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 · 861 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 · 1,266 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 · 1,423 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.

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    5 comments · 1,405 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 · 1,222 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 · 1,285 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 · 2,293 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 · 2,083 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.

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    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 » alt-tap's "An Ordinary Day" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:25pm Oct 26th, 2018

Today's story is no ordinary tale.

An Ordinary Day
[Slice of Life] • 5,436 words

Fluttershy lives a happy life. Every day is special. All of her friends are lovely ponies.

Today is a day just like any other; she wakes in the morning, does her chores, sees her friends, takes a nap and sees more of her friends before an evening of relaxation.

Just an ordinary, wonderful day.

FROM THE CURATORS: One interesting aspect of fanfiction is that — much more than published fiction — it's a living medium, with stories changing over time.  And sometimes, you stumble across the sort of story that makes you thrilled you gave it a second look.  "Once upon a time, I read and reviewed this for Scribblefest 2016," Horizon said in his nomination.  "I was blown away by the gorgeous and literary prose, at turns intimate and philosophical, and the incidental worldbuilding; I wasn't so impressed by the many textual errors. However, I am thrilled to say that the story has since been polished to a fine shine."  That sentiment was widely shared, with reactions like FanOfMostEverything's: "Gorgeous is right. I've never seen a take on Fluttershy quite like this one."

Almost every aspect of that take came in for praise — sometimes all at once.  "This has absolutely everything I look for in a Fluttershy story," AugieDog said while assigning it a top score.  "A gentle pace, beautiful language, understated humor, semi-requited love, quiet insight, a tender sort of melancholy, and kindness infusing it from beginning to end."  But while the story as a whole drew widespread raves, it was the story's unusual focus which often got singled out for praise.  As FanOfMostEverything noted: "There's a fascinatingly animistic aspect to the perspective here, where even the cottage's squeaky floorboards deserve Fluttershy's consideration just as much as any of her other friends."

Amid all of that, the story did exactly what its description promised: simply showed us a day in Fluttershy's life.  And yet its depth made it so much more.  "It's got very much an 'infinite space in a nutshell' feel to it," AugieDog said, "showing us the whole world of Equestria by focusing on these very specific images, these very specific moments, so small as to almost be non-events, in Fluttershy's life."  Ultimately, what impressed us most was the way it captivated us with those non-events.  "The prose is lush and engrossing, definitely the big thing right, and the author has a knack for writing single sentences that powerfully encapsulate a character," Present Perfect said.  "This proves that you can write a story about nothing in particular without it being dull."

Read on for our author interview, in which alt-tap discusses drunken Bs, buttery heads, and adventure couscous.

Give us the standard biography.

I was born in Seattle, at the foot of Capitol Hill. The hospital is gone, but I know where it was.

Most of my earliest memories share one of two themes: nature or gaming.

My parents would often take me camping, or climbing up the side of a mountain, or kayaking down a river. Always far from other people, and always an adventure. Those are the best of times.

The smell of salt and sea carried on the wind whistling through the small copse of trees that is all the tiny island can support, far from any dock or building.

The crystalline spring water at the peak of a mountain, cold and clean and perfect.

The infinite stillness far beneath the earth bedecked with stones of all conceivable colors and textures.

And always couscous.

This is the family I have, the tireless explorers. From Olympian heights to Stygian depths, we explore everything we can find.

That is one side.

The other is the city.

The towering mountains of glass and steel, endless noise and motion. I love the bedlam of Pike Place Market and the cultural clans of Broadway. The thick, powerful scents of Tenzing Momo and World Spice (wherein you can find more than 20 kinds of salt). And of course, games.

I cut my teeth on Battletech and Warhammer 40,000. I thrive in the contest of minds over a gaming table or board game. Planning one move for hours while I bide my time in Civilization or Twilight Imperium.

There are computer games too, I started with DOS playing with Fractal Engine and, eventually, Descent, but those are just to fill the time between Warmachine or Dungeons & Dragons.

School for me was a bit of an adventure too. Elementary was nothing of consequence, but high school was. I attended a “school” called Wilderness Awareness School wherein I learned wilderness survival skills, animal tracking, Native American teachings and, strangely, Pa Kua.

Martial arts were a feature of my childhood so prevalent it mostly fades into the background. It’s just a thing you do, you know? It is still an important part of my life, though I don’t participate in any formal classes anymore. It real purpose, though, is to always be in search of ways to better yourself. A good lesson, I think.

I have since moved to sunny Hawai’i, though I will be returning to Seattle some day. The caves, mountains, forests and ocean present a lifetime of adventure that I have only begun to explore in the 2 years I’ve been here.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Once upon a time I played a game called Counter-Strike (the old 1999 one). One of the guys I often played with (on the Something Awful server) was ALT-F4 — as a nod to him, and the fact that he seemed to catch a lot of my bullets, I decided to name myself ALT-TAB when I was swapped to his team, but I fucked up and forgot to use caps. And I somehow hit P instead of B. I just tell everyone that the b is drunk.

Who's your favorite pony?

I don’t really do favorites, but I have a fairly strong connection to Celestia. I like her “chessmaster” approach.

What's your favorite episode?

As prior mentioned, I don’t really do favorites, but I quite enjoy "Winter Wrap Up" and "Feeling Pinkie Keen".

(I usually stick to seasons one and two. I feel the vision of the show has become increasingly muddy of late. The school of friendship was the last straw. I only watch sporadically now.)

What do you get from the show?

At first it was just a really good show.

But then one PAX afternoon I came upon a bunch of fellow weirdos all bedecked in MLP merch discussing the show. From there we carried an eight-foot-tall Pinkie Pie around Seattle and accidentally had a party in Seattle Center with a group of afternoon ravers. From there, I got on Meetup and attended every get-together I could.

Now I get a sense of community and belonging.

What do you want from life?


Why do you write?

I actually started in fiction because of ENG 101. The prof had the class write a page a day for the entire quarter. Eventually I started writing about an astrophobic kid on a flight to his new school on Mars, then a lost soldier trying to find some sign of civilization as the world is ending.

Now I write because I love the art: the creation of worlds and people to populate them. The telling of grand adventures. The twin arts of verse and prose and the occasional merging of the two. And the painting of visions in other people's minds.

Writing is what fulfills me.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?


Write every day. Waiting on the bus? Write something on your phone. Taking a break at work? Do a little editing. Write at every chance you get. If you can’t write something good, write something bad. The only thing stopping you is you.

Also, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun or Iron Kingdoms can be excellent practice. I run a D&D game every week and it helps quite a lot with keeping my wit sharp.

What inspired “An Ordinary Day”?

The beginning of "Filli Vanilli."

Watching Fluttershy singing her heart out got me thinking: what goes on in that buttery head of hers? What does she do when she’s alone? Why is Angel such a cunt? Okay that last one may have been on my mind for a while, but this was a perfect opportunity to explore it.

Ultimately, it’s really about the tragedy of having too much love in your heart. All the animals fill a hole larger and deeper than anything can ever fill. One of her favorites, the raccoon, dies. One of her friends, Candy Main, is technically an enemy of the state.

In the end though, she does get one thing she has been dreaming of. Or is it actually just as Rainbow says?

I like Fluttershy, not because she’s cute or timid or kind, but because she hurts. That makes her one of the strongest.

Did you find it difficult to enter into the Zen-like mindset you give to Fluttershy here?

I made a point in the production of this piece to only write it while in bed before going to sleep. The voice I gave to Fluttershy (because the story is actually entirely in first pony) is a direct result of being intentionally sleepy while writing.

Have you found writing pony stories to help with your original fiction?

If not for pony, and Fimfiction in particular, it never would have occurred to me that other people would ever be interested in my writing. Now I have an original novel in the works. So ya, it’s helped quite a bit.

Do you prefer planning stories ahead of time or letting them develop during the typing process?

I can only operate in the stream of consciousness. I’ve tried to plan stories out, and it always ends up disappointing. (e.g. Sky Pirate Pip, which I will at some point revisit, but it needs to be gutted and redone from the ground up.)

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

By this point I’m sure you can see the value of editors.

Keep writing, my friends.

You can read An Ordinary Day 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 ( 4 )

(I usually stick to seasons one and two. I feel the vision of the show has become increasingly muddy of late. The school of friendship was the last straw. I only watch sporadically now.)

Well now I know not to read it.

Why is Angel such a cunt? Okay that last one may have been on my mind for a while, but this was a perfect opportunity to explore it.

Me too, bro. Me too.

Read this story a couple months ago and was blown away at how happy I felt afterwards. Not content— happy. It was the biggest stress reliever i think I’ve ever had in my life. It was like I had a good night’s sleep and was woken up by the smell of pancakes and bacon.

Always glad to be on board! I have to find out what happens in the story, give me a sec to read.:heart:

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