It’s not hard to see why today’s story is a quality tale.
[Adventure] [Comedy] • 127,920 words
When Fluttershy received her certification as a fog specialist, she only wanted a plausible excuse to write off the expenses associated with her ground-based house on her taxes. However, when an accident in Cloudsdale sends a blanket of industrial-grade clouds rolling towards Ponyville, Fluttershy suddenly finds herself in charge of coordinating the response, mostly because she’s the only fog specialist in the area. Can our heroine step up to the challenge at hoof, or will she risk facing the wrath of the Equestrian Revenue Service?
FROM THE CURATORS: Though we found ourselves debating the merits of particular aspects of this story, there was one thing on which we all agreed: it effortlessly kept us turning the pages. “Flash Fog spins a loose, sprawling, unfocused yarn which is nevertheless consistently entertaining on its own merits, and it has plenty of humor without sacrificing story at the altar of comedy,” Chris said. Horizon agreed: “This is a highly readable story, with laconic, page-flipping prose and concise chapters that make it feel like a breeze.” AugieDog, meanwhile, pulled out cinematic comparisons: “The main storyline — actually dealing with the fog — kept making me think of those ‘all-star cast’ disaster films of the 1970s and 80s, but I mean that in a good way. The tension, the conflicted characters, the setbacks and triumphs: it was all very fun to read.”
Disaster films weren’t the only comparison being made. “This story’s like one of these modern open-world RPGs, where you have a main plot, but it doesn’t stand out that much from the multiple side quests on the way,” Soge said. “But that also works in the story’s favor since, even if you don’t enjoy one particular distraction (like, say, the Lyra and Bon Bon human stuff), you can be fairly sure that it won’t affect much.” Chris, too, praised the wide-ranging nature of the story’s explorations. “Some of these interpositions are almost entirely unconnected from the titular fog,” he said, “but what they collectively accomplish is to showcase a wide range of Equestrian low-key goofiness, from the Cutie Mark Crusaders building convoluted Rube-Goldbergian traps to the insipid idiocies of a superior’s pointlessly idiosyncratic speaking style.”
What really made this story sing, however, was the sharp way that the broad ensemble cast was portrayed. “The characters are spot on target,” AugieDog said, and Chris agreed: “I was consistently impressed with how the characters responded to events in-universe.” Chris went on to praise the depiction of Fluttershy in particular: “An on-point mix of soft-spoken, nervous, and uncertain, she nevertheless doesn’t fall into the ‘weak-willed waif’ trap that many writers — and sometimes, the show itself — cast her as.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Kwakerjak discusses exploding vignettes, unplanned deuteragonists, and the collision of cameos and H.P. Lovecraft.