May
26th
2017

(Editor's note: Imploding Colon [aka previous featuree shortskirtsandexplosions] declined a refeature for Austraeoh, our top vote-getter.)

Our recent “Correct the Record” contest asked readers to help us choose authors whose previously spotlighted stories weren’t the best showcase of their writing strengths.  Fitting, then, that today's feature is about a romance being forgotten.

Lost Time

[Drama] [Romance] • 59,897 words

Rainbow Dash can’t wait for her first date with Applejack; they always have an awesome time hanging out, and a relationship just means there are even more physical activities they can try together. So when the dumb zap apple harvest postpones their date, she decides it’s the zap apples that are going to have to change their plans. Equestria should know by now that wild, ancient magic is no match for Rainbow Dash, especially when she might get laid.

Everything is going according to plan, until she crashes. Or, rather, until she wakes up after crashing and fifteen years have gone by. Fifteen years during which she seems to have been a very busy pony.

Now Rainbow Dash has to adjust to a life she never thought she wanted, and figure out if she’ll ever get to live the life that brought her here.

FROM THE CURATORS: The case for correction here was both simple and compelling. "[Previous feature] Of Cottages and Cloud Houses ... does not reflect bookplayer's claim to fame: shipping romance," Catalysts Cradle said in Lost Time's nomination.  "This is a really well planned and well executed story that touches on a lot of deeper themes absent from many other ship fics."  Our curators quickly agreed.  "All I can say is, our audience has great taste," Horizon said, amid superlatives like AugieDog's: "This beat a story of mine in a contest and is also one of my favorite pony stories ever written."

The main element driving our appreciation was the story's novel approach to its central romance.  "In a lot of ways, Lost Time takes the idea of 'Alien Shipping Syndrome' and turns it inside out," AugieDog said, "throwing Dash into what seems to her to be a sudden relationship with AJ and then not only showing us how that relationship developed but showing us the characters as they are now beginning to develop a new relationship."  Horizon also commented on that multi-layered approach: "What's remarkable about this is that it's three stories in one — the romance with displaced Dash, the relationship drama with older Dash's family, and the character drama of displaced Dash's lost 15 years — all of which work both individually and together."  And Present Perfect praised the core maturity: "This is, as I put it to myself, a very 'grown-up' fic," he said.  "It's very focused on the minutiae of a relationship, the meaning of marriage, the full weight of responsibility that having kids requires of a person. You just do not see people writing fanfics about that, and it's the reason I love this as much as I do."

The icing on this romance's cake was exemplary character work.  "Dash is really marvelously used in the central role, contrasting her self-centered approach to daily life with her core loyalty, and naturally building a compelling drama out of that tension," Horizon said.  "And the children are fantastic supporting characters — whip-smart without being written as tiny adults. Trying to maneuver around them adds an extra layer of complexity to the relationship difficulties. The dinner-without-vegetables scene in particular sticks out in my mind as heartbreaking."  But equally compelling was the work put into the plot: "On a story level, too, everything dovetails so very nicely," AugieDog said.  "The revelations in the last chapter are the best sort of revelations because I didn't at all see them coming, but looking back, I can see them all making perfect sense."  It all added up to a story deserving of its accolades, as Present Perfect said: "This is really just one of the absolute best fics I've read, period."

Read on for our (all-new!) author interview, in which bookplayer discusses prompt tag, sizzles sold, and Star Wars rejections.

Read More
May
21st
2017

Pinkie Pie visits Prince Rutherford and the Yaks. While there, an avalanche falls on the entire rustic village of Yakyakistan. Pinkie Pie suggests that she go to get the other ponies to come help but the proud Prince and Yaks refuse.

May
20th
2017

My apologies for the lateness of this feature posting. Rest assured, I have sacked myself. -Ed.

Our recent "Correct the Record" contest asked readers to help us choose authors whose previously spotlighted stories weren't the best showcase of their writing strengths.  Today, we're offering a double feature with two of our three contest winners!

Evil is Easy, Governing is Harder

[Adventure] [Comedy] • 18,246 words

One day, just like that, Celestia decides she's going to go mad with power.

FROM THE CURATORS: The need to correct the record here ran deeper than Aragón being best known for his comedies.  "His current featured story was written in the style of another author," MrNumbers said in the story's nomination.  "This one, though, is some of the tightest comedic construction I've ever seen, in a style I don't think any other author on the site could pull off."

Not only did voters agree, but Evil is Easy also accumulated superlatives both from FanOfMostEverything's "Imposing Sovereigns" contest (where it soared to an easy first-place win) and from our curators.  "This is Aragon at his best, and it's a must-read," Present Perfect said.  The reason was simple.  "It's ding-dang funny," AugieDog said, and Horizon agreed: "Fires on all cylinders.  It's Pratchett-level wizardry to keep an 18,000-word story so unwaveringly fast-paced and hilarious."

And there was consistent depth here beyond the hilarity.  "I was extremely impressed by how Aragon managed to weave dozens of different running jokes into a coherent, and even surprisingly poignant plot," Soge said.  "It is complete insanity from start to end, but there is a method to the madness."  Present Perfect echoed that sentiment: "The ponies in this story aren't so much out of character as they are infected with a type of blithe insanity, to which only Daring Do is immune, the poor dear."


Spring is Dumb

[Comedy] [Romance] • 9,255 words

Rainbow Dash knows one thing for sure, she is definitely not a barbarous, uncivilized dolt who doesn't know polite conversation from a hippopotamus's rear end. And also that she's definitely not the one who's wrong. Rarity is wrong. Rainbow Dash is absolutely, totally, a hundred percent sure of it.

But then why did Rainbow just buy a wagon load of apology bouquets? 

FROM THE CURATORS: RCL-wise, this story was the victim of unfortunate timing — when it was published for the Raridash group's "The Four R's of Spring" contest (where it was unanimously declared the winner), we had just approved HoofBitingActionOverload's previous feature for posting.  Spring is Dumb has received acclaim from around the fandom in the meantime.  "An absolutely hilarious story with an amazingly voiced Rainbow Dash," Titanium Dragon said in this story's nomination.  "This shows HoofBitingActionOverload's breadth of skill ... a number of his romance stories and comedies are excellent, and I've always considered Spring is Dumb to be his best work."

We agreed — not just that this was a solid romance, but that it's a superlative story, period. "As someone that always seems to dislike shipfics, I was immensely surprised at just how good this story is," Soge said, and Chris' recommendation echoed that: "Unless you're absolutely 100% allergic to main six shipping, you should check this one out."

Among its core strengths was its portrayal of the ponies we know and love.  "Characterizations are fantastic all around, including all the side characters," Soge said. "That it manages to be this funny without ever being caricaturesque is nothing short of an achievement."  And AugieDog had special praise for the narrative voice: "Re-reading it now, I'm struck again by how effortlessly the author makes it seem to craft a completely consistent character out of someone who contradicts herself every third or fourth paragraph."

Read on for a few words from our spotlighted authors, in which Aragón and HoofBitingActionOverload discuss Indiana Jones sincerity, Rainbop Dashboard, and how these stories exemplify their styles.

Read More
May
20th
2017

Starlight Glimmer is sent to solve a friendship problem between Princess Celestia and Princess Luna; when it's clear that the problem is that the royal sisters don't appreciate one another, Starlight impulsively switches their cutie marks!

May
14th
2017

Synopsis: When Rarity asks Applejack to be a judge in a fashion show, Applejack learns that an opinion, however honest, can still be hurtful.

Report knighty · 2,534 views · #season 7 #s7e9 #honest apple
May
13th
2017

When the Cutie Mark Crusaders discover that Big Mac has his first crush, they vow to help him win Sugar Belle’s heart before Feather Bangs does it first.

May
12th
2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Just inside the Seattle’s Angels prison compound, the new guy burst through Ferret’s bedroom door.

“FERRET!” he yelled with a crazed look in his eye. “I just realized, we don’t have an introduction, let alone a conclusion!”

“You know, Matthew, you aren’t technically the new guy anymore... we have Chris now.”

“True... but still, what do we do for the intro?”

“I don’t know, you should make something up. Just make sure it’s funny.”

“But that’s the problem, Ferret. I’ve been thinking about it for a week and I’ve got nothing. Pretty soon, Scarlet over there is gonna start hounding me about deadlines.”

“What about Arch? We could shanghai him into doing it.”

“I tried... he was too busy stroking his beard, drawing a picture of TOM and Derpy snuggling while cackling like a first-rate shipper, and drinking Griffonian Ale.”

“That’s oddly specific.”

“Yeah, I think I need brain-bleach. Any idea where I could get some?”

“Storeroom 17, where we also keep supplies for fixing doors...and don’t forget we still need to do the reviews to go with the intro!” She calls after him, waving a sheaf of messy papers.”

ROUND 104

Read More
Report Wanderer D · 663 views ·
May
12th
2017

Flow through a mythological epic with today's story.

Through the Well of Pirene

[Adventure] [Human] • 369,088 words

As a child, Daphne knew of a world where magic lived, where an immortal princess reigned over a beautiful kingdom, and longed to journey there beside Leit Motif, the filly she'd grown to love in the woods behind her home. But one day, when she needed her most, Leit Motif was gone, and she never came back to show her the way. As she grew, she put aside her childish dreams, and taught herself to believe the lie.

When forces beyond her knowing take her sister Amelia, though, she discovers that her childhood fancies were entirely too real, and is thrust into a journey that will take her back to that land she longed for, back to the childhood friend she'd abandoned, and to worlds she'd only dreamed of.

FROM THE CURATORS: Today's feature shatters our length record for a featured story, doubling the size of the previous record-holder (and clocking in at 8/10ths the size of the entire Lord of the Rings series).  But Through the Well of Pirene justified that wordcount.  "It's always got something interesting to do," Present Perfect said in his nomination.  "The slower parts allow for character revelations, lush imagery and world-building, or just doling out fascinating headcanons."

And there was one element of that which quickly stood out as exemplary.  "If there's any one thing I think you folks will enjoy, it's the world-building and the plethora of mythologies," Present Perfect said to solid agreement.  "The mythology here is remarkably Gaimanesque, and I say that as a compliment because the man writes some damn good faeries," Horizon noted, while Soge praised its breadth: "I'm a sucker for fics that mix Equestrian lore with human history and myth, and this delivers that in spades, going well beyond its obvious Greek influences."

But for the most part, that wasn't we talked about in one of our group's longest discussion threads — which often touched on the character work.  "I love The Morgwyn so much," Horizon said.  "Trying to figure out his long game is keeping me remarkably engaged as the protagonists' knowledge of the world around them deepens. Everything about the goblin castle Amelia was taken to is great. I can't stand most of the (ex-)human characters, but it is *very* much to this story's credit that, despite that, I've been so consistently engaged."  Present Perfect acknowledged that "the characters, especially the main ones, take some getting used to," but noted that "they grow and change over the course of the book in natural, if frequently staggering, ways."  Horizon quickly agreed: "Amelia is the clear standout, and the story's at its strongest when it examines her slow descent into villainy and the all-too-understandable motives that continue to drive her to fix things even when she's crossed a line," he said.  "But the moral struggles of characters like Maille and Flash keep the story powerful when the focus shifts."  Those side characters were part of a greater richness, Soge noted: "It's full of little details which show just how much the author cared about this world and its story, such as the differences in lingo between the Goblin factions."

And while there was some curator ambivalence as the scope of the story expanded — "just about everything I liked was balanced by something I didn't," AugieDog said — the ultimate consensus was that it did the important things powerfully.  "It was the fact that it delivered on its promise of epic that kept me looking forward to the reading," Horizon said.  "This also always wrote with an eye toward theme, and so in hindsight what I remember is the story's big statements, which is exactly what I should be remembering."  AugieDog had similar praise: "I love how the scope here is intensely epic and intensely personal at the same time, and with the fate of the entire multiverse hinging on two sisters not getting along, well, you can't get any more My Little Pony than that."  That added up to a story that met its high ambitions, Present Perfect said: "This is the best HiE I've ever read — though it's certainly far more than that — and it comes by that status honestly."

Read on for our author interview, in which Ether Echoes discusses executive meddling, puréed myths, and punishing children.

Read More
May
7th
2017

When Rainbow Dash's parents discover she's a Wonderbolt, they show up at every event to cheer her on. However, their unabashed enthusiasm proves to be rather embarrassing and pushes Rainbow Dash to the brink.

May
6th
2017

When Rarity surprises Sweetie Belle with a special day together filled with all of her favorite activities, she quickly learns that her little sister is no longer the little foal she used to be.

Reminder that this is the Canadian Treehouse airing. US is airing Fluttershy Leans In

Report knighty · 2,650 views · #season 7 #s7e6 #forever filly