Cozy Glow 450 members · 724 stories

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Cozy Glow Short Story Contest #2

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Contest #2 Results

Runner Up:

Review: As fans and devotees of Cozy Glow, most of us (I would venture) seek to know more about her backstory. What bizarre circumstances gave rise to such a tragic figure? Was it nature or nurture that led her down the path she took? Blended provides a very plausible answer, and conveys that both were involved. The story walks us through the situations of a number of foster families into which Cozy was adopted. Each imposes a new environment on the abandoned filly, forcing her to adapt, or at least draw conclusions about life and the motivations of others. The lack of connection she feels is due to how she reads her foster parents (and in some cases, siblings) just as much as their behaviors; the evidence is always open to interpretation. This examination of the quiet exchange between families and children that reveals the character of the former while creating the character of the latter adds an uncommon subtlety to the story, and earns it a strong recommendation.

3rd Place:

TSurrogate
A lonely stallion makes a friend.
Minty Sundae · 3.9k words  ·  44  7 · 861 views

Review: Sometimes a story can be completely focused on a character without said character saying a single word (Another Country by James Baldwin, for example, except the first chapter). Surrogate is one such story. Worthy of praise for taking the "missing center" approach (among other things), it details the life of a groundskeeper whose responsibility it is to look after the statue of the Legion of Doom. It becomes a diversion from the bare facts of his job, then something of a mystery, finally evolving into an object of sympathy as Cozy draws out his parental instincts.

When reaching this point in the action, the reader may conclude that a metanarrative is afoot. Or if not, then at the very least an emotionally charged invitation to understand the need of a character of modest status - no hero, no savior is he - to form a bond with a person he has no way to comprehend, and in so doing add meaning to his otherwise prosaic life. In the end, Cozy's legacy is far from one of power-seeking and destruction.

2nd Place:

EOnly a Filly
The last thing Cozy Glow knew, she was about to be stoned; suddenly, she's in a mountain cabin, with Twilight Velvet asking her to color. What's the meaning of this?! Is Cozy Glow going to be ... redeemed? Or punished?!
Apple Bottoms · 4.5k words  ·  169  8 · 1.7k views

Review: The premise of Only a Filly is exactly as the title implies: Cozy Glow is really nothing more than a filly who has strayed from the path most ponies tread, and that the key to dealing with her—truly dealing with her, instead of demonizing her and depositing her somewhere out of sight—is to recognize this. There is therefore some irony in which character is chosen to approach the seemingly unsolvable puzzle of Cozy’s psyche: Twilight Velvet, Princess Twilight Sparkle’s mother.

Ms. Velvet did not become a princess. She did not possess a prodigious intellect or top-tier magical powers (at least none that were revealed in the show). We don’t know much at all about her. We can intuit, however, that she wanted the best possible life for her daughter, enough so to sacrifice any need she might have had to keep her close, and that she is not a recognized expert in matters of friendship.

The results of the self-sacrifice and patience she practiced as a parent give her reason to believe she has the answer to the classic question: whether empathy (a vital component of friendship) can be taught. Her genius is in realizing that empathy requires a deeply personal environment to be achieved, contrasted with the strict, formal setting of an academy. Because it is a personal matter: any hierarchy that might be imposed, such as the teacher/student binary, contradicts the goal. So as she works with Cozy, she truly works with her, and not as a professor dispensing lessons from above.

As she persists in demonstrating to Cozy that empathy leans more toward knowing someone than knowing facts about someone, one begins to wonder, considering her daughter’s ultimate failure, whether life as Celestia’s protégé was truly the best outcome. To satisfy such curiosity, it’s natural to join the many commenters on the story in calling for a sequel.

1st Place:

TRainbow Factory: Checkmate
In the Rainbow Factory there lives a foal. But she is not like the rest of the weaklings; she is not a failure.
Shaslan · 7.4k words  ·  75  9 · 1.1k views

Review: For those following the contest, it may have seemed a stretch that any entrant choosing the “re-write a classic MLP fanfic” prompt would stand a chance of winning. The odds are stacked against them, after all. They are immediately in the shadow of the original and must go the extra mile to add fresh material both in terms of style and content. They must be familiar enough with the existing universe to do so convincingly, so must do significant research. And perhaps most importantly, they must establish an emotional connection with readers who have preset expectations. That Shaslan was able to take first place should therefore speak to the merits of the story, but the delightful details scream for elaboration.

No time is wasted in establishing the theme. This is all about Cozy’s origins: she is a child of the Factory, born in secret to a minor employee in service to the industrial production of Spectra, the source of all rainbows. Her upbringing can be characterized as a game of charades conducted against a backdrop of monolithic materialism. Her relationship with her mother (her father is unknown) is a form of escapism for both of them; mommy needs the illusion of normalcy to taker her mind away from the grim brutality of her job extracting Spectra, while Cozy needs a provider. She doesn’t need a moral guide, for the latent philosophy of the Factory — that individual lives are meaningless in comparison to production output — she has internalized because she has no alternative. She plays her role to get what she needs, but exists in a room dominated by a nihilistic elephant.

It plays out in the only way it can. To survive in the Factory is to abandon the conventions of family and the presumed basic empathy that comes with it. This is typified in what I consider to be the centerpiece, and one of the most demoralizing passages I’ve read in MLP fanfics (and perhaps in any work of fiction). The horror of the scene is subtle and unassuming, but it encapsulates the tone of oppressive despair that pervades the story perfectly. Cozy is alone in the room in which she is permanently hidden for fear of relegation to the Pegasus Device, practicing lines in the darkness that are meant to manipulate her mother into allowing her a few minutes of freedom. The moment is the very soul of neglect, speaking directly to the situation I suspect many of us experienced in some way during our own formative years. It represents the demon, if you will, that haunts all attempts to build a society. It conveys that there is no freedom without brutality. No sincerity; nothing but the giving and taking of power.

What I’ve written is only a fraction of what could be said about this outstanding work. If you are a fan of grimdark fiction after the style of Huxley and Orwell, you need to stop what you’re doing and put Rainbow Factory: Checkmate at the top of your reading list. Well done, Shaslan.

Comments ( 67 )
  • Viewing 48 - 67 of 67

439687

Sure - that would count as an AU story.

Hello I have a question and it's tearing me up. Can I make two separate stories about Cozy being born to a unicorn family with Luster dawn as her sister if every character in the stories do entirely different things?

For one story it's the main focus and the other It's more in the background with a different Protagonist.

Comment posted by Sane Marbles deleted Sep 2nd, 2020

438471
Gollygollygolly

436984
Okay, thanks.

436983

Feel free to make a post in the forum! :pinkiesmile:

436966

You mean like, ask someone to write a story that you have an idea for?

Question: Is it possible to request a story?

Keeping them alive could have also provided a good moral. You all saw how they were acting towards each other; their relationship wasn't all that healthy despite being friends. If they weren't turned to stone, they could have split up and gone their own separate ways, saying "Hey, not all friendships are good" which would have been a very mature moral to end on.

Comment posted by JimmyHook19 deleted Mar 17th, 2020

436201
Yeah.

Btw, mind sending me a PM? There is another thing that I wanna talk about in terms of Season 9 ^^'

436200
Like I said, I think the writers were just trying to go for a good finale, but in doing so, they forgot everything they believed in. Never forget who you are, and don't sacrifice your morals just for profit. That's something to take from this.

436199
Well said. Obviously blame on the current writers for not looking back at past episodes. :/

436198
Yeah I know exactly what you mean. Discord's character was completely ruined in season 9 and everything he stood for in the earlier seasons was completely tossed aside just for the plot. And then the only reason Cozy was able to do the things she did was because Discord freed her from Tartarus. They honestly could have just put her back in Tartarus since that was doing just fine (the morality of imprisoning her in Tartarus is a discussion for another day). I can't even look at Discord and the princesses the same way again as a result of their decision making. If they were forced to kill the Legion of Doom in order to save the lives of other creatures, then I would understand it. But the Legion of Doom was completely powerless and they were not a threat whatsoever, yet the "heroes" killed them anyway. The most screwed up part was that they were smiling as if they were getting off to ending their lives, particular the life of a child (and giving a child the death sentence is also immoral). Someone theorized that Discord wanted to save their lives since the princesses were about to murder them on the spot, yet you can hear Discord say "can I help, please?" Spoken like a true child murderer. And the punishment was honestly way worse than dying since now they're trapped forever with no one to hear their constant begging and pleading for the merciful release of death. It's times like this where I actually view the villains as the misunderstood protagonists and the "heroes" as the villains of a dystopia that ended up winning.

436197
Same here.

And about her punishment, it's just so wrong given that:

1. She is just a filly

2. It goes against of what Discord said in his debut in the series back in Season 2:

"At least I don't turn ponies into stone."

Know what I mean on that? :/

436196
Although they did mention that her punishment would be forever, there was never any confirmation about what happened to her in The Last Problem after the time skip so perhaps there is still hope that she is okay. If not, then there's always fanfictions about her getting freed that people can look forward to. I'm going to do one of that eventually because I can't stand to see her trapped forever. I want her to get a happy ending.

  • Viewing 48 - 67 of 67