Thoroughly Scrooged

I will happily concede that A Hearth’s Warming Eve Tail was properly Dickensian. Now I wonder how many other public-domain stories will be ponified before MLP:FiM finally screeches to a halt. And if they do get around to doing The Brothers Karamazov, clearly Twilight Sparkle should be the Ivan character.

That said, there’s a definite tendency in this series to suggest that with great magic comes great ability to screw things up: Luna’s creation of a demon with which to torture herself (Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?), Celestia’s inability to defend herself against a changeling (A Canterlot Wedding), Starlight Glimmer’s Equality or Bust movement (The Cutie Map), Sunburst’s utter fecklessness (The Crystalling), and Twilight herself more often that not. I expect that if Season Seven comes to fruition, we’ll get an exposé of how Star Swirl the Bearded himself was really kind of a douche. (I sort of hinted at this in Second Act, in a back-history reference which implied that he was in the habit of letting assistants do the scutwork.)

Touched by the purple

I really didn’t expect this, and when I saw it, I didn’t expect it to be good.

It’s actually better than that. Rarity muses on the death of an artist, and this is the part that sells it:

He was never old because he never allowed himself to be old. When one of his selves seemed to be showing the faintest touches of fading, he simply discarded that version and took a new one. Always a musician — with everything else a variable. I admired that so much, the ability to cast one self aside and choose the next. It was what I wanted, and he … magic without workings, fields, or tricks. Magic I could learn. Magic I … still can’t quite figure out. But he could do it. Forever fresh, forever new, forever young —

— forever gone.

Read it. I think you’ll appreciate it.

Let no man put a tsundere

Okay, we’ll let this one slide by, just this once:

Princess Ember

Face front, it’s the Dragon Lord!

I am of course amazed that they somehow managed to impart a Self-Absorbed Teenager look to an actual dragon, but hey, what do I know about dragons?

(Here’s the original by Doctor-G.)

Well, she is kind of cute

This image — no one credited the artist, alas — turned up on Derpibooru. The screenshot is of course from The Crystalling Part II.

Twilight Velvet at The Crystalling

  

Somepony is probably muttering something to the effect that “I know it might be wrong, but I’m in love with Twilight’s mom.”

Well, he is kind of dumb

A startling disclosure from She Who Is:

Now I feel better about The Sparkle Chronicles.

Somewhere down the road

Everypony’s headcanon is just a hair different, and this is somepony’s idea of the Mane Six grown up a bit:

Fluttershy and Big Mac (that is my OTP for Ponyville, and I’m stickin’ to it) marry and have a couple of foals. Rarity moves to Manehattan and becomes kind of famous. Rainbow Dash gets into the Wonderbolts. Applejack kind of stays where she is, takes over much of the running of the farm, but with her new sister-in-law to help her, that makes it easier. Pinkie Pie marries Cheese Sandwich and they start up a traveling party business. Twilight perhaps ascends to taking on an even more serious role as a princess, maybe even is being groomed to replace Celestia and Luna, who are thinking about retiring. (We never know for sure just how immortal those two are. Apparently they are over 1000 years old, but then again, Granny Smith seems to be over 100, so maybe ponies live longer than humans or count time differently). And the three Cutie Mark Crusaders kind of grow up: Sweetie Belle becomes an entertainer, Apple Bloom takes over the marketing of her family’s farm products, Scootaloo is sort of an all-purpose mechanic. And maybe Diamond Tiara, in her reformed form, becomes the Mayor some day, and actually does a really good job of it, especially with Silver Spoon as her adviser.

The neatest idea here is that of Diamond Tiara as mayor; I’m betting she has extensive experience in the useful technique of Getting Townsfolk to Do Something, the task of seemingly every mayor everywhere.

Oh, and in my own Dead Pony Flying, Scootaloo lives up to that “mechanic” business.

No secrets

Sethisto tossed this question to EqD readers: “Do You Tell Your Non-Brony Friends About Your Interest in Pony?”

Well, yes, but how could they not know? The farther you get into my house, the more likely you are to see something pony-related; there’s a plush Twilight Sparkle on my desk, fercryingoutloud.

And I learned today that a second co-worker has actually read The Sparkle Chronicles. The power of word of mouth, folks. Some are undone by it; some of us revel in it.

Star equivalence

A couple of weeks ago, I got semi-boastful about the 99-6 thumbs up/thumbs down ratio accorded The Sparkle Chronicles by Fimfiction readers. Now that the 100th upturned digit has arrived, and in view of the fact that I’ve reviewed a few books on Amazon.com of late, I have been wondering how this would equate to an Amazon star ratio.

The systems are not strictly comparable, of course. But taking thumbs up as five stars, and thumbs down as one star, I end up with — 4.72 stars.

Probably better than I deserve, but what the heck.

By now I should be insufferable

Over at Fimfiction, The Sparkle Chronicles got its 3000th reader today. I am somewhere between delighted and disturbed: while I am grateful that this novella (well, it is) is finding an audience, and a largely favorable audience at that — current Thumb Ratio is 99 up/6 down — it’s precipitated a small outbreak of Non sum dignus. This is, of course, typical of me, seeing a silver lining and peering around to make sure there’s a cloud back there. I guess I’m grateful, but I’m also shaking a bit.

I blame changelings

After problems getting into the site, I decided to hang around the back door, and found some highly dubious code injected into the front page. Not sure what it was for, but it can’t be good, so I replaced an obviously bad file with a backup. Performance has improved markedly. (The site’s performance, I mean; I’m the same slug I’ve always been.)