Anypony for a comedy about Twilight Sparkle causing the apocalypse? Today’s story delivers.
Anypony for Doomsday?
[Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 11,613 words
“All unicorns build doomsday devices!” Those five words were words that Twilight Sparkle never expected to hear next to each other and in that specific order in a sentence.
King Sombra has returned, and upon discovering that Twilight Sparkle has not even considered building a doomsday device, has given her an ultimatum: Either she builds a device that has the sole purpose of destroying the world, or he starts defacing her books.
The clock is ticking: Will Twilight be able to get in touch with her inner mad science and save her imperiled reading material? More importantly, is she really destined to bring about the end of the world? Are unicorns really nothing more than a cosmic reset button, poised to bring a halt to all existence at a moment’s notice even in the face of past evidence suggesting that they’re not very good at it? Will Twilight succeed where all others have presumably failed? Does she even want to?
Join in as we follow the journey to answer the question on minds the world over: “Anypony for Doomsday?”
FROM THE CURATORS: If there’s anything rarer around here than all of us agreeing, it’s all of us agreeing on comedy — and yet this story scored a unanimous approval for exactly that reason. “I was laughing from just the description,” Soge said, while AugieDog called the story “just plain full of chocolate-sprinkled giggles.” Present Perfect upped the ante: “I cannot remember the last time I read a story so serious about being silly. It’s gleefully goofy, wonderfully wacky, and quite a larf indeed.”
But if this fic is serious about its comedy, it’s a special sort of seriousness that toes up to the line of the Random tag. “This is a purely ridiculous story, one that’s perfectly willing to destroy its own internal consistency, to casually toss aside its very premise, or to unapologetically break the fourth wall,” Chris said. “But if there’s one thing a cracky fic must absolutely be, it’s consistently funny, and there is precisely zero dead space to be found here.” Present Perfect seconded that: “This wastes no words not being funny. The running gags (doorbell!) are funny, the sudden status quo changes are funny, the premise is funny, everything’s funny.” And AugieDog drew comparisons to the classics. “This made me think of Mark Twain’s line about the weather in New England: ‘In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours,'” he said. “There were so many chuckles per column inch in this story that when I hit something that didn’t work for me, I knew that I just had to keep going to find something that did.”
It wasn’t just the joke density that impressed us, but how many of them landed. “This fic is golden,” Soge said, “with many different and clever running jokes that always seem to work, like the constant weather openings, the naming conventions, and the editing mistakes.” Horizon specifically called those out as well: “The jokes about editing mistakes are an example of the comic touch that makes this story exemplary. The first time I saw one, I disliked it as a cheap fourth-wall cop-out — but it kept pushing on with the gag, and owned it so thoroughly and so creatively it broke through into something hilarious.”
Read on for our author interview, in which PhycoKrusk discusses exciting underwear, deserving joy, and lion/eagle errors.
Give us the standard biography.
I was born and raised in City X, and here we are!
More seriously, there isn’t a lot I’d tell, aside from discovering Internet fan fiction at around age 13 on a 28.8K modem and never looking back. I took a stab at writing at the same age, although it was another 7 years or so before I began approaching anything close to competent. I’ve flittered between fandoms ever since (where the original wave of pokémorphs and Star Fox were the most formative), with Friendship is Magic being the latest one. It might go without saying that I’m happy people annoyed me with it until I checked it out just to please them, because I love it here.
How did you come up with your handle/penname?
3rd edition D&D is partly to blame, thanks to the stock barbarian character Krusk. Phyco was the name of another character from a D&D group. I needed a name in a hurry one day, and settled on Phyco Krusk, rendered as PhycoKrusk because IRC couldn’t handle spaces in usernames. I clearly did something right the first time, because no matter how many other handles I tried, I kept coming back to this one.
Who’s your favorite pony?
Definitely Sunset Shimmer; soft spot for redeemed villains, you see.
What’s your favorite episode?
A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2; first appearance of changelings, you see.
What do you get from the show?
In a lot of ways, it reminds me of cartoons from the 80s and early 90s where there was some moral or lesson being taught, which is something I always loved about them (even if I didn’t realize it at the time). FiM is more refined in its delivery, though, and it teaches more cerebral lessons versus the older Wheel of Morality style. More critically, its lessons tend to be about ideas of virtue (why you should give others a second chance) rather than virtue itself (you should give others a second chance). There’s just something about that I find very appealing.
What do you want from life?
Really, what I want is for everyone to experience joy as often as possible. I don’t think we do that enough anymore, whether because we don’t think we can or because we convince ourselves that we don’t have time for it, or worst of all that we don’t deserve it because reasons. Us, not deserving joy? Nuts!
Why do you write?
At any given time, I have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, and writing them down helps me organize my thoughts. More than that, though, I love to create things, and since I don’t have the skills or resources to be a carpenter or an engineer, writing helps to fulfill that desire, which I suspect is the case for a lot of people. I hear that some people get joy out of my writing too, and admittedly I’m one of them, so it also helps me fulfill a life goal. How about that?
What advice do you have for the authors out there?
“Don’t worry, be happy.” I tend to apply this philosophy in every aspect of life that I can, but with writing, the most important thing is to not worry if anyone will like what you write, and write what makes you happy. I’ve seen more than a few stories just stop because of (sometimes unnecessarily) negative feedback, even though the author initially seemed very excited about what was often their first story. If you worry about others liking what you write, you’re never going to be happy with what you write even if they do like it, because then you’ll worry about what you write next turning them off to it. So don’t worry; be happy.
Were any editing mistakes harmed in the making of this story?
Rest assured that none were, because all the editing mistakes in this story were computer generated (the newspapers, by contrast, were completely real).
What keeps you laughing?
Absurdity is a sure-fire way to keep laughing. Whether it’s a movie, a story I find on FiMFiction or even something I read in the paper, I delight in the absurd; the more, the better. Especially if I read it in the paper, because if something so ridiculous is happening somewhere else, then how bad can I really be doing?
Do you have any tips for writing random stories without going overboard on the randomness?
Keep your focus narrowed, at least at the start. Random stories give you the opportunity to explore ideas — plots, characterizations, settings, hats, surgeries, exciting underwear — that wouldn’t normally fly, but if you introduce too many too quickly, they blend together and won’t be memorable. You have a finite number of words to grab someone’s attention with, and it’s much easier to do that with a few, well-developed goodies than it is with a dozen half-baked bads: Better they remember everything about one gag they really liked, than remember nothing about a dozen gags except how much they didn’t like any of them. People, in general, also prefer to remember things that make them smile over things that don’t, so as long as you have one good joke it will almost always make up for the ones that fall flat.
Had any unicorn ever come as close to destroying the world as Twilight?
Starswirl the Bearded actually did manage to destroy it, but fortunately was able to put the whole thing back together before anyone noticed, possibly due to an editing mistake (seems like kind of a big mistake to make, but what do I know?). There was some confusion over the dire lion and giant eagle, however, which is why we see neither of those but have manticores and griffons instead (editor’s note: this is untrue).
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t worry, be happy. I can’t stress how important this is, even when it’s hard to do either of them. If you can’t be happy, at the very least, don’t worry. If you can’t be happy, things might not seem great, but if you worry, things always seem worse than they actually are: If you aren’t happy, you may not like what you write, but if you don’t worry, at least you won’t hate what you write, and in my opinion that’s more important.
You can read Anypony for Doomsday? at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.