Explore today’s story to find a hidden treasure.
[Adventure] • 24,563 words
In the last months of the great war, Daring Do is called to once again brave the jungles of the Tenochtitlan Basin on a vital mission. While deep in enemy territory, she begins work on a final book: a prequel. A story that will never be completed.
Here are the recovered fragments of that lost, unfinished Daring Do novel.
FROM THE CURATORS: Digging through FIMFic’s classic tales sometimes turns up real gems, like this multi-layered 2015 story. “This is the kind of Indiana Jones-ish, high-stakes, high-thrills adventure we should be seeing from Daring Do,” Present Perfect said in his nomination. “That it’s got so much heart and so many excellent turns only makes it better.” And just like its heroine, it pulled off an ambitious plan with flair. “I’m a huge fan of how it leaps seamlessly back and forth between two narratives, three frameworks and three different writing styles without feeling disjointed,” Horizon said, “not to mention how the fragmentary Report 8 plays with the format to even greater effect.”
What we unearthed in our reading was a story that wielded its writing expertly from the details to the broad strokes. “The short, declarative sentences used during the fight in the torturer’s tent make the scene pop,” AugieDog said, while Present Perfect praised the characterization: “Its conception of Daring as a young archaeology student, learning hard lessons during her first world-saving adventure, is spot-on. A. K. Yearling’s appearance as a secondary character is brilliant.” Chris, meanwhile, praised how it tackled both theme and pacing: “The way that the geopolitical situation at the time of Daring’s mission adds bite to her observations about ponydom’s sense of cultural superiority makes this enjoyable writing, and the swashbuckling mix of action, sudden twists, and general pulpiness make the story entertaining on its own merits.”
We did debate the story’s general accessibility, given the outside framing story’s explicit reliance on Fallout: Equestria. “That’s the one thing I’ll disagree with Present Perfect about — I think that not having any familiarity with that universe would have a negative impact on one’s reading experience,” Chris said. But the vote that sent this to a feature came from Horizon, who hadn’t read that series: “I certainly feel like there was outside context I was missing, but after adjusting to the cold start in the first chapter or two, the story did an exemplary job of holding together on its own merits.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Kkat discusses dot connecting, villain reforming, and triple framing.