Today’s story will exceed your expectations, whether it wants to or not.
The Prisoner of Zebra
[Adventure] [Comedy] [Romance] • 22,964 words
Flash Sentry: hero, heart breaker … and self-admitted coward. For the first time, he details his own undeserved rise to heroism (as well as the trouble such a reputation brings him) in his own words.
FROM THE CURATORS: It’s no secret where this story traces its roots to, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just another rip-off. “The whole Prisoner of Zenda tribute is excellent. Tumbleweed made the right choice, taking the general idea as a start and then breathing new life into it, making it its own thing,” said PresentPerfect. And Augiedog said, “This is also the perfect crossover ’cause it doesn’t assume the reader has any familiarity with George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books but still captures the essence of those books so well.” And even past its two major inspirations, the story is chock-full of clever allusions, both obvious and obscure. Chris asked, “Wait, is that a Golden Harvest reference?” while PresentPerfect wondered, “did you catch the Icarus reference?”
There’s much more here than “just” a trove of adaptational comedy, though. Chris said, “the footnotes are full of subtle metahumor and other worthy commentary.” Soge particularly liked the take on a coward protagonist, saying, “Flash fits really well into a “good natured rogue” role, being incompetent and vain, but not really malicious.” PresentPerfect agreed, and also noted how this choice helped tie the story to Equestria: “Flash Sentry makes a perfect womanizing coward (which oddly fits the bare minima that qualify as his canon personality).”
But above all, the selling point here is the comedy mined from the “hero”s reluctance, and that was where we focused much of our appreciation. PresentPerfect called it “hilarious at every turn.” Soge appreciated the character humor, commenting, “how he contrasts with the far more well adjusted Canterlotian society was really good, as were his thoughts about his position.” And Augie singled out the tone: “what the author does here is perfect, mixing a certain snideness with a large amount of self-awareness and no real desire to change.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Tumbleweed discusses floundering woobies, uncaught thieves, and social commentary ninjas.