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Fanfiction masochist. :B https://ko-fi.com/presentperfect

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Fic recs, July 26th! · 10:57pm Jul 26th, 2019

I feel like it's been a while since I had good writing advice to share, so check out this trio of blogs by RB_, about writing horror good!

I'm also doing something new in this blog: Reviewing a story that hasn't been published yet! You can click below to find out what I thought of it, but I wanted to mention up here that horizon's story collection Songs of the Sisters will be available at the Bronycon bookstore, and Devil May Care, the story in question, will be exclusive to that publication until September. I'll update this review with a link to the story once it's available on Fimfiction. :) (Here's where you can preorder the book!)

Yes, this was a paid advertisement. :B

H: 2 R: 2 C: 1 V: 0 N: 0

Devil May Care by horizon
Sequel to Administrative Angel
Paid Review for horizon
Genre: EQG Experimental Existentialism
Discord has never been unlucky, but he'd like to try.
I realized while reading this that at least part of the reason I love Administrative Angel so much is that it's about Celestia and it's kind of depressing. This is about Discord, who I am distinctly no fan of, and it's… well, it's confusing. It's got the same strong writing and the same authorly voice as the original, but we're so deep into Discord's POV that we're seeing things the way he does, and that doesn't always mean linearly. And if that isn't enough to baffle an advanced reader, there are also a couple of purposefully backwards words that will likely get under your skin. That said, once this gets into "convince Discord not to destroy Humania" territory, I found myself enjoying it immensely. There's a bunch of weird stuff in here, too, like Discord's human-world counterpart, that I never saw coming. Plus, I'm not so much an unfan of Discord that I can't appreciate a solid grasp of his character, and this plot revolves entirely around the things he holds dear. Not to mention it's rather thrilling watching a world-ending threat through the villain's eyes. I suppose it was naive to expect lightning to strike twice — horizon can only be blamed for being human, after all — but this was still good, once you get past the confusing part. Besides, it is solely by horizon's good graces that I can remind you all Twicord is a pleb-tier ship. :V

Second Sunset by Starscribe
Read by Fimfiction
Genre: EQG Adventure
Desperate to learn real magic, Sunset Shimmer passes through a portal to another world.
Where has this story been my entire life? This was riveting. I started listening to it the way I usually do, then sat down and finished it all in one go. As a "what about human Sunset Shimmer?" fic, it's completely original. As a story about Sunset going on adventures in Equestria, it's lots of fun. And, surprisingly, as an HiE, it's intensely satisfying. I realize I do like those kinds of stories, it's just that most people write about themselves or other characters I've never heard about. Putting a Queegee into the situation is the right way to go. Plus, the characters she meets! You won't see them coming (unless you read the chapter titles ahead of time; don't do that, though). There's good, wholesome Sunflash, and human Sunset is written as a slightly different character, and it promises so much more and I need more augh why is fanfiction so hard? This is great.
Highly Recommended

Genre Shift by Uncr3at1ve
Genre: Random
Vinyl Scratch will not be stopped.
This is another entry from this year's Trotcon speedfic panel. It is also probably the first ponyfic I have ever read that contains the phrase "gyrating flesh bags". It's short, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, for all that it certainly has some goofy, enjoyable jokes.
Recommended for Laughs

Family Matters by RainbowDoubleDash
Sequel to Longest Day, Longest Night
Genre: Lunaverse Drama
Dinky Doo has been saving up all year to buy her momma something nice for her birthday.
With Longest Day still fresh on my mind, I want to start by saying that this has some of the same issues. A lot of stuff is explained to us, in great detail, especially events that happened in Longest Day. And while, on the one hand, that means this is a sequel that can stand alone, on the other, no one's gonna see that "part of the Lunaverse" tag and not go start from the beginning of the 'verse. Even still, this could have been half as long and still been good. Because despite those issues, this is good, a solid Derpy/Dinky slice of life that veers sharply into excellent drama as Ditzy's dark past comes to light. The payoff at the end is excellent, too, which leaves me torn, because this does have issues, but ultimately rises above them. Well, you almost don't have to have to read any previous Lunaverse story to enjoy this one, and there's a lot to enjoy.

Celestia and the Battle for Sunset by scifipony
Sequel to To Bring Light to Eternal Darkness
Genre: Drama/Action
Celestia meets her new project: The filly Queen of Cliffside.
Let's be real: even if To Bring Light hadn't been as fantastic as it was, I'd have read this for everything the title promises. :) I'll never get tired of Sunset origin stories, after all. But on that note, I might actually suggest reading this story before To Bring Light. The one downside to this piece, besides the occasional missed word, is the couple long explanation scenes that cover that story's plot, and I think it might be better to get the summary before you actually experience the thing yourself. And this is a pretty excellent story all by itself, anyway, featuring a Celestia who struggles with ruling a country by herself, while trying to save a young filly from a life of homelessness. If I appreciated anything, it would be how, after learning her backstory, we can see that a thousand or more years has changed her, even if she's maybe not quite the regal and all-knowing matriarch of ponykind she appears to be. If anything, this might in fact be entirely about how unaware she is of how other ponies view her, even after all the time. Sunset is fun as well, the self-styled Queen of Canterlot's homeless, at the tender age of eight. She's a wild child and a magical prodigy, capable of going one-on-one with an alicorn who, well, doesn't want to hurt her, but still. scifipony really has a knack not just for rendering magical combat as visceral and exciting, but in making sure all its twists and turns are weighty. So yeah, this is a good followup and perhaps a better introduction to the story which came before it, and it was kind of everything I want from stories of its kind.
Highly Recommended

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Comments ( 6 )

Hurrah! Thank you for the review. :twilightsmile:

As a clarification, you CAN buy the book if you're not going to Bronycon, but orders won't be available until after the book release at the convention. If you're going, pick up a copy there! If not, I'll announce book orders in my blog, and RBDash47 (of Ponyfeather Publishing) should announce the opening of orders for his Bronycon releases soon as well.

"Whatever happened to Human Sunset Shimmer?" is one of the mysteries of the fandom. It's a big, obvious unanswered question, and yet so few people try to answer it, for some reason.

I'm still gonna stick with my personal theory. I find it too funny.

Pony Sunset: [On entering H!Sunset's *gigantic* home] "Wait, won't your parents be wondering why there's two of you wandering around?"
Human Sunset: "No way. Watch this." [after a *long* trek through the home, they arrive at the living room, where Sunset's parents are both reading] "Hello, mother! Hello, father! I found a magical talking pony version of me from another universe that was transformed into a human that looks just like me. She'll be living here from now on."
Sunset's Dad: [Without looking up from paper] "Just make sure to walk her and feed her, dear."
H!Sunset: "See? No problem." [leads P!Sunset away]
P!Sunset: "Do they think I'm a dog?!"

Author Interviewer

If I were to write a "what happened" fic to answer the question to my satisfaction once and for all, it would go something like "Sunset killed her human self in her early, wild, angry days in the human world, trying and failing to take over her double's life."

I've always liked the idea that Sunset killed herself. It's dark, but it makes sense that getting rid of herself somehow would be a necessary first step toward gathering a power base and getting her revenge.

Eh...I think I want any what-happened story to feel like it could fit into the show, or at least fit with the general tone and themes even if written for an older audience. So I’m definitely against something that dark.

I think it's a fun idea to play around with, but a little out of character for Sunset to have murdered her alter ego, in that even at her worst she seems more like an entitled rebel lashing out at the world for her own failures, mistakes and misfortunes, rather than a cold blooded killer. Indeed I think that seeing her as a fundamentally decent person/pony who screwed up because she was young and stupid and couldn't cope with her own limitations makes her more interesting to write than if she's, essentially, an ex-con trying to go straight and atone for her sins. But then I get the feeling that everyone's own take on her personality is as unique as their headcanons about Human Sunset...

Not to turn this into a shameless plug but I started out thinking I was writing a 'where's human Sunset?' story, because I had the idea - in the middle of the night - that maybe an event occurred in pony Sunset's early life that, if things panned out the same way in both worlds, a human wouldn't have survived. But as I wrote, it became a lot more about Sunset herself and why she ended up so damaged and defensive, because that was the more interesting story to me, and in the end I left the Human Sunset question deliberately unanswered.

(I also wrote some mild, reflective SunFlash clop exploring my version of her character that I'm still quietly proud of. But I digress, even further than originally planned.)

tl;dr I love (reading and writing) Sunset backstories too! :ajsmug:

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