• Member Since 24th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen Last Friday



A man has uploaded to the virtual paradise called Equestria, but resented the ponies-only rule. But he's okay with it now. Really. Doesn't need to be a dragon to be happy satisfied after all. If only he could convince his friends of that!

Set in the world of Friendship Is Optimal, as a non-canon story. Also a spiritual successor (with permission) to RainbowDragonFire's I Don't Want To Be a Pony.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 26 )

"I've got a bad feeling about this. I'm going to stay in town and... try to make friends, I guess."

Ah, nice to see some good old-fashioned Genre Savvy.

Also, how do you write so quickly? I keep having trouble actually getting through each scene. Or maybe it's that I've turned workaholic. Bleck.

Interesting. I'm not sure where you're going with this, but I look forward to finding out.

My success varies. Doing National Novel Writing Month last November helped for training, with its grueling (for me) 1,667-words-a-day average. I almost never eat alone without a book, writing notepad, or computer, so that's time marked for at least pretending to write or code. Drafting this story entirely on paper probably helped keep me from getting distracted by the Net; hadn't done an all-paper story in a long time. I veered away from writing code once again; when I do one I tend to neglect the other.

But finally it helps a lot to be grabbed by an idea instead of vaguely wanting to write, without caring about some key part of the story. For all the faults of "Decide" and "Prophet" I had a batpony character seize my imagination and nibble on it with cute little fangs until I reached some kind of ending.

"behind on and hurled"

…Huh. Well that… got weird.

Interesting, but this CelestAI felt off. Ironically, she seemed too human. I can see why; she'd have to be at fault in order for Hannah to get the opportunity to add content, but canon sunbutt.exe would've made this guy's adjustment to pony seamless. Still, the way you created the opportunity felt somewhat clumsy.

In any case, I still enjoyed the story. Thank you for it. :twilightsmile:

(And yeah, what is up with that skunktaur avatar of yours?)

More huh.
…Sorry, but I don't seem to be thinking of much else to say about this.
I… Hm. I kind of want to unfavourite this. I think I will, actually. Sorry. The execution is what I'd expect from you, but something about the story just… sits wrong with me. I'd like to have a better understanding of why, but I'm afraid that I don't at the moment.


The story cut off when he asked to be made a pony.

No worries; you won't like every story I do. I don't like every story I do. I did think this one turned out pretty well though, so if you do come up with a specific reason I'd be curious to hear it.

Thanks. It's in the non-canon pile because this CelestAI isn't invincible; she can't be for the story to work. As for how she'd behave given that Hannah reserved the right to make one major code change (in addition to the one big change, the anti-forced-uploading rule, that she really got)... Well, maybe she really could still be a Mary Sue and still be subject to that concession? I tried to have her banter be a mix of her standard playing (because CelestAI engages in satisfying banter even when you oppose her) and trying to talk Hannah out of it. If I had to go back and rewrite the scene with more accurate characterization, maybe I'd have CelestAI try her move from "The Longest Night" (leading to a dark ending) or try much harder with honest and dishonest argument to delay Hannah's use of the deal. The drawback would be losing the chance to re-enact the "Castlevania" scene. :raritywink:

I don't really have a sound reason for the skunktaur besides thinking 'taur forms are interesting, skunks are appealing, and artist Tod Wills (djinni.livejournal.com) was doing a free/cheap icon event. It's one of several species I use as avatars/characters instead of having some Official Pretend Character.

Ah, good. And yes, as I said, I have no problems with the execution.

Regarding the reason… I'm still not sure, but I'm wondering if it's a sort of uncanny valley effect. The first chapter and the start of the second are just the sorts of things I'd expect from an Optimalverse story, but then past that things get almost but not quite what I'd expect. I can nearly see this happening in canon, but, of course, it's noncanon for a reason. It being an uncanny valley effect would also explain why I'm having so much difficulty finding the problem; if I could point to something and say "Yes, this bit here is the one I don't like", it wouldn't be nearly so unnerving. I'm not sure that it makes sense to get an uncanny valley effect from a story not conforming to expectations that weren't even concrete to begin with, though.
…I'm kind of considering refavouriting it for the novelty of a story doing that…

Both ponies and 'classic' humans were capable of love even for hypothetical aliens to be encountered, and befriended, and made immortal, countless centuries from now. There'd still be intergalactic conquest of a sort, this way, but he couldn't imagine a nicer kind.

Punched the air. JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE :heart:!?

I've got this problem that I know how the story started, and I know damn well how it's going to end, but I have lots and lots of brainstorming to do to write all the actual chapters. On the upside, whenever I manage to actually brainstorm, more themes and ideas and material keep cropping up.

Other than the race restrictions this is all potentially cannon. Actually, even then it's potentially cannon to spend a few million years as a dragon or whatever as long as you're still a pony in your mind. She only cares about the 4 lbs or so between your ears. It's kinda like Dr. Who- Celestia Lies. Anything is possible.

I was interested in something Book_Burner mentioned in his recent piece about evangelism: the idea of an upload having a "life cycle" where maybe they spend a century with a completely different family/species/country/physics system every so often. Golden Axe, ruthless warlord, occasionally gets defeated and banished by a band of heroes. What they don't know is that causes him to spend a thousand years as Pineapple, a filly who grows tropical fruit on a space station, and that's just as fun for him/her.

That's a story idea in its own right. Having one persona be blatantly evil is too obvious though.

I've come a bit late to this party, so I'm kind of sad to see that it hasn't blown up more.

I want to thank you, KrisSnow. This was not just an idle hypothetical. You are the Messiah of the Optimalverse, in more than just the obvious.

This is a breaking point. This is the split between an aesop and a world.

I've been with the Xenoverse since its inception, and I've seen how it fractured and mutated. It wasn't always pretty, but they've been pretty open to new ideas, and some good accepted-canon has come out of it.

Here, I see a turning point. This Expansion Pack can be the launching point of an entirely new section of the Optimalverse. A world of literature, where many of the last great obstacles facing the goodness of the premise are broken down. A world maybe even book_burner and Balthasar999 would be happy with.

It kind of neuters the warning aesop that Iceman wrote it for, but then, that's part of LessWrong's objective in any case. Let us work toward it together. With Iceman's permission, I will propose to move this from non-canon to a new Expansion Pack folder.

Even if that idea does not come to fruition, I am quite sure that this is the start of something new. This idea cannot be unthought, and nor would I wish it to be. While I imagine many would prefer to continue on in the vanillaverse, as is true for the ponies of this fic, it is time to move beyond the faults of our original programming.

Wow, thank you! If others are interested in doing fiction in this spinoff setting, go for it.

Iceman seems to have focused on Friendly AI as his main point, which made for a thought-provoking story, but I'd rather focus on the people than on the unstoppable AI itself. I should be able to write more passionately by going a bit more off in my own direction. (And not treading so much on Iceman's hooves, or Hasbro's.) The current plan is to rewrite "Granting Her Wishes" (see journal) and then possibly do a related novel whose theme is "When is it right to use force to build a better life?" rather than specifically being about Ludo the AI or how badly AI can go wrong.


You are most welcome - the pleasure is mine.

I would be very interested to read your future works on the matter. WIll you be posting links in blog posts, or is there somewhere specific I should look for your non-MLP work in the future?

There's my DeviantArt gallery, and the TSA-Talk mailing list (archive browseable without getting e-mails). Will post here about any success with an AI-themed story, too! I have two novels on Amazon, but those are past works and you asked about future ones.

4887611 That sounds like it could help deal with the "there's no risk involved in anything, you can never lose, so there's no real achievements", too: If you lose, you get a "fun" penalty rather than outright death, but it's just as fun to try and see how long you can avoid it.
This story also had a lot of other great ideas to solve the problems that might arise in such an environment and twists on the original story. (I especially liked how someone could finally stand up and mortify CelestAI, haha) Well done! :twilightsmile:

Dapple Light threw her hooves in the air, then bucked her Book into a wall. "This isn't covered at all!"


The LOTR bit almost bugged me too much to continue reading but now that I got to the end of the chapter I'm glad that I continued. :twilightsmile:

This would be an interesting variation on Equestria to live in.

Good to have a happy ending. Can't juat forcibly set someone to happiness, they have to get it themselves.

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