Twenty Great Stories 61 members · 11 stories
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From The Neightorious T. E. B.:

The Never-Was and Wouldn't-Be

Twilight Sparkle's Harmony Project is the culmination of her life's work. The only thing left is for everyone to be gathered, so that all of Equestria can join together in Harmony.

But now that success is staring her in the face, Twilight begins to have doubts. Fortunately, she has a friend like Discord, who is only too happy to lend a paw to a friend in need . . .

This is a very good example of how to tell a story by not telling it. Featuring excellent characterizations of Discord and Twilight and a disturbingly plausible outcome for the events of the show, The Never-Was and Wouldn't-Be tells of the final few hours before Twilight's nebulous "Harmony Project". The wordplay is cutting edge and the end result is both lovingly open and creepy enough to have the reader beg for more. Five stars, four stars, two thumbs up, ten out of ten, five out of five, three bananas.

Comment posted by Ipsin deleted Jan 30th, 2014


This one broke my soul. I remember it just from the cover.

Viking ZX
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For. An interesting and at the same time creepy read.

Sharp Spark
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I have a really hard time connecting with this. The basic premise is just so... artificial-feeling. Sure, Twilight could be presented in a way of someone that sees everything black and white and misses the forest for the trees but Harmony as a plan for everyone to have agreed on...? Surely someone out there would point out that what makes ponies who they are is their differences, particularly when the six friends you have as main examples are so different each in their own ways. It rings false to me, a deliberately constructed scenario set up in order to be "dark", rather than flowing out of any natural progression.

That and the whole Twilight-Discord relationship... The final twist just fell flat. I could see that coming from a mile away – no, really, Discord might be proposing something that benefits himself? Not exactly a big surprise. Heck. I would have preferred if he was just doing it with a direct intention to benefit everyone, out of recognizing Harmony as a mistake. That'd leave me with at least the thought of one character being noble. As it is, Discord just comes off as petty. That's his big concern? Winning the next time around?

I was going to leave this as an abstain and reflect on it more, but in writing up my thoughts, I think I've talked myself into a:

Thumbs Down

Pearple Prose
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Thumbs Up from me, I adore this story.

I didn't like this! Unlike Sharp Spark, I could care less about the premise. Premises get free passes. It's called 'suspension of disbelief'. Twilight and everypony is dumb and decides to orange tang, sure. In this case it doesn't even matter. It's all set-up for getting Twi to a crossroads. A moment of hesitation. Is the Harmony Initiative a good or a bad idea? It doesn't matter, the discussion isn't about that.

What the fic is about is Doubt. Twilight doubts herself for a single moment, and it's enough to destroy time forever, because it keeps happening. That's dumb. That's like, super dumb. Discord is dumb for having a plan that involves the universe being in a stable time loop forever. That's like, intrinsically the opposite of Discord, and does not get a free pass because it's introduced as the Dramatic Plot Twist.

Anyway, yeah, cheap grab at capital D dark with time travel shenanigans. Normally I would barely note that, but the issue is that this had a lot of potential. Doubt is important. There was an interesting story to be told here, about Twilight's character, and the nature of progress, but it's all torpedoed by the need to make Discord a 'clever villain'. If the 'reveal' only came a few lines sooner, instead of a few moments of unrelateable existential despair, we instead get a Twilight who has to decide whether to repeat the mistakes of the past, or to live with the ones of the present. -That's- an interesting discussion. Is Hope not giving up on an option that's failed thousands of times in the past, or is it embracing the unknown of the future despite your fears?

Anyway yeah thumbs down.

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