• Member Since 6th Feb, 2015
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Ice Star


🖤 i eat children 🖤

More Blog Posts404

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  • 31 weeks
    …and that finally happened

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    💪👑

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Oct
10th
2019

Printed Ponyfic Reviews, Part the Fourth THE BLOG SERIES IS PASSING (+ writing status mentions) · 5:59pm Oct 10th, 2019

Find the first blog here and the second here! Oh, and the third is here.

For context: all pictures are of stories I haven't read but intrigued me well enough to buy them or from stories I will re-re-read the hell out of. Others are anthologies with a mix of the two. Authors and titles will be tagged and listed below the pictures. As for the sauces of these sales, it ranges from @RBDash47's Ponyfeather Publishing for some, non-PFP affiliated Lulu entries for others, and a set from Russia's Ministry of Image.

Read below the break for the images, and be aware that as I'm taking pictures from random pages in the books, some stories might be spoiled through illustrations and the like.


So, I've been incredibly lately. To the point where I'm really only just getting time to write anything not-college related now that I have a break. And honestly, things dipped... pretty low recently. Breaks are usually a chance to get my shit together, though, so here's that blog about more pony books that I forget to post. I'm totally still writing, because, well... it's what I do? I'm just a) busy a lot and b) fairly withdrawn lately. But like a lot of long-form stories lately, the lack of apparent updates is really just me fiddling around with word smith-ery behind the scenes.

I'll also be offering some more links and details near the bottom of this blog about my overall impression on some of the printed ponyfic places in general, for anyone wondering where they might want to buy their books.

The books that star in this particular installment happen to be one story, it's just broken into three volumes. Yes, three whole novel-sized volumes. This story is longer than Background Pony, both FIMFiction's online version and the two-volume edition in my first blog. We're talking about The Night is Passing! Epic adventure, fantastic prose, literary allusions, and everything you could want in ponyfic! (Like, extremely detailed landscapes. Those are SUPER important.) Night is easily one of my top favorite stories on the site, and was one I was always determined to get a copy of. Each volume can be purchased separately, rather than in a set, through Lulu and because of Ponyfeather Publishing.

Here's a general overview of the front covers. Because of the relative length of each book, the hardcover options are the better bet. The jackets are the same quality I would expect from a bookstore, and each is well-bound. The online version of TNiP is broken into three acts, and while each volume does not correspond EXACTLY to each act, they're divided in a way that the volume will have most/all of each act in it. To explain: volume one does have all of act one, but volume two does not have all of act two, etc. Acts, chapters, and other stopping points are all clearly marked in each volume. Volume one is around 600 pages, two is around 500, and the final one is 300 something. (This is likely due to Lulu having page limits for the books.) Unlike the image on PFP's site, not all the ponies are on one cover. Each volume has the same starry background and compass rose detail on the back, but the face of a different pony (or ponies) across each cover.

While it isn't the best image, here's an example of the back of each book's design.

They art and design of each is all quite lovely, and one can't help but look at each book (or all of them together) and think: "That's a thicc bitch."

Or, maybe that was just me? I don't see how a book that would be well over 1,000+ pages if it was published in one volume isn't the epitome of being a thicc bitch. You can quote me on that one, too.

Just look at this. Look at this and tell me I am wrong.

Now onto the interior:

Various interior illustrations can be found in TNiP. Each volume has some, and the copyright pages in the front credit each artist* and give the page number each illustration can be found on. All pictures are done in black and white, and unlike Looking Glass there is no color option presented for anyone who wondered about that. The particular picture above is of the original character Tradewinds. While it does generally serve as a nice example of the interior art (of both canon and original characters) part of the reason I choose this one is because (and I'm sure I've posted it before, perhaps a few years ago) I've drawn Tradewinds before.


Sure, they're the same character, but the similarities between the drawings themselves were a pleasant surprise!

*TNiP does not feature work from only one artist.

Aside from illustrations unique to each volume, there is another set across all three. Simplified versions of the character portraits on each volume (with the character busts appearing in their respective volumes) appear in the pages of each. At first, this felt like just another flourish to the book(s) - (and remember, PFP's books usually have identical interior styles) - yet the more I flipped through each, I noticed something. These portraits didn't go between chapters all the time or mark stopping points. Their placement is somewhat random, with quite a few being in the middle of a chapter or where a blank page would've been, as opposed to being stoppers, of a sort. Next to an uninterrupted page in the narrative, you could find one of these portraits staring back at you. Once again, I feel like this had to do a lot with Lulu's arrangement of final, printed versions. If less-structured illustrations bug ya, then probably don't get the book, I guess?

The last details to stand out where the excellent lack of typos I saw when flipping through each volume. However, there does seem to be one on the jackets of each book? There's this oddity:

Cynewulf is a woman. The significant other in Cynewulf's blogs and the like is a woman. The way it is spelled here describes a man who would be engaged to her (Cynewulf) instead of a fiancée, or woman to be married. Now, I tried to see if it is appropriate usage to have the masculine doubling as gender neutral in any way, and this did not turn up. The division seems to be very clear, with the male version and the female version. I can only presume that the lack of "fiancée" is a typo.

And now this blog series wraps up, yeah? After all, it's not like I would get more...

...oh.

I got more.

A bit of a run down on these three:

Lovely Darkness:

This anthology is filled with everyone and teen-rated stories by Trick Question. The link she provides to buy her book is here. There's currently none on Lulu yet, if I remember correctly, and because the purchase is directly from the author, there is the choice for an autographed copy. The book is filled with stories best put into two categories: horror/dark (of varying kinds) and drama. There's a forward and extensive introduction to the setting of MLP:FiM, introducing basic characters and concepts. This is something that none of the other books had, but sets this one apart for anyone who would want to show it to people who aren't fans of the show. The hardcover is very glossy and sturdy, and the stories are each accompanied by unique illustrations, with artist credits given at the start of the book.

It's filled with a lot of variety between those two main genres, but compared to other printed stories which had a clearer general demographic, Trick Question's book has a mix of stories that are nice little pieces that could be read to kids and others that are too adult in concept with the death, emotions, concepts, and some gory bits in all. The split could put off some potential readers, I would imagine, who wouldn't want to go from reading a sweet story about the Apple family meant for anyone ("Girl Talk") to a tale about a character (seemingly) investigating their own death an revival, and the ethical fallout and complications. If you don't mind the very mixed audience content disparity, there's a lot of creepy and hurt/comfort goodness in it.

Sisters!:

A dozen or so comedy stories starring Luna & Celestia (and sometimes Cadance and Twilight) are crammed into this little book. It's able for purchase here, and has (multiple!) stories from five different authors, though most are by Georg. It's very much a PG-13-esque anthology, for anyone wondering. Innuendo/light language sorta stuff. Unlike some of the other books, this one is far from the price of a bookstore or the Ministry of Image's more customized hard copies. This anthology is very, very cheap! (Also, the linked blog does mention that - as of its August post date - the book is essentially limited time only!) The comedy-centric princess collection is ~200 pages keeps the theme well, since only two stories in there aren't strictly comedy (and one of those still maintains a fluffy, happy tone enough that it's funny). Until it goes away, you can get it through Lulu.

However:

-I found quite a few (perhaps about a dozen) typos in this book.
-All stories appear to be previously published on FIMFic, but one of them is not on the site at all, apparently.
-The font on the front (not including the title) is very hard on the eyes. I can't read cursive, but it doesn't look like it would be easy for anyone to read in general.

Lastly, the book that appears untitled. This is It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door. The printer is not the author themselves, PFP, or the Ministry of Image. They're called "The Pony Print Project" and were previously unknown to me. Their books are still purchased through Lulu, but their staff appears elusive, as do their full list of titles. (More about that below.) About this particular book:

-The print is still book store quality on the outside.
-Inside, there is very little information regarding the PPP and the like, and the permissions used/accounted for are stated, but vague. (i.e. it's not much of a copyright page, unlike other books purchased through Lulu)
-The cover (front and back) is an extensive and marvelous pencil landscape featuring Rarity, AJ, and RD. The artist is completely unknown. Nothing in the book's interior offers an idea of who they might be, their handle, or anything. Whoever drew the cover is given no credit at all.
-The font for everything (chapter headers, contents pages, titles, etc.) is all the same. Font junkies, bewarb.
-Even though the interior font is larger than average (compared to some PFP books) the pages still feel kinda crammed when you read them.


Final Impressions:


Pony Print Project:

  • Their group is here.
  • The founder is here.
  • According the the permission page in their book, the only way to really contact them is through a Facebook group. Nothing else is kept up to date.
  • Everything is purchased through Lulu.
  • I have zero idea who their artists are, and you will too.
  • The options are either hardcover or paperback per book. Multiple options for their prints are not present.
  • They're by far the least expensive of the organized print options.
  • Their horror anthology (which apparently you can only view on Lulu) has a full list of stories, so there's no surprises for people who want to know what to get.
  • Very good if you really love the titles or want very inexpensive books. A bad choice if you want to actually contact the people behind the pony prints.

Non-attached Lulu Books:

  • Prices will vary considerably.
  • Lulu isn't the easiest site to search for titles on.
  • Books can range in quality depending on how much effort the author wants to put into how they publish.
  • It's the medium price option, I guess?
  • I haven't seen any M stories with print editions, but I'm sure you could find them.

Quill & Blade:

  • Hardcover books only.
  • Find them here.
  • Books are limited to the universe of the authors for people who didn't know that.
  • Custom design on jackets and such.
  • Basically the same price as a bookstore for hardcover books.
  • Recommended if you really like the stories or are very interested in them and think it's worth your money. People neutral on the universe probably won't be keen on buying them.
  • Stories are E/T in rating.

Ponyfeather Publishing:

  • Hardcover and paperback options for most books.
  • Standard interior formatting across all books without interior illustrations.
  • Find their site here!
  • Varying genres and authors. Both prose and poetry are sold, too.
  • Not all their anthologies list every story inside.
  • Most art is custom made just for the book. Artists are credited in each book and on the book's entry via the PFP site.
  • Novels and collections can be purchased.
  • Site is easy to search, updates with new titles, and has helpful links on and off-site for questions.
  • Word counts are also shown.
  • Age ratings are not shown.
  • Purchased through Lulu.
  • Books often come with prefaces and contain updated, revised editions of favorite stories.
  • Multiple volume stories can't be purchased in sets.
  • They're priced more like non-fanfic books and are pretty affordable options.
  • Anyone looking for an easy place to start with purchasing pony books should give PFP a look. They're all around the best place to start, whether you want to invest a lot of money in pony book purchases or only pick up a copy of your favorite story.
  • Their quality is consistent.

Ministry of Image:

  • All books are custom-bound hardcovers.
  • Artists are credited.
  • Each book is illustrated with a unique cover and interior illustrations.
  • Information is easy to find on their site.
  • Shipping is flat-rate, but the most expensive, seeing that MoI is based in Russia.
  • They've published M titles before, and are looking to again by publishing a print run of Fallout: Equestria.
  • Books are often broken down into multiple volumes if they're too long, and can be purchased in sets. You can buy a full set of Project Horizons from them.
  • Here's their site.
  • They're very friendly and send postcards and other pony art with each book!
  • There's lots of photos of each book's interiors, covers, and books that have been sent in the past, so you can see just what you're getting.
  • There's custom fonts, and interior illustrations can be black and white or in color (depending on the book).
  • Depending on where you live, you might have to sell a few toes for shipping.
  • They're the best pick if you want to buy the highest quality pony books. Basically, they're the designer ponyfic option for when you want your favorite keepsake horse books.

One general closing suggestion I have for this blargh is that it's not the best idea to buy an anthology you've read every story in already. It makes pony book purchases much more underwhelming and even dull to just flip through stories you know completely page after page. If you want to see what stories are in some of the anthologies, since I didn't list all of them, I would suggest looking through this bookshelf. Every story I own a physical copy of is in there, and you can search tags/genres/whatever to find selections easier.

See y'all next blog, or even better, next story update,

-Ixu

Comments ( 3 )

Ooh, thems is some lovely bindings on Night is Passing!

Hey ice. Your picture of Tradewinds still means a lot to me and when I was asked for reference I actually gave Funn your drawing and said “she looks like this”.

5135139
HOLY FUG
excuse me need to go scream now

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