It’s hard to know how to categorize today’s feature. An action-packed spy thriller? A Blueblood/Rainbow Dash (?!) shipfic? A smart deconstruction of the James Bond archetype? It’s all of these and more.
In Their Highnesses’ Clandestine Corps
[Adventure] [Romance] • 28,733 words
Prince Blueblood dislikes being secret agent Double-O-Zeta, but since no pony does it better, the princesses won’t let him quit. Trailing the mad unicorn Green Briar to Ponyville, though, Blueblood runs into Rainbow Dash, already investigating the odd new pony in the area. She resents this jerkwad of a prince suddenly butting in, and when circumstances force the two to work together, the unexpected feelings they arouse in each other might prove more dangerous than anything Green Briar has planned.
FROM THE CURATORS: This story was an easy choice — there was so much in it to appreciate that our biggest debate during the nomination process was what its strongest feature was. We never did agree:
“I love that the author finds a way to make Blueblood so enjoyable as a protagonist right from the start, without sacrificing his salient points of characterization,” Chris said. “The way he grows through the story feels far more natural than your run-of-the-mill redemption fic.”
“Wow, Zecora paraphrasing a Pinkie Promise. That takes talent,” Present Perfect said.
“Pinkie’s one of the hardest characters in the fandom to write well, and here she is done exquisitely as a cameo role, just as an offhanded little bonus,” Horizon said. “And every moment of the Luna vs. Blueblood scene was a thing of beauty.”
Read on for our interview, in which AugieDog discusses how to sell unusual shipping pairs, psychoanalyzes Discord, and outlines the difference between professional writing and fanfiction.