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PresentPerfect


Fanfiction masochist. :B She/they https://ko-fi.com/presentperfect

More Blog Posts2567

  • 6 days
    Fic recs, July 12th!

    Maybe I should just switch to posting on Fridays. c_c For one, I wouldn't be competing with PaulAsaran, but more importantly, I can't seem to remember to post on Thursdays anymore. >_<

    Also what the heck are those ratings, oh my god :O

    H: 4 R: 2 C: 3 V: 0 N: 0

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    7 comments · 176 views
  • 1 week
    Fic recs, July 5th!

    TheQuinch has done a reading of Cold in Gardez's The Destruction of the Self!

    I spent all of yesterday collating the hit singles of 1967 and forgot to post! c_c;; On the upside, extra review!

    H: 2 R: 3 C: 4 V: 0 N: 0

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    5 comments · 157 views
  • 2 weeks
    State of the Writer, June 2024!

    Another year older and deeper in hecc D:<

    I kinda forgot to write this up yesterday. :B For no good reason. The reason being that I was not having a good day lol

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    12 comments · 144 views
  • 3 weeks
    Fic recs, June 27th!

    gotdang, errbody be postin' reviews today! :B but hey, a normal review blog on a normal Thursday, what could be nicer? :D

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    3 comments · 192 views
  • 4 weeks
    Fic recs, June 20th!

    ...Yaknow, I had kind of been looking forward to having a nice, meaty review plate for today's post as we get back into weekly reviews hopefully, but I just realized, I haven't listened to a single fic all week. D: First it was because of Jenny Nicholson's incredibly engrossing four-hour video about a Star Wars hotel, and then it was because I don't know, the timing just keeps not working out!

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    2 comments · 230 views
Jan
3rd
2017

Fic recs, January 3rd! · 2:51pm Jan 3rd, 2017

Almost posted yesterday, but that would have been trying. :V

Scribbler's newest reading is ChoppersTopHat's Today, Tomorrow and Forever, with Gina M, WIsh Lotus, RarityFangirl31VA, Wuten, Animelodie and ABagOfVicodin! And I hadn't realized I'd already read Titanium Dragon's Apple Shampoo, which now has a reading by Scarlett Blade!

The Royal Guard has posted their final fic spotlight. A slate of good stories, and something by me! :)

Through cleaning out my bookshelves, I discovered Weatherbug's story The Unsettling Suicide of Nurse Tenderheart has been marked Cancelled. I am therefore officially changing its status to No Recommendation, and it will be marked in the spreadsheet with a line.

On that note, here's what I did with my bookshelves! Last year, I created a new one I call the Backburner: for stories that haven't updated in a year, by authors who are still active. At the end of the year, I usually go through and take out anything that's been cancelled, but now I can shove things that are incomplete or on hiatus into the Backburner and not have to worry about them! :D Then, at the end of the year, I'll check that shelf and reclaim anything that's been completed in the meantime. So if you haven't updated your story since 2015, well'p, it's probably there, I'll see it next year. :B My RIL is down to 5716, I have 1878 unread chapters across all shelves, and the Backburner contains 587 stories. Fun times!

I hope these stories and reviews are a good way to start off the new year! :)

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

The Perfect Gift by Kaylee
Genre: Uplifting
Derpy worries her daughter will be disappointed in her Hearth's Warming gift.
I don't expect too much from the Derpy Vignettes series, just cute, fluffy fics about Derpy and maybe Dinky. That is precisely what this is. If you like stories about them and can stand a little angst perpetrated in building up to a heart-warming ending, this'll be the perfect read.
Recommended If You Like Cute

Help Yourself by dramatic_spoon
Reading by Astro-Brony
Sequel to Resurrection Beat
Genre: Romance/Comedy
It turns out that, yes, it is too much for Rainbow Dash to ask her coltfriend to come over to her place for dinner.
I really hate when authors don't mark sequels. Even back in the dark ages, before sequel tagging was a thing on Fimfic, you could at least mention it in the description. Anyway, this is the second sequel in a line of Rainbow Dash/Time Turner ship fics. (What an unusual pairing!) If anything makes this work, it's that both of them are kind of dumb: he forgets Hearts and Hooves Day, she forgets that he'll fall to his death if he comes to her place, if he can even get up there. Tradeoffs! Unfortunately, that's about the end of the comedy for this piece. The rest was fairly standard, halfway decent romancey stuff, with a slice of life scene in the middle that didn't add too much. The ending is a real head-scratcher, though, as far removed from a punchline as you can get. I'm hoping reading the other stories will explain it, but we'll see.
Recommended for Laughs?

Selfie by SweetCelestiaWhy
Reading by Scarlett Blade
Mature: Sex
Genre: EQG Sexual Comedy
This was apparently inspired by the hilarious Sunset Lends Pinkie the Wrong Thumb Drive, and the comparison leaves this story rather flat. Only borderline amusing, its main draw is setting up a big "What does she find???" reveal that I kind of expected would be a dick something more than "Rarity uploads naked photos of herself to the internet". It was not. I mean, there's maybe a little ship teasing, but that's about it. The writing is plain, though I will compliment this for walking a line between being sexy and having Sunset react realistically. She doesn't immediately get into it for no good reason, is what I'm saying, and her revenge at the end is amusing. Could have used more "This girl was a horse", but otherwise, it's okay, I guess.
Recommended If You Like Sexy EQGs?

Dinkin' Donuts by Pascoite
Reading by Neighrator Pony, et. al.
Genre: Completely Adorable
Dinky is determined to get the perfect Hearth's Warming gift for her super-special mommy. But she'll need a little help.
This story absolutely floored me. Rare is the piece whose writing by itself brings me to tears. In telling the story of Dinky trying to figure out how to combine coffee and donuts so her mommy doesn't have to leave her breakfast behind when she's running late in the morning, this piece is musical to a fault. Dialogue frequently rhymes, but is never forces, always allowed to breathe where it fits in naturally. Scene transitions are accomplished via a line poem that evolves over the course of the story as Dinky picks up her entourage. And on that note, I have never seen a story so focused on MMMystery on the Friendship Express, and certainly never one that actually featured Mulia Mild! The ending is heartwarming and cathartic, and while you wouldn't go into a story like this expecting anything else, I really was not anticipating the extent to which it affected me. Do yourself a favor and listen to the reading: this is a story meant to be heard. It is, without a doubt, the best Derpy/Dinky story ever, making the year's first Highly Recommended also a Top Fifteen.

Pinkie Pie Makes a Homemade Porno by Chelis
Reading by Scarlett Blade
Mature: Sex
Genre: EQG PWP
Pinkie invites her friend over for video recorded sex.
It's funny, if this were second-person perspective, it'd be you average Anon fic. Instead, the first-person POV makes it stand out, but… that's about all I can say for it. It's still a male sex fantasy, Sex Maven Pinkie is somehow harder to believe in EQG land, and the nameless protagonist is there for the reader to insert themselves into. (Sex joeks go here.) The penultimate scene, dealing with the fallout of the act, had the potential to make this more interesting but was never followed through on. Overall, this is just okay: not super-good, not super-bad, but satisfactory for not having taken that extra step into something more memorable. Perfectly serviceable if you need to get off, I guess.
Vaguely Recommended

Take Me to the Sky by Kitsune Heart
Reading by ShadowOfCygnus
Genre: Sad/Future Fic
Deterioration is a Wonderbolt's legacy.
Here's one I read earlier. :O And I can see why I didn't like it: it's one of those pointlessly sad fics where Rainbow Dash kills herself in the most dramatic way possible at the end, spoilers. If I have any appreciation for it now, it's due to it being a decent example of how to write "Rainbow Dash loses her wings". Maybe not enough to justify the concept, but certainly dealing with the idea far better than the litany of fics which turned it into a much-reviled trope. Also it has FlutterMac. But really, the more I think about this, the angrier I get. Rainbow finds out she's suffering from some kind of wing arthritis? The narrative isn't very specific on this point, just that it's something Wonderbolts tend to get after a while, and it forces her to retire. Fresh from this letdown, she goes out to Canterlot to catch up with Fluttershy's daughter and see if she can't get a place alongside her on the weather team. She's turned down because of her age. Fresh from that letdown, she goes back to Ponyville, spends some time with each of her friends (well, the ones who still live there, anyway, because fuck Rarity and Twilight I guess?), and then commits the aforementioned dramatic suicide. And even though it takes her an entire day, at least, to decide on doing this, it still feels like a hasty decision. Gee, Rainbow Dash, you just lost the one thing that you enjoy most in the world. Too bad you don't have any good friends with whom you could, I dunno, talk about this with, and who will definitely support you in your time of need! Nope, some kid told you you were old, better fucking kill yourself. Just, shit, c'mon, why do people write these stories?
Not Recommended

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Comments ( 19 )

I don't like "MMMystery..." much at all, so that Pascoite story would be going on the RiL even if it were by an author I'd never heard of. The one thing that gives me pause is that all the stuff about rhyme and musicality seems to lend itself better to a reading than to reading, and it's the latter that'll apply to me. Still, at least given the author I know it'll be good at worst, so I'll make sure to read it at a particularly unseasonal time. :P

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

PP

What if


Someone wrote a fic where Rainbow Dash lost her wings


And she has to find them


Would you give that a shot

Boop! :twilightsheepish:

You should come to the party on Saturday. :pinkiesmile:

4367439 And a new pair of them goes missing every time an author writes another of these stories. Where do they all end up?
"My Bathroom is Flooded with Rainbow Dash's Wings"

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

4367667 I'm sorely tempted to do some crunching on that idea, but it'll have to wait.

...Rainbow Dash kills herself in the most dramatic way possible at the end, spoilers.

Coffee on the keyboard... again. :facehoof:

Here's one I read earlier. :O And I can see why I didn't like it: it's one of those pointlessly sad fics where Rainbow Dash kills herself in the most dramatic way possible at the end, spoilers.

. . . 'kay, you clearly missed the point of the whole story, here. RD didn't an-hero because dramatic sads, she pushed herself further than her body was capable of following because she hadn't given up when she probably should have. It was . . . kind of explicitly spelt out there, at the end, albeit in one of those nice showy-over-telly moments you like so much. :derpytongue2:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4367683
4367667 is actually a far better idea. :V

4367958
It felt like the whole thing was written to frame that final "Fluttershy resting quietly on Rainbow's body" scene, which I'll admit was very pastoral and moving. But I don't see anything there that doesn't say "Dash can't fly anymore, so she offs herself", and I didn't see it before, when that story was far fresher.

4368081

I really didn't get that impression at all, frankly, either on first reading or putting it into the microphone. Go back, look through it again, and tell me if you can highlight a single line that suggests even the merest hint of an intention to kill herself. Does she end up dead as the result of her own actions? Yes, absolutely she does, but every line from the moment she gets up on the clock-tower indicated to me that she thought she could pull off this last stunt without incident. Not that she wanted to kill herself, but that she thought she was too good to get herself killed. Carelessness, not intent. And it's patently unfair to tar something that explores a very Rainbow Dash-y character trait with the same brush as the dime-a-dozen an-hero schlock we see so much of around here.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4368636
Okay, here's my train of thought.

Rainbow finds out she can't fly anymore. Forced to retire, all that. Obviously, a big blow to someone like her. It's hard to tell exactly how old she is at this point, but given Fluttershy has one adult child, I'd say middle age, around 40, not quite 50. She's likely had a solid lifetime of flying with the Wonderbolts, so no regrets there.

She talks to said adult daughter and is shot down from weather work because of "age restrictions". (Which is weird; I assume said daughter panicked and said the first thing that came to mind, because shouldn't it really be this unnamed arthritis keeping Rainbow grounded?) So Rainbow isn't needed anymore. This is balanced out by the foals who want her autograph, but she blows them off, most likely because word of her retirement, let alone her condition, hasn't gotten out and it's a sore spot. So she's ignoring potential positives, especially since she turns down the idea of being a coach.

So she goes back to Ponyville to talk with her friends. I see this as a farewell tour; she finds out they're doing just fine, I assume she hasn't been there in a while, since she doesn't stay the night in her own house. Likely she's been living in Cloudsdale and touring with the 'Bolts the whole time. Point is, she finds that her friends (well, three of them) don't need her around in order to be happy. I'm not going to try and parse the stuff with Pound Cake, because it's messing with my head that the author predicted the Cakes having a son with that name, but got his species wrong.

So then what does she do? Wakes up early, something unusual for her. Goes out alone after chatting with AJ. She's aching to go fix this pegasus's sloppy weather work, but her wing pain holds her back. She goes to the clock tower. Why? It's said that it's "always open", that "everyone trusted each other". She's sneaking around, and able to do so because small town charm. Maybe she needs the boost to get airborn, starting from a high point, that makes sense. And it's a struggle for her to even be able to glide out the tower window, because of all the joint pain and whatnot. But she does it, and starts to feel the old thrill she always gets when flying.

She knows that life will go on without her. That her friends are living their old lives, that the weather will be cleared, however poorly, and her only options are seething at shoddy recruits as a coach or living off her faded glory. She's gotten airborne, there's nothing stopping her from doing what she wants, so she takes her life into her own hooves, gives herself a way out on her own terms, and clears the skies in dramatic fashion, convincing herself that she's doing it to help this green pegasus and keep him from getting in trouble.

The way I read this story, Rainbow Dash is depressed, clearly, deeply, and finding that she no longer has a place in the world, decides to end her life with one last show, one last effort to help somepony, because that's how she would want to go out: with a bang. But my criticisms still stand. She's supposed to be loyal (this is old enough that defining the mane six by their Element was still a pretty big thing), but she blows off two of her friends, and all of them by killing herself. As far as I can tell, she never tells anyone that she's retiring, that her wings hurt, that she's feeling down. It's just, oh, I'm disabled now, better fucking die. And that's shitty. And if she isn't trying to kill herself at the end, if it's just one last attempt to grasp that feeling of utter joy at flying followed by a horrible, fatal mishap because her wings aren't working the way they used to, then it's still as pointlessly sad, just without the side effect of angering me.

4368862 I see your wall of text and raise you a quoted wall of text! :raritywink:

It's hard to tell exactly how old she is at this point, but given Fluttershy has one adult child, I'd say middle age, around 40, not quite 50. She's likely had a solid lifetime of flying with the Wonderbolts, so no regrets there.

Three adult children, unless I missed something. And the descriptions of Applejack and Rainbow Dash in particular led me to believe it was closer to end-of-life than middle-age. 70s-80s, or whatever the pony equivalent is -- somewhere in the same range as Granny Smith. But, yes, solid lifetime that she is extremely loath to give up; fair.

She talks to said adult daughter and is shot down from weather work because of "age restrictions". (Which is weird; I assume said daughter panicked and said the first thing that came to mind, because shouldn't it really be this unnamed arthritis keeping Rainbow grounded?)

I read that more as the F-shy's daughter trying to be polite about the whole thing and not mention the highly-embarrassing sore-spot issue of brittle wingbone/arthritis/what-have-you. It's very clear from the dialogue that they both know what the real issue is, and Rainbow's not any less offended by the age argument than the one the daughter was trying to avoid. :P

So she's ignoring potential positives, especially since she turns down the idea of being a coach.

Not without due consideration, mind you. It's more in the vein of 'Dammit, I can't watch you idiots screwing this up when I could be out there doing a better job of it myself' than 'A-bloo-bloo-bloo it hurts that I can't be out there doing that.'

Point is, she finds that her friends (well, three of them) don't need her around in order to be happy. I'm not going to try and parse the stuff with Pound Cake, because it's messing with my head that the author predicted the Cakes having a son with that name, but got his species wrong.

That's . . . desperately missing the point, if you'll forgive me. Those vignettes with Pinkie Pie and Applejack aren't meant to show that they're happy (though they are, after a fashion), it's that they too are old and broken and useless (to RD's mind) in their own ways, and have made peace with that. How could Rainbow Dash confide in them her concerns about no longer being relevant when she already knows what they're going to say? Obviously, rationally, that doesn't make much sense, but since when has Rainbow Dash ever been a wholly rational character? She's a firebrand and a hothead, opinionated and jerkish; it's why she is so easy to fuck with in a serious story, and so prone to a (metaphorical, character-driven) fall. This story just took that concept to a literal conclusion.

Also, didn't really predict so much as got the two names backwards after watching the episode; an entirely forgivable offence, should we be calling it one.

So then what does she do? Wakes up early, something unusual for her. Goes out alone after chatting with AJ. She's aching to go fix this pegasus's sloppy weather work, but her wing pain holds her back. She goes to the clock tower. Why? It's said that it's "always open", that "everyone trusted each other". She's sneaking around, and able to do so because small town charm. Maybe she needs the boost to get airborn, starting from a high point, that makes sense. And it's a struggle for her to even be able to glide out the tower window, because of all the joint pain and whatnot. But she does it, and starts to feel the old thrill she always gets when flying.

All of this is spot-on. Which leads me to wonder how you managed to connect the dots from that . . .

The way I read this story, Rainbow Dash is depressed, clearly, deeply, and finding that she no longer has a place in the world, decides to end her life with one last show, one last effort to help somepony, because that's how she would want to go out: with a bang.

. . . to this. That adds a hell of a lot of intentionality there really doesn't seem to be any basis for in the story. Again, she goes up there not looking to end her life, but because she thinks she cannot fuck it up. She dies, yes, but she sure as hell didn't climb the tower planning on it.

if it's just one last attempt to grasp that feeling of utter joy at flying followed by a horrible, fatal mishap because her wings aren't working the way they used to, then it's still as pointlessly sad, just without the side effect of angering me.

Then don't let it anger you, because that was very much the intention, as far as I could glean from reading, re-reading, and (now) consulting the author. Though perhaps even the last grasp is giving it too much credit -- again, I'm more convinced by the notion that RD would believe herself to be invincible right up to the moment she hit the ground at mach infinity. And, again, I don't consider it particularly fair to analyse a story like this, that has a serious message about Rainbow's character flaws, through the lens of the schlock you get so used to seeing in trawling the site. Trust me, I had to dig through a shit-tonne of it to find old stories worthy of digging back up.

And I don't know -- going back and listening to my reading, I'm afraid I may have screwed the pooch there and made the sad, slow dirge-like quality of those few lines sound more like an-hero drama than the slow inexorable inevitability of her doomed attempt to reclaim former glory. If that's the case, and that's what informed your reading of it, then I heartily apologise for misrepresenting what I saw in the story.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4370510
I think my one rebuttal is that if she really sees her friends as complacent with their own uselessness (which I don't see myself: AJ and Pinkie are still baking like champs, Fluttershy's still taking care of animals; they're all doing what they're meant to do, which Rainbow no longer can) and looks down on them for it, then what the hell kind of friend is she?

Fair point that they may be a good deal older than I initially assumed. Also, I was kind of getting at the "avoiding the wing thing", that part definitely comes through.

4370817

AJ and Pinkie are still baking like champs, Fluttershy's still taking care of animals; they're all doing what they're meant to do, which Rainbow no longer can

Weeeeeell . . . that's arguable too, isn't it? AJ can't buck the trees or run the farm anymore, she's just the den mother. And Pinkie Pie, for all her baking, doesn't seem to be holding parties anymore, and certainly needs the help of the younger generation to make either happen. F-shy was set up as a foil to RD from the get-go, having been more gentle with herself throughout her life, and thus not as broken as many of the others. Meanwhile Twilight and Rarity are off still attending to their (less physically demanding) pursuits. It'd seem to be exploring a spectrum of burnout, as opposed to a binary.

I think my one rebuttal is that if she really sees her friends as complacent with their own uselessness and looks down on them for it, then what the hell kind of friend is she?

An excellent question, and one of the reasons well-written RD is so very much fun to look at. In many ways, she's really kind of an awful person, knowledgeable of her flaws but not particularly interested in changing them. It's been explored in the show, and in a number of different fics -- this one just happened to be fatal.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4372183
I still prefer to think of Hurricane Fluttershy's Rainbow Dash as the pinnacle and exemplar of her character, despite all evidence to the contrary. :C

4372677 Exemplary in that her ego was most prominently on display? :raritywink: As I recall, she was aaaaaaall about setting a record in that episode, and everything else -- including the do-gooding -- was secondary to that.

(And don't get me wrong, I love her to death as a character -- at least in part because she's the resident Magnificent Bastard, and not in spite of it.)

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4373178
I've never found her all that magnificent, honestly. :C

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