News Archive

  • Friday
    RandomNPC's "Winning, and the pitfalls therein." [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Give today's story a chance to conquer your heart.

    Winning, and the pitfalls therein.
    [Comedy] [Random] [Alternate Universe] • 42,517 words

    What if the villains were allowed to win without a fight? Would all of their plans bear them the fruits they so desired?

    Probably not, especially when their royal adviser is Twilight Sparkle.

    A collection of (continuous) one-shots in which our heroes don't have any epic fights with villains, and simply allow the power of logic to crush all of the hopes and wishes of the would-be rulers of Equestria.

    FROM THE CURATORS: "It's a question every would-be tyrant has to face eventually," FanOfMostEverything quipped in our discussion.  "You've conquered the kingdom/world/galaxy/universe. Congratulations. Now what?"

    Read More

    7 comments · 1,053 views
  • 1 week
    Piccolo Sky's "The Sweet Spot" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will hit the spot for fans of the MLP movie.

    The Sweet Spot
    [Drama] • 15,679 words

    The Cutie Mark Crusaders have dealt with all kinds of ponies having trouble finding their true calling in life, but none can compare to the special request they receive from Princess Twilight Sparkle herself, or the shock they receive on discovering who it is: Fizzlepop Berrytwist, possibly the most hated and feared pony in generations. Can a pony who's spent most of her life rejecting her true calling possibly find it now? Can the Cutie Mark Crusaders help a pony who almost everypony else in Equestria has rejected?

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,410 views
  • 2 weeks
    PapierSam's "We Are Forever" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We are impressed with today's story.

    We Are Forever
    [Equestria Girls] [Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 9,973 words

    The pilot episode of the Rainbooms' reality television show, in which the band breaks up.

    As expected, mild drama, washout humour, awkward pop culture references, and character bending to breaking point ensues.

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,498 views
  • 3 weeks
    Poptard's "A Familiar Feeling" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    I've got a feeling that you'll appreciate today's story.

    A Familiar Feeling
    [Romance] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 11,142 words

    After months of pleasant dating, it's time for the inevitable meeting of the family. For Sugar Belle, it should be easy as cake. She's already met three of the Apple Family members, after all. She only has one more to win over.

    It's more complicated than that, she finds.

    Read More

    5 comments · 1,473 views
  • 4 weeks
    Undome Tinwe's "And the Serpent Said Unto the Princess" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story was too tempting for us to pass up.

    And the Serpent Said Unto the Princess
    [Dark] [Romance] • 2,785 words

    In the beginning, there was Harmony. Then Discord stole Fire from the Alicorns.

    FROM THE CURATORS: "Who doesn't like a good creation myth?" RBDash47 said in his nomination — and judging by our unaminous approval, this fic blew past "good" with room to spare.  Along the way, it picked up both top scores and praise like Soge's: "Oh boy, is this fic special in a way few fics are.  The multi-layered narrative, the allusions to all kinds of human myths, and most importantly, the twist at the end that brings everything into sharp focus. Everything works in synchrony to deliver the author's grand vision."

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    9 comments · 1,290 views
  • 5 weeks
    Celefin's "Track Switch - Steel Dreams" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is engineered to be quite a moving tale.

    Track Switch - Steel Dreams
    [Slice of Life] [Human] • 12,434 words

    Modern just in time supply chains require arcane logistics. The people I work for specialise in that special kind of magic. Me? I just make sure stuff gets from A to B. And I'm good at it. All over western Europe. Always at night. Always alone — just the way I like it.

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    6 comments · 1,353 views
  • 6 weeks
    Revenant Wings' "Reconstruction" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story assembles a unique look at Starlight's aftereffects.

    [Drama] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 6,378 words

    The former equalized ponies struggle to reconstruct their town after Starlight Glimmer's defeat, and Double Diamond struggles to reconstruct his own identity after being freed from Starlight's equalization brainwashing.

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    2 comments · 2,361 views
  • 7 weeks
    Lost + Found Features: "Decisions" / "The Unicorn and the Crow" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    From time to time, despite our best efforts, we don't have a feature ready to post come Friday—but that doesn't mean we can't recommend some reading material! We keep track of the stories which passed our approval process but whose authors have proven impossible to contact. We'd like to give these stories their time in the spotlight too, so read on for two RCL-approved tales for your reading pleasure.

    By hester1
    [Sad][Slice of Life] • 2,818 words

    A server waits on six ponies in a restaurant. The diners have drinking contests and discuss social responsibility. The clock ticks ever on and on.

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    0 comments · 2,151 views
  • 8 weeks
    California's Camp Fire [Royal Canterlot Library special interview]

    Today's feature asks us to put the brakes on for just a minute.

    With the arrival of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., we hit the downhill portion of the holiday season: a month of rushing around that will see us all careening out the other side smack dab into the new year. We often take holidays off to encourage our readers to catch up (with friends and families, and on features from our archives), but this year, instead we would like to bring the focus on people who could use some help — those who found themselves in the path of the Camp Fire, which recently swept through the foothills of northern California.

    Horizon, who I'm guessing needs no introduction around here, works with a Search & Rescue unit in the Sierra Nevada mountains near the fire, and was called in to the town of Paradise to help comb through the rubble.  We've asked him to discuss his experiences, as well as ways to help those affected by the fire.  Read on for his photos and commentary.

    Read More

    36 comments · 3,109 views
  • 9 weeks
    Starscribe's "The Last Pony on Earth" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The last stop for today's story is the RCL spotlight.

    The Last Pony on Earth
    [Adventure] [Mystery] [Human] • 102,429 words

    Until yesterday, my life was no different than anybody's. Go to work, pay the bills, sleep. Today, I woke up to a world without humans. The streets are empty, the power grid is running down, and not another soul is in sight. That might not be the worst thing, if I wasn't also a pony.

    Where is everyone? Why is this happening to me?

    Will l stay sane long enough to starve?

    Read More

    15 comments · 2,961 views

Author Interview » Metool Bard's "The Truth Hurts" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:09pm Jun 8th, 2018

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.

Then one fateful night, Lightning Dust's training is interrupted by the appearance of her greatest idol, Wind Rider. It turns out he too has difficulty accepting reality, and he has his own, more nefarious schemes to get himself back in the game. Haymaker sees this as his last chance to save Lightning Dust from walking Wind Rider's path. And if that means rubbing salt in a few wounds and shattering a few dreams, then so be it.

FROM THE CURATORS: Sometimes, a story's brilliance lies in expressing one of life's greatest rarities — a truly original idea.  "Lightning Dust is a character I tend to forget was ever on the show," Present Perfect said in his nomination.  "Therefore, it's maybe easy to see why no one ever considered comparing her to dethroned Wonderbolt Wind Rider before.  But it's so obvious in hindsight."  Soge agreed, and added: "Having read the story, it really surprises me that this is the only fic tagged with both characters on the site."

Though there was some curator dissent on the quality of the execution, there was none on what made it exemplary.  "What makes this story work, beyond that excellent premise, is the portrayal of the characters," Present Perfect said, echoed by Soge: "The concept is strong enough to make it memorable, and it is executed perfectly well, thanks to the snappy dialogue and pitch-perfect characterization."  And FanOfMostEverything pointed out that it wasn't just the protagonists done well: "Haymaker really ties it all together, knowing when to offer wisdom and when to just shine a spotlight on bullcrap."

And ultimately, the story talked about redemption in a way that reflected the core of the show.  "I can't help but draw parallels between Lightning Dust and Sunset Shimmer here," FanOfMostEverything said.  "Both prodigies, both arrogant, both humbled by a member of the Mane Six. The difference is that Twilight gave Sunset a support network. Haymaker tries to act as that for Lightning, but she's not yet seen the error of her ways. Seeing Wind Rider's true colors is, appropriately enough, her rainbow to the face."  Soge summed it up: "I got left with the feeling that Lightning Dust has a real shot at redemption here, so long as she is able to change her path radically."

Read on for our author interview, in which Metool Bard discusses dark mirrors, pegasus partiality, and never-ending hurricanes.

Give us the standard biography.

Hi-ho.  Sheesh, I never thought I’d be doing one of these.

The name’s Metool Bard.  I’m a librarian by day, and a creative writer by … days when I’m not working.  I’ve always enjoyed a good story, and creative writing has been one of my favorite pastimes for as long as I can remember — fanfiction or otherwise.  There’s not much else to me than that without delving into some rather personal information.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

This is actually kinda a funny story, and I actually wrote a blog about it a few years ago.  Simply put, when I got my start as a fanfiction writer in the Mega Man community, I created a bunch of metool characters that lived on a floating island in the middle of a never-ending hurricane.

Yes, I am very weird.  Why do you ask?

Anyway, I became so well-known for those characters over in that community that I simply decided to adopt metools as part of my online persona in general.  The Bard part is pretty self-explanatory.

Who's your favorite pony?

Hard to pick just one, but I’ve honestly always been partial to the pegasi.  Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Scootaloo, Spitfire, Daring Do, and Derpy are all among my faves.  If I had to pick just one, well, I would have to say Flutters. I simply relate to her the most, being a socially-awkward introvert myself.

What's your favorite episode?

I have a few, but if you were to twist my arm, I’d say Rarity Investigates!  Between a more positive portrayal of the Wonderbolts, a solid mystery, and just fun moments all around, it honestly felt like DHX made an episode specifically for me to enjoy.  Honorable mentions include Testing, Testing, 1 2 3 for brilliant world-building and a resonant moral about education, Tanks for the Memories for its stirring portrayal of the grieving process, and Flutter Brutter for being an excellent payoff to Fluttershy’s character development up to that point.

What do you get from the show?

Besides inspiration for my writing?  Like I said before, I enjoy a good story, and the show has plenty of them.  And truth be told, the morals do resonate with me from time to time, so there’s that, too.

What do you want from life?

Balance between my work and my writing.  And whatever else may come my way.

Why do you write?

It’s really kind of an impulse for me.  Once I have the inspiration for a story, be it an episode from the show, something that happens in my life, or what have you, I feel the urge to write it down.  That, and it is something of an escape for me (not unlike any other hobby).

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Don’t do what I do.

Seriously, I’ll be the first to admit that my writing technique is not ideal for serious authors.  My writing is often stream-of-consciousness, and I don’t often use editors (thus leading to a lot of post-production in my stories).  But apart from that, actually care about what you’re writing. If you don’t care, you’re not giving your audience a reason to care, either.

What inspired “The Truth Hurts”?

When I wrote this story, I felt that the comparison between Lightning Dust and Wind Rider was untapped potential.  Both of these characters are dark mirrors of Rainbow Dash, but they are diametrically opposed in terms of their courage.  One is a reckless loose cannon willing to push herself to greatness despite the consequences, while the other is a coward willing to hurt anyone to maintain his greatness.  I already set a precedent to Lightning Dust training under Haymaker in a previous story, Wonder-Breezies, so I decided to use that to set the stage for the confrontation.

What spark does Haymaker see in Lightning Dust that makes him want to keep working with her?

People often compare Lightning Dust to Rainbow Dash in Season 1, and I think that’s not that far from the mark in terms of how Haymaker sees her.  Lightning Dust is a talented mare with a lot of raw potential, but when it comes to curbing her ego and taking responsibility for her actions, well … if the episode Wonderbolts Academy is anything to go by, that kinda stuff doesn’t come naturally to her.  She certainly isn’t going to be let back into the Academy until she fully understands why what she did was wrong.

I feel that Haymaker secretly holds out for that time when Lightning will smarten up and fly right.  But failing that, he hopes to prevent her from destroying herself chasing a dream she has very little chance of catching (at least with her current mindset).

Does Wind Rider already have a plan in mind when he shows up at Haymaker’s gym, or is he just reacting to the situation he finds there?

It’s definitely the second thing, unless you think he somehow knew he’d meet one of his biggest fans in that gym.  That’s not to say he wasn’t scheming beforehand; he just didn’t have a concrete plan until Lightning Dust started fawning over him.  And let’s be real: he probably is the type of pony who would leap at the chance to manipulate a fan into doing his bidding.

Do you see Lightning Dust coming back to train with Haymaker after all this?

Probably yes.  While Lightning Dust knows she doesn’t want to end up like Wind Rider, I can’t imagine her giving up on her Wonderbolt dream that easily.  Beyond that, well, we’ll have to wait for her to return in the series proper, won’t we?

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

While my goal in writing has never been to become famous, it is always an honor to have this kind of recognition.  I’m glad you enjoyed this little tale I have woven, and I hope to continue writing more insightful stories about our favorite pastel ponies.  And with that, I bid you adieu.

You can read The Truth Hurts 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 ( 11 )

I recognize that cover art! :raritywink:

But seriously, congratulations!

T6 #2 · Jun 8th, 2018 · · ·

Oh man, I remember when this was brand-new and in the feature box - It's still a great oneshot to this day, and Metool did an absolutely amazing job with it.

Also Lightning Dust, always nice to see with my favourite pony pop up now and again :raritystarry:

I remember that story! I'm glad to see that it mentioned here!

Never liked this story's premise.

I just read this story a few weeks ago, and I definitely agree with its inclusion. I haven’t read many Lightning Dust fics on the site, but I’d say this one is one of the best so far. And hey, a fellow librarian/writer! The only other one I’ve met on the site so far is Albinocorn, so I’m glad to see there are more of us than I originally thought.

...technically, I’m just a librarian-in-training who’s grinding away at classes and who still hasn’t gotten a permanent library job beyond volunteering/interning. But it’s still great to hear about a kindred spirit!

Comment posted by sevenofeleven deleted Jun 8th, 2018

I just want to say I appreciate the pun in the opening sentence.

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

Idol Hooves is a changeling, but i'm curious how his workshop became the devils. :P

Thank you! That one was mine. :twilightsmile:

Lightning Dust is a talented mare with a lot of raw potential, but when it comes to curbing her ego and taking responsibility for her actions, well … if the episode Wonderbolts Academy is anything to go by, that kinda stuff doesn’t come naturally to her. She certainly isn’t going to be let back into the Academy until she fully understands why what she did was wrong.

That is the problem.
It was Spitfires Job to teach her that in the first place but she completely and utterly failed.

While Lightning Dust knows she doesn’t want to end up like Wind Rider, I can’t imagine her giving up on her Wonderbolt dream that easily. Beyond that, well, we’ll have to wait for her to return in the series proper, won’t we?

I don´t think she will ever give it up and hope she will have her long overdue comeback.



This picture has a very interesting discussion.

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