• Member Since 22nd Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen Dec 2nd, 2018


That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware!


Dinky Doo and Silver Spoon travel through a shattered world. When all the world is ash around you, can you stand to build again?

My entry for the More Most Dangerous Game contest, written on the post-apocalypse prompt.

Edited by JBL, pre-read by Hat

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 26 )

I really like this one. It paints obscure elements such as chaos and reality in a vivid and imaginative manner. The characterization is consistent and realistic. The story is focused and doesn't stray too far from the prompt, while still maintaining an exciting atmosphere. The use of uncommon language and terms like Curtain and Redoubt as proper nouns also cement how much things have changed between this Equestria and the one that we remember

Two things I especially like are:
1) The vague nature of the Splintering. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the story, but we can come up with a general conclusion for what caused the calamity.
2) The lack of a fix everything solution. Even better that Silver Spoon and Dinky recognize this fact. It certainly paints a more realistic outlook on surviving an apocalypse. And, just as importantly, the lack of an easy cure does not equate to a lack of hope. It's great that in the face of impossible odds the ponies still believe that things can change for the better.

5574704 Sorry I took so long to respond! I'm glad some of my aims for this story came across to you. It's encouraging you feel it sticks to the prompt, since I've never read Fallout: EQ and I'm not sure I ever will.

One of the things I struggled with in this is getting the world-building elements (Splintering, Redoubt, Curtain) to be both coherent and understandable without doing an explicit info-dump. It's great to know you found it interesting and intriguing instead of confusing. I swear, I spent at least two revisions just trying to check if I had all the words consistent and pointing to the right ideas, and I probably still missed something.

It's also good to hear you didn't feel the 'message of hope' was too trite or tacked on. My biggest annoyance with the current popular fixation on apocalypse is the fact it's so often paired with dystopia. I'm over and done with dystopia, and have been ever since 1984; I just don't find it compelling. I personally think that uplifting themes are both more difficult and more worthwhile to write than depressing themes; it seems they need to go roughly twice as far. Dark themes just need to go 'down'. Uplifting themes need to do that, but then return to greater heights.

I'm slightly dissatisfied with how this story turned out, personally; I feel it's thematically somewhat weak, even after polishing. A better author might have carried a stronger thread through the narrative, tying the segments together more cleanly. It probably doesn't help that I started with a vision for a story with a much stronger 'creeping horror' flavor, (inspired by a piece I read based on William Hope Hodgeson's "The Night Land") and quickly realized I wasn't nearly skilled enough to pull it off. I do recognize, though, that I severely lack perspective on my own work, and people will like or dislike the story for their own reasons. I'm frankly surprised I made it into the contest finals. That being said, I'm very happy you liked it. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words!

It probably doesn't help that I started with a vision for a story with a much stronger 'creeping horror' flavor, (inspired by a piece I read based on William Hope Hodgeson's "The Night Land")

I wasn't certain if your use of Redoubt and Curtain were based off of Awake in the Night Land's Last Redoubt and Earth Current so I didn't mention it, but I did have my suspicions. I haven't read the story beyond a few excerpts, so I can't really comment on how to better execute creeping horror, though I imagine that finding a connection between the story's raw chaos and horror would be a difficult task indeed.

I'm frankly surprised I made it into the contest finals.

I read nearly all of the Fo:E prompt stories and I find this one to be easily among the top four. Perhaps some significant improvements could be made, but I honestly can't think of any easy fixes (how appropriate) or ways to improve the story; I personally find it quite self-contained.

At any rate, congratulations of being a finalist! I do think it deserved the spot.

This is fantastic world-building. Bad luck in the competition. 'Coz I still want to beat you. :trixieshiftright:

5683279 I'm glad you enjoyed it! Orbiting Teakettle's The Marching Madness is in a very similar vein.

Now I feel I should read your story... is it strange that I wrote in the category I'm least interested in reading?

And I hope you break a leg. ;)

5687389 Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and your kind words warm my heart. I'm honestly surprised I made it as far as I did; my worldbuilding was strong, but I knew my plotting wasn't up to the same level. I'll do better next time, I hope. I struggle with composition; I'm still not quite good enough to be able to judge my own story ideas as well as I'd like.

The vague/tension was purposeful, and I'm happy it worked. It was also necessary to keep things moving; I actually would have liked this story to be shorter, but didn't dare try cramming the world into anything less.

Sorry about Discord; I find him fiendishly hard to write, because in my brain he's both extremely smart and extremely complex. I happen to think he engineered the entire Tirek thing, down to conning him out of the medallion, which means he's playing at least a level above Celestia. It wasn't the allusion he made that ruined it, was it? I try not to reference real literature randomly, but I just liked that one so much... and I did sort of bury it.

The small amount of critical acclaim I've gotten on this has made me happy enough. I'd have enjoyed five seconds of fame, but I don't even know what I'd have done if I'd gotten an actual prize.

I was about to say nothing really stood out to me in this one, but then I remembered which one this was.

Hoboy, that world-building. I'd really love to see more of this world. I could say more about the world-building, but John put it pretty well.

5688134 Thanks! Probably the nicest thing about this contest has been people with discriminating tastes complimenting me. Maybe I should write more shorts.

If you're interested in reading the story that inspired this, I can PM it to you; I'm a little chary of dropping a link to someone's blog here in the comments, although I doubt this page will see high traffic. It's fanfiction based on William Hope Hodgeson's 'Night Land', and it stands where this one fell, by carrying the plot with the same strength as the world. If you like creeping horror, it's definitely worth a read.

Author Interviewer


Just curious... why tag Dinky as "other" instead of as herself? (OK, the tag technically says "Dinky Hooves," but Dinky is Dinky.)

5848441 Because I looked for Dinky for like, three minutes, and couldn't find her tag. Why is she under 'background ponies', and not 'school kids'? :P Updated, thanks!

Congratulations on the feature! Now I gotta read this!

So how is it earth ponies can fight the chaos?

5954248 Thanks! I hope you like it!

5955321 Their magic allows them to be more 'real' than the surrounding area, basically.

Well, there goes my confidence in my writing.

Reminds me of one of Greg Bear's short stories. Don't remember the title, but it dealt with a sudden failure of causality that the survivors called "mortdieu." Their Bastion was a ruined cathedral. I think you can find it in his anthology The Wind from a Burning Woman.

5960599 Sorry. :( Get well soon!

5961472 Hmm... haven't read it, but I'll add it to my list! Thanks!

I have very little writing skill, despite trying for a while. The others have said all that really can be said. On a technical level anyways.

I would enjoy seeing more of this world, even if the main conflict has been resolved. The early days of the rift, Discord saving the foals, what the hell happened to Celestia, etc.

I really loved the story, just wish I could be as good as you.

5968567 Well, Ray Bradbury claimed it took a million words to start getting the hang of writing. I'm not nearly as good as I'd like to be, if that's any consolation. :P

Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story! I probably won't write any more here, since apocalypse tends to bore me; this was very much because of the prompt. That being said, it's not impossible. Stranger things have happened!

clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap love it

Two things I love about this story:
1) The splintered reality - now this as an apocalypse for a magical world! Instead of drab and grey you have a world that's strangely weird and heartbreakingly normal.

2) Earth pony magic - I just love how you let earth ponies stabilize reality with their magic. It's the perfect metaphor (?) for them being "grounded".

Why couldn't this have been longer!? :raritydespair:

This was interesting. It left a lot of questions, like what happened, but they're the questions that don't have to be answered in a story like this. It was a good take on post-apocolypse. Not unrealistically easy or fun, but there's not really time to wallow in self pity and depression. At least, not if you want to survive. But you also captured how, just because you can't dwell on it, doesn't mean that weight goes away either. Anyway, another good one. I think Broken Wings(?) is the only one I have left. I need to dig through my clipboard to see if I can find the stuff I grabbed on the one about Spike, but that can wait.

and only used her strong magic with meticulously restraint.


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