Friday, March 06, 2015

Wow, cartoon contrafactuality....

One of the things that blows me away about the phenomenon that is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the sheer weight of fan-created content. There's tons of fan art out there, from the cute, funny, and sweet stuff that I like to some, uh, more "alternative" sorts (which Equestria Daily only offers up on their Drawfriends as links behind a "saucy" warning). And there's music, some of it indistinguishable from professionally produced music. And stories.

Recently, there was a writing contest called The Most Dangerous Game. (I do not write fan fiction, or at least, I don't do more than make up stories in my head, so I don't pay attention to the various contests or calls-for-papers). Well, they posted a link on EqD to the winner today.

I have to warn up front: it's an extremely DARK story. And sad - I was tearing up at a couple points; the author chose well which character to "transform" in it.

Anyway, it's effectively a counterfactual* story - what if the Mane Six had NOT succeeded back in the first two episodes, what if Nightmare Moon had kept going, and what if there were an Epic Pony War?

(Okay, I get that it can't REALLY be "counterfactual" because the world of the Ponies is not, literally, reality - so you can't talk about it like you would about a story of the 1960s in the US if JFK had NOT been assassinated, but I can't think of a better term for a "we're going to take these characters and this starting condition, and spin something out as if things had gone differently")

Despite the darkness and the sadness, it's still interesting and I found it worth reading: A World Without Kindness.

Slight spoiler alert: I think it affected me because of how it used my Favorite Pony Ever. (And also, Pinkie Pie. Oh, Pinkie Pie! What she had to become and how she tried to make the best of it made me sad too.)

But it's just amazing to me that people care about this world enough to write "what if" stories about it that go into that much detail...

1 comment:

CGHill said...

The Fallout: Equestria alt-universe is something to behold: maybe a thousand stories by now, all derived from an original which runs 600,000 words, about the size of War and Peace. (It's had two actual pressings, on paper and everything; price, understandably, was up around $100.)

That said, the most engaging of the alternatives is Austraeoh by Imploding Colon (generally believed to be shortskirtsandexplosions, author of the classic Background Pony). It's projected to be a twelve-book series, each book with 200 chapters, that being the limit on Fimfiction; currently, book six (Yaerfaerda) is winding down. It began with a four-word description: "Rainbow Dash flies east." Two million words in, and I have read them all, and I'm nowhere near close to putting all the pieces together.