(Note: We’re looking to re-feature three of our spotlighted authors! Our “Correct the Record” contest runs through Sunday, April 23. Weigh in with your votes and nominations on our FIMFiction thread.)
Today’s story will oh-so-politely take over your funny bone.
An Orderly Transfer of Power
[Comedy] [Random] • 8,892 words
Straight from the Canterlot archives, this collection of documents retells the rise and fall of Princess Twilight Sparkle, Enlightened Despot of Equestria, Defender of the Peace, Lawgiver, and Commander of Fort Libris.
Twilight Sparkle is, of course, known to historians as the first usurper to seek to schedule a coup d’etat by appointment. But for other details- such as, “What is the longest recorded time a pony has gone without sleep?”, “Is it true what they say about swans?”, and, “Why is there an owlbear in the Equestrian Witness Protection Program?”- these documents provide the answers and much, much more.
This is ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS HISTORY from primary sources. If anything makes you think this is silly, ludicrous, or unbelievable, blame Discord.
FROM THE CURATORS: It’s a testament to the quality of the entries in FanOfMostEverything’s recent “Imposing Sovereigns” contest that a story as consistently excellent as this one could walk away without a medal. “This is start-to-finish hilarious,” Horizon said. “It would have been good just with the core joke of Twilight Sparkle wanting to schedule a coup, but it takes that premise, starts sprinting with it, and doesn’t slow down for 9,000 words.” In his nomination, AugieDog said much the same: “This hits every humorous note of its premise spot-on, from Official Historian Moondancer’s side note to Discord at the beginning to Twilight’s final two-word message.” Present Perfect’s praise was even more glowing: “This is marvelous right from the get-go, a masterpiece of in-universe writing and bureaucratic comedy rivalling the originator of the genre.”
What was even more remarkable, we agreed, was that this story “maintains its tight comedic pace while sticking strictly to the epistolary style,” as Horizon put it. “The letters that tell the tale are well-chosen, and the story it tells is rich and robust.” Present Perfect appreciated the story’s diversity: “The breadth of document types keeps things both fresh and realistic.” And Chris approved of the story’s careful balancing act. “The choice of which documents to show strikes a great balance between overly specific and too unfocused, giving the reader plenty to chortle over without bogging down under the weight of its own epistolism,” he said.
That this could entertain us so greatly despite the ways in which it distorted canon was the cherry on top. “You do have to accept a certain amount of Trollestia as the price of entry … but the author then uses that premise in a variety of wonderfully funny ways,” Chris said. That was ultimately what won Present Perfect over: “Though I’m usually a stickler for Twilight and Celestia’s relationship,” he said, “the ridiculous way Twilight goes about staging a coup helps ground her actions in her character, and it’s certainly not as hard to swallow Twilight getting fed up with taking Celestia’s crap.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Kris Overstreet discusses thermonuclear cherries, token rednecks, and discovering empathy for Rarity.