• Member Since 3rd Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen Aug 22nd, 2016


For lack of a creative handle.


A.K. Yearling leads a quiet, peaceful life as a novelist living in Canterlot with her fiancé.

But recently, she has been haunted by dreams of a strange shipwreck, and she doesn't know why.

Chapters (7)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 52 )
Professor Plum
Story Approver

The description intrigues me greatly. Damn you, Perry, for giving me another story to read.

... Is that the S.S. American Star?

Or at least a picture of it?


And I'm with 4590265, that is one hell of an intriguing description.


I'm divided between feelings of either triumph at a good guess and knowing there's a great story ahead written by an epic author, A.K.A.:

... Or to think that, since this story is tagged dark, the ship in the story is obviously inspired by the real life ship, S.S. American Star ended up in one hell of an accident in the 90's and can now only be seen in shallow tide, just looks damn eerie, that the description, main character, and possibility of very scary shit, should feel scared in a good way and also for the main character, A.K.A.:

“I should be bursting with ideas, but every time I sit down to write, it’s as if I’m completely blank inside!”


.... My thoughts on this story?

Come closer, please do, I have something that will blow you away...

3, 2, 1,:


I just read the author's notes, everything makes sense! You did the surreal and bizarre portions in the sixth chapter so well I couldn't figure out what was happening, but in a good way! The whole idea of falling apart, a fall from grace, it's ingenious and new! I can't find anything to nitpick at, it's all executed so well my brain is like a confused blender, but again in a good way.

That was pretty great, though I'm not really feeling the Dark tag. Everything is relative, I suppose.

Phew, that was a journey.

A good character study and some neat world building.

Gah, I'm afraid to talk about this anymore than what I wrote above since anything I say will be spoilerific. So I'll just say, terrific!

I've forgotten how good JohnPerry's writing is. It's probably what makes him so good at critiquing stories in the Featured Box. My gut is telling me this doesn't have a happy ending. Let us see.

Kind of reminds me of the Museum of Natural History in New York.

I think I know where this is going. And I like it.

I loved this! I know you were concerned with the surreal nature of the story, but I like surreal things. It reminds me a lot of The Twilight Zone. It ended just like I thought it would once I got halfway through the story. And in the end, it was kind of a prequel to "Daring Don't" and explains the delay in A.K. Yearling's next book. So that's what A.K. Yearling stands for! :pinkiegasp: I'm might use that myself. It's too perfect. Overall, it's a welcome return to writing. I look forward to anymore Daring Do stories you might crank out. Especially, if perhaps it's a story about Octavia and Vinyl going on an adventure with Daring Do. :raritywink: You should really consider that. Think of the Indiana Jones references. Either way, I really liked this. Keep up the good work. :pinkiehappy:

Wow. Never thought I'd care about either either of these characters, but this is dynamite.

Now how do we get this into the feature box so John is oblige to review it?

Because, incept<BWWWAAAAHHHHH>

“On the contrary, A.K. Yearling is a fictional character that I created.” Well that was unexpected. :twilightoops:

Half-starved is not what will kill her but dehydration. After a week, well, no water is not good.

I'm still amazed this story has so few upvotes. There's crap everywhere with >100 green thumbs, and when something genuinely brilliant graces fimfiction...I dunno, it makes me a bit bitter :-/

YES! I also thought of that exact X-Files episode while reading this. You have no idea how happy it makes me that you're a fan of The X-Files!

I was also getting vibes of this particular episode of The Twilight Zone (2002) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Lover_(The_Twilight_Zone)

leveling such an intense stare at the device that a part of her hoped she could simply will the typewriter to conjure words on its own.

Unicorn authors stopped using Come to Life spells on their typewriters after they started demanding to be put down as co-authors. :twilightsheepish:

Pencil Pusher sounds very familiar... Don't you have a fog operation to handle in Kwakerjak's story, man?
Speaking of recurring characters, what if First Sight was a recurring character in dreams, an incubus or other malevolent spirit inhabiting the plant? That might be interesting character to see elsewhere. A sort of Tales From The Cryptobotany, perhaps!

I went into this chapter basically expecting that when Yearling slipped out the door after leaving the note, she was going to hoof it straight out of town — but on reflection, I think the museum scene was a far stronger choice. It's a magnificent reinforcement of the theme you've established, of the ways she's hemming herself in. She goes out to escape her narrow, safe, and artificial life — and where does she walk? To a place where frozen, static images of the wide world beyond are presented, ruled over by a pair of artificial mares guiding an artificial sky.

She's chasing shadows of shadows. No wonder her brain's going wiggly on her.

Oooooh. Well, that took a swerve. :rainbowkiss:

This was holding my interest even when it was accelerating, but I think the story just kicked into high gear.

Aha! I thought that something seemed … off … about the wing of the library, but I couldn't quite rule it out as worldbuilding at odds with my own. I'm pleased to see that it was foreshadowing the whole time.

Well done. My biggest complaint is that I would have liked to see more exposition on the nature of the plants in the ruined ship; I feel like I understood enough of what they did to accept the plot, but their effects were a little too nebulous for me to understand it completely. You teased that knowledge with AK noting it was something she'd seen in a book she couldn't remember, but then never followed up with it. They say that the monsters in the shadows are scarier than the ones you see, but this isn't really a horror story, and since such a major part of the plot is coming to terms with what happened, moving from your current level of acceptable surreality to grounding it a little more wouldn't hurt.

But this is a nice character study of both AK and Daring, and … I'm not quite certain whether you were implying an equivalent link between First Sight and Dr. C, but if so, that's an awfully interesting one. Great buildup, nice use of your thematic focus, solid all around.

FIMFic, I am disappoint. No feature box? This was worthy, easily.

Well dang! For a story about the mental deterioration of a writers, things got pretty exciting here for a minute. Wish I knew what the ship actually represents in her mind, but I'm not educated in these things.

A thorough examination of the contents of Forward Hold A and Forward Hold B produced nothing of interest. But it was in Forward Hold C that she finally found something of interest.

Slipped up a little there.

Excellent work, though I'm also in agreement with horizon in that you were very vague on the hallucinogenic fungus...what it did, why it was there, when it came into play during the struggle for the ring. All sorts of details were left out, leaving it feeling more like an excuse to endanger your characters than an actual plot device.

Still, a good Daring Do adventure with a hunky-dory sense of catharsis at the end. There aught to be a magazine published in Equestria called the Adventure Keen Yearling, like Boy's Own Paper, but not so gender-specific. I really hope you someday dig up your adventure-y spirit again and write a Daring tale with more chases, spies, gunfire, fisticuffs, intrigue, falling rocks, and explosions.

Right off the bat it seems to me like you're going for what Skirts did with Daring Dam. I'm very interested to see how that plays out, and I'm loving the already spooky vibe of the shipwreck. I'm also imaging Neuro Logic being voiced by Michael Emerson. He fits very well. :pinkiehappy:

There's one error I spotted:

Ms. Yearling cocked her head. “So, what does this has to do with the shipwreck?”

I certainly feel for Yearling. Identity crisis/reality-questioning stories are often so dark, and heavy for the character. I can't how that would feel.

Noticed an error:

An intense feeling of deja vu washing over Yearling as she flipped through this record of the last voyage of the Star.

Sorry it took so absurdly long to get round to this one (the last few weeks have been hectic :ajsleepy:), but it sure as Tarturus didn't disappoint.

... I'm actually rushing to get packed for a holiday at the moment, so I might leave a longer comment at a later date. Until then though, how about this? Fantastically written. Fantastically told. Just... altogether fantastic! Thank you for writing it :raritystarry:

Y'know...I can't help but notice this fic has a few parallels with The Viator, by Lucius Shepard.


Just... damn. This was an adventure. It kept me guessing until the very end, and yet made me want to know so badly. I don't see fics this marvelously constructed very often. You definitely deserve your spot on EqD.

It was the picture of the SS America/Australis that got me to read this. You did an excellent job with it, I must say. I don't refer to the ship as American Star, as I like to acknowledge her as she was in happier times.

Shafts of light cut through the darkness, revealing thick particles of dust hanging in the air.

“Wait… dust?” Yearling peered at the particles hanging in the air. They were huge, far larger than any dust particles she had ever seen, and looked finely detailed even to her naked eye. “There isn’t even anything in here that could create dust. But then…”

Uhm... actually, there is a heck of a lot in a shipwreck that can make dust. Especially when there's a big gaping hole (mentioned just before this observation of dust) to the outside.

A shiver passed through Daring’s body. “Don’t let anyone near that wreck, Dallah. Just let it crumble into the sea.”

Actually, she would likely suggest they pay a dragon some gems to blast the wreck into molten slag.

That'd take care of the fungus right quick, I'd wager. :raritywink:

Why can't more darkfic writers realize that oftentimes less is more? You've done that tag justice indeed, by bringing forth something that's dark, but in a way that deals with fairly relative situations and themes (identity crisis theme in particular) as opposed to merely trying to shock the reader. Lemme tell ya, I would enjoy Cupcakes if it bothered to dig deep into Pinkie's psychosis. But this? This is great. Fantastic. Type of fic that everyone here should dig their teeth into. 10/10 will read again.

Damn man that was great!

Heh. The Demolished Mare

A well-done Lotus Eater Machine is always fun. I love how you cued it right off with the word "perfect" but didn't actually tip your hand until later, and afterward, how Daring is so shaken by the whole incident. Very good stuff.

:derpyderp1: Yay! Another daring doo novel! :rainbowkiss:

That was fantastic. Just seeing the title and picture, I could feel what you describe about the powerful imagery of the Star's wreck. You've done that justice with your descriptions, and made a compelling story around it besides. I like how everything fits into a typical Daring adventure, but by careful telling it comes across as a totally different kind of story.

Nice work :pinkiesmile: By the first face to face meeting with the main character running away while denying reality it was clear something was creating an ideal world for her but you took the trope and ran with it. Well put together and enjoyable!

Hmmm..... fascinating.

*sigh* Of course the first thing that came to my mind was the ENDURANCE from Tomb Raider 2013. The description and colour scheme fit.
Now that's just silly.
Let's see where this goes, it looks promising ;)

Wow, this just got intense. The 'which one of us is fictional?' moment is some powerful writing.

“Just the ‘adventure keen yearling?’”


So glad I stumbled over this by chance. Fantastic work. The fading, perfect un-reality of A.K. Yearling is masterfully done, a subliminal darkness manifesting itself as the realities blur. And as usual, the real gems on this site go under-appreciated. Have a like and fav.

Author Interviewer

Oh man, Field Trip was great. :D I didn't even think of that.

Really excellent piece, this.

Can't believe it took me this long to finally read this, but I'm glad I did. A fascinating piece from start to finish. Thank you for it.

After reading this, and a night out in Tokyo with some friends to digest it. . .I think I need to write something. Thanks.

I was getting "Ghost Ship" vibes at first, but I was happily proven wrong. Amazing story.

Also, dat subtle ship. No, not the ship ship, the ship, between Daring and Caballeron.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!