Give today’s story a chance to conquer your heart.
Winning, and the pitfalls therein.
[Comedy] [Random] [Alternate Universe] • 42,517 words
What if the villains were allowed to win without a fight? Would all of their plans bear them the fruits they so desired?
Probably not, especially when their royal adviser is Twilight Sparkle.
A collection of (continuous) one-shots in which our heroes don’t have any epic fights with villains, and simply allow the power of logic to crush all of the hopes and wishes of the would-be rulers of Equestria.
FROM THE CURATORS: “It’s a question every would-be tyrant has to face eventually,” FanOfMostEverything quipped in our discussion. “You’ve conquered the kingdom/world/galaxy/universe. Congratulations. Now what?”
As this week’s feature shows, that’s a question with a surprising amount of depth — a depth matched by the story itself. “It’s hard to categorize this genre-wise, except that it’s relentlessly clever and methodical about finding ways to end-run around the show’s plot holes,” Horizon said in his nomination, and our debate was marked by repeated comments about that cleverness. “The writing itself is somewhat flat, but the world presented therein is anything but,” RBDash47 said, while FanOfMostEverything half-disagreed: “I honestly didn’t notice the flat writing; the brilliant ideas shine through it.”
Those ideas sparked comparisons of the best kind. “This feels an awful lot like the gleeful deconstruction of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, mashed up with the themes of redemption and friendship which make MLP stories feel ‘pony’, and I’m in love with the result,” Horizon said. RBDash47 was equally a fan — but for very different reasons. “I just finished a re-watch of The West Wing,” he said, “and I’m reminded of that series here, in that it’s both optimistic and features competent characters coming up with clever solutions to seemingly-intractable problems that make everyone happy. I very much enjoyed following along with Twilight as she mercilessly attacked her antagonists with nothing but pure reason, and gradually found herself as the power behind the throne in the balance.”
But what sealed the deal for us was strong character work. “Where it really shines is how Twilight isn’t always right,” FanOfMostEverything said. “Logical and internally consistent, yes, but not always right. The avenues she goes down add to both the humor and the depth of the story at every turn, and the increasingly absurd team of advisors she builds as time goes on only adds to that.” AugieDog praised that as well: “When Twilight almost immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion at the beginning of the Chrysalis section, it did a lot to make this version of the character work.” (“The entire Chrysalis arc is just gorgeous on toast,” Horizon added.) Ultimately, we found that made this story stand out amid a sea of others tinkering with the show’s results: “‘Fixfic’ can be a dirty word,” RBDash47 said, “but I have to admire this one.”
Read on for our author interview, in which RandomNPC discusses SCIENCE, sibling relations, and a few different kinds of character redemption.