my writing, though, so I'll do my best to not disappoint there.

Lucky Dreams has discovered the secret to getting a fic reviewed by everyone. I only know a few of these authors so I'll have to check the others out.

I just finished The Mare In The High Castle this weekend, and followed ponechaism for it. If you liked the first chapter, and if you can read Chapter 4 without having an Eyes Without A Face moment[1] , the story will reward you richly.

I have my quibbles. The musical in the final chapters drags badly, and a few of the subplots seem like they're there just to twist the knife. It seems to me to promise a shift to action it doesn't quite sell; it remains a tense character drama throughout. But overall this is an exceptionally effective character piece, walks the fine line of being a grimdark story without extinguishing all sense of hope for the human condition, and makes some powerful statements about the nature of stories.

(For example, I criticize the musical, but the interludes where we see each of the characters react to the same scene onstage are really brilliant.)

[1] Setting the story down to go take a shower, staring blankly at the stall walls as the water runs, and then trying to scrub hard enough with the soap to wash out the existential despair.

Please do. These recommendations are cool, and I've had good luck trusting the good taste of people who write well (that's you, btw). And it can only make things less, well, incestuous, which brings me to...

I feel ya on both counts. The idea that there's good stuff right there and I don't know it yet is a good motivator to look for new authors, and a big part of the reason I'm occasionally very arbitrary or impulsive with what I look at even though I make a lot of noise about using personal recommendations instead of the featurebox, groups, browsing by tag, etc.

As for the box itself... it can have fun quickies if you know what to look for, but my opinion on the box is always gonna be shaped by the period, I think shortly after I signed up, where three of the seven new story slots were various permutations of Sparkle family incest clop. Which is a sign that, by the numbers, this is more of an incest porn site than a literature site, but for those of us who want to misuse it for less prurient reading it also demonstrates that the box isn't our best tool.

Those two factors are kind of in tension, though; you don't want to only encounter what you already know you like, because you already know you like it, but precisely because there are so many sub-sub-subinterests on the site, you can't rely on raw sitewide democracy either. It's hard to find that boundary between known territory and neighboring lands that might be fertile. (In this metaphor, the featurebox would be more like throwing a dart at a map with Clop Island at the bull's-eye -- you have to take a lot of throws to avoid the site-spanning Ocean Of Mediocrity, though you do stand a somewhat higher chance of colonizing a remote new continent of authorial cliques, and oh hell with this metaphor the point is I like recommendations and reviews. Which are like frontier settlers NO BAD METAPHOR DOWN.)

You know, I might read Eyes as my next long fic if you keep praising it so highly.

Is The Mare in the High Castle based on The Man in the High Castle?


Oh my god Eyes. I have opinions. And since BH mentioned Jub in his post, they're even topical.

I have said, and will say forever, that Eyes Without A Face is the best story that I ever had to stop reading. I put it down at Chapter 13 and never looked back, and yet it's on my userpage shortlist.

If you read Lord Of The Flies in high school and thought it was too optimistic about the human condition, stop what you're doing and read Eyes immediately. If you take Bad Horse's "Not Safe For Ghost" warnings seriously, then run away and don't stop running. If you are (like most people) somewhere in that middle ground, then this is what you need to know: It is utterly beautiful and just as utterly soul-crushing. It will make you :raritydespair: and then it will make you :raritydespair: harder and then it will turn the :raritydespair: up to 11 and then it will blueshift the :raritydespair: out of the visible spectrum and then you will hit Chapter 8. I don't think it's humanly possible to click the "Next" button between Chapters 8 and 9 without stepping away from your computer for a while.

(The Mare In The High Castle is similarly magnificently dark, but less intense, and brilliant in different ways. TMITHC's Chapter 4 is a Magnitude 7 soulquake, and EWAF's Chapter 8 is a Magnitude 8. Supposedly EWAF's Chapter 14 is just as bad, but I didn't get to it.)

Not_A_Hat is indeed very good. 'Wings' is really a wonderful story with great world-building.

Sigh. Time to upgrade them between the lists.

Clicked follow on a couple of them, and I'm glad to see that I'm already watching a few of them.

One note about theycallmejub: I think he noted in one of his blog posts that he was done with writing MLP fanfic, or at least writing here on Fimfiction, which is the only reason I'm not watching him. I haven't read Pagliacci, since I doubt it will ever be completed, but Eyes Without a Face is a fantastic story. For example, it's so far the closest I've seen to a story with descriptions as beautiful as the ones you find in RUN.

I think Chapter 16 of EWAF was what hit me the hardest, but it's been nearly half a year since I read it and I didn't write a comment about it. Probably not as bad as the end of chapter 8, but soul-crushing nonetheless.

Welp, that's another page in my Read Later list.

Author Interviewer

I don't think Lucky Dreams is around anymore, is she? :(

2840035 Her user page says offline 1d, 3h.

Author Interviewer

Oh! I'm thinking of someone else, then! :B


a few of the subplots seem like they're there just to twist the knife.

Which subplots?

Just out of curiosity.

Trying to keep this vaguely spoiler-free:

The two that come immediately to mind are Hammer's arc, which sort of lurched in out of nowhere and never quite landed for me; and the scenes with Scootaloo and Rumble, which were powerful enough on their own but felt disconnected from the main plot arcs and didn't show us anything about the world we hadn't already seen happen to more sympathetic characters (I'm thinking Flash Sentry in particular, and let me pause for a moment to compliment you on writing what is perhaps the best use of Flash Sentry I've ever seen in this fandom). Flash didn't have literal blood on his hooves in quite the same way, but, eh ... I just feel like Scootaloo was overshadowed by the revolution at the end and came too late in the story to establish the general up-ruttedness of the dystopia.

I'll reiterate, I have my quibbles with the story but it's still fine writing and I still wholeheartedly recommend it. You did ask, though. :twilightsheepish:

Also: Sorry, I probably should have left this as a comment on the story itself, I just got sidetracked because BH posted this almost literally within an hour of when I finished reading it, while I was still letting it digest. I wanted to back up his recommendation for the benefit of the many folks reading his blog.


I'll reiterate, I have my quibbles with the story but it's still fine writing and I still wholeheartedly recommend it. You did ask, though

I can always appreciate some constructive criticism, so you have nothing to be sheepish about. The reason I asked was because both of those subplots are more of a set-up for their expanded roles in the sequel, rather than just trying to shock the reader....though I did want to do that too. :trollestia:

Anyway, to keep from derailing this post anymore than I already have, feel free to post any questions, comments, or concerns on the story page you want.

Oh hey, looks like I may have started a thing. At least, I hope I have, if 2839716's experience is a common one. This community could use some cross-pollination, perhaps.

Thanks, B.H.

I'm flattered to be thought of here among such good company.

Goodness, how flattering. I am not really in the habit of following others...does not really occur to me to do....

Man, that GaP Jaxie...wonder what he's doing here.

'Cause he could've got published in Galaxy back in the day, you know? Back when Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison were duking it out for the cover story.

Guy's got chops is all I'm saying.

2841588 Fanfiction is a social activity. People aren't here just to read stories; they're here to talk about stories and to make friends. Reading someone's stories is a big time investment, and it's more worthwhile when that person is someone you're likely to have conversations with in other places on the site.


Ah, yes, the science of friendship...I write pony stories about that, you know....

Follower count is mostly a function of what stories you've published, but propensity to follow seems to vary a lot between people, with no correlation with follower count. I could swear I've stumbled on profiles of people with no published fics or blogs who only follow a few people (like, 3), and then there are people who follow literally thousands of people. I'm in-between; I like following people, both as a way to get fics and for the reasons Bad Horse mentions, but I try to be discriminating enough that it's at least sort of a gateway.

But it's true, I signed up just to have a RiL list, and now I seem to spend more time commenting than reading (but you can see in this very thread how my walls of text get away from me).

Since our host is encouraging discussion (and I've spared him the notification by combining this with a real comment), and since I haven't really worked my response up to the level of being a comment on the story itself rather than a response to your own comment, I'll put this here: I've read up to chapter 8.

...I haven't physically stepped away from my computer. I've put Eyes down for the night, allegedly because it's past 4 am and I'm tired, but I won't argue with anyone who finds that too convenient. I think you successfully inoculated me against the idea that Rose is even remotely a good pony (and I could swear I've skimmed that linked blog post via your profile page before, which probably helped), which is making the whole thing a lot more fun (or "fun"). If I thought this was a story about a hero I'd be angry, mostly because Rose is a shite hero from pretty early on. Instead I think it's an over-the-top exercise in grimdark, like The Secret Life of Rarity with more phrase repetition and less canon.

(Ironically, either Bad Horse edited in the original mention of Jub, or I skipped over it by mistake on first read.)


If I thought this was a story about a hero I'd be angry, mostly because Rose is a shite hero from pretty early on.

You know, that's a good point. The story narratively and referentially frames her as a hero (it's very Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns on the surface), and a large part of the anguish is seeing her slip further and further from that ideal, waiting for her to hit rock bottom and turn around. I crumpled when I realized that wasn't the story I was reading.

I'm really curious to see how it holds up if you go in with differing expectations.


(Ironically, either Bad Horse edited in the original mention of Jub, or I skipped over it by mistake on first read.)

Jub? What are you talking about?

2839551 Ha! (on a related note, one of the authors around here, I can't remember which one, but his stories tend to be fairly short.) uses pictures of trees for every single story cover of his.

Well, I read it and enjoyed the hell out of it. Hard to say how much of that is my expectations and how much is just me. I want to disparage grimdark as wanky edgelordery, and I do really love these ponies, but truth be told I've had a soft spot for seeing them torn apart (physically or otherwise) since at least laughing out loud at "Cupcakes" long before I actually got into fanfic.

A Hoof-ful of Dust? If so, I'm pleased with my detective skills.

And then there's this guy...

2840035 I'm still around! It's just a combination of working on original stuff instead of pony fiction/trying to slash down the amount of time I spend online. It was completely eating up my life.

(Also, I'm a guy :raritywink:)

Author Interviewer

Okay, I am definitely confusing you with Lady Moondancer then. :B

Apparently, Dayoldspaghetti is yet another SS&E alt.

2849960 Lady Moondancer has sexier avatars.

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