The Conversion Bureau 605 members · 339 stories

THE CONVERSION BUREAU

Group 22. The First. The Best. The One True and Original Conversion Bureau Group.

The very best and brightest stories from the Conversion Bureau mythos are gathered here. Good, solid, well written stories that show the true breadth and depth of what is easily one of the most original, vital, and intelligent creations on the whole of Fimfiction. Here you will find only the finest works, all collected in one place.

The Conversion Bureau Group exists to celebrate and promote the wonderful Conversion Bureau Genre!

What IS a
CONVERSION BUREAU
Story?

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The Conversion Bureau is a fantastic, exciting, and marvelous genre, but what truly defines it? What really IS a Conversion Bureau story?

Conversion Bureau stories are transformation fiction. They are stories of ordinary humans offered the most extraordinary of experiences - that of becoming an entirely new species. Bureau stories examine the nature of identity and existence at a fundamental level.

Primary to any true Conversion Bureau story is a deep love of ponies, Equestria, Celestia and Luna, and all the most wonderful things about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The Bureau genre began as simple wish fulfillment, as the dream of a science fictional means to become ponies and live in their universe as one of them. But it has grown far beyond that humble and simple origin.

Conversion Bureau authors love and expand upon the joy and innocence that My Little Pony represents, and juxtapose the often harsh and cruel real world of Earth beside that of Equestria. Through some means the two realms are brought together, and humans are offered the gift of becoming Equestrian themselves.

In a Bureau story, humans may react to this opportunity in any number of ways. They may embrace it, or fear it, resign themselves to it or even oppose it - but the transformation is usually inevitable, and humankind is forced to confront the issue of what it means to become the Other.

This ancient literary technique - as old as man - offers the Bureau author a wonderful way to explore both what is good, and what is terrible, about humanity, while presenting human ideals in contrast, painted in pony form.

The most common Conversion Bureau story places humanity in a state of catastrophe, when suddenly the alien universe that is Equestria collides with our own cosmos. Time is limited, and the dying earth will be destroyed before its already inevitable end. Ponies, being generous, offer Man a lifeboat, an escape - but it is a salvation that comes with a price. The price is that to enter Equestria - a world of magic and utterly different physical laws - Homo sapiens must become Equus Sapiens.

With their back against the wall, and time running out, humanity must decide whether to live as ponies, or die as men. Complicating this decision is that Equestria is a paradisaical fairyland, and the change to pony body is not merely physical - the brain is changed too, so that only the best of a person remains, and their evil is lost.

What truly is the self? What defines a person? Is evil necessary, or a burden? Is an individual their thoughts and memories, or are they the meat, the substrate they are made of? Is the value of humankind in their thumbs... or in their hearts? These are the questions that the Conversion Bureau explores.

There are many Bureau universes, and many Bureau authors. Not all agree on how the two universes collide, or why, or how the process of ponification occurs. But all true Conversion Bureau authors agree on some basic principles: My Little Pony is a wonderful show, ponies themselves are awesome and good, and we all could learn to be better people, by emulating the ponies we love so much.

In the Conversion Bureau, we can see what it would be like to actually become the thing we love so much. But apart from the simple joy of that dream fulfilled, the Conversion Bureau also allows us to compare and contrast what our real lives are like when examined beside the magical wonderland of Equestria. While this basic concept is as old as humanity, the 'My Little Pony Meets Blade Runner' science fictional take on the transformation genre is like nothing else. It is unique, exciting, emotional and challenging.

Come along and become a pony too, and see the world through fresh and fascinating eyes!

Welcome to the Conversion Bureau!

What new desire are these?
I long to pace o'er flowery meadows
and to feed on grass!

Her stooping body on her hands is borne,
Her hands are turned to hoofs, and shod in horn.

Her yellow tresses ruffle in a mane,
And in a flowing tail she frisks her train.

The mare was finished in her voice and look,
and a new name from the new figure took.


- Ocyrhoe's Transformation, Ovid, 23 BC

The Three Rules Of The Conversion Bureau Genre

1. Conversion Bureau stories are transformation fiction. They are stories of ordinary humans offered the most extraordinary of experiences - that of becoming an entirely new species. Bureau stories examine the nature of identity and existence at a fundamental level.

2. Primary to any true Conversion Bureau story is a deep love of ponies, Equestria, Celestia and Luna, and all the most wonderful things about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Conversion Bureau stories expand upon the joy and innocence that My Little Pony represents, and juxtapose the often harsh and cruel real world of Earth beside that of Equestria. Through some means the two realms are brought together, and humans are offered the gift of becoming Equestrian themselves.

3. In a Conversion Bureau story, humans may react to this opportunity in any number of ways. They may embrace it, or fear it, resign themselves to it or even oppose it - but the transformation is usually inevitable, and humankind is forced to confront the issue of what it means to become the Other.

Comments ( 88 )
  • Viewing 69 - 88 of 88

424567
Sounds nice, thanks. I'll read them soon!

424563
I... just remembered. I have written a story that sort of fits your requirement. I've written a lot here, and it's easy to forget what I have done. I did a short story where there is a technological fix for humanity. Actually, several short stories. It isn't exactly the same thing as what you wanted, but... it's sort of close.

The first short story is 'The Friendship Virus'. In it, an unknown group has genetically engineered a virus that makes people have more empathy and more of a herd instinct. How this happened is explained in 'Our Man In Gomorrah', which is itself a follow-up to 'The Pony Singularity'.

There is one more short story in this series, 'Flight PNY-1 To Jannah'. In this short, we see how the PNY-1 or 'pony' virus changes hearts and minds during a transpacific flight where a terrorist threatens with a bomb. All thanks to Polytranscriptase Nuclear Y-chromatin - The Friendship Virus.

It isn't magic, but it does leave humans still physically human while changing their hunter-gatherer ways. Maybe these short-short stories might help inspire, or be good for a moment of entertainment. In any case, I just remembered that I had written them at all!

424561
Thanks! I've got a backlog of ideas to finish writing first, but I'd love to start work on that soon.

424550

Well, then, I think you have your next story figured out! I'll keep an eye out for it.

That's the deal with writing: if there is an unfilled need, it's up to you to fill it. I look forward to your 'human redemption through magic' story!

424543
Not just a better role model, but a whole species that helps the world around them. A species that "Conquered" nature and gained absolute power over it, without needing any of mankind's usual environmentally-unfriendly tech. A species that can transmute poop into gold and magically alter a species's diet at will and who knows what else. Humanity evolved to survive and thrive in a brutal world, while trying (and not really succeeding, but trying) to create a gentler and kinder civilized world.

Magically turning Parasprites from food-eaters into everything-but-food eaters was easier for Twilight than realizing she'd forgotten to designate a new thing for the Parasprites to eat. That kind of magic could turn the whole planet into a utopia where nobody needs to act like what you had to be to survive a few months ago, and those who do anyway would be seen as stupid old-fashioned killjoys trying to bring pointless edginess to the wonderful world around them. Even if that's actually due to incredible psychic power from an overdeveloped giant pony brain channeled through a stick of solid bone with a buttload of nerve endings in it, in addition to the usual localized telekinetic field that lets hooves pick up objects, that's incredible psychic power that could replace a hundred factories and make owning, building, and maintaining them pointless. Magic would change the world more than automobiles, planes, and the internet did, times a thousand. It could actually create that theoretical world where money and hunger for it become pointless because everyone would be able to eat well, own a nice house, and have a good life making art or peanut butter or whatever you want to do with your life.

424448

I'm sorry, no, I don't know of any anthropomorphic partial-transformation Bureau stories. It's just an angle nobody seems to have taken. I'm kind of surprised by that, actually. MLP fans are, technically, furs, and anthropomorphics is central to furry fandom.

There are many stories that explore both sudden and gradual improvement of character, but always within the context of a total bodily transmogrification.

It may be that because MLP fans love the tool-using equines of the show so much, they don't see the need for humanoid form. Ponies can do anything a biped with hands can do (plus vastly more), so... probably no writer really saw a need for an anthropomophic middle ground. That's the best theory I have.

As for humans just... becoming something other than a hunter-gatherer evolved to hunt, gather, and raid (yet who remain human outside)... well, that isn't likely just because ponies show up. Humanity has had about 500,000 to a million years, depending on definitions, to become gentle, compassionate, and non-warlike, and, well, they haven't. It's an entropic universe, humans evolved to survive and thrive at any cost. Nature doesn't care about kindness. Humans can't help what they are, they are an animal that is supremely evolved to take every advantage - even if that means atrocity.

Having a better role model wouldn't change human biology. I suppose a claim could be made that magic could make humans nicer, because magic doesn't have to explain anything, but... Bureau stories aren't fantasy.

That's the important point, really. Bureau stories are, by and large, science fiction, and the way I write them, hard SF. That means that there isn't any magic. Just superior technology and alien physical laws. Humans call what ponies do in Bureau stories 'magic', but it isn't, it's actually a technology far, far, far beyond Star Trek level from an alien cosmos with different physical laws.

So that means that in Bureau stories... authors have to provide logical, rational reasons for any change in personality or values in characters. They can't just... get nice... because magic. It's not that kind of genre of story. If a character becomes 'better', then there has to be a rational reason for that given, one that the reader can follow and understand.

Maybe that is why there are no stories where humans just get better because ponies are nearby. Actually, that's a pretty good reason.

424442
That's, um... something. I was hoping for something more along the lines of "Humanity becomes nicer and kinder with the aid of ponies, because now that ponies and magic are around, it's no longer a dog-eat-dog kill-or-be-killed world, and humans will no longer have to be brutal cutthroat emotionally-stunted carnivores to survive. The pony transformation is diluted or mixed with something else, either turning humans into anthro-ponies or keeping them as humans but kinder, and with pony insides and the ability to survive in a magical field"

424400
'Better', within the Conversion Bureau genre, is defined as becoming an Equestrian (please note the Three Rules, above). Not becoming an Equestrian means being dead, because the earth is dying in Bureau stories, and Equestria is a lifeboat to survival. That is the premise of the genre.

That said, there is a spin-off called 'Mankind Triumphant!' which you can read the very first story of by clicking that link. Basically, humanity finds a way to sink lifeboat Equestria entirely, and also manages to steal the source of both 'magic' and of ponification. They then use earth ponies as a sort of biological terraforming tool to restore the fatally polluted earth. There are several stories people have written in this sub-genre.

Humanity does not get 'better' in 'Mankind Triumphant!', rather, Man just manages to destroy Equestria. Mankind stays exactly the same as He has always been. Not better, not worse, just the same. The earth gets restored, though, more or less.

Are there fics in which humanity wins by becoming better?

So joining, I know what side I'll be on if there is ever a war between and humans and ponies. I know what I do and what I want to become. Hopefully, people in this group will also help me improve on my writing and offer constructive criticism, too.

Headcanon: When the Barrier went over Hawaii, it ran over a computer that was currently running procedural generation algorithms. As the barrier analyzes everything that goes into it, it realized similar algorithms would be very useful for the somewhere around square parsec of land it would produce.

402456 Well, if I remember right, two people (Chatoyance and Windchaser) had founded them around a similar time back in the very early days of TCB. At the time, Chatoyance agreed to let the other, if later founded group be the main one. Then there was a schism after some events in the adminship and some appeasement towards a crowd that did not like TCB a year or so ago, so Chat decided to get this one back up and dusted off while some people like me that weren't happy with the flood of hostile people in the other one ended up coming over here.

Things seemed to have cooled in recent times, at least it seems...

Quick question, why are there two TCB groups?

401665

What's the name of the very FIRST Conversion Bureau story?

It's called, simply 'The Conversion Bureau'. It was written by a very young man under the handle of 'Blaze' about four months after the first episode of Series One was shown. It does not exist on Fimfiction. It is not very good, and it was never finished. You can find what remains of it here, if you choose.

While the story was little more than Gary-Sue pony-human shipping, it had one fantastic, worthwhile and utterly brilliant element: the concept. A blend of Blade Runner and My Little Pony, as some have described it, Blaze put in words what every real fan of MLP quietly imagines at some point or another: 'If only it were possible, rationally possible, to become a real Equestrian pony'. He suggested technology as the answer. This was enough.

This little scrap of possibility was enough to ignite the imaginations of countless authors - and the fires of endless abuse and hatred. Stories both brilliant and awful followed, some enhancing and expanding on the genre, others childishly trying to destroy the genre.

But through it all, the heart of the Conversion Bureau still beats, despite being silenced and censored, despite harassment and death threats, despite the worst the Angry Little Boys of the internet could do to destroy it and erase it forever.

Blaze's initial creation lives on in two primary ways. One, the name. Two, the rough concept that some application of science could turn humans into Equestrians. Blaze was the match that started a great conflagration of creativity, fear of that creativity, and the drama that comes when children with the power of computers behind them throw tantrums to censor what they don't like.

Now you know.

What's the name of the very FIRST Conversion Bureau story?

399824 No problem at all! :twilightsmile: It took me till Griseus's post to actually figure out how to poke around in it (and myself was wondering what it was all about at the time.)

399823

Ah okay thanks for telling me. Sorry just got overly curious when the site wouldn't let me see what it was.

399774 The threads thing is uh, well, not really sure how to put what it's about. It didn't quite really have a given purpose. But as Griseus said:

threads remove s

Do the above in the browser bar and that's how you reach it, apparently it's a little glitch. :twilightsheepish:

Does anyone know what that thread thread in the forum is about? Cause I can't seem to access it.

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