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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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  • Sunday
    Fic reviews, August 2nd!

    Ugh, why is it August already? D: Why do I feel like shit? Why did Flash Fiction Online have a bunch of stories this month that didn't make sense?

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    6 comments · 150 views
  • Friday
    State of the Writer, July 2020!

    I am having a day, let me tell you. I shouldn't even be up right now, but at 5:40 this morning, my cat popped the screen out of the bathroom window and took a stroll around our roof for an hour. The adrenalin's long since worn off, and I want to die. D:

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    12 comments · 201 views
  • 1 week
    This is great world-building

    I've seen a scant handful of ideas over the last decade for how deaf ponies might communicate. Fanartist Meadowmood has come up with something pretty original!

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    14 comments · 299 views
  • 1 week
    People are shipping this now

    And I don't hate it.

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    24 comments · 467 views
  • 1 week
    Fic recs, July 26th: I'm bad at picking stories edition!

    SPark is selling another plushie! This time, it's Celestia, ergo clearly worth your money.

    So, I know I just posted yesterday, but this one's done and my video recording didn't work this morning, so I'm just doing whatever today. <.<

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    11 comments · 242 views
Mar
13th
2015

Fic recs, March 13th! · 11:45am Mar 13th, 2015

Ever wanted to hear “It’ll Be Okay” super-slowed down? Your time has come.

I am almost done with that big audiobook; I anticipate finishing it this weekend and I am so happy. I'm considering giving it a solo post, not because it's a super-important fandom classic just because I want to fight it. >:E Maybe I won't though.

Anyway, in the meantime, I've currently got 46 stories left for MMDGC ;_;, so even if I can read one a day, which I can't, I won't be done this month. I've also run out of super-short stories (i.e., stuff I can read and review while poopin'), so I decided to take a jaunt through that ridiculous list of short story collections since I labelled them all with wordcounts and most entries are under 1k. I think there's a regular story in this batch, too. Have fun!

H: 0 R: 8 C: 9 V: 3 N: 1

Not the Princess You Were Expecting by Flint-Lock
Genre: Comedy
Equestria welcomes its newest princess.
Okay, this one’s better than A Perfectly Normal Picnic. You can guess from the title that the entire joke lies in just who has been crowned princess, but I laughed regardless. It ends predictably, but for a shortfic, it’s fun.
Recommended for a Laugh

Uncoordinated by Cold in Gardez
Genre: Comedy
Twilight’s latest experiments run afoul of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
This is my favorite comedy-bent Twilight: oblivious to everything but what’s right in front of her, super-excited about science, and hilariously neglectful of Spike’s dignity and personhood. Also rather incompetent, given the liberal use of the word ‘again’ in this piece. I smiled or laughed through the whole thing, and the end joke is pretty funny, so in all, it’s a swell comedy!
Recommended

Change of Heart by Esle Ynopemos
Genre: Slice of Life
Applejack’s been helping Apple Bloom with her homework.
The author’s note at the top says this comes from a prompt to ship one of the mane cast with a non-pony. Obviously, AJ’s in the former slot, but ignoring who the target is, I’d actually like to take umbrage with the verb. This isn’t shipping, not to my mind (someone in the comments calls it “family shipping” and I say that’s just a big cop-out :V). That said, if you don’t go in expecting such, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Applejack’s reactions are surprising, if in character. It moves a little quickly, but it does at least get all its ideas across. This is a pretty original piece, all told, and I wish it was a bit longer (or that there was a followup).
Recommended If You Ignore the Author’s Note

The King’s Lament by Benman
Genre: Filk
This is very weird. It’s a parody of a song I’ve never heard before, and while it follows the form pretty well, it might be better heard than read. It’s a little silly and honestly doesn’t make any sense if you think about it, but it’s still a fair sight better than most filk in this fandom.
Recommended If You Like Songs?

Fluttershy Gets Harassed by a Red and Black Alicorn by FamousLastWords
Genre: Comedy
Fluttershy uses an online dating site.
This was written for a contest hosted by Rage Reviews, of all groups. It came across my dash because someone was trying to get it into the featured box. Also, as I read it, the main story page is completely fucked up and everything’s italics. c.c Well then. You can put the plot together from the title and my little summary there. Honestly, for me, the funny joke is “Fluttershy should definitely never use a dating service”. Otherwise, this was a collection of your standard dating site harassment, and a not-actually-a-red-and-black-alicorn, and not much else. Someone might laugh, I guess.
Vaguely Recommended

Heart by Dimondium
Genre: Shipping
Rainbow Dash goes to tell Twilight how she feels, a moment too late.
Okay, I can’t see Rainbow having to work up the nerve to tell anyone how she feels, least of all one of her friends, nor could I really see her running off crying due to preemptive rejection. Crying to Fluttershy and essentially rebounding from having her heart broken isn’t really a good basis for a relationship. Then there’s the weird “spell-zone” thing that… I think I can safely say this is not good shipping.
Not Recommended

From on High by FanOfMostEverything
Genre: Character Study
Rainbow Dash loves being high up.
This is from a minific writeoff, so it’s pretty short, but it gets its power from the juxtaposition of the two scenes. The first is pretty evocative for its shortness, and carries with it a good Rainbow Dash voice. (Not to mention the best city name pun ever.) I don’t have much more to say about this; it’s simple but effective.
Recommended

The Sun’s Victory by Chris
Genre: Poetry
I think this is in blank verse? (Actually, it’s not, he explains it at the end.) I’m not paying too much attention to that, but what I do notice is the alliteration. And that it’s so consistent is what keeps it from being distracting. It’s pretty neat, though, given that you can read this straight through like prose, but the line breaks show you where each alliterative cluster begins and ends. If I have anything to say against this, it’s that it joins the fandom’s poetic body in being written pretty much exclusively about the royal sisters, and in this case, Nightmare Moon. Still a good read, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I now noticed that’s almost all that ever gets poetry written about it.
Recommended

At Close of Day by Pascoite
Genre: Dialogue
Luna has a chat with an old friend.
I’m not sure what this was written for, but it obviously had a low word limit! The problem with this story is that it all hinges on the reveal of who Luna was talking to, and that was plain as day the moment he was described the least bit. Beyond that, it’s not too substantial, owing to that low word limit, though I like the conversation itself.
Recommended as Light Reading

War Averted by horizon
Genre: Flashfic
Yes, this story is a mere 111 words long! It’s exactly enough buildup to tell its joke, and it’s amusing and original. It’s kind of sad that this is better than some epic-length fics I’ve read in the past.
Recommended

Miracle by Titanium Dragon
Genre: Future Fic
Rarity’s daughter asks about her father.
This is a really quick scene that packs a lot into itself. You’ve got married Rarijack, magical lesbian spawn, and then a conundrum stemming from the combination of those things. Granted, in the end it’s more musing on an idea than actually solving anything, but it’s nice enough if you like stuff about the mane cast having foals with each other.
Recommended for Shippers

A Conveniently Forced Plot by Wanderer D
Genre: Crackfic
Chrysalis goes to Ponyville to find her daughter.
This is a marvelous piece of absurdity. It starts off wacky and fast-paced with plenty of snarking at the wedding episode, then pulls a 360 and walks away (upwards; you can rotate in more than two dimensions, y’know!) The twist I never saw coming, and you never will either. The timing of everything is perfect. Granted, I don’t understand why there’s a lengthy spoiler in the middle, but whatever, go read this, it’s beautiful.
Recommended

Stay Here by Dark Avenger
Genre: Scene Interpretation
Fluttershy trains.
I often get cross with authors for including entire scenes from the show in their stories and changing nothing; this is not one of those times. Sure, it’s just the scene from Hurricane Fluttershy where she’s doing wing-ups, but whether because it’s super-visceral or just that Fluttershy’s as out of shape as I am, I really connected with what’s going on. We get a deep, convincing look at Fluttershy’s motivation and train of thought, and that makes this work. That said, I thought the opening went on a bit too long for as short as this is, though I do like what the author did with it. It’s still a good scene interpretation, and an example of doing it right.
Recommended

Forced Evolution by Ezn
Genre: Headcanon Dump
This is a very odd little piece. It almost reads like a technical tract, except that it’s more of a history book. It concerns the birthing of new alicorns, and while I was waiting for it to end with a bad joke, it in fact took a very dark, if unsurprising in hindsight, turn at the end. I’m not honestly sure what to think about it, save that it’s a very interesting idea for what it does.
Recommended If You Don’t Mind Telling

Pancakes and Apples by alexmagnet
Genre: Surreal Horror
I love the way this story mixes its images together without any regard whatsoever for standard writing conventions. That said, it ultimately seems pointless, a good exercise in dream imagery that ends up being as meaningless as most dreams. Kinda worth the read though, it’s short after all.
Recommended If You’re Into Experimental Stuff

Missing You by Compendium of Steve
Genre: Appleparents
Applejack’s parents come to visit.
This has a good setup, but I don’t think enough was done with it, even given the shortness. I was unsure exactly what Applejack’s actions at the end were meant to convey, and ultimately it feels like emotional venting more than an actual story. Might appeal to Appleparents fans.
Vaguely Recommended

Chiron Beta Prime(-ish) by Filler
Genre: Dark
Twilight writes to Celestia about the new way in Ponyville.
My one problem with this piece is that using bolded letters was a little “there’s obviously something going on here”. I mean, it’s really easy to go read the ‘hidden’ message first, but honestly? Even doing that, finding out afterward just what happened to cause that doesn’t diminish the effect. I also found it interesting to think that once upon a time, Twilight was just another citizen of Ponyville. Anyway, it’s not a mind-bending or spine-tingling tale, but the blending of the two narratives works out pretty well, so I’d call it solid.
Recommended for Dark Fans

Watching the Same Sunset by Jonathon Smythe
Genre: EQG
Sunset Shimmer relives a terrible moment.
I wish the author had expanded this after the writeoff, because it’s got a lot of potential but feels compressed in its minific form. Specifically, while the dialogue is pretty good, the narrative, most of it Sunset’s internal monologue, doesn’t fit quite as well. I do like the idea that Sunset was friends with pony Flash Sentry before she went to Equestria, and the first scene is close enough to canon to be commendable. It just needs a little more work on the writing is all.
Vaguely Recommended

Hansel and Gretel by Bad Horse
Reading by Neighrator Pony
Genre: Fairy Tale, Kinda
The draw in these stories will always be the narrator. He’s hilarious. In this one, and it’s hard to know for certain, he seems to be changing the story as he tells it specifically to make the filly he’s telling it to learn something. Or feel bad. Either way, it’s great, and that’s what really makes this work. Because otherwise, it’s a not-very-pony narrator telling a weird version of Hansel and Gretel that has nothing to do with ponies. In fact, there might as well be no ponies in this at all, but it’s still worth the read because funny.
Recommended

A Pale Horse by Sharp Spark
Genre: Thriller
He realized somepony was following him...
Oh, I remember this one. The protagonist may not have the best name, but he’s a comedically normal character, which makes the creepy things happening around him have that much more import. This does a good job building tension through little things, and not losing it for the passage of time. It feels a little rushed through the middle — it’s kind of hard to think that a single psychiatrist’s visit would have that strong an effect on him, though I can’t fault the depiction of the shrink — but the ending is great, a nice ending to a tense piece. It could be more, perhaps, but it’s pretty good as-is.
Recommended

The Other Draconequus by Nonagon
Genre: Flashfic
I dunno. I laughed, but overall it’s really weird. I should start reading one of these every time I post a journal, they take longer to review than read!
Recommended for a Laugh

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Comments ( 12 )

Man, now you've linked me to a ton of minific collections. You monster, I'm going to have to read a bunch of these!

I also apparently stopped ONE STORY BEFORE the one from Esle you recommended the first time I read that collection. :raritydespair:

Thank you for the recommendation on Miracle; I hope other folks enjoy it. I have to admit I am fairly proud of its density (and am kind of sad that I cannot achieve that level of density nearly as often as I'd like to) but I suspect that author appeal is part of why I like it.

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no perspective on most of the stories I write.

War Averted horizon

Huh. Good to know.

Why can't my terrible story just die already? :facehoof:

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

2872675 Because there is a God and he hates you.

Look at all these stories going in my read later box!

2872776 named Syeekoh.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2872675
Blame Syeekoh. :V

2872941 I blame rock n' roll music and Disney sitcoms! (Does that excuse still hold weight these days?)

War Averted by horizon
Genre: Flashfic
Yes, this story is a mere 111 words long! It’s exactly enough buildup to tell its joke, and it’s amusing and original. It’s kind of sad that this is better than some epic-length fics I’ve read in the past.
Recommended

Hooray! I'm now 41% of the way toward having written something whose accumulated reviews are longer than the story itself. :twilightsmile:

"At Close of Day" was an entry in Tactical!Rainboom's first Minific Mayhem contest. I wrote 9 of the 36 entries. Heh. Word count was capped at 400. There was a complicated system of judging which recognized stories based on either public voting or a judging panel, so it's hard to gauge where a story actually "placed." This one finished 3rd or 4th.

I liked the idea that Luna and Death shared a friendship, but I didn't have enough to make this story stretch to a one-shot on its own. I did like the feel that Luna was slightly revolted by his work, but I left that and just used the fact they had a friendship at all as part of a couple scenes in "He Kindly Stopped for Me."

As an added bit of ephemera, this was the second of three (so far) stories where I borrowed the title from "Do No Go Gentle Into That Good Night."

I'm just waiting for you to get far enough through the anthology to read "Oats."

Wanderer D
Moderator

Well, the thing is, why would Chrysalis want to spoil her tragic background story to the readers? :raritywink:

Thanks for reviewing it!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2873751
In good time. :)

2873788
I thought it was something like that. You silly patoot. :D

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