• 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

  • 28 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 · 299 views
  • 36 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 · 714 views
  • 38 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 · 730 views
  • 38 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 · 556 views
  • 39 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 · 403 views
Mar
24th
2015

Read It Later Reviews #12 – Her Final Flight, Clanless, The Incandescent Brilliance, Never the Final Word, Under a Tree · 10:58pm Mar 24th, 2015

I ended up reading a bunch of stories last night as a result of a discussion with KitsuneRisu about his stories. How much longer can I put off posting what was supposed to be Read It Later Reviews #10?

Apparently at least one more review post. :trollestia:

Still, there are some worthy stories in here worth checking out. I just need to finally bite the bullet and read Off the Edge of the Map.

The stories I read today:

Her Final Flight by palaikai
Clanless by Rated Ponystar
The Incandescent Brilliance by KitsuneRisu
Never the Final Word by Horizon
- Stellar Fire
- Twilight’s Choice
- Since You Asked
Under a Tree by Lambent Dream


Her Final Flight
by palaikai

Sad, Slice of Life

The dull throb in her heart was enough; another friendship about to end, another link in her chain to Ponyville about to be torn asunder. Making a decision, Twilight closed the door and approached the bed cautiously. “Hey,” she said softly, pressing a hoof gently to the pony's cheek...

Why I added it: I liked the idea behind it.

Review
As alicorns grow into their power, they also grow old. Twilight is an old pony, and she has outlived many of her friends from Ponyville. But one yet remains, and Twilight isn’t about to leave her to die alone.

This is a story about Twilight dealing with the passing of her very last friend from Ponyville, but also reminds the reader that Twilight has other things going on – the immortals, and indeed, Spike, though where he is off to, the story never makes clear.

It is a day in the life of Twilight Sparkle, and also of Scootaloo – but it is much closer to the last one for one than the other.

This is a very reasonable vignette, and was a story I read just a bit before I started doing reviews; I came back across it today and still liked it, and thought I might point it out for others to enjoy.

Recommendation: Worth Reading


Clanless
by Rated Ponystar

Alternate Universe, Romance, Sad

Rainbow Dash had hoped that when Applejack came home, it would be a warm and happy reunion between the two lovers after AJ returned from the latest Apple Family Reunion. However, Rainbow Dash learns that AJ and her immediate family are no longer Apples. They are now clanless and it's all because of her.

Yet sometimes, true family lies not in blood, but in love.

Why I added it: The topic interested me.

Review
Applejack comes out as dating a pegasus mare to her extended family. It goes badly.

That is not really what this story is, though; the story is actually about Rainbow Dash comforting Applejack after the fact, when Applejack comes home without a clan – though everyone in her immediate family was also kicked out, apparently.

This story is something of a bait-and-switch, though it may have been unintentional – rather than the oft-used homophobia, instead it went for the slightly-less-common racism angle. This story’s age shows as well, given that Apple Family Reunion established that there are non-earth pony Apples. As was pointed out in the comments, the story actually post-dates Apple Family Reunion; it seems that it was just a bit of an (unlabelled) AU story.

Overall, the story didn’t really do a whole lot for me; the conflict is already past, and Applejack already made her choice. All that is really left is Rainbow Dash comforting Applejack, which isn’t really all that interesting or exciting. There isn’t anything especially novel in the execution of the piece, either.

All in all, it is thus a fairly standard example of the breed, and it is hard for me to really recommend it as you have likely already seen very similar stories even outside of ponies before, and this doesn’t really go anywhere new with it.

Recommendation: Not Recommended.


The Incandescent Brilliance
by KitsuneRisu

Tragedy

An accident occurs, leaving two ponies trapped in a room with nothing to do but wait in an eternal field of stars.

Why I added it: KitsuneRisu is a good writer, some folks recommended it to me, and the description intrigued me. KitsuneRisu predicted I wouldn’t particularly enjoy it, though.

Review
I should have listened.

Professor Trixie Lulamoon and her student, Russet Apple, are caught in a magical lab accident. Boxed in by the magic meant to prevent a miniature magical void that they inadvertently created, the two are trapped in a dark space where magic cannot be used, and they sit and talk while waiting for rescue – if such a thing is even possible.

Russet Apple is the son of Big Mac and Fluttershy, who apparently went to great lengths to enroll him in Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, and Russet is scared he is going to die and render all of his family’s accomplishments moot.

Trixie, for her part, is surprisingly calm, and apparently, despite having finally won recognition for her talents from Twilight Sparkle herself, now despises such things, and does her best to keep Russet Apple calm until the end.

These two are, for all intents and purposes, both OCs – Trixie is not really recognizable as Trixie, and Russet, obviously, was entirely made-up by Kitsune Risu. Russet is an earnest young colt, and he looks up to Trixie.

The story on the whole suffers from one real problem: I didn’t really care about either character.

I never really got connected to Russet Apple, and this version of Trixie was a stranger to me (though to be fair, I don’t have any real investment in Trixie in the first place, but at least I know her character). Neither of their personalities really interested me. I already guessed at Trixie’s story, and Russet’s story just was kind of generic. Trixie was very resigned to her fate, Russet was a generic-feeling kid from Iowa Ponyville, and neither of them made me really go “man, I hope they live because I like this person.” The only thing that kept me reading through the end was morbid curiosity as to whether or not Trixie’s resignation to her fate was justified, or if Twilight would end up saving them in the end.

It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t ever excite me or grab me in any way, and it was precisely because I didn’t care about the characters – and for a story like this to resonate with you, that’s key. If you don’t connect with the characters at the start of this story, it will likely never click with you; if you do, you will likely find it much more emotionally impactful than I did. Some other folks thought this was pretty good, even heartbreaking, but it just didn’t tug on my Lyra heartstrings.

Recommendation: Not Recommended.


Never the Final Word
by Horizon

Various, Recursive Fanfiction

When a story touches you deeply, sometimes the only appropriate reaction is to respond in kind.

This is an open anthology of minifics which continue or revisit other authors' fanfics — embracing and extending, and reflecting on questions raised by the work. Due to the nature of the collection, this contains spoilers for other authors' stories, though each chapter contains a link to let you read the source first (and a spoilered summary, if you want to jump right in).

Shoot me a PM if you've written a comments-section continuation that you'd like to see included here!

Why I added it: Horizon is a good writer, and the idea amused me.

Review
These stories are all recursive fanfiction in the form of short addendums (or codas) to other works of fanfiction. Most of them are intended to be humorous, but a few are serious, and almost all of them are great. Every single one of them is a spoiler for the stories it is a sequel to, though – so if you’re interested in reading these, you also need to read the stories they’re based on, in most cases.

Stellar Fire – A sequel to KitsuneRisu’s story The Incandescent Brilliance – [Sad]
Twilight deals with the guilt of having to go tell Russet Apple’s parents – Fluttershy and Big Mac – that Russet Apple is dead, and worst of all, the fact that neither of them will blame Twilight for failing to save their son.

If I had a complaint, it is that the fact that Twilight is the point of view character in the story is mostly irrelevant to the story, but honestly, it does what it is trying to do, and that is give us a little coda for Big Mac, Fluttershy, and Twilight. At 600 words long, it does its job quite well.

It is no wonder Horizon keeps beating us all in the Writeoffs.

Twilight’s Choice – [Romance] [Random] [Comedy]
Unlike the other stories in this collection, this is a response to real life events, namely in the form of a news article entitled "Man’s girlfriend and ex-partner jump into river to see who he’ll rescue".

I would recommend reading the news article first; it is a brilliant piece of writing.

The story itself is about Celestia and Luna jumping into a river to try and get Twilight to pick which one of them to save. Twilight, naturally, saves both of them, but not without some collateral damage.

I have to admit, while the idea is intrinsically silly, I think that I liked the news article much more.

Since You Asked – A sequel to Twilight’s Choice – [Comedy] [I Am Not Even Sorry]

I complained that his response to the news article was not a feghoot. Never let it be said that Horizon does not deliver, or that I am sorry for speaking up, because neither he nor I am the least bit sorry.

If you don’t like feghoots, you’re going to hate this.

Recommendation:
Stellar Fire: Recommended if you liked The Incandescent Brilliance.
Twilight’s Choice: Worth Reading (but the news article is Highly Recommended)
Since You Asked: I can’t recommend this in good faith, but I can’t pretend like I didn’t appreciate this.


Under A Tree
by Lambent Dream

Slice of Life

Applejack tells Fluttershy about the great oak tree atop a hill on the farm. It was the first one she ever planted, y'see. That doesn't have anything to do with why Granny Smith is in the hospital, and why Applejack isn't there.

Nope. Not at all.

Why I added it: I reviewed the original version of this story back in Read It Now #10, and Lambent Dream pulled it down and then heavily revised it.

Review
This story has been hugely improved from its original incarnation.

At its core, it is still the same story. The story is told from the point of view of Fluttershy, who has gone to Sweet Apple Acres to talk to Applejack – or more precisely, to let Applejack talk to her. Granny Smith is in the hospital, and Applejack doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t want to acknowledge that she might lose Granny Smith.

And so Fluttershy walks around the farm with Applejack, letting Applejack reminisce about her parents, and talk about the very first tree that Applejack ever planted and grew using earth pony magic.

Where the original version of this story struggled with Applejack’s voice, this version of the story did much better; Fluttershy doesn’t speak a whole lot, but she is reasonable enough in her role in the story. The whole story is much better told, and feels like the sort of rambling conversation that someone might have while trying to comfort themselves by talking.

All in all, I liked this story. It is fairly long for what it is, but it is intentionally so; it is reveling in the conversation, in the story about Applejack telling a story to Fluttershy. It isn’t fast-paced, but it goes along at its own pace and tries to communicate the feeling of the scene and the emotions of the characters, and it does a much better job of pulling us in and making us care about the story, without the voicing and textual issues which plagued the original version of this story.

Lambent Dream did a good job with this rewrite, and if you don’t mind rambling conversations, and like the idea of hearing Applejack talk about the first tree she planted, this is the story for you.

Note that this story is still incomplete as of this review.

Recommendation: Worth Reading.


Summary
Her Final Flight by palaikai
Worth Reading

Clanless by Rated Ponystar
Not Recommended

The Incandescent Brilliance by KitsuneRisu
Not Recommended

Never the Final Word by Horizon
- Stellar Fire: Recommended
- Twilight’s Choice: Worth Reading (and the news article is Highly Recommended)
- Since You Asked: Not Recommended because I have a conscience and you will all hit me if I tell you to read it. Even though it is all my fault that this exists and I like hearing groans.

Under a Tree by Lambent Dream
Worth Reading

I have to admit to being impressed by Lambent Dream; Under a Tree (which was originally Her First Tree) has, via revision, gone from being a story I didn’t like very much at all to being something worth reading that I almost want to recommend. Well done, Lambent.

Number of stories still listed as "Read It Later – High Priority": 276

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

Why do these numbers keep getting higher? :fluttercry:

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Comments ( 14 )

Why do these numbers keep getting higher?

Because that's just the way it is. People write faster than you can review :rainbowwild:

The story itself is about Celestia and Luna diverting a river to try and get Twilight to pick which one of them to save. Twilight, naturally, saves both of them, but not without some collateral damage.

That story's actually about Celestia and Luna literally just both jumping into a river, like in the news article, which makes my minific fifty times stupider and arguably incrementally more hilarious. It was Twilight who diverted the river (into the business district) to save them, hence their talk of Twilight's feat of magic and failure of public relations.

It's good to see the NR, though. Keeps me honest. :raritywink:

2906983 Think he's got a hoarding problem?

TD, the obvious answer is to raise your standards. If you can learn to let the hate flow freely, you'll be less inclined to look at words.

(I just want to be clear, I really am joking when I talk about how much you hate things. I'm not trying to be malicious.)

This story’s age shows as well, given that Apple Family Reunion established that there are non-earth pony Apples.

"Apple Family Reunion" came out in December of 2012. That story came out in summer 2013. Non-Earth Pony Apples had already been established.

2907037
Admittedly, I might have liked it better if I hadn't already seen the news article at that point, but the news article is just...

It is a thing of beauty.

How often do people get to write feghoots and pass them off as news?

And yes, understanding that does make your minific funnier. I'm not sure why I thought it was the other way around.

Oh well, the business district had it coming.

2907064
Huh. Weird. I thought it was older than that for some reason.

Derp derp.

2907093

How often do people get to write feghoots and pass them off as news?

What's that? You like feghoots?

I may have written one or two (or three).

The first one is especially relevant to this conversation.

I forgot to point out that you've slightly messed up your [url] tags here: [quote][url= The]http://www.fimfiction.net/story/169257/1/the-incandescent-brilliance/the-incandescent-brilliance]The Incandescent Brilliance[/url] You may want to fix that. :twilightsmile:

2907641
2907438
Thanks!

And I'll have to check out those stories. I already groaned at the first one. :heart:

I wonder if your reaction to The Incandescent Brilliance would be different if you had read it via Illya Leonov's audiobook. It has been a while since I listened to it, but I believe the reading helped me connect a lot more with the characters than the text would.

2907641
Thanks, fixed.

Er, whoops, already said that apparently.

Anyway, onto your other story. :moustache:

2907928
I don't really talk about this much (because I greatly appreciate that people make audiobooks for my own stuff) but personally, I don't actually like audiobooks. I know a lot of people love them, but I really prefer reading stuff at my own pace, rather than listening at a much slower pace. It just frustrates me to consume information that way.

Thanks for the recommendation. :pinkiesmile:

Wow...can't believe you haven't read OTEOTM (or any of Daetrin's fics) :unsuresweetie: You should find time for that; if memory serves, they're pretty good.

I enjoyed the prior version of Under a Tree...so I look forward to this rewrite. But I'm a sucker for Fluttershy being Fluttershy. :yay:

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