The quality of today’s story will hit you right between the eyes.
Solving for Death
[Alternate Universe] [Comedy] [Dark] • 3,024 words
In a miscommunication gone awry, Starlight Glimmer has killed Twilight Sparkle with a fork.
Luckily for Twilight, Starlight’s already acquired a resumé in doing the impossible.
She’s totally got this.
FROM THE CURATORS: While the premise and the [Comedy] tag might suggest that this is a gimmicky crackfic, there’s a lot more than that going on. “This is a dark, dark comedy with a throbbing red heart of sincerity right at its core, and it’s that juxtaposition that makes the story for me,” AugieDog said in his nomination. Soge agreed: “From its fairly absurd premise, it builds into a genuinely funny dark comedy, but without sacrificing its heart or forgetting about characterization.” And Present Perfect pointed out that “it’s got enough polish to make it more accessible to people who aren’t as big on weird-idea fics.”
One of the elements drawing praise was the narrative voice. “The writing style was worthy of note, with an off-kilter charm that really helped the tone of the story,” Soge said. That also won Horizon over: “The subtle humor of the narration seems like an odd choice for a comedy,” he said, “but then it turns a corner into drama without shifting textual gears, and that slower pace seems brilliant in hindsight.” Meanwhile, Present Perfect enjoyed the prose. “There’s a real freewheeling spirit to the language here, with lines like ‘Twilight remained combatively dead’,” Present Perfect said. “And the relish fork is an amazing running gag.”
But the core strength here was the way it managed to reconcile some wildly different elements. “Glimmer’s blase-ness, Celestia using Twilight’s death to teach a friendship lesson, and Spike being the only sane dragon are all fantastically played off against one another, and the result is that the story’s various comic elements all enhance and reinforce each other,” Chris said. AugieDog summed it up: “It’s a tightwire act of a story, and watching the author pull it off just left me grinning.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Majin Syeekoh discusses tensile linguistics, quintuple Zs, and automobile muses.