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Pony Stories 171

30 Jun

As of last night I’ve started to read the Dangerous Game contest entries. Hopefully I’ll have gotten through them all and have reviews to start posting for them by the time the contest has gotten past the audience participation stage. Not sure if I should post the reviews for them before the reader votes are supposed to go in. I mean I’ve got at least a week worth of reviews backed up so it’s not exactly a immediate problem, but I’ll have to think about it. Or just put off the decision until I’ve forgotten about it and just post them as the next ones from the notebook.

Friend and Foe by Benman

Yeah, this is pretty much how I picture social life in Equestria, especially in Ponyville. Sword & Sorcery slice-of-life basically. Clean, simple writing. I really liked this. Would love to read more just like it with these characters.

As the Days Go by darf

I’m not entirely sure what the point of this story is. It’s dull and nothing really happens. It’s a slice of life without the life. Writing is average at best, mostly mediocre. Go read Wonderbolt instead since I’m pretty sure it’s along the same lines.

Growth by LimeAttack

Pretty good story, if a little odd. Good writing and neat viewpoint. Just not a lot of pony here. Did like the implication that the insects in Ponyville are smarter than those elsewhere.

The Gift of Alicorns by Keta

Short little bit that is quite well done. Not really a story in itself, just a moment with Twilight just before Cadance’s real wedding. I actually found it a bit touching.

The Wrong Side of Tomorrow by Pascoite

Sweet, if a little shallow. Not in the subject matter, but the author doesn’t quite have the skill for deep or touching emotion so a lot of this story felt a bit flat. If you like Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash stories, this one will probably be worth a look. If you aren’t a big fan of ‘big sister Dash’ this won’t convert you. (Later Edit: Want to mention that this review came off a bit harsh. Pascoite is normally really good at the emotional stuff, and I felt that this one was just a misstep. A casualty of me not paying attention to a story’s author when writing these.)

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7 Comments

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Books 2014, Ponies, Reviews

 

7 responses to “Pony Stories 171

  1. Present Perfect

    June 30, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Haha, oh god, there are so many entries I’m gonna die x.x

    There’s a thread in the MDGC group for discussing the stories, you’re probably okay to do that. :B

     
    • Griffin

      June 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Why do you think I’m getting started now? If I read a couple a day I might finish them off before the audience voting in a couple of weeks.

       
  2. Pascoite Fics

    June 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    “the author doesn’t quite have the skill for deep or touching emotion”

    Ouch. You seemed to like other stories of mine that dealt with pretty emotional concepts, so did you really mean that in this broad a sense, or just to the one story in particular? Chris has said in the past that dealing with real and complex emotions in an authentic way is one of my strengths, and he’s pointed that out in his reviews of several of them (“If Memory Serves,” “He Kindly Stopped for Me,” and “The Promises We Keep,” to name a few).

    That said, this is certainly the type of story that’s not going to resonate with everyone, because it requires the reader to understand the narrative viewpoint and accept it for what it is. It’s told in a very limited narration from Dash’s perspective, so if she isn’t willing to think about something, the narrator can’t do so, either. Thus, Dash gets up to the brink of admitting what her problem is several times, only to hold back. It’s stifled precisely because she is. Readers will typically either intuit that or just find the story boring. I have one other story where I did this to a degree, and you liked that one, which is curious.

     
    • Griffin

      June 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Yeah, that was a bit harsh. One of the things is that I don’t really pay attention to who the author is when I’m reading, so most of them get reviewed pretty much in isolation. I load a lot of books onto my kindle, where the author name is really easy to miss and then work through them over a while. I realized it was yours when I was putting it up on the blog and realized just how harsh it was, since I’ve liked a lot of your writing. In hindsight I’d classify this as just a misstep on your part. In general you are really good at the emotional stuff.

       
    • inquisitormence

      July 1, 2014 at 4:25 am

      Much like T.D., Pascoite definitely have the knack for consistent characterisation, both internally and with the show characters. I did find it amusing that a couple of the comments you got were about Dash’s characterisation, where I thought that was the strongest part of the story. I compare to T.D. because it reminds be of the Maturity debacle (what? Spellcheck doesn’t know debacle? Freaky) where people were complaining left right and centre about the characters being ‘off’ or ‘horrible’, when they were very realistic extensions of their actual canon personalities; folks just didn’t like the ramifications of the intentional flaws in the characters they love so much. Rainbow Dash was detached, slightly narcissistic, and deeply in denial… just like Rainbow Dash!

      Like many of the comments, however, I also found it was somewhat lacking in substance. Their characterisations are spot on, but he hook is introduced early and the reveal comes in the last moments, so the story needs something else to serve as the ‘meat’ to this particular sandwich. Without it – and I’m not saying there is none, just not enough for those who have mentioned it – the bulk of the fic is spent coasting and waiting for context to be given to the mystery, because nothing else is going on. I was hoping that the Spike angle was going to take centre stage for this purpose, but it seemed to get ignored instead – or rather, I suppose, ignored until it was too late to be relevant.

       
      • Griffin

        July 1, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Yeah, I suspect that the review here was more influenced by my current bout of depression than the story itself. Though I still think this was not one of his better works. I will admit that I never though that the Rainbow Dash in this story was done wrong, just that she wasn’t expressed as clearly as she could have been. I agree with you that this Rainbow Dash is a straight line extrapolation from the one we see in the show.

         
  3. Chris

    July 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    My take on Pasco’s stories is that he’s very good at genuine emotion, but that a sometimes-stumbling block is narrative convenience. On a couple of stories that I pre-read for him (and on a couple of what I would consider his weaker stories), I’ve commented on plot or narrative contrivances that I felt made the story feel artificial or… well, contrived. But I’ve always felt like he’s done a good job with essential character emotions–I don’t recall reading a story of his where I felt that a character’s feelings were “fake.” Of course, that’s just my take on it.

     

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