Wanderer D 4,997 followers · 55 stories

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News Archive

  • 7 weeks
    Minor Rules and Reporting Update

    Hope everyone is enjoying the new year.

    Some small changes have been made to our rules as well as to the reporting process.

    Rules

    "No attacks directed at individuals or groups due to race, gender, gender identity, religion or sexual identity."

    This better clarifies our previously ill-defined hate speech rule and includes groups as well as individual attacks.

    "No celebration, glorification or encouragement of real life criminal activity."

    This includes past, present and potential future crimes.

    Read More

    750 comments · 9,073 views
  • 9 weeks
    Jinglemas 2019

    There's truly no time like the holidays. What's better than copious amounts of food, quality time with family and friends, hearing the sweet sound of Trans-Siberian Orchestra on repeat, and unmanagble financial stress from our capitalist overlords?

    Gift exchanges of course!


    Our Own Little Way of bringing Hearth's Warming to Fimfiction

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    28 comments · 2,617 views
  • 28 weeks
    "Ponyfic: There Can Be Only One" wrap-up [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We're still recovering this week from the fandom's final Bronycon.  (In some cases literally — a con-crud-ridden Horizon is dragging himself out of bed to write this.)  So in lieu of a Bronycon-week feature, we'd like to talk a little bit about the panel we hosted to find THE FANDOM'S BEST FANFIC™.

    We've got a full writeup on our royalcanterlotlibrary.net website — including the complete bracket of 16 fics in contention for the title; shout-outs to great fics which we couldn't fit on the shortlist; and the full results of audience and curator voting.

    Our hearty congratulations to Monochromatic's "The Enchanted Library" for taking the BEST FANFIC title in an upset victory over our #1 seed!  We'll be running an interview with Monochromatic as soon as possible.

    25 comments · 3,010 views
  • 29 weeks
    Come See Us at Bronycon! [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The run-up to Bronycon has been a mad whirlwind of RCL activity!  Five curators are attending (two for the first time!), and one of us is an official community guest. Several of us are participating in the Golden Oaks Bookstore (as author, author and publisher).  And we're even running a panel!

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    29 comments · 2,294 views
  • 61 weeks
    Merry Christmas

    Hope you all have a great Christmas full of lots of food and fun times. Also ponies

    ~From everyone on staff

    110 comments · 3,352 views
  • 83 weeks
    Galacon

    I will be at galacon this weekend so if you see me feel to say hi!

    50 comments · 3,124 views
  • 87 weeks
    MLP BOX T-Shirt Contest

    Hey guys, MLP BOX are doing a competition for a t-shirt design to be included in one of their boxes, and since I know we have a mix of people here including artists, we thought it'd be a good idea to promote them so you guys can get in on it too. Below you can find more information about the contest:

    Brony.com and MLP BOX have launched the first in a series of "Design a MLP T-shirt" contests over on Brony.com.  The winning design, voted on by site visitors,  will not only be featured on a shirt but the winning designer will also win $1000 dollars pending approval of their design by Hasbro.   Second and Third Place will also receive a cash prize.  All winning designs will be printed and be made available in t-shirt form for sale through the Brony website.

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    16 comments · 3,046 views
  • 93 weeks
    Patreon & Survey Follow Up

    First of all, reminder that we have a Patreon you can find at https://www.fimfiction.net/patreon . Apparently a lot of people didn't know we had one so there it is. $5 will remove ads on the site for you. I'll be making the Patreon page more prominent in relevant areas of the site soon to make sure people actually know it exists.

    Thanks everyone for filling in the survey last night. We had over 5,000 responses and I did in fact read every single comment left as they were coming in and finished reading them this morning. It seems there are a few features which we would potentially be interested in making premium features (part of the $5+ patreon rewards).

    • Custom emoticons you can upload
    • Custom titles / colours
    • Animated avatars
    • Avatar border frames
    • Extra themes
    • Custom CSS
    • Higher tier patreon rewards that let you “gift” premium?
    • Mass story download
    • Banners
    • Automatic day/night theme selector
    • Free advertising slots?

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    142 comments · 4,415 views
  • 108 weeks
    Announcing the Everfree Northwest Scribblefest Official Start!

    Greetings Aspiring Writers!

    Everfree Northwest, Seattle's premier pony convention is known for having one of—if not the—strongest writing tracks in the MLP fandom. As part of that, we run an online writing contest every year: The Everfree NW Scribblefest! Entry is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the convention.

    This year, we’re offering the winners a $10 Amazon gift code, as well as mentions across a bunch of sources of media that Everfree NW utilizes to tell people about your awesome story!

    This year’s prompt is: Family Trees: Roots, Branches, and Leaves

    Goals

    Read More

    76 comments · 4,785 views
  • 112 weeks
    Happy New Year

    Have a good 2018.

    - From everyone on the team.

    115 comments · 3,880 views
Feb
29th
2016

Site Post » SA Reviews #78 · 3:24pm Feb 29th, 2016

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Professor Plum raced into the control room, crying, “Hugh, Jack, man the console! We have new technology that will revolutionize everything!”

RedSquirrel and Ferret gave each other a confused look before Ferret said, “Uh, neither one of us is named Hugh or Jack.”

“Nevermind that now!” Plum waved them off, heading for a control panel. “Just be ready at your stations. I’ve got something to show you.” He took a seat and pressed a complex series of buttons and keystrokes. The monitors RedSquirrel and Ferret were closest to lit up, displaying a list of story titles.

“Hey, these are the stories we’re reviewing this round,” Red said.

Ferret nodded. “But they haven’t been finished yet. They’re still being written up.”

Plum hid a devious smile. “Not to worry.” His fingers flew over the console, too fast for anyone to keep track of. Seconds later, paragraph after paragraph began to fill in under each story title, complete with cover images and http links.

“What… how…” Ferret stammered.

Jumping out of his chair, Plum pumped a fist into the air in triumph. “Instant Reviews! They’re posted on the site before they are even finished. Now we’ll never be left scrambling to fill our slot at the last second!” With a dramatic wave of his finger, Plum pressed a red button, revealing…

ROUND 78


This is not the story of how the Dragon Empire fell. This is the story of why it happened.


Thinking back on it, we didn’t really get much new material from Dragon Quest, unless you were the WBA. Most of it was awkward changeling fics shoehorned to feature dragons instead. I, at least, didn’t see a lot of dragon empire stories, which is a shame because dragons are pretty cool.

Here is one of the few that takes that idea and runs in a completely different direction.

Befitting of its stature in literature, DannyJ adopts a “slow burner” style, creating lavish descriptions that convey the power and aura of Queen Teneblight, ruler of the dragons, as she sets out to revive her kingdom by appropriating that of the ponies’. The journey is not the focus, as the summary implies, though it does make for a few nice scenes to set the tone before the storm.

Really, this story is not so much a focus on the dragon empire as what caused it to fall. As in, the crux is not worldbuilding, but conflict - the innate conflict-rousing personalities and viewpoints of the dragons, between an equally defiant, yet infinitesimally more powerful party - Discord. It’s about showcasing parallels between the peaceful ponies, who beat the windigoes by finding harmony, versus the dragons, which killed them. It’s about fully realizing the implications of a dragon empire, and why it could never really last.

And it’s also about Discord being absolutely fantastic.

Conceptually, the story really is quite something else, though it may be hard to spot on the first reading. On the surface alone it’s got plenty to enjoy, with richly charged dialogue, perspective, and lots of unspoken consequences for a reader to toy with.

Aight, let me just start this off with the obligatory WOOOOOOORLD BUUUUIIIIIIIILDIIIIING

YEEEEAAAAAHHHHH

At this point, it’s practically a requirement to get featured in a round. At least, any round that I’m present in. And man, this one really delivers.

Set long ago, back before the Princesses overthrew Discord to bring about a truly unified Equestria, DannyJ starts us off with a description of the Dragon Queen, Tenebright. It’s good that he does so, for it’s through her eyes that we explore both the rest of Dragonkind, and the story as a whole. Not particularly long story, at just over 8k words, but by the end of Discord, you feel like you’ve witnessed the rise and fall of empires. Which you have, I suppose.

This one’s rather interesting, as the world-building I love so much almost seems to be an afterthought. It’s certainly not the focus of the story, and is more there to just set the stage for the conflict in the story. The drama is lovely, the action is intense, and the conclusion is obvious right from the get-go. Once one sees who it is who’s fighting, one already knows who’s going to emerge the victor. Yet strangely enough, it’s handled in such a way that it’s still entertaining, regardless of how forgone it appears. Perhaps it’s not the knowledge of who’s going to win that’s important, but the question of how is the key? Or maybe it’s just an enjoyable journey to a familiar destination.

While I can prattle on about world-building and epic fight scenes until the cows come home (and subsequently set up their own civilisation, before burning it down), the real selling point for this story is the characterisation. Queen Tenebright is a solidly done tyrannical despot, ruling a species that specialises in tyranny and despotism, and her arrogance is a great filter through which to view the absolute star of the show, Discord himself. I shan’t say much more, for that would ruin it like if one were to explain a joke, but suffice it to say that he is 100% spot-on. Highly entertaining, often disturbing, and sometimes downright haunting, right down to the final words.

I can’t really recommend this one enough.


Star Swirl the Bearded, exiled by Princess Platinum and worried for his continued survival, sends a letter to Clover the Clever briefly detailing his views on ponykind's origins, the nature of the physical world, and the future of his species.


This one’s for the high fantasy buffs out there. From the denser prose to the single carriage return, this story harkens to a style from... geez, one and a half decades ago?

Anyhow, this is pure magic - and friendship - philosophy. Friendship is Physics is very much theorizing, philosophy, thought experiments and the like. It looks at Equestrian historical examples, observations of nature, references to his own investigations, trying to make sense of what friendship is in terms of magic.

While the process itself is fascinating, and you certainly can’t find much else of its kind on Fimfic, I have to wonder if it is all part of a much larger framework - that Starswirl, who is an exile at the time of writing, was an exile because he could not see friendship as anything more than just another tenet of reality. It’s a bit weird to think that the prologue is what holds the main story together, rather than the ending (though there is some hinting of it there too). Yet, if so, more style points to Violet CLM.

Check this out if you’re hankering for some unreserved musings on what is it that keeps Equestria together. You won’t leave unsatisfied.

The question of science in Equestria is one that the fandom (or parts of the fandom) have spent a great deal of time examining. On the surface this fic sets out to answer a little of that conundrum, but in the gap between the two parts there is a very noticeable undercurrent.

We are presented with a letter from Starswirl to Clover the Clever, lamenting his banishment to a distant realm at the hooves of Princess Platinum and enclosing some of his writings on the effects of Friendship in the world. The letter alone is telling enough: poor Starswirl is lonely, tired and probably more than a little depressed. He is also bitter, perhaps as bitter as the cold that he finds now dominates his life and the life of other ponies. Alone, this would be quite a tale.

Accompanying it is a treatise on the effects of Friendship in the physical realm, that begins with an examination of a number of (ethically dubious) experiments by an earth pony who sought to understand what made ponies tick, before moving on to higher and more abstract discussions of what holds the world together.

As written it is somewhat dense. Cold. Even icy, if you'll pardon the metaphor. Its discussions are interesting and revealing of a certain view of the world that assumes a great deal, even as it knocks over other widely held truisms. The author mentions Ovid in comments, though I was put as much in mind of Pliny, who wrote down every story about How Things Work in his Natural History and took as a given that most of what he committed to his book was true. Most. I could wax for hours on the historical references, the subtle implications and the fascinating worldbuilding that this short piece gives us, but – in my mind, at least – that would miss the point.

This is, in the end, a story about an old man who longs for the comfort and security of his home and the companionship of his friends and loved ones, but who cannot commit those words to paper. So he dresses them up in his treatise, speaking of the isolation of a lonely soul, the totality of commitment between two idealised lovers, of the fundamental force that Friendship must surely exert on the world and the draw that it has even for old monsters – for like those great gods of old, betrayed and cast down to exile and isolation by uncaring successors, nevertheless drawn back to the world from which they were cast out, he wants to go home.


A mother brings her daughter to Canterlot, for enrollment in Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Together, they face the future.


You know, looking at a synopsis like that, one could easily be forgiven for assuming that the story is about Twilight Sparkle and Twilight Velvet. And then you look at the tags: OCs, no Twilight, no Sunset, but not AU? The hell is this story going for, you wonder.

Despite her being an OC, it doesn’t take long before you start sympathising (or empathising, depending if you have children) with the main character, Delores Cloud. In a site full of fiction chockers with characters edgily weighed down by tragic backstories, it’s refreshing to see a character intended to make you care about them that isn’t immediately laughed off or makes your eyes roll right back off the screen and out of the story from the get-go. She’s relatable, especially if you’re a parent yourself, and her situation could quite honestly have happened to anyone.

Not gonna lie: the formatting will definitely be a turnoff for those readers who adamantly demand spacing between the paragraphs. But a story like this is worth treating as though it’s resting there in your hands, with a gentle crease in its spine from many years of ownership. You don’t see spaced paragraphs in those now, do you?

Get past that, and you’ve already overcome all of what there could be to dislike. Delores is an exemplary representation of what a parent should be willing to do for their child, while April, the young and spirited prodigal light of Delores’ life, just wants to make her mother happy. You’ll want to cheer for Delores and pray for April’s success. And then the turning point is real: it hits with the force of a nation-wide earthquake, which isn’t actually far from the truth.

Those Who Live Forever is a tale of the border between dreams and reality and the incredibly thin line between them that can be shattered by a single, unlikely, even impossible event. The Butterfly Effect can be cruel, as can the nature of everyday life… but you have to keep holding on, for things might not always be as tragic as they seem. There’s always some bits at the end of the rainboom, even if it’s only a small hoof-ful.

This story relies heavily on emotion; the determination to succeed, the joy of getting that one chance to prove yourself, and the agony of scraping against your dream, only for it to slip by. That’s the journey that Delores Cloud goes through in her quest to give her daughter a better life than hers. If you are a parent, then this story will have the impact it’s going for.

That’s this story’s main selling point: the main character. Delores is an easy character to empathise with and you end up rooting for her to succeed throughout the story. She’s the everymare, working against the system with the limited tools she has. The bond she shares with her daughter is also touching, making her plight all the more personal.

There are a few things that niggle at my suspension of disbelief, though. Apparently, telephones are available within Equestria prior to the Sonic Rainboom and then discontinued by the time the show starts. I guess the Rainboom fried all the telephone wires? Also, fans of Celestia may cry foul at a specific scene where she comes across as cold and calculating. Not to mention that the Castle of the Two Sisters isn’t as obscure as the first two episodes built it up to be.

Those nitpicks aside, there’s plenty to like. The writing is efficient and precise, sparing the surrounding details and instead focusing on how Delores deals with the situations she’s found herself in. This could be classified as a tragedy, but there’s enough hope and optimism contained within to give the hint that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve wished for the best for others, give this a try. Sometimes our wishes pan out and sometimes what we truly want is closer than we thought.


The Crystal Empire's Royal Couple are popular, successful and happy in their marriage. As if that wasn't irritating enough, they're also very good with words. The problem is, one of the words they'll need today is "Armageddon".
Well, more or less.


So, Cerulean Voice and I were arguing debating the merits of whether a certain pony’s name is Fleur De Lis, or Fleur Dis Lee. I argue De Lis, since the character name was fanon and you cannot trademark the generic term. He argues it doesn’t matter because the canon name is canon and thus we should use it. I know he’s crazy, but while we were arguing, we started discussing other stories that play with names and this one came up. Since I have a crippling love of puns and thankfully my friends love me anyways, I can really appreciate this story.

This is one of those beautiful fics that manages to both amuse and enlighten, and will trip you right up if you tend to skim, as there’s a lot of near homophones and homonyms throughout. If you ever enjoyed the drink scene from The Court Jester (The vessel with the pestle etc), this is the fic for you.

It’s a very simple story about the difficulties of where to store one’s armour when it’s not in use, but descends into ridiculousness very quickly by showing off how so many words can sound almost identical but mean very different things.

If you like tongue, twisters, armourgeddon and Shining and Cadance cuteness, this is a worthwhile read. And at under two thousand words, it’s a quick read too.

So, Themaskedferret and I were debating the silliness surrounding whether a certain pony’s name is Fleur De Lis, or Fleur Dis Lee. I argue Dis Lee because that’s her official name on merchandise; the canon name is canon and thus we should use it. She argues De Lis, since the character name was fanon and you cannot trademark the generic term. I know she’s bonkers, but while we were arguing, I began to remember fics that mess around with spelling as if to turn up the lampshade on how ridiculous some character names really are.

Of particular note is the great debate whether to write Cadance or Cadence, Doctor Hooves or Doctor Whooves, Shining Armor or Shining Armour… and then this ridiculous gem came to mind. Shining Armor’s Amour’s Armour is as good an example of wordplay as you are like to find around. Many characters get in on the story-driven Pun Olympics, including Pinkie Pie, who might have scored the gold medal if not for the brain-busting, tongue-twisting teasing that goes on between a really cute royal couple.

This is flat out fun at its outrageous finest. You won’t want to miss a word, for not only are there a minuscule amount of them, but they all lead into one another so well… particularly as Cada(e)nce skillfully wields her most “dangerous” weapon to strike through her amour’s armour. I haven’t seen a more masterful compilation of same-sounding words since I decided to google the phrase "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo". I never did recover from that, by the way.

If there’s one thing that Ferret and I can agree on, it’s that this is the shortfic you want, should you seek not only a decent amount of silly chuckles, but a scene that wonderfully plays up the loving, fledgeling relationship between an Armor, his amour named Amore, and the various places they keep their armour.

Oh, and everyone’s favourite Pinto makes an appearance; his arrival onto the scene is just icing on the cake at that point, a subtle addition that further adds to the usually-frowned-upon—but in this story’s case, deliberate—mixing of British and American English.

tl;dr: spell things how you want. Just, at the very least, keep it consistent. Unless of course you’re just plain wrong. Like if you write Flutter Shy. And don’t forget to read this story either. You can’t do much in this world in the space of three minutes to get a similar amount of satisfaction.


“What did I tell ya?” Plum said to his stunned audience.

Red and Ferret remained standing in the same positions they were in before the reviews had been posted. Both were slackjawed, forming words with their mouths but no sound coming out.

“Isn’t the future wonderful?” Wearing a satisfied smirk, Plum leaned back onto the console.

His fruity derriere landed on several buttons, pressing them all simultaneously.

The monitors came to life with red warning signs. Before Plum could comprehend what was happening, the monitors burst, spraying mechanical bits and electric sparks everywhere.

An awkward silence fell over the room. In a daze, RedSquirrel walked over to a functioning panel and pressed some keys. After a few moments, he turned to Plum and said, “You… wouldn’t happen to have backed up that program, would you?”

“Uh…”

Ferret facepalmed. “Even in the future nothing works.”


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 4,028 views ·
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Comments ( 12 )

“Even in the future nothing works.”

Well there goes the neighborhood, again,

Have you noticed that there are two story fours?

But then again, it's Discord Day today, so I suppose I'll let it slide...

Nice to see Dannyj get some love. I'm not sure if he ever got around to the full polish job he planned after we talked about it (I'm pretty sure I remember reading it afterwards, but it's a good while ago now), but it was nice to get really technical with someone who cared enough to beat his head against it until it made sense.

Of course, it's also nice when someone actually trusts me that I'm not just talking complete ballsacks :P

Really? Really? Really! Really. Thank you. :pinkiehappy:

this ridiculous gem

That's the biggest compliment I have ever been paid. :pinkiehappy:

I'd prefer "Cadænce", personally. Life is full of disappointments.

Hey, I actually read one of these! I Loved Friendship is Physics. I think it was recommended to me by someone, but I can't remember who. I love analytics like that.

Professor Plum has quite the bum, doesn't he?

Huh. I wouldn't have thought a Royal Canterlot Library/Author Interview inductee would be eligible for this sort of thing too, but I'll take it. Thanks!

#howtosucceedinblogpostswithoutreallytrying

Those Who Live Forever is a great story and everyone should read it. It is good to see it getting more recognition.

3784778 He's an eight-foot-tall plum.

3784308 3785657
We do have occasional crossover, because we have different standards but are both looking for quality. The RCL features stories based on literary merit; they have to pass through our scoring/voting process and reach consensus among all of our curators. The Angels feature underappreciated stories (good stories under 1000 views), and even last year's RCL feature of Friendship Is Physics didn't push it over that threshold.

If you have access to fusion technology, which of you makes the best combination?

You guuuuuuuuuuys, you're making me blush.

Thank you, though. Really. I'm always tremendously flattered and surprised whenever people have nice things to say about my writing.

3784092

You remember correctly. I distinctly recall you signing off on the revised version. In fact, I gave you a credit in the author's notes.

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