• Member Since 22nd Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Wednesday


Hello. I'm BillyColt. In real life, I'm a dweeby music student from California. Here, I write Pony fanfiction.http://billycolt.tumblr.com/


Upstart is excited. His mother has hired a unicorn for a party. It will be so delightful to see a unicorn performing magic. It's sure to be fun for the whole household!

Of course, it's just a little fun. She's not really a unicorn. After all, unicorns don't exist.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 22 )

Intriguing setup and decent moral, but everyone is either something of a caricature or barely defined at all, so it's difficult to get fully invested.

Oddly curious about where Upstart's father was in this, but eh, he's either dead or gone and irrelevant either way.

I remember this one! It's one of my favorites. Glad you finally got around to posting it. Hope some other people find it intriguing.

That was a fun, little story, though, in my opinion, I think you could have developed the characters just a little bit more.

Other than that, the only question left on my mind is, what's this a crossover with?

I've been wondering about that crossover tag too.

7310303 I kinda noticed this story has a bit older feel to it

7452955 Well, I've had the draft sitting around in Google Docs since 2013. That might account for some of it.

Well, truth be told it's not so much a "crossover" as it is an "adaptation," so to speak. Mainly, the source is GK Chesterton's play "Magic," with elements taken from Ingmar Bergman's film "Ansiktet" (called "The Magician" in its US release), which was loosely based on the aforementioned play.

That explains it. Carry on.

This was quite, quite excellent. Thank you for sharing this.

Author Interviewer

Marvelous. :D

which was a little concerning to less adventurous of the house

Think I found an oops, though. And there are a few missing quote marks in the scene following.

I disagree with the above comments. Any more description of the characters would have bogged down the story and ruined the pacing. We didn't need to be told that Doorbell was a servant, it's obvious, and other stories would have wasted a paragraph explaining his demeanor or livery. We don't need to know the characters cutie marks, if they exist at all.

Nice hat. :trixieshiftright:

That was an excellent story! I love the way you built the atmosphere: it carries both a feeling of unstoppable inevitability and a delicate fragility that just grabbed my heart. You have my admiration for a very well written tale. :twilightsmile:

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Later Reviews #60.

My review can be found here.

It was a very nice read. I liked Doorbell's reaction to the "invisible chains", if you grew up in a world with a certainty that there was no such thing as magic I imagine it would indeed be quite frightening to experience that. And I like Enchantra's reaction to Doorbell's fear, it showed she had a conscience and wasn't a smug supernatural who delights in causing normal ponies to be perplexed.

I have to admit I disapprove of the message here. "It's good to believe things that are true only 'in spirit' and are propped up by fakery on the physical side of things, because, y'know, they're true in spirit" is a terrible way to live your life. Do you want Benny Hinns? Because this is how you get Benny Hinns.

I'm prepared to believe many things if warranted. I'm a Christian (and not a cessationist, if that means anything). What's more, less robustly, I am not entirely convinced all the assorted psychic phenomena ever reported are invalid, and think the EmDrive might be pretty cool. But none of that is because "well, I know it ought to be true, so I'll just go ahead and go through some clever tricks to make it look to everyone as though it actually was true right here". That's just bogus. You don't build truth on a foundation of lies. If something is right for the wrong reasons, it's still not right.

Finally, it's one thing to have a phenomenon that a sufficiently-motivated skeptic can always find some hole in, no matter how implausible. People usually don't change their minds, even with good reason, after all, and human minds are capable of remarkably good self-deceptive, self-serving shenanigans, which can cut both ways. But if, as here, the central figure as good as admits to using deliberate trickery to spiff up something that wouldn't be as convincing otherwise, it's not a question of arbitrary skepticism, but of simple deceit.


Penner and Letterhead

Nominal reference to Penn and Teller intentional?

Corrections offered without malice.

a monument more the the subject’s

more to the subject's

gotten to desert.”


must bed fare-thee-well,”

(can also change to "bid thee farewell", but no need)


If something is right for the wrong reasons, it's still not right.

If you mean "if a true hypothesis is upheld by poor argument, that doesn't make it true" here…That's approximately the fallacy fallacy. If you mean ethics-wise, an "ends don't justify means", I'm not sure what it has to do with the story.

Upstart is overly willing to believe in magic, and Letterhead very skeptical. I think the story shows that both have pros and cons. It doesn't very well show the joy that is present in being able to understand how everything works, but then, I don't think the author intended for it to.


Oh, thanks for the corrections. I'll fix those right away.

Heh. And no, wasn't an intentional reference.

8420735 What I mean is that a "true" hypothesis that is only "proven" by deliberate, knowing fakery is not likely to be true at all. Certainly it is very far from proven, and so much doubt is cast that any reasonable person will strongly suspect that, to the extent the faker has any actual knowledge of the subject, their knowledge should be counted against the hypothesis they put forward, not for it, nor even discounted entirely.

Or, put more simply, the fallacy fallacy doesn't mean you shouldn't distrust a shyster's pitch once you know what they're up to. Just because Houdini, Randi, and so forth have exposed numerous bad psychics doesn't prove there aren't any real ones, in the formal sense… but it sure does make you suspicious.

And I have a special hatred for the sort of vile condescension that thinks it's virtuous to fool children, as long as it's for "a good cause", meaning that their misunderstanding of the way the world works will cause them to develop character traits you happen to like. Character traits or habits or beliefs that can only be cultivated by lying to someone are, at the root, terrible for that reason alone, never mind anything else.

But if you disagree that truth is an essential basis for anyone's beliefs, one that must permeate the whole, I don't know that there's much use in discussing anything further.

No, I agree with your thought processes. Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough response. It is always nice to find people who think. I rather earned that argument-in-the-alternative barb, too. :twilightsheepish:

Reminds me how unicorns (not the magical kind) are a very good example of the "possible, merely non-extant here" category.

I expect we disagree on some beliefs about the universe, but let's have that in PMs if we were to have it.

That's definitely food for thought. Those implications are not ones I had completely considered, but still, it's definitely worth discussing if the story brings it to mind.

My interests in the story were, in large part, about giving a slight (albeit scant) look at a world that used to be magical and isn't quite so magical anymore. That, and adapting a story I'm fond of.


I appreciate your gentle responses, both of you. Hopefully my strong reaction did not feel too personal. Peace!

Login or register to comment