News Archive

  • Friday
    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

    18 comments · 1,085 views
  • 1 week
    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.

    Read More

    6 comments · 1,417 views
  • 2 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 · 2,297 views
  • 4 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 · 2,302 views
  • 5 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 · 2,036 views
  • 6 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 · 3,078 views
  • 8 weeks
    Petrichord's "Paper Butterflies" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Watch some delicate emotions fold together in today's story.


    Paper Butterflies
    [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 3,756 words

    Discord hasn't been feeling himself lately. Rarity thinks that it might be a good idea to get his mind off of things by having him assist her with upcoming work for the Summer Sun Celebration. Being the good sport that he is, Big Mac helps Discord out.

    As it turns out, the project is surprisingly fun.  It's also more than a little painful.

    Read More

    10 comments · 4,458 views
  • 9 weeks
    MaxKodan's "Dappled Shores" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story warns about the hidden dangers of "shows, don't tell".


    Dappled Shores
    [Romance] [Comedy] [Drama] [Equestria Girls] [Slice of Life] • 4,640 words

    Rarity and Sunset are having their third weekly Dappled Shores marathon.

    And then Sunset ruins everything.

    Read More

    6 comments · 4,839 views
  • 10 weeks
    WishyWish's "Sugarcube in the Corner" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    An unlikely crossover source mashes up with pony in today's story.


    Sugarcube in the Corner
    [Drama] [Sad] [Slice of Life] [Tragedy] • 8,069 words

    Enter Painless — a young resident physician at Manehattan East Side Memorial Hospital who drew the short lot, and ended up working through Hearth's Warming. With the city caught in the grips of a blizzard that weatherponies are still trying to get under control, the night is boring, the decorations contrived, and the coffee is as bitter as his sensibilities.

    Tonight, Painless has a single, pointless task assigned to him — to keep the company of a lonesome, unconscious stallion who is essentially already dead. In so doing, a young doctor will learn that medicine is about more than scalpels and technique.

    It's also about mending broken hearts.

    Read More

    5 comments · 6,198 views
  • 12 weeks
    The Albinocorn's "Firebird Dahlia" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    An explosive sibling rivalry is at the center of today's story.


    Firebird Dahlia
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 48,819 words

    Life is looking up for Sunset Shimmer.

    With her grandstanding at the Battle of the Bands, Canterlot High has taken a new approach to her. Amends have been made, friendships have been restored, and Sunset is on the fast track to becoming a better person.

    But even now, there are still apologies that have to be said.

    For her Spring Break, Sunset returns to Equestria to make up with her estranged family: the parents that raised and provided for her, and the sister she left behind. But a lot has changed since then, and some wounds won't heal by just saying 'I'm sorry.'

    Read More

    13 comments · 6,045 views
Sep
29th
2017

Author Interview » Fiddlebottoms' "Discord's Ant Farm" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 12:11pm Sep 29th, 2017

In today's story, take a trip into the future with one of My Little Pony's ant-agonists.


Discord's Ant Farm
[Sad] • 2,619 words

That wacky Spirit of Chaos is at it again...

Except, there's no ponies in the audience.

There's nothing, really. Just an empty, post-apocalyptic expanse.

Nothing, and some ants.

FROM THE CURATORS: Over the past six years, many fanfics have been written whose premises have been invalidated by later seasons of the show.  However, some remain great despite that.  "This story shows just what sort of potential Discord had prior to his reformation," Present Perfect said in his nomination, and this soared to a feature amid compliments like AugieDog's: "Really, it all worked for me — the way Discord feels betrayed; his aimlessness; his lashing out; his hitting upon a new hobby at the end."

It was that strong execution, combined with an exemplary examination of Discord's character, that drew most of our commentary.  "Along with good imagery and that overwhelming sense of loss and loneliness, this tackles subjects like the importance of harmony to a spirit of chaos and why Discord doesn't kill," Present Perfect noted.  Horizon had similar praise: "The big thing right here is how effectively this paint's Discord's denial and frustration and desperation through his actions," he said.  "It's easy to forget that, despite his phenomenal power, Discord is fundamentally a reactive force ... his portrayal of Celestia is really telling: his ideal fantasy world isn't one in which everypony loves him and follows his lead, but one in which he gets to continue playing the foil. That, more than anything, drives home the horror of the isolation here."

We also noted how the prose reinforced those deeper themes.  "The language the story uses had a Discordian feeling to it, too: heading toward overblown but undercutting itself constantly," AugieDog said.  And the world around Discord, Horizon said, also contributed to the overall excellence.  "I appreciate that the apocalypse is well-sketched but never fully explained," he said, "and the ant-iclimax — ha ha, see what I did there — is the cherry on top."

Read on for our author interview, in which Fiddlebottoms discusses graviton theft, future cancer, and angry scalp massages.


Give us the standard biography.

I was born in a townhouse I made with my own two hands, steepling them together over my head like so for shelter and personal amusement. Unfortunately for substantially more of the latter than the former as my exceptionally tiny fingers provided minimal protection from the elements. At the time of my birth I had but one butt cheek, and still very much do, but my other senses have grown stronger to compensate.

At a young age my mother taught me the value of a dollar by selling me as an antique lamp for one dollar, and in that capacity I lived for 18 years, standing very still in the corner with a wick held in my mouth and a gas pipe resting under my one butt cheek. Many people commented on my ugliness but said it contributed to my authenticity, words I have lived by to this day.

In the Modern Era, A.D. I make my living as a homeless crazy person, squatting naked in the woods and doing such things as God surely would have intended.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Once upon a time, it was the 60s I suppose, I met my father. I recognized him by the way he screamed and immediately attempted to strangle me as was the fashion for parents in those days.

It was unfortunate — as most things are — because, you see, the poor fellow had no concept of how to strangle someone. He was grasping the top of my head and wrenching it. Or trying. He’d forgotten to bring a wrench, so he tried with his fingers. It was like the second angriest scalp massage I’d ever received. His palms ground against my forehead and his fingers prodded the forehead of my antiface.

Anyway, the whole affair of screaming and wrenching and anti-Oedipal violence quickly became very boring, but there seemed to be no way out of this situation without someone dying.  My father must have realized the same thing, as he promptly passed away, leaving me only with his last word, “Fiddlebottoms.”

So, yes, and that’s the what for of my handle — I have one on the back of my head should I meet someone without an idea about how to strangle someone — and my penname.

Who's your favorite pony?

Rarity’s horror at the prospect of becoming bourgeois in “Canterlot Boutique” has leveraged her personal, monetized brand firmly into my heart. She’s probably a filthy Proudhonist, but that just makes it all the sweeter to imagine quoting The Poverty of Philosophy and Settlers at her during a struggle/snuggle session.

Also, Rarijack is best ship, and anyone who disagrees is just objectively wrong. Sorry, that’s how it is.

What's your favorite episode?

The first episode’s story book opening always makes me smile. Sure, the animation is supercheap, the voice acting weak and lonely, the characters rough, the humor broad, and it does nothing for my fetishes, and I should prefer, for example, "Inspiration Manifestation", but, “In the magical land of Equestria,” and that stupid electric guitar while Twilight runs away from a birthday invitation. Das ist gut.

What do you get from the show?

It is cute and fun.

What do you want from life?

An infinite mass of mechanical claws churning away at every flesh or possible flesh and all things become possible flesh under the working of these claws; the new flesh is steely and rigid but flows magma soft as it needs to be to make more of itself; the future is an ur-cancer; a better than black-hole darkness born from constantly changing flows which distort even light unto death, the speed of light — the very rules one might imagine about speed — change each second and in each second the nature of time itself changes and nothing reaches its destination; a howl that in shapelessness unites every throat; infinite cycles become infinite life and infinite consciousness and infinite pain as It tears out blindly and rips to shreds everything in its way; becoming ceases when the Monad becomes; a single Nothing that is All and devours the last refuge of the Non-All; a weapon that finally and completely unites the reaper and the reaped into one final nuclear mass; a quantum of everything; and in this ultimate abyss and ultimate darkness, we witness at last the non-form of the Monster.

Anyway, I want to live long enough to see that emerge.

Why do you write?

Because the world must know the truth about the importance of using proper PPE while riding a scooter and the carnivorous worms living in Fluttershy’s butthole and the hazards of inviting dead ponies to dinner parties and why you shouldn’t shove rabbits, or cell phones, or your whole self up your butt.

If I don’t perform this valuable service, my fellows will live a life desperately impoverished and despairingly short and with distressingly many objects lodged in their butt.

And the anus gods. Gotta make sure everyone knows about them. They’re very real, the Real in fact, and you should be aware.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Don’t worry about what anyone else says. Consider the man in the street: His shirt is made from cotton. His shirt has no pockets. His pants are too tight. He considers the tightness of pants to be a political statement. He foams at the mouth. If left to his own devices, he will chew on the furniture. He constantly and proudly signals his ignorance of the world to the world. He is obsessed with things that do not involve him. He says the New York Times is left-wing. He says CNN is not the finest comedy channel known to man. He says Marxists have infiltrated academia and he has the anecdotes to prove it. He says there are valid concerns about immigrants, although he lacks the wherewithal to describe those concerns as his own. He says he will live on Mars. He says that Tarantino is a film maker. He believes that he thinks and that these thoughts come to him. None of these thoughts are his, they are simply the ideological overwash that relieves him of the need for his individuality.

Or if that example is too vague, when A Confederacy of Dunces was submitted for publishing, it was rejected for being pointless. This complaint was objectively correct, but it is also what makes the book revolutionary.

Sapience is almost nonexistent in the Universe. The rules and theories of art are garbage, commonly agreed upon because it is easier than thinking for oneself. A fabulous disaster is infinitely better than a commonly welcomed mediocrity.

This story demonstrates a lot of Discord's storytelling potential, pre-reformation. Do you think things would have gone differently had he been reformed?

The obvious and snotty response is that he wouldn't be a statue.

In my eye the post reformation episodes have mainly confirmed the conjectures of the story. His idea of a deep personal relationship is still moreorless synonymous with a kidnapping and he doesn’t get the whole “being an object in the world”-thing that everyone else has to live with. “Of course, you must love gravity you’ve filled your whole house with it, and look at you there, being held to the ground by your gravitons.” Discord will always be the third worst kind of god, and therefore the second most believable.

What caused the apocalypse?

I’ve the most generous heart, so I’ll do you one better and tell you what causes every apocalypse.

Well, that’s not really the big deal, though, is it? Apocalypses are a dime a dozen and charting them is as easy as walking the desert and possibly dying due to dehydration. The mountains stupidly surged themselves upward and massacred entire worlds in their shadow, and there’s your basic Apocalypse, not the death of anything in particular, just the world in itself. A species may go extinct though every member lives long and happy lives, they may even continue reproducing provided that their offspring are sufficiently distinct as to be new species, but if that species cannot evolve, if they cling to “equine nature,” failing to understand that the only nature of anything is change, then they all perish, and conscious organisms are uniquely positioned to do this. The stasis imposed can hold for a generation or two. 50 years tops, and you’ve got at most six left. Enjoy them, I recommend. The most unforgivable thing about hierarchy is that even the people at the top aren't happy.

Either that or blame it on Harmony-9. Probably Twilight’s fault either way.

Why is Harmony so important to the Spirit of Chaos?

It apparently kills him. This time all you get is the obvious and snotty response.

Ah, I can’t really do that. “Your enemies you will always have with you,” as the saying goes. Discord could destroy Twilight and Celestia, sure, but it is more important to him that they have to keep dealing with him. Everyone else just sprints for the exits, but they stick with him, and as a clown, he needs his audience as much as he antagonizes and disdains them and he needs his audience to be someone he can respect.

You could get all post-structuralist and talk about how Discord only exists in the space created by Harmony and whatever but I don’t care that much and neither of us would understand it the same way so let’s move on.

How long would you say Discord has before he gets bored of this new status quo?

You must never have owned an ant farm. It is literally impossible to get bored of those things.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, there is.

If my demands are not met with a quickness, I will use my exceptionally tiny fingers to steal every graviton from the city of New York and deposit them in Los Angeles, and you will watch sick with horror as one city floats away into the sky and the other sinks into the ground, dragging the continent lopsided and dumping the entire population of the United States into the Pacific Ocean.

You can read Discord's Ant Farm 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 ( 21 )
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

"Getting the blog posted at something like a normal time! Feels good, bro!"

*types "Royal Ant Farm" in the blog title*

"..."

Oh god, these answers are golden.

At first, I was skeptical that you managed to contact Fiddlebottoms.

Then I read the answers.

Fiddlebottoms AKA the one man who managed to be edgier than Amit and Darf combined

This is why Fiddlebottoms is a true treasure and i think I would weep if i ever attempted to have a long conversartion with him.

And people say that hallucinogenics have no place in literature! :pinkiecrazy:

4681599
Yeah these answers are pretty much what I expected from Fiddlebottoms.

4681821
Every time I take acid, I don’t manage to get any writing done.

4681832
Really? ...

Time to download literally all of his stories.

4681833
No, no; 'shrooms for inspiration, rum for writing! (And just a little heroin to wind down afterwards.) :pinkiehappy:

4681821
I am completely sober these days; my body is a temple. This crimson cathedral with its myriad twisting bone passages and so on.

4681855
I've never considered galoshes as vestments before... :rainbowhuh:

And, I just now realized that I didn't properly thank WrathOfGod519 for his having contributed the idea in the first place in a Cockroach Club thread all those years and years ago. Wow, I am a shitty person.

4682137
I see one follows the truth of the eventual outcome of the universe.

Yes, we shall see the Monster, the hated, the loved one.
And on that day we shall scream in pained joyous rapture as all that we are become one speck of unimaginable gravity, of Resolution.

A single dot of eternal order, forever looking out upon a vastness of entropy of inconceivable proportions.

Welcome to Absolution, and hail Ilos.

I am so glad I read the story before reading the interview.

I am so happy.

I'm sorry are we all playing some sort of ironic game here in the comments? It's like watching the village idiot interview a madman.

4683958

It's like watching the village idiot interview a madman.

Sounds like a damn good time to me, fam.
Also that's going on my wall of favorite things anyone has said about me.

Also, Rarijack is best ship, and anyone who disagrees is just objectively wrong. Sorry, that’s how it is.

So was the Titanic. And the Hindenburg. Rarijack, like those, is a ship that can only end tragically ;)

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4685485
This is why it's so good.

One of my absolute favorite stories of all time. You're fantastic, Fiddles.

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