News Archive

  • Friday
    Redric Carrun's "Sleeping Habits" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    If you're procrastinating on reading today's story: You snooze, you lose.


    Sleeping Habits
    [Slice of Life] • 8,504 words

    Rainbow Dash has rather a poor reputation when it comes to her workload. Everypony always thinks of her as the pony who takes three naps during daylight hours, and four on weekends, and always seems to be looking for something to do to pass the time. All of this is true, of course. But ponies seem to think this means that she must not ever get very much work done.

    Can the weather captain for all of Ponyville really be as lazy as she seems? Is that the only explanation for Rainbow Dash's free time and constant napping?

    The weather is a full-time job. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And the worst weather happens at night.

    So weather ponies have strange sleeping habits.

    Read More

    3 comments · 770 views
  • 1 week
    JoeShogun's "Nine Days Down" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a hell of a tale.


    Nine Days Down
    [Dark] [Adventure] • 136,069 words

    Sometimes it's fun to play the damsel in distress. Princess Celestia knows this better than most. Usually it works out fine. Really, she could have escaped at any time, but Twilight and her friends have been so effective in the past that this time, Celestia may have let things get out of hoof. It was all fun and games until she got unceremoniously tossed into Tartarus. Even then, it wouldn't have been so bad; she's a goddess, after all. But alas, Tartarus is not Equestria, and Celestia is not all she could be when trapped there. Even worse, it appears that she didn't get thrown into The Pit alone. 

    Read More

    11 comments · 1,490 views
  • 2 weeks
    Kkat's "Origin Story" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Explore today's story to find a hidden treasure.


    Origin Story
    [Adventure] • 24,563 words

    In the last months of the great war, Daring Do is called to once again brave the jungles of the Tenochtitlan Basin on a vital mission. While deep in enemy territory, she begins work on a final book: a prequel. A story that will never be completed.

    Here are the recovered fragments of that lost, unfinished Daring Do novel.

    Read More

    24 comments · 2,986 views
  • 3 weeks
    DwarvishPony's "Tracks in the Sand" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story examines a young woman hoping that someday her prints will come.


    Tracks in the Sand
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 9,590 words

    Scavenging isn't just a hobby, it's a means of survival in the ruins of the old world. When you go scavenging, though, you'll never know what you'll find.

    Pinkie Pie is about to find more than she bargained for.

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,954 views
  • 4 weeks
    Monochromatic's "The Choices We Make" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    You won't regret choosing today's story.


    The Choices We Make
    [Equestria Girls] • 5,146 words

    Every Friday, from five in the afternoon to eleven at night, Pinkie Pie does volunteer work. She doesn't have to do it, the world won't stop if she doesn't, but she chooses to do it anyway. Even if it's doing seemingly insignificant little things.

    After all, the best ways to help aren't always with grand gestures, but with the little things in life.

    Read More

    21 comments · 3,608 views
  • 5 weeks
    Ringcaat's "The Pony Who Lived Upstairs" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story brings a little magic home.


    The Pony Who Lived Upstairs
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] [Human] • 184,740 words

    [Note: This story contains sexual themes.]

    What would you do if a pony moved into the apartment upstairs? Would you make an effort to meet her? What would you talk about? And what kind of pony leaves Equestria for Earth in the first place?

    This is a series of slice-of-life episodes about a young man who meets a pony in New Jersey. Equestria has made contact with Earth; creations and creators have been sorting things out for a couple of years, and a smattering of ponies are gradually starting to move to Earth. Told though human eyes, here's the story of one of them.

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    6 comments · 3,109 views
  • 6 weeks
    Thornquill's "Carousel" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will haunt you.


    Carousel
    [Dark] [Drama] [Horror] • 69,824 words

    The Millennial Summer Sun Celebration is only a few years away, but Rarity’s fashion career seems to be ending before she can begin it. Now, she has one last chance to find a place for her talent.

    But as she works to create the boutique of her dreams, a forgotten piece of Ponyville’s past is waking up. Secret memories lie forgotten in dusty basements, unrighted wrongs scratch at locked doors, and Rarity finds herself caught up in a history that may be doomed to repeat itself.

    For although she is the first to set hoof in the Old Town Hall in thirty years, she can’t help but feel that something inside was waiting for her.

    Read More

    8 comments · 3,614 views
  • 8 weeks
    Lost + Found Features: "Let's Pretend"/"Let Me Tell You About the Hole in My Face" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    'Tis the season for holiday stress — and for the RCL to be pushing through almost 700,000 words of longfics in our reading queue. That dual crunch has slowed us down, and we're currently working with our pending featured authors on their interviews.  But don't worry — we've got you covered!

    We keep track of stories which have passed through our approval process, but whose authors were unresponsive to us despite repeated effort.  We'd like to see these great stories get their time in the spotlight too, so we're presenting a pair of RCL-approved tales for your reading pleasure.

    (Note: We will not be posting next week -- this week on our website -- due to the holiday. Happy holidays from the Royal Canterlot Library!)



    Let's Pretend
    By Pen Mightier
    [Adventure] [Comedy] • 7,484 words

    Read More

    5 comments · 3,495 views
  • 9 weeks
    RB_'s "The World Fades to White" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is quite a cool tale.


    The World Fades to White
    [Adventure] [Sad] • 3,388 words

    Princess Flurry Heart and the descendant of Prince Rutherford brave the harsh conditions of the Frozen North, in search of an artifact they hope will save their home from a similar fate.

    FROM THE CURATORS: One of the subtler skills in writing is how to wring meaning from the things you don't say — a skill on prominent display in this short and focused fic.  "I love how sparse the writing feels, hinting at larger things without ever having to define them, managing to make its diffuse world feel rich and solid," Soge said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This feels like such a tiny slice of a greater epic work. So much is packed into it, and yet so much is left unsaid."

    Read More

    11 comments · 3,175 views
  • 10 weeks
    SirTruffles' "Three Left Turns" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story turns out right.


    Three Left Turns
    [Dark] • 2,478 words

    Equestria's last night is nigh. Next evening it will be ash. Twilight slips off with but the past to bargain with. Can she buy a future?

    Read More

    4 comments · 4,084 views
Jul
21st
2017

Author Interview » wille179's "Unicorns Are Magical" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 12:29pm Jul 21st, 2017

Today's story will offer you exactly what you want to read in a horror fic.


Unicorns Are Magical
[Dark] [Alternate Universe] [Sad] [Tragedy] • 3,899 words

"Unicorns are wonderful!"
"Unicorns are fantastic!"
"Unicorns are marvelous!"
"Unicorns are glamorous!"
"Unicorns are enchanting!"
"Unicorns are terrific!"

They also like to twist words. What would happen if you asked what they really are, without the wordplay?

Unicorns provoke wonder. They create fantasies. They cause marvels. They project glamour. They weave enchantment. But most importantly, they spawn terror.

For you see, nopony said that unicorns were good.

FROM THE CURATORS: It's an excellent sign for a fanfic's quality when it gets lodged in your brain and refuses to leave.  "This fic is positively insidious," Soge said.  "It has been two weeks between when I read it and when I managed to sit down to write this, and the otherworldliness of Twilight's actions and how wrong everything feels simply hasn't left me."  Chris, who nominated it over a year after first reading it, felt similarly: "I think there's a lot to appreciate about the way this piece creates and maintains a particular, darkly enjoyable tone," he said.  "It's a pitch-perfect take on the alien other-ness which defines the Fair Folk in our own world's mythology, and the MLP setting draws out that other-ness well, with its familiar-but-equine trappings."

A major contributor to the story's excellence was its fine detail work.  "'The earth pony sighed', in the context of the opening scene of this story, is one of those rare single lines that shakes me to the core," Present Perfect said, while Soge praised the subtlety of its construction: "It is one of those stories that builds a lot of atmosphere not in what is says, but in the things it omits: Wings, horns, weather control, Cutie Marks, and even empathy."  That construction was thoughtful as well, creating impact even from its structure, as Chris noted: "The reverse-chronological order of the five characters' scenes is used to good effect."

But an unexpected strength was its work with familiar characters despite the massive departures of its alternate-universe setup.  "The author has boiled the main six down to their most basic traits, removing many things that the reader might have imagined would be important to their character and being," Present Perfect said.  "In doing so, they walk a fine line between familiar and alien, and twist that to ensure that the events happening in the story keep the reader guessing."  As disorienting as that sometimes was, it was ultimately the source of the fic's staying power, Chris said: "There may not be a clear line between some of the main six's lives and motivations in this fic and in the show (that is, not one that can be directly extrapolated from the AU's premise that unicorns are essentially malicious fey), but the larger themes of the story circle that idea so smoothly that I can't help but be impressed by the way the story grounds 'Twilight Sparkle' in such an unfamiliar creature."

Read on for our author interview, in which wille179 discusses robot puns, smile-ripping, and tea pettiness.


Give us the standard biography.

I’m a 21-year-old computer science major at Georgia Tech. I write in my spare time, and I’m currently working on a novel entitled Guts & Glory.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

It’s not the most interesting story. Wille179 came from when I was originally setting up my email account. It was just after seeing the movie Wall-E, and I was making a pun with my name, Will. Thus, will.e. Gmail said that that name was already taken, and recommended the 179 bit, which I took. That name, with or without the period, ended up becoming my handle in a lot of places.

Who's your favorite pony?

Chrysalis.

What's your favorite episode?

I have absolutely no idea. Probably anything with Chrysalis in it.

What do you get from the show?

I used to enjoy it just for the sake of it, not really getting anything but entertainment from it. Personally, I like the fandom content even more than the actual show.

What do you want from life?

Career-wise, I want to score a job with Google — that would be my dream job — but any software or game development would be fun. As for more personal goals, I want to get my book published once it’s finished.

Why do you write?

Because video games get boring to me after a while, but stories never do. I often daydream, and sometimes I come up with interesting stories that are worth putting on paper.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Write more. Then write even more. And when you’re not writing, read. It’s all practice.

What inspired “Unicorns are Magical”?

The Fair Folk. Fairies. No, I don’t mean things like Tinkerbell, but the monstrous fae from European mythology — which includes the original changelings.

Why tell the story in reverse chronological order?

Two reasons: one, time is often portrayed as not moving the same for the Fair Folk (faster/slower/backwards), and two, fairies are petty. Even the slightest insult is enough to set them off, and I wanted to show that pettiness by showing the “punishment” Fairy-Twilight enacted on Fluttershy for the crime of not having tea.

Was it hard coming up with traditional “bad fairy” outcomes that fit each of the main characters so well?

Not really. It was a matter of twisting their desires, dreams, or personalities against themselves. Rainbow Dash had nobody left to be loyal to save for herself, and when she failed at even that, Fairy-Twilight turned it against her. Rarity clung onto her own sister, but it left her open to being exploited. Pinkie Pie was hurt by the loss of her friends; the need to smile made her vulnerable. Applejack was too honest, and trusted the honesty of her senses too much. Fluttershy’s kindness and naivete made her vulnerable to someone cruel and deceptive.

Talk a little about writing [Dark] stories in a Pony context.

First, strip away the cartoonishness from the world. Make it easy for people to get hurt, make it hard for them to recover, let bad things happen when it's inconvenient, and let people die. Add a dash of realism and nihilism, and stir. Then find ways to subvert expectations in the worst possible ways.

Of course, then you have to keep it from getting so dark that people get used to it being dark. That wasn’t really a concern for this story in particular, thanks to its short length, but it’s something to keep in mind. If you can give your reader a chance to smile, you can rip that smile away later.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I think anyone who can write a quality fanfic that gets people’s attention is good enough to write a novel of their own. Even if they never get it published, every fanfiction writer should attempt to write a novel at some point in their life.

You can read Unicorns Are Magical at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

Comments ( 7 )

It'd be more clever if that wordplay wasn't lifted directly from Terry Pratchett writing about Elves.

Pratchett, from Lords and Ladies:

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.

4608151
Was just about to say that.

You know, this somehow brings to mind both a story by Terry Pratchett and this one horror Labyrinth fanfic I read a while back.

4608151
Personally, that wordplay is what has me interested in reading a story where all the unicorns are actually evil in the first place.

4608190
That's intertextuality for you.
Nice one!
Although, I doubt iron will have the same effect on unicorns.
...
A frying pan to the head might, though...

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