When it comes to romance, today’s story aims high.
The Mare Who Once Lived on the Moon
[Alternate Universe] [Romance] [Sci-Fi] [Slice of Life] • 150,923 words
In a world of brass and steam, Twilight Sparkle had thought she had made a life-changing discovery with the invention of the telescope. For better or worse, she was correct.
Now her discovery has not only changed her life, but the lives of those she seeks out in her desperate attempt to contact the only other creature as lonely as Twilight herself.
It all would have been much simpler, but it had to be the one Twilight could only call The Mare on the Moon.
Decidedly not within walking distance, then.
FROM THE CURATORS: Part of the problem in featuring longfics is that we have to wait for them to be completed — but in cases like this, the payoff is worth the wait. “I’ve been salivating over the prospect of being able to nominate this for months,” Horizon said. “It’s almost outrageously fun.” As it sailed through our voting process, it accumulated further superlatives — AugieDog’s among them: “In a few places the plot machinery creaks a bit too loudly, so I can only call the story really, really, really good instead of mind-bogglingly excellent.”
In a way, there was almost too much to like about this fic. “It is, in fact, two stories, in tone and style; the first is a steampunk slice-of-life about Twilight meeting the girls and falling in love with an idea, while the second is a rollicking intrigue/adventure tale of plots, counterplots, lust, and occasionally massive explosions,” Chris said. “But although there’s a fair bit of awkwardness to the way those two things are put together, the piece as a whole remains a rewarding reading experience.” Horizon appreciated it all: “Even though its central romance had me cheering, the real highlight here is the inventors’ tense struggle against both physics and government attention.” And AugieDog praised the sharp writing throughout both halves: “The narrative voice has just the right mix of snark, seriousness, and ‘sense of wonder’ to carry the piece through the emotional — and literal — roller-coaster of the storyline.”
We all agreed that among the highlights was the story’s treatment of its dynamic and memorable cast. “The characters are all unmistakably themselves, but they’ve been bent in a number of interesting ways by the world the author has conjured up,” AugieDog said. “That world is the star of the show, especially since — for all the setting’s enormous differences — it all hinges, as a proper AU should, around one simple change to the canon chronology.” Chris agreed: “Seeing how the setting has changed the characters is a source of continuous interest. This story builds them up, bit by bit, slowly revealing layers to each of their personalities, in an organic manner which mirrors Twilight’s own learning about them.” And, as Horizon noted, it does that without losing sight of its essential poniness: “The story walks the tightrope over the chasm of grim Tyrantlestia without ever straying from a world where friendship is an active, driving and redemptive force.”
Read on for our author interview, in which MrNumbers (and several guest footnoters!) discuss ugly oil-lamp beauty, copyright-compliant weapons, and grand theft bat.