• Member Since 3rd Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 33 minutes ago

PresentPerfect


Writer, RCL co-curator, EQD prereader, dramatic reader, VA, fic reviewer. Vote for my next fic to release!

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  • Tuesday
    A notable excerpt

    Daedalus Aegle just wrote a very good blog post about current events. He claims it is long-winded and rambly, but I would humbly disagree. Though I would urge you to read the whole thing, if you feel you don't have the time or stomach for three thousand rather circumspect words, please

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    4 comments · 235 views
  • 1 week
    Fic recs, July 1st!

    Out of nowhere, Twilight Snarkle came back with the first update to Fine Steps in six years! Six years, and I had no trouble sliding back into the stories of ponified Dr. Robotnik. :D Go catch up.

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    8 comments · 256 views
  • 1 week
    State of the Writer, June 2020

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ._.

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    13 comments · 269 views
  • 1 week
    In other news

    I initially thought I would not be able to work 'Trixie is trans' into The Princess's Captain, but that may have just been dumbness/slowness to accept change on my part. With a little thought, it's totally doable, which makes me happy. :) Hopefully, I can demonstrate why in this other story I want to write first.

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    16 comments · 378 views
  • 2 weeks
    A quick reminder

    So remember when a bunch of people on this site came out and posted blogs in support of Black Lives Matter?

    I posted mine on the 4th. That was three weeks ago.

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    137 comments · 1,707 views
Jan
17th
2020

Fic reviews, January 17th: Top 10 of 2019 edition! · 2:42pm January 17th

Hey hey hey, it's that time again, and in a timely manner, no less! :D It's the day in which I announce the ten best stories I reviewed last year and use this site's algorithms to make a review blog based on them! So strap in, here's the legend if you've forgotten:

Title of Top Ten fic
List of other recommendations from Also Liked list, underlining those I’ve reviewed previously
Commentary on the selection
Title and author of fic selected from other recommendations, like usual
Genre like usual
Review like usual
Recommendation like usual

And let's do this! :)

H: 2 R: 6 C: 2 V: 0 N: 0

Dancing in Melancholy by forbloodysummer
Haunted Wasteland; Fifteen Pages; In Silence
Uh-oh. c.c This may be a problem. Only four Also Liked stories? I've never seen the like! D: Worth noting that one is also by forbloodysummer while another is by Naiad. Good to see their readers are loyal, but c'mon, algorithm!
Flash Reads a Wally Fic by shortskirtsandexplosions
Genre: Humans Writing Legend of Zelda
Why did Flash ever agree to read Wallflower's fanfiction?
So when people write stories wherein ponies write fanfiction about other ponies, I call them "ponies writing ponies". Transfer that to EQG world, and you get humans writing humans… except Wallflower is focused on a certain video game franchise. The tag is as convoluted as some of this story, is what I'm getting at. That being said, the goofy ins and outs of Wallflower's Ganon/Link love story is not what's going on here. The signs are all around, and if you don't pick up on them by the third part, there's a comment to spell it out to you. Suffice to say, everything falls into place by the end, and I was kind of amazed, given that I'd spent the whole story going, "What's happened, skirts is totally out of control". This is a good look at how hard it is both to write and give feedback on writing, with just a little more to grab onto besides.
Recommended

Exiles by Coyote de la Mancha
After Moonfall; Luna's Gift; Biography of a Tyrant; Moon Childe; Bridges and Guides; The Apple Jamboree; In Vino Veritas
Go figure, if you like Elsequestria, you're reading the sequels and Coyote's other stuff! And that is what I will be reading, too.
Cadence of the Crystal Empire by Coyote de la Mancha
Sequel to After Moonfall
Genre: Badasslestia
A thousand years ago, Princess Radiant Hope of the Crystal Empire threw her daughter into the future in an attempt to save her from King Sombra. Now, Celestia rushes to undo her own mistakes; but has young Mi Amore Cadenza already paid for them?
I am reading these stories spaced out just far enough that I'm forgetting a lot of the details, so when I say this is the best story in the Elsequestria continuity, take that with a grain of salt. I mean, look at how we got here. :P But what I do remember was seeing some names in the previous story whose tales I wanted. Here, then, we learn about the Crimson Queen and Knight of Mirrors, and can I just say what amazing and evocative names those are? Especially taken together. I have to say, "a big spider" was maybe a little less cool an identity for the Queen than I was perhaps hoping, but the Knight is a good bit more obscure (and we never do see him in totality). Plus they're both masterful illusionists and infinitely cunning, making them fitting rivals for Celestia. Who gets to be really awesome and really, excellently angsty throughout this whole thing. I mean, she's just steeped in so much self-doubt and anguish over what happened in the distant past still; I loved every second of it. There's a lot of cool world-building, a mystery that's going to keep you guessing until the last second, and even some adorable filly Twilight shenanigans. This story really has it all! And if you haven't read any of the other pieces in the series, this is probably a good place to start.
Highly Recommended

Fifteen Pages by NaiadSagalotaOar
Rarity learns Math; Lady Lazuli
Oof. People, you gotta get readin' these fics!
In Which Moondancer Kefuffles Kerfuffle's Kerfuffly Bit by NaiadSagalotaOar
Genre: Light Comedy
Somepony definitely had too much to drink last night.
Spoilers, none of those words in the title have to do with sex. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed. :P That being said, what this is is a conversation between a mare who isn't good at expressing herself, and a mare who isn't good at relating to other ponies. There's not much more to it, but the interaction is quirky and the writing is excellent. Reminds me that I need to do a Kerfuffle edition at some point.
Recommended

It Turns Out They're Windmills by J Carp
I Am Awkward (Yellow); Morning Difficulties; Perfectly Imperfect; In Quiet Moments; First of Fall; Cheap and Affordable Time Travel; The New Adventures of Old Moondancer
A lot of shipping, and a lot of stories about Twilight's old friends. I'm almost pleased to see no particular theme here. Also short fics.
Moving On by TheDriderPony
Genre: Sad Future Fic
Applejack and Rarity talk about leaving Ponyville.
I figured out the twist about halfway in, but that didn't stop this from being a very tight and well-written piece. If you like stories about moving on or what Ponyville might look like in the future, definitely give this a read.
Recommended

The Celestial Mechanics in Midsummer by TwilightFlopple
A Wake of Mist and Flame; Never So Far Away; A Moment in the Sunlight; The Knight's Gambit; Gobbling and Other Traditional Pursuits; Twilight Sky Over Canterlot; Lady Prismia and the Princess-Goddess; In the Bleak Midwinter
A lot of really lauded stories, many of which I have highly recommended myself.
A Moment in the Sunlight by ArcheonZ
Genre: Light Comedy
An unexpected guest livens up a boring meeting.
Ah, this is adorable. A foal shows up in the throne room, giving Celestia the perfect excuse to break up her routine. What she does is fun, and their interaction is heartwarming. I really can't say anything more for this; I liked it.
Recommended

Time by Fallowsthorn
The Hand of Friendship; Look in the Mirror to Find the Truth; Colors; Mr. and Mrs. S.M.I.L.E.; Aftermath; Sunset Shattered; Masks
Lots of Sunset-centric EQG stories, go figure! And one about Fluttershy being a changeling.
Red/Yellow by The Cloptimist
Genre: Sad EQG
Sunset knows there should be another her in this world. But where is she?
This might be a little hard to follow for some, because it's presented extremely nonlinearly. But I never get tired of a good story about what might have happened to Sunset's human counterpart, and this is one of the best ones I've read. The main thing is that it's a deep dive into a possible backstory for Sunset; I particularly loved how it presents her parent, because it gives a backing for a lot of her worst characteristics. Self-importance like hers doesn't arise out of nowhere, after all. Beyond that, the story reaches no concrete conclusion, merely presenting facts and allowing us to make inferences right alongside Sunset. This was really great stuff.
Highly Recommended

To Bring Light to Eternal Darkness by scifipony
Under the Light of a Shooting Star; Seeking Harmony
Not enough to draw any conclusions. D:
Dividing Infinity by Coyote de la Mancha
Genre: Future Fic/Sci-Fi
When Princess Cadence destroys the Crystal Palace and everyone within it, Queen Twilight Sparkle tries to figure out why.
This is a… weird story. I couldn't actually figure out where it placed in Coyote's story continuity, but given that it stood alone at the top of its own empty sub-continuity, I felt safe tackling it as-is. And to be sure, there was maybe one spot where I thought "Is this a reference I should get?" and it wasn't even a major thing. As to the story itself, I was pleased with myself for realizing it's not sci-fi because there's ponies going to space or anything, but because it plumbs the depths of concepts like what the existence of a multiverse means for the average person. This actually explores a few concepts, though some could be taken poorly; I prefer to think it's a treatise against nihilism. (And maybe "don't use your friend to power a magitech device", too.) Granted, it's got some issues: the first chapter is a long, dry and inelegant infodump telling us how we got to where we are today, and though the multiversal scenes of Twilight doing the same thing over again with different results are clever, they may also trip up less advanced readers. Lastly, and I'm going to spoil this, the whole thing ends with a kiss out of nowhere. I was disappointed (not least because it's a ship I don't like), and if the idea of untagged romance makes your stomach churn, you may want to skip this. But if not, it's a pretty decent entry into Coyote's body of work, if not his best.
Recommended for Science Fiction Fans

Twilight in Plain Sight by Mitch H
Will of the Shadow Monarch; Some Other Pony's Destiny; The Steed of Theseus; Not famous anymore.; Womb Simulator; Chicken Little; A Beginner's Guide to Heroism
Not seeing a lot of theme here either, though… one of these things is not like the others. c.c;
To Someone Who'd Appreciate It More by jqnexx
Genre: Headcanon Dump
Tempest receives an early Hearth's Warming gift.
To be fair, there's really only one paragraph that can be considered a 'dump', but this story mostly exists to give closure to Tempest Shadow and say a bunch of words about how magic works. And also talk about the aluminum futures market; that was not something I ever expected to see in a fanfic. c.c The writing was adequate, and there are some funny bits around it, but mostly I liked this because you can just guess probably.
Recommended for Tempest Shadow Fans

Wrong Side of the Glass by Rosencranz
And Pitiless as the Sun; Accidental Happy Space; Winter Threads; Where Does It Come From?; The Strings That Make No Sound; Mare in the Mirror
A lot of sad and slice of life, but no other real connections. It does, however, give me an opportunity to read an old favorite that I've never reviewed.
Ordem e Progresso by Chocolate Milk
Genre: Character Piece
After being drummed out of the Royal Guard, Summer Sirocco tries to become a different pony.
Boy, I didn't remember this one at all. It was written before I came to hate batpony fics, for one. (I don't hate it, though.) It's a very simple story, surprising given its disjointed temporality, whose core is a meditation on agency and self-determination. We're given enough scenes to understand Summer, where she's come from, what her fears are, and why she makes the decision at the end. It's elegant, and the writing is good as well. A shame Chocolate Milk didn't stick around or write anything else.
Recommended

Zealots of Canterlot by Aquaman
Small, Insignificant Things; Permanent Solution?; In and Out of Phase; The Phoenix and the Headstone; Hereafter; Experiment C-13; The Only Tree in the Forest
Lots of EQG fics, go figure, and quite a few from Sunset Shipping: Endings, to boot. That contest produced so much excellent writing, I had so many H's, and that's why there's two of them in this list.
Bad Habits by Scampy
Genre: Self-Harm
Wallflower has every right to do this. It's her body, after all.
I've always said, when I was in school, no one did this kind of thing. The reality is probably closer to, yes, they did, and we just didn't have the internet to tell us about it. :B So, not knowing what this kind of thing is like, I found this piece eye-opening. This is a short, very intense piece about a fucked-up kid trying to deal with her fucked-uppedness in a bad way and nearly going too far. It's clear from the continuous contradictions in her internal monologue that she's not in a good place; that was a really strong way to get her mental state across. Not to mention this doesn't glorify what she's doing in the least, only gives us her attempts to justify it. Not gonna be for everyone, but worth reading if you can stomach some blood.
Recommended

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Comments ( 5 )

So glad to see Time in here. That story is one of the best of the best.

Wow, Ordem really brings me back. What a blast from the past.

That Scampy person sounds like a nerd, tho :rainbowwild:

I've only read two of the top ten, not counting the one I wrote, but I'm happy to see both of them here :pinkiehappy: Dancing in Melancholy might be my favorite short siren story on the site, though I'll admit to a level of bias there.

And thanks for the review! Would I be right in thinking you basically just pick another one from the same author if the Also Liked panel doesn't give you anything promising? I assumed at first you were doing a Jinglemas edition or something when I got a comment from you but the review didn't come right away (Happily/weirdly, my Kerfuffle one's on Fifteen Pages' Also Liked at the time of this comment).

Reminds me that I need to do a Kerfuffle edition at some point.

There's only 44000 words of Kerfuffle stories on the site, so you're already about 5% of the way there at the least :P

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5188074
If Also Liked proves fruitless -- and it has, on occasion, in the past -- I move on to Similar.

Thank you for the kind review, it's much appreciated! I've always felt good about that story, I remember I was super keen to try an experiment with non linear storytelling through little vignettes (the same basic idea as Familiar, my only other, less-good featured story) and while I don't think everything I tried completely worked, I still like it and I'm still pretty proud of my version of Filly Sunset. Thanks again!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5189449
I'm starting to get the idea that you might be a really good writer or something. :V

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