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 · 833 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?

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    4 comments · 1,239 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.

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    4 comments · 1,409 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 · 1,393 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 · 1,211 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 · 1,274 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 · 2,282 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 · 2,072 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 · 3,105 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 · 2,960 views

Author Interview » Cherax's "Sundowner Season" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:38pm Oct 12th, 2018

It's always a good season to read today's story.

Sundowner Season
[Drama] [Sad] • 21,493 words

With a heavy heart and an empty journal, Rarity heads north.

FROM THE CURATORS: "Cherax is more well known as a musician," Soge said in his nomination, "but in Sundowner Season she shows quite the writing chops. In it we follow Rarity, taking a long trip to the farthest reaches of Equestria, with a purpose in mind which only becomes clearer to the reader — and to her — as we reach the end of the trip."  Along the way, there was plenty to like.  "I loved the atmosphere and the sundowners themselves," RBDash47 said, with AugieDog adding: "Rarity's voice in the journal sections and in the third-person POV parts is simply phenomenal.  She changes during the course of the story, but she's always recognizably herself."  And while the story also accumulated some critiques during our voting process, we collectively found it winning us over.  "It starts at such a slow burn that I had to begin the story four different times before I made it past Canterlot," Horizon said.  "And yet I was won over by how artfully everything was done ... I came away impressed."

The digressions during that lengthy unfolding were polarizing, but there was one thing on which we were unanimous: the exemplary touch provided by the story's many well-chosen details.  "I liked how Rarity kept traveling to progressively smaller and more remote settlements as her ability to deny the reason behind her journey dwindled," FanOfMostEverything noted, while RBDash47 said: "I also got a kick out of the formatting choice of setting flashbacks off by right-aligning them; I feel like it was a nice way of accentuating the 'back and forth' of Rarity's inner turmoil."  Although a few details were unintentionally personally disorienting: "Why am I in this story?" Present Perfect asked.

And what tipped the vote was the story's lush, deliberate pacing.  "The big thing right for me was the slow drip-drip-drip of revealing exactly why Rarity was feeling what she was feeling and why she was going on this journey to begin with," RBDash47 said.  Horizon summed it up similarly: "It was that slow rolling reveal most driving my vote; it worked well in concert with the story's pacing and the gentle leavening of the distractions," he said.  "This is a tightly controlled story which asks the reader to follow along exactly in its footsteps, but I found it repaid that investment of trust."

Read on for our author interview, in which Cherax discusses interstate buses, snow biomes, and pastel distances.

Give us the standard biography.

A pony musician of moderate obscurity, who dabbled in fanfiction and dramatic readings back in the hayday (sorry) of the fandom, and has since gone the Way of the Digibro and transitioned into a standard anime nerd.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Cherax comes from my musician name, Cherax Destructor, which is the intimidating-sounding Latin name for the not-at-all-intimidating common yabby. I’ve retired the name officially, but will still always answer to Cherax or Cherry D.

Who's your favorite pony?

Rarity. It changed many a time, but she took the lead when she took Manehattan and hasn’t lost it since.

What's your favorite episode?

If not Rarity Takes Manehattan for its oddball humour, Sleepless in Ponyville. I loved it so much I wrote a song about it! Scootaloo’s worries are genuine and relatable, and her being 'adopted' by Rainbow is an incredibly sweet bit of catharsis. Plus, there’s appearances by almost-best ponies Sweetie Belle and Luna!

What do you get from the show?

MLP, at least in its glory days, was an unabashed celebration of femininity, emotional vulnerability, and sincerity — all things I felt were important, but lacking in my life. I’m sure that being exposed to these and embracing them helped me (and surprisingly many others!) to discover and accept my transgender identity. Nowadays I’m out of the loop with the current season and fandom, but I will always hold Pony in my heart as a beacon of those values and a reminder to uphold them.

Also, it looks real pretty!

What do you want from life?

Peace and quiet...

Why do you write?

Music is my main mode of expression, but there are certain ideas I have and certain feelings I want to expel that only seem to make sense in prose. There’s a bit of escapism in there, but it’s also a way for me to deal with some of my more complicated emotions by distancing myself from them. Even though they’re still facets of myself, I can prod my characters more easily and indelicately than I can prod my internal monologue.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Nothing original, but the common tidbits that resonate the most with me are: write what you know; if it feels good, go with it; always be reading, paying attention, and absorbing; write drunk, edit sober.

What inspired “Sundowner Season”?

Angst, to be sure! Rarity is such a character, in the sense that she is often putting on airs, and is probably aware of it. It made me wonder what was behind her mask of melodrama — how she would deal with a genuine emotional crisis, beyond the stress of her job or misplacing some fabric. Back in 2014, I went on a wild trip across North America after a particularly bad existential crisis of my own, mostly staying on the couches of internet pony friends. I know I’d had some basic ideas for Sundowner Season in mind before then, but the many interstate bus rides and my lingering emotional troubles helped them grow. I took a lot of inspiration from reading Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea and listening to La Dispute’s Wildlife (both very harrowing experiences!).

Are the places that Rarity visits based on actual locations?

Gran Chivalo is based on my memories of visiting the Swiss skiing town of St. Moritz during off-season, many years ago. It was so blissfully quiet. A little bit of the real Vancouver made its way into the scenery descriptions of Vanhoover (Soul Searcher makes a reference to West Haystings, one letter away from a real street). Oddly, I think Lonely Prairie and Gael’s Tears are inspired by environments I found exploring snow biomes in Minecraft.

What do you suppose it is about Ponies that makes them so good at conveying existential angst?

I don’t know why cute colourful ponies dealing with immense emotional trauma, so hilarious in concept, is so engrossing in practice. It shouldn’t work, but it does! Maybe the sweetness makes you drop your guard? The show has given us some (mostly) well-rounded characters with very human faults, characters we can see ourselves in — like I mentioned earlier, maybe it’s easier to explore our own darkness when we put it at a safe, pastel-coloured distance.

Do you have any thoughts on how the show itself eventually portrayed Applejack’s mother’s father and his relationship to the Apple family?

I’m just glad that they didn’t directly invalidate anything in my fic! There are enough details left unspecified to let Sundowner Season still seem plausible, I think. It’s a terrifying position to be in when a show is still running and could easily fill in a blank that you’ve already tried filling in yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Rarity, if you read this, I’m sorry for everything I put you through.

You can read Sundowner Season 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 )

I'm sure Rarity would approve. She is a mare of great drama, after all.

I am so happy to see this featured. It's certainly a very welcome blast from the past - I came across this story shortly before I dropped out of ponies for a while, and it was one of the last fics I truly fell in love with. I even wrote a very emotional "review" about it. It also introduced me to Cherax's broader work in general, which I had not seen much of previously and was sorely missing out on, and to Cherax, who I did not know for too long but was as warm and lovely a person as I have ever met.

It's a shame to see that Cherax has left for more Japanese pastures, but I can't really fault them given my own disappearance, and it's good to hear they look back on ponies fondly. And I am glad to see that my long-ago plea has finally been answered:

Please go read this story - it's had so little love, and it deserves so much more.

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