Wanderer D 5,024 followers · 56 stories

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News Archive

  • 12 weeks
    Minor Rules and Reporting Update

    Hope everyone is enjoying the new year.

    Some small changes have been made to our rules as well as to the reporting process.

    Rules

    "No attacks directed at individuals or groups due to race, gender, gender identity, religion or sexual identity."

    This better clarifies our previously ill-defined hate speech rule and includes groups as well as individual attacks.

    "No celebration, glorification or encouragement of real life criminal activity."

    This includes past, present and potential future crimes.

    Read More

    750 comments · 9,215 views
  • 14 weeks
    Jinglemas 2019

    There's truly no time like the holidays. What's better than copious amounts of food, quality time with family and friends, hearing the sweet sound of Trans-Siberian Orchestra on repeat, and unmanagble financial stress from our capitalist overlords?

    Gift exchanges of course!


    Our Own Little Way of bringing Hearth's Warming to Fimfiction

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    28 comments · 2,682 views
  • 34 weeks
    "Ponyfic: There Can Be Only One" wrap-up [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We're still recovering this week from the fandom's final Bronycon.  (In some cases literally — a con-crud-ridden Horizon is dragging himself out of bed to write this.)  So in lieu of a Bronycon-week feature, we'd like to talk a little bit about the panel we hosted to find THE FANDOM'S BEST FANFIC™.

    We've got a full writeup on our royalcanterlotlibrary.net website — including the complete bracket of 16 fics in contention for the title; shout-outs to great fics which we couldn't fit on the shortlist; and the full results of audience and curator voting.

    Our hearty congratulations to Monochromatic's "The Enchanted Library" for taking the BEST FANFIC title in an upset victory over our #1 seed!  We'll be running an interview with Monochromatic as soon as possible.

    25 comments · 3,063 views
  • 35 weeks
    Come See Us at Bronycon! [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The run-up to Bronycon has been a mad whirlwind of RCL activity!  Five curators are attending (two for the first time!), and one of us is an official community guest. Several of us are participating in the Golden Oaks Bookstore (as author, author and publisher).  And we're even running a panel!

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    29 comments · 2,323 views
  • 66 weeks
    Merry Christmas

    Hope you all have a great Christmas full of lots of food and fun times. Also ponies

    ~From everyone on staff

    110 comments · 3,379 views
  • 88 weeks
    Galacon

    I will be at galacon this weekend so if you see me feel to say hi!

    50 comments · 3,161 views
  • 92 weeks
    MLP BOX T-Shirt Contest

    Hey guys, MLP BOX are doing a competition for a t-shirt design to be included in one of their boxes, and since I know we have a mix of people here including artists, we thought it'd be a good idea to promote them so you guys can get in on it too. Below you can find more information about the contest:

    Brony.com and MLP BOX have launched the first in a series of "Design a MLP T-shirt" contests over on Brony.com.  The winning design, voted on by site visitors,  will not only be featured on a shirt but the winning designer will also win $1000 dollars pending approval of their design by Hasbro.   Second and Third Place will also receive a cash prize.  All winning designs will be printed and be made available in t-shirt form for sale through the Brony website.

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    16 comments · 3,077 views
  • 99 weeks
    Patreon & Survey Follow Up

    First of all, reminder that we have a Patreon you can find at https://www.fimfiction.net/patreon . Apparently a lot of people didn't know we had one so there it is. $5 will remove ads on the site for you. I'll be making the Patreon page more prominent in relevant areas of the site soon to make sure people actually know it exists.

    Thanks everyone for filling in the survey last night. We had over 5,000 responses and I did in fact read every single comment left as they were coming in and finished reading them this morning. It seems there are a few features which we would potentially be interested in making premium features (part of the $5+ patreon rewards).

    • Custom emoticons you can upload
    • Custom titles / colours
    • Animated avatars
    • Avatar border frames
    • Extra themes
    • Custom CSS
    • Higher tier patreon rewards that let you “gift” premium?
    • Mass story download
    • Banners
    • Automatic day/night theme selector
    • Free advertising slots?

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    142 comments · 4,447 views
  • 113 weeks
    Announcing the Everfree Northwest Scribblefest Official Start!

    Greetings Aspiring Writers!

    Everfree Northwest, Seattle's premier pony convention is known for having one of—if not the—strongest writing tracks in the MLP fandom. As part of that, we run an online writing contest every year: The Everfree NW Scribblefest! Entry is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the convention.

    This year, we’re offering the winners a $10 Amazon gift code, as well as mentions across a bunch of sources of media that Everfree NW utilizes to tell people about your awesome story!

    This year’s prompt is: Family Trees: Roots, Branches, and Leaves

    Goals

    Read More

    76 comments · 4,808 views
  • 118 weeks
    Happy New Year

    Have a good 2018.

    - From everyone on the team.

    115 comments · 3,901 views
Nov
27th
2012

Site Post » Reviews: Round 5 · 4:51am Nov 27th, 2012


Captain’s Log:
Star Date: November 26, 2012

The search for underappreciated fics continues here aboard the Seattle’s Angels cruiser, The Rainbow Mare. It seems like just yesterday that we were given our mission by the Admiral, but it’s been nearly 5 weeks since then. Much has happened in that short time. Fics have been read; reviews have been given; and ponies have ponied. And now, we have returned, with a new set of reports on the indigenous lifeforms of planet FiMFic. Please find enclosed:



Action! Boy, do I like action. Action is fun. Action is intense. Action is The Sixth Age.

Do you like good stories? No? Well, too bad, because you’re reading this one. Not often will you find a story that does action well, but if you’re like me, you’ll agree that this story does it right. From the get go, The Sixth Age stuffs action down your throat and then follows it up with a side of intrigue to keep you wanting more. I won’t spoil any details, just go read it.

There are some things this story has problems with, namely telliness and digression where unnecessary (Daybreak’s thought tangents in the action-y bits of the prologue, specifically), but the vivid imagery counterbalances. Often, it felt as though the actions were taking place before my eyes rather than my computer screen. Not many stories can claim that. Add to it a developing storyline that has more potential than you could shake a stick at, and you’ve got everything you need to enjoy colorful ponies shooting and diving and yelling and conspiring and being all-around awesome.

That said, there’s no reason not to give this story a shot. Because I like action, and so should you.

I remember reviewing and enjoying this story back in the day. I was pretty new to ponyfic, so my advice couldn't have been much help, but Sixth Age is even better now than I remember it being back then.

In my opinion, this story has a lot of good elements, but has yet to fully realize any of them. The action scenes are fun, yet hover just out of the range of being gripping; the story universe is large and unique, but hasn't been explored; characters are quirky, but not lovable. When I read Sixth Age, I enjoy myself, but when I stop and think about what I've read, I can't recall much about it standing out in an incredible way. Perhaps the pacing is a bit slow...or fast? Whatever the case, I think this story has more potential than it's letting on.

There was a sizable plot behind the story's events and I never felt that the world was flat or that the characters only existed to serve the author's intentions. I especially enjoyed the hints of lore and mystery sprinkled through the text. The story is incomplete, so there’s a chance that I’ll get to see some of the elements that have been hinted at so far come into full blossom. That’d be great.

Whatever. Eight K for an easy job was worth taking a bullet straight to the flank.

You know, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of action in most of the fics we’ve reviewed thus far. Good thing then that The Sixth Age is here to change that. Some of you may remember what I said about Mantles a few weeks ago:

“[Mantles] will grab you by the testicles and never let go.”

Well, TSA takes that to a whole new level. Where Mantles had an engrossing story and delightful characters living in a deceptively bleak Canterlot, The Sixth Age gives us a slightly less engaging narrative, but makes up for it with balls-to-the-wall action. Tactical!Rainboom may not always have the best characters, or the most interesting dialogue, but what he does have are intensely detailed action scenes that make it feel more like you’re watching a movie than reading a fanfic about pretty ponies.

But besides all that action-y goodness, The Sixth Age has a genuinely interesting underlying plot. Alternate Universe fics about a dystopian Canterlot are hardly new fair, but Tactical manages to spin it in a direction I’ve never seen. This is honestly the most curious I’ve been to see where an AU world will go. And, what’s more, I can’t wait to see how he handles the introduction of the last few cast members. Knowing him, and knowing how this fic has gone thus far, I can only assume that it’s going to be like watching a Jason Statham movie while driving a Ferrari and doing cocaine. In short... it’s gonna be awesome.



Much could be said about this story. On one hand, the descriptions are complete and paint a full picture in one’s mind, but on the other, said descriptions tend to flow on. And on. And on. More on that later.

The strongest thing this story has going for it is, well, its story. We begin with our standard idyllic introductory scene, and things go rapidly out of hand from there. A strong suit of the author is definitely his imagination. The storyline and descriptions speak for themselves on that level.

However, descriptions are also his not-so-strong suit. Oftentimes, sentences become so long-winded that it becomes hard to process all the information and keep straight who’s doing what. It makes immersion more like diving into molasses rather than water.

If you like purple and long but extraordinarily distinct descriptions, have at it. If not, you should still give this story a go for the sake of the story—as it is very interesting—but if you find yourself being dragged by the prose, don’t push it.

Okay, so let's get this out in the open right now. Eclipse's biggest problem is its descriptions. It really gets bogged down in details that aren't relevant to the theme and detract from the flow and pacing. I think my colleagues and I are agreement about this point, so I'll move on.

Beneath the overdone descriptions lies a good story. The author's vivid imagination is apparent. There are a lot of innovations and unexpected occurrences to keep you on your toes. I might have liked the characters more if I had seen more of them interacting with one another; what was there was quite good. However, the current action scene, which lasts two and a half chapters, overshadows a lot of that characterization. And for me, the characters' names, along with a lot else, were blurred in the haze of crossfire.

It wasn't all bad. There were some moments in the fight that had very 'pony' sensibilities, and for those I respect the author immensely. Still, I shouldn't get dizzy from reading a story, no matter how interesting the plot is. (And I did enjoy the plot here.) I approved this story for review because it has an interesting premise and a promising storyline, and I think it deserves more views than it has, but it's not for everybody.

There must always be Heroes.

Hmm, where do I start?

Well, I have a few problems with Eclipse that I will note in just a second, but for now, I’ll talk about what I did like about it: the plot. Reading Eclipse is like eating a day-old eclair. The outside may be a little crusty and hard to get through, but when you bite past the overly-descriptive scenes and general wordiness, you’ll find the rich, creamy center that is the underlying plot of Eclipse. It’s an adventure tale that, while not entirely original, is nonetheless an enjoyable read.

Now, as for my problems. As I noted with my colorful metaphor, the narrative can sometimes bog itself down with meaningless description. However, that being said, on the flip-side it occasionally delivers powerfully evocative images through its lengthy descriptions. Just don’t be too surprised when those are rather few and far between. My other complaint is that Eclipse doesn’t feel very pony at times. It almost feels like the ponies could be replaced with humans, the dragons could stay, and the story wouldn’t be any worse for it. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it did color my opinion of it somewhat.

All in all, Eclipse is at least worth a look. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be exactly what you’re looking for.



I find it funny that Chris reviews MLP fanfiction on his blog and just so happened to have recently reviewed one my my stories. Time to turn the tables! Or... letters, in this case. Also, Chris is my name, too. How about that?

To begin, what sticks out most about this story is its mechanics. Not many stories can boast writing quality of this caliber, whether it be effective variation of sentence structure or a simple matter of comma placement. I could go on about how well done it is, but I have limited space here, so go see for yourself.

Characterization is brilliant; every word beats with the life of the in-story writer from start to finish. And that’s important to a story like this. It must be told entirely through the written word of Aunt Maxilla, and it does so extraordinarily well. It makes the story itself active and engaging, the desire to know what will happen next never leaving until the final word has been read.

It is fun to look inside a mastermind’s head and see what makes them tick. And after reading this, I’d like to see what makes Chris tick.

A.K.A. "The Screwtape Letters, Abridged and Ponified".

I really adore C. S. Lewis, and The Screwtape Letters is one of my favorite works of his. This fic, which borrows its style and general structure from Screwtape, absolutely nails the imitation. In fact, the only substantive complaint I can imagine being leveled against this story is that it's too close to its source. However, that wasn't a negative for me—I loved every minute of the ponified experience, and watching how close the parallels between the two stories got was great fun.

And despite the similarities, the story never (well... rarely) became tedious or predictable, largely because of the adaptations the author made to fit the pony universe. The plot was different enough to keep me guessing, and the parallels, while remarkable, weren't shoehorned in. Perhaps the characters were the least unique and most archetypally similar to their counterparts in Screwtape. But given the format, messing with the characters would have meant messing with the narrator's voice, which would have rendered the story much weaker.

Overall, Letters just wowed me. If you've read and enjoyed The Screwtape Letters, this will not disappoint. And, I wager, it will stand on its own for you even if you haven't read the original.

For that is all honesty is, in truth: the mark of a mind too feeble to conjure up a narrative more useful to oneself than the bare facts.

Chris is the kind of writer that I want to be. Letters From a Senior to a Junior Changeling oozes with philosophical poignancy and some of the best characterization of I’ve ever seen with regards to original characters. Maxilla is cold, cruel, calculating, manipulative, and wonderfully entertaining all at the same time. The way she speaks of love and friendship as if they were alien, and wholly incomprehensible ideas, makes for interesting and thought-provoking reading. To us, Maxilla herself may seem wholly cruel and incomprehensible, but I’m willing to bet that all of us have known at least one Maxilla in our lifetimes. I know I have.

I think what strikes me most about LFAJTASC (man that’s a dumb acronym), is the way it’s written, and I’m not just talking about its immaculate grammar, or its beautiful prose. No, I’m referring to the style. Epistolary novels can be quite difficult, as characterization and descriptions become less accessible, but, even in ponyfics, it can and has been done well. According to Chris, Letters apes (in a loving way) the style of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Now, having never read that book I can’t comment on how closely it resembles it, but I can say that, if nothing else, Chris has certainly managed to make this story his own as I did not need to have read, or even known of, The Screwtape Letters.

Well, my time is running out and, though I could gush for pages about how much I loved Letters From a Senior to a Junior Changeling, I must stop here. Really though, Chris’ writing speaks for itself. I don’t think, even with unlimited space, I could really do it the justice it deserves. Welp, I guess that’s it for this week’s reviews. I’ll see you guys later. Right now, I’m gonna go re-read Letters.


We must be off now. FiMfic is the last great frontier of our time, and, like many before us, we have given ourselves to its depths in the hopes of uncovering a few lost treasures.

Until next week,

Seattle’s Angels, signing off...


*** Please note: The reviews are done by a group of individuals whose only relation to fimfiction is that they have proven themselves to be dedicated and honest members of the community and are providing the reviews for the post—because that’s what this is about: the fimfiction community. None of the Fimfiction Staff members are endorsing or promoting the particular authors, reviewers, or the stories reviewed; we are just providing a means for others to find good stories they might have missed.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PM the reviewers asking them to review your story. There are lots of them, so have faith in them and in your story, they'll get there.

In the meantime, you can find the Reviews in the Seattle's Angel's Group!

~WD & Seattle_lite

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Comments ( 34 )

543784 ... Alright, that made me lawl.

I'm torn. On one hand, I wanna say yay for more things to read. On the other... dammit my queue is a monster!

543807

Its only at 30 sure (which is tiny compared to a lot of other people I see), but I NEVER put shit into that "read later" thing. Once a month I add one other than through this sucker at most.

543812 Mines just below 90 at the moment and that's not counting all the stories I have lying around that I have yet to even start.

Spectre beat me to Seattle's Angels!?

Ah well, good on ya, man, congrats! Guy should be happy to see his story pop up here!

Ezn

Congrats Chris, Tac and other guy I don't know!

I gave Chris a very extensive review for that story. It was the hardest I've ever worked to provide something useful to a writer, because I knew he'd listen. And I came out of it having learned a lot as well. Good choice.

*Le edit* Removing my slight jab at Wandy, (to which I may have offended the reviewers: sorry!) I would like to say that I value the time and effort that take upon themselves to make these reviews and enjoy reading them, and possibly the stories they discuss if they tickle my fancy. =D

543870

Oh, that was funny. Was it a copypasta?

Well, shucks--you guys are making me blush.

Corejo, Nietzsche, and Alex, thank you all for the kind words. And more broadly, thanks to Seattle and associated angels for doing these reviews--I've been reading and enjoying them, and being mentioned myself is just sweet, sweet icing on the cake.

543870

If you'll forgive my parrhesia, I'd like to add that I, hardheaded cynic that I am, profess that it needs to be taken into account that when it comes time to take a stand, Wanderer invariably dives for cover.

So... without any knowledge on the context of what you have written, there is much of it I cannot disagree too, not until I gain more knowledge.

About this specific portion though.
As far as I can tell he's been using it in a very reasonable fashion. Encouraging the growth of the site, publicizing it, fixing its minor and major faults all the while avoiding any flack he could bring to it by humbly avoiding bad topics and subjects directed his way.
In his position, he has to be a bit of a coward, lest he becomes victimized and ruins the public image of the site and, in turn, all of us members of it.


EDIT: Annnd, It's wasted...

I forgot to say:

Good work reviewers. I'm sure many appreciate it!

Whoa. I got picked up by Seattle's Angels?

I... I can honestly say I *never* expected anything like this. Thank you all for your kind words--I hope they can power me through a few more pieces of writing!

543920

I poking a little fun at him with a complaint generator. :trollestia: Yes, I read it before I posted it. I told him it was all in good fun, but decided to remove it so I'm not a total knob. :twilightsheepish:

Stardate: -310095.8

543920


It's flak not flack :pinkiehappy:

I must thank you for the recommendation of Letters from a Senior to a Junior Changeling by Chris.

Twas' indeed a most overlooked piece of fiction. In fact, I'm quite shocked by the low viewcounts. Maybe OC changelings doesn't appeal to people at large.

543846
Hopefully that encourages him to update more :scootangel:

Is it bad that I'm only reading these to see if I've read the stories already?

WOOO TACTICAL! :ajsmug:

Well, my time is running out[...]

I wonder if that means that the reviews have to fit some word margins or that they have some deadlines to write their reviews. Just curious.

543865

I could tell. The story when I read it was nearly immaculate grammatically when I inspected it all those days ago.

543913

Dear Chris,

I like your story. Please resubmit it.

Thanks,

Cassius

545104
To answer your question: both, actually.

We generally try to keep our reviews within a set number of paragraphs, though there's lots of wiggle room. The same applies to the deadline. We attempt to have each round done between Sunday or Monday (we post a new round every week), but sometimes it gets delayed and we push back to Tuesday or Wednesday.

As much as I would love to toot my own horn, I must admit I am but a kazoo in the Gnu York Philharmonic Orchestra of Fics. Very good selection there guys. Kudos!

545239
Thank you for the answer, I was curious about it. Also, thank you for your hard work so far. :twilightsmile:

If you care to share a few more things, I have some other questions:
How do you choose which story to review? Do you have some internal voting? Or is one person (or a group) sort of designated to do the searching, while the others do the reviews?
Does it usually take you (as a group) long to decide which story to review next? Or has it ever happened that the searching took so long that there was too little time to do the reviews?
Has it ever happened that the story you (or someone) chose for the review was blasted into oblivion :raritywink: and you had to the searching process again? Or are the proposed stories always good enough to be recommended (in which case the search party does their job pretty well :twilightsmile:)?

Feel free to answer those questions if you'd like, but if (for whatever reason) you decide it would be better if this information remained 'classified', I won't push it. :raritywink:

Thanks once again.

546033
How do you choose which story to review?
Each reviewer selects a fic and then we have a deathmatch to see whose fic gets to stay. Lots of scouring FiMfic, and then, usually, lengthy discussions about the merits of the selected fics.

Do you have some internal voting? Or is one person (or a group) sort of designated to do the searching, while the others do the reviews?
The three reviewers (for that particular week) must all agree that the fic is worth reviewing. If the vote is not unanimous then the fic is rejected. There is no one group or person that is the designated searcher. We all search independently and provide a list of fics we deem reasonably worthy of review. Then, each week, three fics are selected and the reviewers decide whether all three are keepers or if some need to be booted.

Does it usually take you (as a group) long to decide which story to review next?
Hahaha... Let's just say that we didn't decide this week's fics until Saturday night, and even then I was still debating one of them.

Or has it ever happened that the searching took so long that there was too little time to do the reviews?
In a way, yes. I believe it was round two or three that was delayed until Wednesday because we took so long to decide. However, no matter how long it takes, we will still deliver that week's set of reviews, even if they end up severely delayed.

Has it ever happened that the story you (or someone) chose for the review was blasted into oblivion :raritywink: and you had to the searching process again?
No, never Literally every week...

Or are the proposed stories always good enough to be recommended (in which case the search party does their job pretty well :twilightsmile:)?
You'd think we'd be fairly decent at picking stories we all accept wouldn't you? You'd be surprised how much I can we can let our personal biases color our opinions of fics we like. We are, after all, only human.

Hope this answers your questions adequately enough. Thanks for taking the time to read our reviews. Every comment I see on these reviews, or post in our group which you should all totally join warms the cockles of my heart and it makes me glad we're doing what we're doing.

I guess that's all,
alexmagnet, signing off...

Return to your domicile, Wanderer D. You are inebriated.

I should probably stop looking at these. It has gotten to the point where I may have ... a lot more stories in my read-later section then what I need. Under a month ago it was only at 75, now its at 120... if I am doing this much reading, when can I get to my writing!

546169
Thank you for answering. I was really curious how the process looks and you certainly shed some light on what's happening there. :twilightsmile:
Hehe, I would totally join Seattle Angels if I weren't a member already. :pinkiehappy: Well, member may be a little too strong a word, because (for now) I only watch you for the said reviews. I certainly appreciate your work. I hardly ever have the time to search for an interesting story (and most of the time rely on the work of others: like your group, EqD prereaders or RBDash) and your reviews come in very handy.

So, once again: thanks for your work! :twilightsmile:

What stories do you guys review? The ones people ask you too, or just random ones?

557779
We pretty much trawl Fimfic, so I'd say random. People are welcome to direct us to fics, though - right over here! =)

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