News Archive

  • Friday
    anonpencil's "Broken Bindings" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a real page-turner.

    Broken Bindings
    [Dark] [Horror] [Mystery] • 23,036 words

    Twilight has given you a new book to read. Well, she didn't exactly give it to you, you actually just found it in the back of the library. Behind a shelf. On the ground. It looks very old, downright ancient, and it smells like moss and rot. The binding is a little cracked, and there's no title on it. You can't help but wonder what might be inside, and the only way to find out is to keep reading.

    Just turn the page.

    You can do that much, can't you?


    Read More

    20 comments · 688 views
  • 1 week
    wYvern's "Of Flies and Spiders" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will ensnare you.

    Of Flies and Spiders
    [Romance] [Dark] [Tragedy] • 8,065 words

    Glitter was banished from her hive because she's different: instead of feeding on love, she feeds on anger, fear, and sadness. Ponies are easily fooled and more easily manipulated. Staying undetected and sustaining her dietary needs, she goes through life bringing misery to those around her. All changes, though, when he turns up, tearing down walls built throughout a lifetime.

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    7 comments · 915 views
  • 2 weeks
    Epic Yarn's "A Slice of (Cake) Life" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story bakes up some — PUMPKIN, PUT THAT DOWN.

    A Slice of (Cake) Life
    [Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 1,178 words

    Mrs. Cake’s life isn’t always a piece of cake. The bakery needs running, Pound and Pumpkin are always up to something, and babysitters aren’t always easy to come by.

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    5 comments · 1,109 views
  • 4 weeks
    Cerulean Voice's "Essenza di Amore" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    [Ed. Note: The Royal Canterlot Library will be taking next week off for Bronycon!]

    You'll grow to love today's story.

    Essenza di Amore
    [Adventure] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 53,665 words

    Orphaned as a filly, a young pegasus named Kaviyayu is raised by an adoptive Earth pony family in a secluded, peaceful village. When a strange unicorn drops by the village, Kaviyayu and the other foals are captivated by her tales of the world, as well as her various spells and illusions for their amusement. But there's something about the way she doesn't speak of her own family ... how she never removes her traveller's cloak ... how she seems to take a very strong interest in Kaviyayu ...

    Who is this mysterious mare, what does she seek, and just what is so special about that pendant she wears?

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    8 comments · 1,306 views
  • 5 weeks
    NaiadSagaIotaOar's "Who We Are in the Dark" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story, unlike its protagonist, doesn't have to cheat to win your heart.

    Who We Are in the Dark
    [Equestria Girls] [Romance] [Tragedy] • 11,505 words

    [Note: This story contains sexual themes.]

    Adagio, who everyone knows is an immortal sex goddess, is determined to give her girlfriend a perfect eighteenth birthday. If only she weren't secretly a virgin, it would be easy.

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    16 comments · 1,690 views
  • 6 weeks
    Mr V's "Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story ticks along to a sweetly chilling conclusion.

    Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance
    [Romance] [Dark] • 14,993 words

    [Note: This story contains scenes of blood and gore.]

    Everyone in their sleepy little town knows that Marvelous, the clockmaker, has eyes for only one mare - the beautiful Little Lovely. Despite her mysterious illness and his amusingly obsessive nature, there's no question that they make a perfect couple.

    But when the truth of Little Lovely's affliction comes to light, Marvelous begins to realize that her true beauty is ... on the inside.

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    3 comments · 1,453 views
  • 7 weeks
    Chris' "Wyrmlysan" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    As the Royal Canterlot Library says farewell to Chris, we welcome RBDash47, creator of the original Pony Fiction Vault, to our fold!

    You're destined to like tonight's story.

    [Tragedy] • 3,322 words

    Prophecy is a dangerous game; meanings which are obvious can become obscure in an instant, and fates are laid bare only in hindsight.

    After the fall of Discord but before the rise of Nightmare Moon, a dragon breaks the peace between its race and ponykind, and Princess Luna flies to mete out justice.

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    8 comments · 1,717 views
  • 8 weeks
    Einhander's "Royals" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a rarity: a rich romance between an unexpected pair.

    [Romance] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 14,210 words

    Rarity always wanted to be Lady Rarity. Over time, it became more clear it was not meant to be. But she's fine, she's got a successful business in Ponyville, her fashion line showing in Manehattan and she has her friends, even if most of them are moving on with their lives. A prince sweeping her off her hooves was just not meant to be.

    So how in Equestria did she end up on a date with the richest pony in town?

    Confusion, feelings and wine mix for a potentially explosive, heartwarming (or rending?) evening, along with a pinch of generosity.

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,908 views
  • 9 weeks
    brokenimage321's "Celestia XVII" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The crowning achievement of today's story is a look at some royal growing pains.

    Celestia XVII
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] [Alternate Universe] • 56,413 words

    Being seventeen is hard — especially if you happen to be a Princess.

    I'm Princess Celestia, but everyone calls me Cece. My life has been crazier than normal lately — my big brother Blueblood is a selfish jerk, my best friend Twilight just moved away to Ponyville, and, oh yeah — Nightmare Moon turned out to be my long-lost somethingth-Great Aunt, Princess Luna. No biggie.

    But, no matter how my life is going, I'm still Princess. I've gotta keep it together. Somehow. I can make it at least until the Grand Galloping Gala in a month-and-a-half ... right?

    Read More

    8 comments · 3,055 views
  • 10 weeks
    Metool Bard's "The Truth Hurts" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    With today's story, idol hooves are the devil's workshop.

    The Truth Hurts
    [Dark] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 4,914 words

    Lightning Dust has been in a bit of a rut ever since getting kicked out of the Wonderbolt Academy. Day after day, she's been sticking to a strict exercise regimen under the guidance of Cloudsdale's premier personal trainer, Haymaker. Her hope is that she'll unlock her true potential and show Haymaker how awesome she is, thus prompting him to use his connections to get her back into the Wonderbolts. No matter how many times Haymaker tells her it's impossible, Lightning simply refuses to listen.

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    11 comments · 2,093 views

Author Interview » Tigerhorse's "Her Soldiers, We" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 2:06pm Dec 30th, 2016

Today's story will be there for you in the dark times.

Her Soldiers, We
[Adventure] [Drama] • 42,716 words

Vesperquines — batponies — have faithfully guarded Equestria's night for a thousand years.  Apart from Celestia, they alone have kept the memory of Princess Luna alive in their hearts.  And they alone know of their failure, of how they were not the friends she needed when jealousy and despair gnawed at her.

They pray for a second chance.  They vow to do better.

And then, one night, miraculously, she returns.

But the princess whose memory they cherish is still lost to her mad fury.  And for a young recruit of the Night Guard, the nightmare has just begun.

FROM THE CURATORS: Depending on where you read this, it's getting posted either before Christmas or Auld Lang Syne, so it's fitting that this week's feature touches on the redemptive power of tradition and loyalty.  "This is a story about what the batponies — 'vesperquines,' which I thought was a good name for them — were up to during Nightmare Moon's return," Chris said.  "Tigerhorse paints the dilemma of the two protagonists — how must they hew to their duty to Princess Luna, when she won't even acknowledge that name? — in a pleasingly grey light."  Bleak circumstances which highlight all the more their dedication, as Present Perfect noted: "The strength here is Nebula's unwavering faith in her princess, her belief that friendship will push Nightmare Moon to do the right thing and stop the assault on Equestria."

It was the powerful treatment of that central theme that garnered the most praise.  "I think that it hit some great emotional notes, and the concept itself is genius," Soge said.  "It's a non-cynical take on the fix-fic, patching over some of Nightmare Moon's inconsistencies, while establishing some interesting worldbuilding."  Chris concurred: "It's a great example of how to write a serious story based on a children's show.  Heck, it even works Pinklestia in in a heartwrenchingly dramatic manner, which is not a phrase I thought I'd ever type."  That surprising breadth garnered a number of other compliments, such as Horizon's comment: "That this expands the story of Nightmare Moon from Ponyville to Equestria is sweet, sweet cake. That it offers a plausible and heartwarming explanation for Shining Armor's promotion to Captain of the Guard is the icing on top."

Those elements won us over despite several curators' concerns about length and pacing.  "This could have stood to be about half the size, but it did an excellent job of thoughtfully stitching together a lot of apparently unrelated canon," Horizon said.  "It offered a behind-the-scenes take of a story which a great many authors have covered, and managed to keep it feeling fresh." In the end, we thought, it did too much right to ignore.  "Could it be better? Undoubtedly," Present Perfect said.  "But what's here is one of the best batpony fics I've ever read, and believe you me, I've read a lot."

Read on for our author interview, in which Tigerhorse discusses pink snow, holes in the sky, and edgy fruit bats.

Give us the standard biography.

Well, I live in Michigan, grew up around Arabian horses, and am a raging bibliomaniac with the luck (or maybe not, for my paycheck's sake) of working in a used book shop. I'm an old enough guy to have seen the original run of G1 ponies on TV after school, although I'm afraid they didn't make much of an impression on me at the time.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I like zebras. Their stripes are cool and stylish — let no one tell you otherwise! So I have a few zebra-related usernames across the internet. Tigerhorse derives from a National Geographic special on zebras called “Horse Tigers.”

Who's your favorite pony?

Oh man, (Trixie) what a harsh question! Who can (it's Trixie) decide on just one? Luna has all these wonderfully complicated issues going on in her history, (Trixie, tho) and Twilight is a great book-nerd. And then there's Rarity, who would rank high no matter what from the sheer joy Tabitha St. Germain so clearly takes in voicing her. (But Trixie.)

What's your favorite episode?

Before Season 5, this question would have left me weighing the merits of “Lesson Zero” vs. “Green Isn't Your Color” vs. “The Return of Harmony.” But that was before “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep,” an episode which not only breaks my heart with how Luna feels she needs to punish herself, but also becomes epic with that incredible awe-full awful moment of Tantibus tearing open the sky. I mean, just ... wow.

What do you get from the show?

Well, ponies are adorably cute of course (which is no small thing given how often Western animation seems to favor grotesquerie in character design ... but I rant). What I love is that the show arrived with its own mythology. Right out of the gate we were presented with a character who is responsible for controlling the sun, and with events of a thousand years past that have consequences in the here and now. The world of the ponies is large, and full of tantalizing hints about what's just over the borders.  It’s evocative in a way a lot of other entertainment isn’t.

What do you want from life?

Single-malt scotch and more Nightmare Moon toys.

Why do you write?

For the fun of putting together a good sentence, or the flash of insight when you realize how some throwaway bit you wrote earlier can fold back into the story later and create a beautiful moment. Of course, much of the time it's also a struggle. To a certain extent, I'm just amusing myself by spending more time with these characters outside the boundaries of an episode. But it's also a way of sharing thoughts and ideas about the setting. Actually, that's probably the prime reason.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

People are going to critique your work, and sometimes that critique won't be “You're awesome!” And that's not fun. But keep in mind that your story is not you, and if someone is saying the story sucks, it does not mean that you as a creative individual suck. So take a deep breath and try to step back — if only for a moment — and take a look at what they're saying. Good critiques are precious — they can teach you things about writing you may not have realized, or point out problems in your style you maybe haven't seen. (Of course, not every critique is valuable, but it can be tricky to judge whether what you are being told is nonsense or just something you don't want to hear.)

What influenced your views on batponies?

I was on a forum with some other folks kicking around ideas about batponies — are they just magical costumes pegasi wear for night duty? Are they an ancient race that holds itself aloof from pony society? And the idea came to me that they were an artificial race (I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with that) spitefully created by Nightmare Moon out of her/Luna's pegasus guards (who, being diurnal, never much cared for the job). But rather than making them resentful as they'd have every right to be, I thought it would be interesting to turn it around and let them claim Luna as their own, and take on the guilt of having failed her and the determination to cherish her memory and hope for a chance to do better by her.

I tried to steer clear of reading other people's takes on them, so as not to be overly influenced. I didn’t want them to be just featherless pegasi, so I decided that while pegasi were faster, batponies would be more maneuverable.  Since they were spliced together with bats (fruit bats, although of course NMM, being edgy and all, is sure she used vampire bats) I thought about if they could use echolocation, and how they would experience that — essentially hearing shapes.  I wasn't opposed to adopting a fanon term for the species, but the problem is a lot of writers have settled on the term “thestral” and that's a word coined by J. K. Rowling, so to use it is to evoke Harry Potter whether one wants to or not — that's why I came up with my own term, “vesperquine.”  (If others like it they’re free to use it, by the way.)

What can you tell us about constructing an action scene?

I tend to think of an action sequence as a story in its own right, with rising action, reversals, character epiphanies, and a resolution of some sort. So I like to keep the narrative focused in tightly on one character at a time, and filter the events through that character's perceptions and interpretation — what are they hoping to do at any given moment, how do they react if it fails, what sort of tensions are they feeling? Action is physical, so physically what is going on with them? Are they injured, are they tired, are they jittery with excitement or sick with fear? Get inside their head and filter the reader's experience through the character's experience.

Visualize your action. What are the characters actually doing, and what is the environment they're doing it in? Is it plausible, or have you put a dozen ponies having a knock-down drag-out fight into a 10' by 10' bedroom? It's surprisingly easy to find you haven't gone through the details as much as you assumed you had. On the flip side, you don't want the reader's eyes to glaze over with excessive descriptions of complex choreography. You may have worked out every move of Scootaloo's Wing Chikun Kung Fu, but the more complicated the action, the more likely the reader will have a hard time following it.

Why all the references to the toys?

Well, I remember the excitement about the Celestia toy coming out, and how it became horror at how the Celestia toy turned out to be a lazy embodiment of everything Lauren Faust was trying to make the show repudiate. So the initial impulse was to ignore it. Anyway, later on I was thinking about that line where Celestia says she was no longer connected to the Elements of Harmony. What was that like, what does it look like for a Bearer to lose her connection to the Elements? It can't have been pleasant. And I had a flash of insight — it looks like a pony saying vapid phrases like “Let's all fly to the castle,” and OMG, she means the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters! Pinklestia as a mentally traumatized Celestia came together like that. As for the gory detail of her pinkness, it goes back to me being in second grade and one winter on the playground I critically failed a chinup on the monkey bars and bit through my tongue. For some reason it seemed a good idea to counteract the bleeding with a mouthful of snow, which I then spat back out and discovered how pink and un-bloodlike blood is when it soaks into snow.

Anyway, having come up with this head-canon, I didn't quite know what to do with it until I realized it would fit in perfectly to explain why Celestia didn't just undo Nightmare Moon's creation of the first generation of vesperquines. After that, also working in a few lines from the Nightmare Moon toy became a fun little challenge to myself, especially if I could use some of the silliest ones and twist them into something sinister.

If I can succeed in turning the Pinklestia toy into an object of existential horror, I feel I will have, in some small way, justified my existence. Or something.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you for noticing my story, and I hope people enjoy it.

You can read Her Soldiers, We at Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

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Comments ( 2 )

Haven't read the story yet but I can't wait until one of the two says "I'm a princess. Are you a princess too?"

Hey, congratulations!
Guess I'll finally get around reading the rest of the story. :pinkiesmile:

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