Journey to Everfree Northwest: Horsing Around

Pinkie Pie is uneasy about attending Everfree Northwest. She doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s disaster with Chrysalis. But luckily, using a bit of strategy, Twilight is able to talk some sense into her.

Everfree Northwest Fanfic Spotlight

Welcome to the first of our new weekly series of story recommendations! I’m Xepher, part of the 2014 writing staff for Everfree Northwest, and every Thursday, from now until the con itself on July 4th, I’ll be using this place to showcase excellent fan fiction pieces for your reading pleasure. To do this, I’ll be drawing both on my own favorites, as well as recommendations from the rest of the EFNW staff and our excellent community of writers and fans.

In general, I’m hoping to focus on stories that may not be as well known. While we all love “Past Sins” and “My Little Dashie,” most of those exceedingly popular stories are better found by simply visiting the top stories list on FimFic. (Seriously, there’s some real gold in those first few pages.) Not that we won’t occasionally have some popular stories in the mix as well, but ideally, everyone will be able to find something new worth reading every week. To that end, I’ll be striving for variety in the stories themselves as well, both in length and subject matter. Whether you’ve got twenty minutes or twenty hours, and no matter who your favorite pony is, hopefully you’ll find something to enjoy each time.

This week, we have three stories: An elegant and touching look look at the Royal Sisters, a novella-length epic showing Cadance’s deeper connections to the world and her influence on history, and a short, funny sci-fi crossover with the “Culture” series.


The Celestial Mechanics In Midsummer
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by TwilightFlopple
Words: 8,716 Complete: Yes

I first read this story over a year ago now, but it has stuck with me ever since. It is, on the surface, just a few simple days with the Royal Sisters, and their thoughts on one another. That is, it’s what’s called a “slice of life.” But that term seems to find use for anything shy of an epic adventure these days, becoming a catch-all for most any middling story without a strong plot or direct emphasis on something else. It has become generic and bland. Yet when executed properly, “slice of life” can be most amazing, and it is stories like this one which truly exemplify the form.

This story is a slice of Life-with-a-capital-L, full of words and phrases bursting with the visceral and the sublime beauty of existence. It frames not only the wondrous joy of sisterhood, but the heavy burden of long life and regal station as well. Composed of a mere eight thousand words, this tale can easily be enjoyed in the spare moment of an afternoon, yet the rewards for the reader belie the short length. Every sentence feels lovingly crafted, and I am struck by the curious sensation that many of the scenes are not actually written at all, but painted directly upon my inner eye. The author’s grasp of detail and descriptive language is impressive, leaving me with not just a vision of Equestria, but a sound, taste, and smell of it as well. Between it all we are given a picture of Luna and Celestia that is at various times humorous, loving, melancholy, regretful, and joyous. In short, we are given a picture that is deeply real.

That is not to say that the story is perfect. Like all works, it has its rough spots, but overall, the worst I really see are deviations in tone, and other minor incongruities. I would argue that the low points here could stand as high points in other, also-genuinely-enjoyable stories, and it’s only their contrast with the more perfectly executed scenes and phrases that makes them seem like errors at all here. As such, I can heartily recommend that anyone with a half hour to spare read, “The Celestial Mechanics in Midsummer.”


Calling You
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by AugieDog
Words: 42,187 Complete: Yes

"Calling You" is a very well executed vision of the ten centuries during Luna’s banishment, focusing on Cadance. It showcases a very amazing head-canon, expertly tying many seemingly disparate portions of Equestrian history together, and showing a much, much deeper role for Cadance than "just" the princess of Love. It brings together direct ties with the Elements, changelings, Bearers, and the world itself.

I hesitate to say too much more, as part of the excitement of this story is seeing the complex, interweaving events unfold as you read. Suffice to say that if you have an afternoon or three to spare, and want to read one of the more unique and internally consistent Equestrian histories, you really should give this one a try.

Full disclosure, this is technically a sequel to a short (less than 10,000 word) story, “[url=https://www.fimfiction.net/story/32544/the-birth-of-harmony]The Birth of Harmony[/url]” and normally I would not recommend a sequel as a starting place. However, in this case I feel the first story could be merely considered a prologue to this one, and is not, strictly speaking, a necessary read (though it is certainly enjoyable as well.)


The Curious Incident of the (Robot) Dog in the Nighttime
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by Bradel
Words: 4,395 Complete: Yes

And now for something completely different! This is a cross-over with (the late) Iain M. Bank’s “Culture” series of science fiction novels, showing two Culture emissaries working undercover in Ponyville. At its heart, this story is basically a comedy of near-errors, with a couple of fun surprises. I’m specifically recommending this one because, while short, I feel the author captures the perfect blend of Culture and Equestria with his writing, keeping things light enough, while still having a coherent and plausible (for certain definitions thereof) plot that I actually wanted to see play out.

While I think some of the jokes and details will make more sense if you’ve read any Culture novels before, I don’t believe prior knowledge is truly required to enjoy this story, just a love of pony and science fiction.

That concludes this week’s story recommendations. Thank you all for reading, and I’ll see you again next week, with more fan fiction to enjoy!

Cheers!
Xepher

ADORABLE MONDAY
I think this is cute, don’t you?
(source)Artist: johnjoseco

ADORABLE MONDAY

I think this is cute, don’t you?

(source)
Artist: johnjoseco

Remember that video promo we did a while back.

We made another one.

Stay tuned, ponies.

Ponystock 2014 Applications are Closed

A big thank you goes out to everyone who applied. We’re working hard to bring you the best show possible, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got planned. See you at the con!

We’ve scheduled Everfree Northwest 2014’s official Meetup! If you’re a member of meetup.com, feel free to RSVP!

Check out the results of our recent pony fanfiction contest!

EFNW Presents Ep 2: The Write Stuff

We will be streaming EFNW Presents, the official Everfree Northwest podcast, live on Livestream in 40 minutes (10pm EST). Today’s topic: Everfree Northwest’s writing track, with special guests Piquo Pie - Writing Track Lead - and Xepher - Writing Track Staff. Join us as they share the latest news on what you can expect from our expansive writing track this year!

Livestream link: http://www.livestream.com/efnwpresents

Visist us at ECCC and enter our drawing!

If you’re at emeraldcitycomicon this weekend, come stop by our booth and participate in our drawing! Just tweet us @EverfreeNW, show us your tweet at the booth to verify, and you’ll get a raffle ticket. A winner will be chosen at the end of Saturday, and will receive tons of prizes, including an exclusive poster from last October’s EoM concert, wristbands, dogtags, and two free passes to the next Elements of Melody concert, set for June 13th.
We’ll also be offering pre-registration at our booth at the special discounted price of $45!

So come stop by booth #1414 and say hi! We’ll be waiting.

Come Visit us Tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday!

emeraldcitycomicon starts tomorrow! If you’re attending, be sure to visit us and our BronyCAN friends at booth #1414 in the Exhibitor’s Hall. We’ll be offering on-site pre-reg for Everfree Northwest 2014, as well as running a drawing for some fun prizes. Hope to see you this weekend!