Take a bite of today’s story for a classic tale of culture shock.
[Drama] • 3,891 words
How much can change in a hundred years? How much can change in a thousand? The day of the Nightmare’s defeat Princess Luna finds herself adrift, a thousand years away from the world she knew. With her home in ruins and Equestria changed beyond all recognition, is there anything left for her when even apples are strange?
FROM THE CURATORS: Back in the earliest days of the fandom, speculation about Princess Luna’s troubles adjusting to the modern world was a common fanfiction topic. The past few months have seen some resurgence of interest in classic premises — and this modern interpretation was “fun, fun, fun,” as AugieDog put it. “Red Apples stands out from the pack of ‘Time-Lost Luna’ stories,” Present Perfect added —and Writeoff Association readers agreed, awarding this first place in their August 2015 competition.
One of the factors elevating the story was the vivid and often surprising way in which it portrayed the world surrounding the princess. “The ways it demonstrates what ‘one thousand years’ means are really gripping,” Present Perfect said, and AugieDog elaborated: “It’s an ode to the power of small details, not just in the construction of an effective story, but in the living of an effective life.” For example, Chris praised its subversion of the all-too-common Luna vs. Dubstep cliche: “It does a great job of showing how even things like music, the universality of which people so often take for granted, can change beyond recognition quickly.”
But we were equally impressed by its handling of its central characters. “I love that Celestia is trying to help her sister acclimate to things in full Trollestia mode, leading to some great bonding moments,” Present Perfect said, and Horizon agreed: “Luna’s nostalgia is just what this story needed to reconcile the two roles Celestia plays, of supportive sister and incorrigible prankster.” And that nostalgia, as Present Perfect noted, was itself handled elegantly. “What Red Apples really does well is get us inside Luna’s head,” he said. “This is about the second episode of Season 1, but her thoughts are all Season 2 Luna, a clever reconciliation of the two sides of her that few have attempted before.”
Read on for our author interview, in which billymorph discusses cyberpunk dystopias, childhood RPGs, and the abolition of gender.