It’s always the season for a fic as great as today’s story.
The Celestial Mechanics in Midsummer
[Slice of Life] • 8,716 words
“My dear Twilight Sparkle,
Thank you for your recent letters. And I must apologize to you first and foremost that I have not responded back in kind to each and every one. I imagine has this concerned you, but please don’t worry. Things have been very unsettled here in the castle as of late. Princess Luna has been researching Equestrian history, and I find myself in a strange kind of mood…”
FROM THE CURATORS: One of My Little Pony’s greatest strengths was always offering us characters we loved to spend screen time with. And when it comes to fanfic, sometimes a story can earn its power simply by giving us that quality time. “This story is absolutely gorgeous,” Present Perfect said in his nomination. “Very little actually happens, but through these glimpses of day-to-day life, we see just how much Celestia and Luna love and care for each other.” AugieDog was similarly enchanted: “The ‘slicier’ a slice of life piece is, the better I’m likely to like it. And this one’s that in droves.” That was also wrapped around excellent character work, RBDash47 said: “It’s all a perfect exploration of how Luna might have evolved in the early seasons of the show.”
But while we were united in our appreciation, there was one issue on which we split down the middle. “It’s told from Celestia’s and Luna’s perspectives in turn, and though Celestia’s scenes are the stronger, each princess has her own unique voice that suits her perfectly,” Present Perfect said. Horizon immediately disagreed: “I think the Luna scenes are stronger, thanks in part to the pitch-perfect Rarity cameo. But both parts work in concert to set up a fascinating portrait of reconciliation.” That led RBDash47 to quip, “it’s so interesting to see how the same story affects different people,” before agreeing with Horizon: “I absolutely loved the middle section, from Luna’s POV. Everything from the worldbuilding vis-à-vis seasonal day/night cycles to the wonderful Rarity appearance to the celestial scarf-gift.”
Ultimately, all those things anchored an exemplary exploration of the show’s mythic princesses. “What struck me especially was how the story starts with the easy characterizations of the sisters — Luna the bratty younger, Celestia the patient elder — and then starts deepening them, opening them up as they become reacquainted with each other and in the process become reacquainted with themselves,” AugieDog said. That added up to a classic, Horizon said: “Later canon developed the sisters in different directions, but this nevertheless stands the test of time.”
Read on for our author interview, in which TwilightFlopple discusses film shooting, Nintendo inspiration, and Disney distaste.