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Pony Stories 65

27 Jan

Just watched The Last Unicorn, a movie I adored when I was much younger but haven’t seen in a long time. It is still a wonderful work of art. Beautiful visuals, gorgeous music, interesting characters. Watching it now I’m struck by just a few things. Pretty sure this might have been the source of a few of what I find enjoyable in stories, many things that have been consistant in the pony fanfics I have enjoyed. The whole cosmic forces versus mortal concerns thing. Not direct conflict exactly, but just the idea that the world is different from an immortal’s perspective. That morality and choice are different between mortal beings and eternal forces.Neither better or worse than the other, just different and sometimes contradictory.

Stories that involve conflict that comes out of those two levels of existence running into each other are some of my favorites, and seeing this movie where that is one of the core events at the end, pretty sure this movie was one of the major factors in shaping that part of my personality. It is also has a fairly strong melancholy flavor to it. There is no real happy moments in the story. Only a few really sad moments as well. Just the whole tone of the movie is sort of a lonely longing for something else, both visuals and the music. The big finale at the end is a success for the main characters, but the cost of it makes it a mixed victory at best.

And in pony fanfic news, I’ve gotten one story off my FimFiction read later list, and added several more. Putting the total of stories I’m waiting to finish at 91. Really wish at least the few huge ones would wrap up already.

Long Story Short, Things Went Down by Aragon

This was a lot funnier then I had expected it to be. Ended up laughing out loud several times. Over the top crazy violence and insults turned up to 11, but managing to be extremely hilarious. Also, another example of the fine art of comedic chapter titles. Another aspect is it was funny seeing the background ponies characterized so differently from the somewhat accepted fandom standards. I was going to say there wasn’t a whole lot of pony here, but after a bit of thought I have to retract that a bit. There isn’t a lot of pony in the physical/worldbuilding sense. Pretty much nothing changes if you switch all the characters to human, but you would lose something if the setting wasn’t Equestria.

However, a bit deeper, given that the moral (sort of?) of the story is that friends help you out, even if they are insulting violence sociopaths, can’t really say that’s not MLP on some level. It’s like the flip side of the coin from the show. The show is how good ponies do good things for each other, and everything turns out fine. This story is about horrible ponies doing horrible things for each other, but in the end they are still friends. Horrible, abusive, insulting friends. I’m reminded of the comic Knights Of The Dinner Table, where you have the main characters who are a somewhat typical rpg group. Then you also have another group that is made up of the players that had gotten kicked out of every other gaming group and so they pretty much only have each other.

I’m looking forward to the sequel the author says is in the works. Also, given that most of the story is the group of friends bickering over radio headset thingies, this would be pretty fun in audio form. I think the bickering voices would be even better heard and actually able to interrupt each other, with different voices so you can easily tell who is talking.

The Sword Coast by AdrianVesper

Another pony/video game crossover. There seems to be a fairly large overlap of people who like ponies online and people who like video games online. Who could have guessed? Well, except for just about anybody. The game in question is a classic, but one I’ve only ever played a tiny bit of. Is a Dungeons and Dragons game, so I know the basic flavor pretty well even if I don’t actually know the plot. I suspect that this story is another case of taking a bare-bones wireframe of the video game plot and using it to tell a pony story.

The author does a really good job at weaving the MLP elements into the story. Both in specific references to the show with qoutes and similar situations, but also in a more abstract fashion. MLP and D&D mix together pretty well, as I’ve already realized, and so the story weaves together pretty nicely. No real knowledge of D&D is needed, though the references get a little thick in some sections. The author doesn’t quite make a smooth transition from the rules of the game to a more free-flowing narrative structure for a fantasy world. Pretty good, but not perfect.

If you like more classic fantasy with your pony, this is certainly a story you’d probably enjoy. This was another full novel length story and, for the most part, I didn’t find any of it slow or plodding. Which is always nice when an author gets in that ballpark pacing-wise.

Best Friends Forever by Obselescence

Another story about the perils of immortality. This is one of my favorite authors, my fanfic library has ten stories from him. Can’t say too much about this story, it’s so short that any in-depth discussion would ruin the ending, and I think that is something a reader should approach through the story. I do like the twist of Twilight Sparkle being more powerful than Celestia. That when they are both immortal centuries-old Alicorns in the far future Princess Celestia is simply outmatched in a face-to-face show of power. Puts a interesting twist on what might happen when Twilight Sparkle’s choices become something Princess Celestia can’t do anything about.

Dear Princess by Obselescence

Ahhh, that was a perfect follow-up story. Something light and fluffy with a bit of slice-of-life humor. Another entry into the genre of Twilight Sparkle struggling with being a princess. In this case, being on the other end of the friendship letter process. This would actually make a wonderful episode of the show. Certainly a lot better than some of the season 4 episodes I’ve watched. Though, I suppose short stories in text form with no deadline or corporate oversight have a few advantages over, well, the opposite of all those things. Anyway, I’d recommend this one. Mostly to add two more sentences to this part of the post because the paragraph was looking a little short.

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Books 2014, Ponies, Reviews

 

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