Twenty Great Stories 61 members · 11 stories
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From Pearple Prose:

Thus Dwell In Joy

Ponies simply can't comprehend the concept of eternity... Your 'logic' always gets in the way. But I'll tell you: life eternal means far more than outliving your friends... It means always. Always have been; always are; always will be.


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Thumbs up, easy. This was a story that stuck with me after I read it. Not as long as Herald did, but considering that I'm hard to reach about theological anything, I found it impressive that it actually struck a chord with me.

It's got a few rough edges here and there, but it's a great story with a only-slightly-flawed execution, and an ending like a straight razor across the throat.

Tick tock, tick tock, Twilight . . .

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There’s something to be said for the sheer ballsy ambition of Thus Dwell in Joy. It tackles subjects ranging from immortality to eternity, and spectacularly expands the canon universe. Oh, and to top it all off, it’s narrated by Discord.

Phew. Better sit down for this one, right?

Well, yes and no. I like the idea of this, I really do. It’s an incredibly interesting premise, and it has enough superficial plausibility to be a decent read.

I say decent for a reason. This isn’t spectacular, and one of the main reasons for this is that Discord will not shut up. Every time we get some distance into the actual story, Discord interrupts with some sort of cynical bullshit about the true chaos and illogic of reality. And you know, out of all the characters in the show, Discord is the one I’d be most likely to put up with in terms of obtrusive narration. Unfortunately, To Dwell In Joy’s Discord really isn’t fun enough to justify his constant, almost painfully cynical and arrogant presence. I get the reasons for this—it’s a serious story, and having Discord be trollishly amusing, while making for an easier read, would detract from the effect of the story. But having him butt in every other paragraph isn’t any better! Get the hell out of this story if you’re not going to at least be interesting.

Sigh. I have an immense respect for this story. It’s an impressive concept, and the parasprite expands it cleverly. But I just can’t get over the fact that, as interesting as the ideas are, the execution is just a slog to read through. Thumbs down.

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I... Holy hell. That hit home.

I have read stories that dealt with immortality before. I've read stories that explain the creation of Equestria and the invention of time, etc. (Equestria From Dust is a great example).

As SpaceCommie so accurately said; this is a really ballsy topic and one that has taken a lot out of Parasprite to write, that I am certain of.

He manages to capture the characteristics of Discord eventhough he seems to make him a bit more malicious, but he also makes him a lot kinder in the sense that he gives Celestia and Luna an entire world!
It's also interesting how he seems to blend present tense with past tense (Celestia and Luna dialogue with Discord's narrative) without it clashing.

There are a lot of great things about this, more than I would care to go through and find. But it is safe to say that my verdict is clear:

Thumbs Up!

Sharp Spark
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Okay, I did not care for this.

The problem for me is that it just can't tie together the main elements. Discord goes -on- and -on- and -on- about incomprehensibliity and nothing making sense to mortal minds, and all that business, but the result is what? A very straight-forward creation narrative, at the hands of an immortal being who's obviously fallible and has all the emotional intelligence of a third-grader. (Actually, yes. What the story reminds me of is a much, much less menacing/weird It's a Good Life)

Which... actually could be spun in an interesting way itself! But the story doesn't really do that, as it seems to just play things straight. And in that sense, Discord never really feels like a threat to me at the end, because I can't buy him having the power to (originally make and then) unmake all of creation but yet also be stuck as a powerless statue. It's the essence of a deeply untrustworthy narrator with a god-complex - why do I necessarily trust anything he's saying?

Perhaps the most sensible way for me to actually read this story, is a furious and bitter immortal imprisoned and beating against the bars, trying to create what chaos he still can. "When I get out of here, I'm going to show you all! You'll see!" But I feel like that's not the authorial intent, and so, as a result it just falls flat for me.

-thumbs down-

This doesn't really read as 'Discord' to me, even ignoring any character development or depth derived from Keep Calm and Flutter On. There's a bit too much... deliberate arrogance, of Discord reminding the audience he's so much better than them that speaks of an inferiority complex (perhaps fitting, given the circumstances, but I don't think that's entirely intentional, nor does it fit with the idea of the story.) I personally found all of the digressions into superlatives and attempts to remind us 'this is the God of Chaos talking' fairly grating, but I can at least see how they'd be entertaining.

The meat of the story itself, of the creation mythos, has some tidbits of interesting ideas, but it also seems to rely on some... cheap imagery, I suppose I could call it. Celestia and Luna floating in an endless void and crying is a striking image, sure, but to a certain extent it's too much.

The story tries to explain the utter meaningless of creation, that everything is insignificant, but it trips over that. It's possible that some of this could have been remedied with a less unreliable narrator, but the larger problem is that a majority of the story is a discussion on how Equestria is the only thing in the universe that actually matters. The terrifying aspect of cosmological scale is how much other stuff is just as important out there, not how big and empty it is.

Ultimately, I think this may have had a chance at saying something interesting about either the nature of existence, or the character of Discord, but the odd amalgamation of both prevents it from doing either.

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Voting is for cabal members only (admins):pinkiesmile: I'm sorry, but your vote won't count.

Right, I'm well aware of that! I specifically didn't include a vote, even. I'm just trying to worm my way in write interesting reviews because I'm bored and you guys pick out interesting stories.

The main page says voting discussion is open to anyone as long as they don't "disturb the peace." I'm not sure if that was written awhile back, because the rules thread doesn't make any mention of it, but it's plausible deniability, at least!

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Ah... I had forgotten about that one :derpytongue2: No worries then.

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:trixieshiftleft::trixieshiftright: You have passed Test One.

You are not disturbing the peace.


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There's two stories here.

There's an interesting spin on the creation tale of Equestria with dread portents of the future.

But then there's the story of Discord's voice, or rather, the Author's charmless version of Discord, which is so marching to the beat of its own drum that this reader could not follow, and eventually didn't want to.

This sort of state is far, far beyond your capacity to understand, so don't bother trying. I'll warn you, many things here are beyond you, because we are speaking of Lovecloptian ideas and not your boring, orderly world where everything always makes sense. Simply put: to comprehend would be to go mad.

When you're throwing down this gauntlet so early on, and then actively mock every step you take towards some kind of empathy, it just becomes a giant middle finger. Done with skill, yes, but also done specifically to throw darts at the person reading it. I know the person is supposed to be 'Twilight', but....

You'll never be able to understand why that makes sense, because it doesn't! Nothing makes sense except that which exists within this tiny little bubble-—and this tiny little bubble, I assure you is quite small indeed. Outside, there’s a howling anticyclone of silent illogicality that would break your brain the moment you tried to sort through it.

Ebert's review of I Heart Huckabees had this devastating quote:

The movie is like an infernal machine that consumes all of the energy it generates, saving the last watt of power to turn itself off. It functions perfectly within its constraints, but it leaves the viewer out of the loop...

That's what's going on here. The moments of energy and drive are consumed by the author's own self-satisfaction. Or not, maybe, since his own author's note says:

I'm very unsatisfied with how this came out overall. It's a good story, but it doesn't really convey the sense of insignificance and malicious bizarreness I'd intended it to.

Fair enough. I was unsatified too. Thumbs down.

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