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Today’s story puts all the pieces together.

Broken Record
[Drama] [Slice of Life] • 7,970 words

There has never been an athlete like Rainbow Dash. The sprints. The marathons. The land speed record. She held them all.

Until she didn’t.

Until she had only one left… and met the pony that might take it from her…

FROM THE CURATORS: “We never featured Somber,” Soge pointed out in his nomination, “but that is understandable.” The author’s best-known works have already received 6-star status at Equestria Daily and been featured in our predecessor, the Pony Fiction Vault. With this story from late 2019, though, as Present Perfect replied to Soge’s nomination, “Oh boy did you find a good one.”

“This is a really layered story,” Present Perfect went on. “On the one hand, we’ve got this pulse-pounding, high-stakes tale of advancements in physical training leading to doping scandals, and the tribulations of those in authority trying to determine what counts as innovation and what counts as cheating… Then there’s the real story: Getting Old Sucks.”

AugieDog also commented on the Time Marches On aspect: “The story itself has exactly that same sort of unrelenting pace, too, the tick-tick-tick of Dash’s records falling leading straight to an actual ticking clock at the climax.” “The only race she can’t ever win,” Soge added. “That against time.” But AugieDog enjoyed that “in a story so very concerned with physical prowess, everything comes down to Dash sitting in a room alone with her thoughts — the one place Dash never wants to be — with a decision that only she can make.”

“A poignant and captivating tale,” Soge concluded, while Present Perfect called it “a hard-hitting look at Rainbow Dash struggling with the aging process” with AugieDog commending the story’s final scene for “perfectly winding things down and sending Dash off onto the next stage of her life.”

Read on for our author interview, in which Somber discusses general outrage, warping characters, and just writing the damned thing.


Give us the standard biography.

I’m a nobody that likes to write horrible stories.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Chronic depression and a long term desire to kill myself.

Who’s your favorite pony?

Rarity, Twilight, and Starlight, in that order.  Unicorn master race!

What’s your favorite episode?

Winter Wrap-Up, A Royal Problem, and Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?, in that order.

What do you get from the show?

A reason to live.

What do you want from life?

To die, preferably painlessly.

Why do you write?

Because people would be upset if I killed myself.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Write the damned thing.  Even if it’s horrible.  Every second you’re “planning”, or “researching”, or “thinking about it” you are not writing.  You are the ONLY person that can make that story exist.  Once it’s written, then you can do things with it, but first you have to write the damned thing.

What inspired “Broken Record”?

“Why did Windrider try to frame Rainbow Dash?” and “What would Rainbow Dash do if she was in Windrider’s shoes?”  It’d be easy to just say “Oh, she’s so much nicer than Wind Rider.  She’d NEVER do what he did.”  I’m not so sure.  Finally, general outrage at the record breaking world.

How long did it take you to go from initial idea to completed story on this?

3 hours.

How do you approach writing characters from the show compared to writing your own original characters?

Show characters are easier.  The more I work with them, the more I start to warp them to my own narrative needs.  OC’s are more made to fit the narrative.  The real challenge is to not warp them to the point that they’re not recognizable.

Do you prefer writing longer, more epic stories or shorter ones like this?

My big story was 1.7 million words.  This is easier.  

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

C19 is a monster.  I might be getting checked in to the hospital this afternoon.  It could even kill me.  Please take self isolation seriously.  I didn’t think it would be a big thing for me.  I was wrong.  I might be dead wrong.  It’s hard, especially if you can’t pay the bills, but this virus will wreck you.  Take care.  Stay safe.

Friendship is Magic.

You can read Broken Record at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.